AfriGeneas Genealogy and History Forum
Recapping the IBGS
I must start off by saying that as a person who has attended many national and regional conferences, IBGS is one of the best I have experienced. What made it so was the excitement and energy that filled the air.
The harbinger of this conference manifested itself in the opening reception Thursday evening. I was stunned at the number of people that filled that room, especially in light of the fact that significant numbers had probably not yet arrived in town or opted to skip the event. The food was very good, and there was a cash bar; so many left feeling better than others. LOL
Case in point in regard to enthusiasm would be the workshop I conducted Saturday morning on Finding and Using African American Newspapers. It was a limited event that required pre-registration, however a standby list had been generated. The desire to learn about the topic brought many people in excess of the 32 “official” registrants clamoring to get in. One of those that had pre-registered remarked that they had shut down their vendor booth for the morning in order to attend the workshop. After the registrants were checked in and the lucky few off the waiting list claimed seats, there were still a host of people in the room as well as a number in the hallway peering in through the windows. We eventually opened up the first portion of the two hour workshop to standing room only. The heat generated in that room caused us to open both doors! However, I heard nary complaint, and no one relinquished their seat.
I registered as a vendor for the conference so unfortunately I was not able to attend any of the sessions on Friday or Saturday. As attendees stopped to browse my books and other merchandise, I took the opportunity to ask many of them about the events they had went to and they were overwhelmingly satisfied. Many of them took the time to sign up for two free e-zines I am launching in the next two weeks. The Black Genealogist will report on a wide range of research material seldom seen or reviewed by researchers as well as commentary on an assortment of items with genealogical relevance. And, Black Newspaper Notes will feature interesting bits and pieces culled from various newspapers, along with news, tips, and observations geared to make you a more effective researcher. I have been signing up interested genealogists for the past year and the initial e-zines will go out to close to two hundred folks. Anyone who has not had an opportunity to get on the mailing list can do so by using the link below.
Dorothy Spruill Redford who wrote the wonderful book, Somerset Homecoming gave an inspiring talk as the keynote speaker at the banquet on Friday. The most important thing I took away for it was that each of us is responsible for seeing that the history of our ancestors and local communities gets recorded—that has always been my mantra and it was wonderful to hear it being delivered to this large group of family historians by such a well known and respected woman. I have pictures and other comments on my Facebook page, including a few of Dorothy.
Due to my vendor duties, I was unable to get over to the Afrigeneas photo-op, but I would be happy to supply a picture if someone were willing to Photoshop me in. LOL
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