AfriGeneas News & Announcements
December 2006

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Judge Rules Freedmen Can Sue Cherokee Nation

Citing a history of marginalization by the Cherokee Nation, a federal judge on Tuesday allowed Freedmen descendants to challenge their treatment by the Oklahoma tribe.

In a 28-page ruling, Judge Henry H. Kennedy in Washington, D.C., said the descendants of former slaves can sue the tribe and its leaders, including Principal Chief Chad Smith. He said the tribe's sovereign immunity was abrogated by Congress through by treaty and by the Thirteenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, which outlawed slavery.

Kennedy, a Clinton appointee, acknowledged the Constitution doesn't apply to tribal governments. But he said the prohibition of slavery covers private parties such as the Cherokee Nation.

"[T]here is no dispute that the broad sweep of the Thirteenth Amendment applies to Indian tribes as well," Kennedy wrote.

The judge also noted that a post-Civil War treaty signed in 1866 requires the tribe to treat the Freedmen fairly. The Cherokee Nation, which had more slaves than any other tribe, had sided with the Confederacy.

Despite the passage of the Thirteenth Amendment and Congressional ratification of the 1866 treaty, Kennedy said the tribe has not lived up to its word. "Almost immediately after the emancipation of the Freedmen, the Cherokee Nation began marginalizing them," the ruling stated.

Read the rest of the story . . .


Posted by Staff on 12/21/06 at 10:32 pm EST

Wednesday, December 20, 2006, Inc. Changes Name to The Generations Network

PROVO, Utah, Dec. 19 /PRNewswire/ --, Inc., the leading online network for connecting families across distance and time, today announced that it is changing its name to The Generations Network, Inc., effective immediately. The company will continue to serve families online through its portfolio of leading brands and websites.,,, and together form the No. 1 network of family history websites in both the United States and United Kingdom; Ancestry's OneWorldTree(SM) is the world's largest online family tree

*,, and were recently launched to extend the company's presence into Canada, Australia and Germany

* Family Tree Maker� remains the world's No. 1 selling family tree software

*, online since 1998 as a place for families to connect and share photos and news, is being overhauled and relaunched in early 2007

* The company also publishes Ancestry Magazine and over 50 book and CD-ROM titles

"The Generations Network has a powerful mission to connect families across distance and time," said Tim Sullivan, the company's President and CEO. "Our company was founded over two decades ago as a publisher of genealogy products. Today, we are a multi-brand company focused on providing families with unique, interactive online experiences that help them research their family history, share and publish their stories, and find and stay connected to family members throughout the world.

"We felt now was a good time to establish a company identity expansive enough to encompass everything that we do, but also completely focused on the family ... across the generations. Over the past year, we've improved through the addition of millions of new records, enhanced tree-building and family networking technologies, and by giving our members the ability to save and store their precious family photos and memories online. We've grown rapidly in the UK and expanded our presence into new international markets.

"In 2007, we are looking forward to the upcoming relaunch of, an exciting new release of Family Tree Maker, and our plans to make even more mainstream and indispensable to families around the world. And we're thrilled to be moving forward as The Generations Network."

For more information on The Generations Network visit

SOURCE: The Generations Network, Inc.

CONTACT: Julia Burgon, ext. 124, [email protected], or Tola
St. Matthew-Daniel, ext. 101, [email protected], both of
Coltrin & Associates, +1-212-221-1616, for The Generations Network, Inc.

Source: The Generations Network

Posted by Staff on 12/20/06 at 4:37 am EST

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Slave Honored as 'African American Patriot' at Capitol

By Sue Anne Pressley Montes
Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, December 16, 2006

For years, he was known only as the faithful servant. Through the long campaigns of the Revolutionary War, he toiled alongside his famous master. In a painting that has hung in the U.S. Capitol since 1899, he is the figure by the fire, roasting sweet potatoes.

Now Oscar Marion is anonymous no longer. He has had his name restored.

In a ceremony yesterday at the Capitol, Marion was recognized as the "African American Patriot" he always was. A proclamation signed by President Bush expressed the thanks of a "grateful nation" and recognized Oscar Marion's "devoted and selfless consecration to the service of our country in the Armed Forces of the United States."

The occasion was a triumph for his distant cousin, genealogist Tina C. Jones, who researched his identity and pressed officials to honor him.

"He is not just some obscure figure in the background," said Jones, president of the American Historical Interpretation Foundation Inc. in Rockville. "This person had a name. He had a life and a separate contribution."

Read the full story . . .

