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Pearl-Alice Marsh

Pearl-Alice Marsh began her genealogical research 15 years ago as an oral history project. As her parents and their friends grew older, she realized their stories were not only their family and community histories but also important to the history of the Depression-era African-American migration to the Pacific Northwest and of America's labor history in the logging industry. After recording and transcribing over 1000 pages of material, she found African-American genealogy organizations and resources through the Internet and began genealogical research in earnest.

Her research focuses primarily on north-central Louisiana where she is researching the ancestors and family lineage of Louis MARSH, Sr. (b. GA 1831), Elizabeth DUNAWAY (b. unknown); and Orange ELMORE Sr. (b. LA c. 1861-63) and Mittie Moss (b. LA c. 1861). Additionally, she is researching the story of black land ownership in Jackson Parish during reconstruction and post-reconstruction periods. She also is documenting the 20th century family history through oral interviews with family elders ages 84-92 still living in Louisiana and California.

She is a member of the Afro-American Genealogical and Historical Society (AAGHS), AfriGeneas, the online African-American genealogical association, and the Northern Louisiana Genealogical Society.

Dr. Pearl-Alice Marsh presently serves as the Professional Staff/Africa for the Democrats in the House of Representatives. Prior, she served as Senior Policy Advisor to Rep. Juanita Millender-McDonald (1999-2000). In this position, she was instrumental in getting legislation passed and signed by President William Clinton that will preserve the Freedmen's Bureau Records. The records will be microfilmed, indexed by name, and the index placed on the Internet for broad access for genealogical researchers. The bill, The Freedmen's Bureau Preservation Act of 2000 (HR 5157) was signed into law during the 106th Congress.

From 1996-99, Dr. Marsh served as Executive Director for the Africa Policy Information Center and from 1993-1996 as the Senior Research Associate for International Affairs at the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies, both in Washington, D.C. She served as the Program Director for the Joint Center for African Studies at the University of California from 1986-1993.

Dr. Marsh has been a committed activist in US social movements since the 1960s. She has thirty years of professional experience in planning, grassroots organizing, community and national politics, public policy, academia, and government. She has served as an appointed and elected commissioner in the City of Berkeley, CA and served on a number of volunteer advisory and governing boards.

Dr. Marsh has partnered an intellectual life with practical grassroots activism. An article, "Grassroots Statecraft and Citizens Challenges to U.S. Security Policy," is a scholarly examination of the Anti-Apartheid and Sanctuary Movements in the United States during the 1980s. She has traveled and worked in South Africa, Nigeria, Benin, Ethiopia, and Uganda to help strengthen democratic institutions and promote popular participation in governance. Her distinguished professional career in public policy has covered a wide range of issues including health care, mental health, international trade, domestic violence, grassroots economic development, education, and inter-ethnic relations. She received her doctorate in Political Science and Masters in Public Health from the University of California at Berkeley and holds a Bachelors degree in Social Welfare from Sacramento State College.

See also Pearl-Alice's transcription of:

African American Households in the 1880 Jackson Parish, LA Federal Census

Submitted by the AfriGeneas Staff

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Created: 26 Jan 2001 | Updated: 28 Feb 2001
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Copyright © 2001 by AfriGeneas. All rights reserved.