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AfriGeneas Genealogy and History Forum

Re: Recapping the IBGS
In Response To: Recapping the IBGS ()

Hello all,

It was an amazing and incredible experience to attend the first International Black Genealogy Summit in Ft. Wayne Indiana.

I had the experience of traveling with a group departing from Baltimore Maryland, on Wednesday October 28. Arriving on time for the Pre-Conference day was a special treat, having the chance to spend in the incredible research facility at Allen County Library.

I agree with Timonty---this was indeed the best genealogical conference that I have attended in many years. The workshops that I attended were professionally presented and the camaraderie among the attendees was outstanding! The pre-conference opening was amazing, since, it was an extra added on day—and the theater was already filled. There were workshops throughout that day, plus for those of us who wanted to—there was the chance to experience this outstanding research facility first hand.

What a research experience. I now understand why many say that it is second only to Salt Lake City for its offerings and holdings. In honor of the conference---the library was open till midnight---just for conference participants!

The opening on Friday morning was filled to capacity and clearly was indicative that this event was filling a much needed void.

I presented a workshop in Room B, right after the opening session, and the room was quickly filled to capacity. AfriGeneas colleague and friend Art Thomas introduced me, and the session was underway. I was amazed at how quickly the time went by. I have to admit to a bit of nervousness when my idol who also happened to be the banquet keynote speaker, Dorothy Spruill Redford attended my session. Now I re-read her book once a year, and am in awe of her work, and feel that I am the one who learns from her, and suddenly there she was to listen to my presentation. But I did not let my nerves take hold, and all went well. I did have the wonderful experience to speak with her afterward which was a great treat and honor.

The banquet was a colorful event with everyone elegantly dressed in African attire, and then there was the pleasure of hearing Dorothy Spruill Redford speak about her life’s work at Somerset. What an inspiration!

Saturday was a full day of workshops. I did not attend the luncheon that day, so I was able to get in 2 more hours of research in the library.

The biggest treat on Saturday, was to hear a young man who represents the next generation of genealogists----Jari Honora from New Orleans. This young man---right out of high school, and a freshman at Tulane University, gave an outstanding workshop on his research journey. Jari is a part of the AfriGeneas family, and he ended up spending the entire evening with several AfriGeneas folks. We were a family and we stuck together as family----what an experience.

The exhibitors were fun to visit---some represented their organizations, and others represented enterprises such as Ancestry, RootsMagic, FamilyTreeDNA and others.

And then there were the people---old friends, and new friends. AfriGeneas friends and brand new friends. Goodness!!!

My hope is that the energy exhibited at this conference will continue and that hopefully it will be repeated at either Salt Lake City or back again at Ft. Wayne!

A truly incredible experience! Thank you to the organizers of this event for an unforgettable experience.

18 Dec 2002 :: 14 Nov 2008
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