Source: The Washington Post

Posted by Staff on 12/19/06 at 5:29 am EST

Monday, December 18, 2006

ProQuest to Sell HeritageQuest Online and Other Services

ProQuest Announces Agreement Under Which Cambridge Information Group Will Acquire Its Information and Learning Segment

ANN ARBOR, Mich., Dec 15, 2006 /PRNewswire-FirstCall via COMTEX News Network/ -- ProQuest Company (NYSE: PQE), a publisher of information and education solutions, today reported that ProQuest Company (the "Company") and its subsidiary, ProQuest Information and Learning Company, have signed a definitive agreement with Cambridge Information Group (CIG) providing for the acquisition of the ProQuest Information and Learning segment for approximately $222 million.
ProQuest Company intends to issue a separate press release to provide an update on the ongoing restatement of its financials for fiscal years 1999-2004 and the first three quarters of 2005, anticipated results for fiscal 2005 and the first nine months of 2006, its fiscal 2006 outlook, the expected tax impact of the sale of its Business Solutions and Information and Learning segments, information on certain of its liabilities, and other matters.

Under the agreement, CIG will combine its Bethesda, Maryland-based CSA subsidiary with Ann Arbor, Michigan-based ProQuest Information and Learning to create a new, privately held independent company. The new company plans to continue operations in both locations.

Alan Aldworth, ProQuest Company's chairman and chief executive officer, said, "This transaction is a positive event for Information and Learning, as well as for ProQuest Company and its shareholders. Information and Learning and CSA are both highly respected providers in the market for higher education and public library resources. Combined with a strong privately held company in the same field, Information and Learning will be well positioned to focus on long-term growth and investment opportunities."

Andrew M. Snyder, president of CIG, said, "Combining ProQuest's unparalleled collections with CSA's own rich content builds upon our mission of delivering an exceptional research service. We will create a new company that will leverage deep content sets with a history of innovative product development to bring the community of libraries, researchers, faculty and students one of the most extensive electronic resources available."

After the transaction closes, Martin Kahn will serve as CEO of the new company and will relocate to Ann Arbor, Michigan. Matt Dunie, current president of CSA will serve as president of the new company.

David "Skip" Prichard, president ProQuest Information and Learning, will continue to lead the business actively until the transaction closes. Subsequently, Skip will be a key contributor to the transition process. After the transition is successfully under way, Skip plans to pursue new career opportunities consistent with his interests and leadership experience.

Aldworth emphasized, "Skip and the Information and Learning team have done an excellent job of sustaining customer loyalty, launching new products and reducing costs. All of us at ProQuest Company are appreciative of their accomplishments. The focus at Voyager and our other ProQuest Education businesses, ExploreLearning and Learning Page, continues to be providing outstanding service to our customers, developing our product lines, and carrying out our mission of enabling children to succeed."

The transaction with CIG is subject to customary closing conditions and regulatory approvals, including expiration or termination of the applicable waiting period under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvement Act of 1976. The transaction is expected to close after receiving regulatory approvals and is also subject to financing conditions.

Read the full story . . .

Source: ProQuest Company

Posted by Staff on 12/18/06 at 12:44 pm EST

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Federal Appeals Court Upholds Slave Descendants� Fraud Claims Against Major Banks, Insurers

For Immediate Release:

Federal Appeals Court Upholds Slave Descendants� Fraud Claims Against Major Banks, Insurers

Nation�s most conservative appeals court affirms fraud claims against Bank of America, Aetna and other financial giants

Companies that lie about their slave trading history "Guilty of Fraud", says Chicago appeals court

A federal appeals court today upheld fraud claims against major US banks, insurers and transportation companies who concealed their slave trading histories from consumers. A press conference to announce the victory will be held on December 14, 2006, at the United States Court House at 500 Pearl Street in lower Manhattan.

The U.S. Court of Appeals in Chicago, one of the nation�s most conservative appeals courts, said today that fraud claims brought by a New Jersey woman, Deadria Farmer-Paellmann, against Bank of America, Aetna and New York Life and others for concealing corporate slave trading histories should go forward.

"A historic victory," said Farmer-Paellmann, the lead plaintiff and the Executive Director of the Restitution Study Group, pioneers of the corporate restitution movement.

"This is the first major victory for slavery reparations and will bring a new era in making banks, insurers and transportation companies accountable for their trade in human life," continued Farmer-Paellmann.

Companies that misrepresent their slave trading history to consumers are "guilty of fraud", said Judge Richard Posner in a 17-page opinion released yesterday.

Posner compared misrepresentation of a bank�s slave history to a manufacturer who lies about using child labor.

Other claims that sought recovery of past profits made from slave trading were dismissed because of the lack of federal jurisdiction, but such claims are still permitted to go forward in the state courts.

Farmer-Paellmann�s lawyers, Carl Mayer and Bruce Afran, celebrated the ruling noting that the legal environment has now moved against the banks and in favor of slave descendants.

"For the first time in US history, those who traded in slaves will face judgment in an American court," said Afran.

"Punitive damages for such corporate fraud nationwide could easily run into billions," Mayer said.

Contacts: Deadria Farmer-Paellmann 917-365-3007, [email protected]; Bruce Afran 609-924-2075(office), 609-933-7695 (cell), brucea[email protected] ;Carl Mayer 609-462-7979 (cell), [email protected]


Posted by Staff on 12/14/06 at 12:02 pm EST

6 Jul 2003 | 19 Dec 2006
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