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AfriGeneas Writers Forum

Re: Need Family History Writing tips

Hi again Karen:

You wrote "I didn't really think I had much option other than to self publish..didn't think there would be publishers interested in family history of "non-famous" types"

My response:

I have to disagree with you on "non-famous types". As you know, there is a growing international interest in the African-American experience. Your ancestors were all witnesses to history. Their names may not be the bold-faced ones we read about, but I am positive that their experience was unique.

What all Americans need are documented histories that go beyond Douglass, King, Anderson and the Buffalo soldiers.

For instance if the title of your family history had a military theme: "My Family in the Time of the Civil War and World War II", you could interweave your ancestors into these historical periods. In a recent conversation I had with Bennie McRae, historian of the US Colored Troops, he told me that today, approximately 5 million African Americans have ancestors who fought for the Union Army. There were 500,000 black civilians (ex slaves) called contrabands who supported the Union Army. The correlation to today's African American population would be staggering. So if your family ancestor was involved in the war, or worked on the homefront in WWII, it's a wonderful story to share with a large audience.

Setting aside the war suggestion...Perhaps your newspaper, or a regional magazine would be interested in your family history.

Let us know your thoughts.

Write Away!


18 Dec 2002 :: 14 Nov 2008
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