UJIMA (Collective Work & Responsibility) Day 3 KwanzaaUJIMA (Collective Work & Responsibility): To build and maintain our community together and make our brother’s and sister’s problems our problems and to solve them together.

I wish every person questioning my motives behind forming AAGSAR, could be instantaneously redirected to this post!:)

As a descendant of emancipated slaves, recorded as property not humans before 1865, I’ve had to accept the lack of historical documentation impacting my ability to trace my family lineage. As a technologist since 1999, I’ve been eyewitness to the evolution of The Great Digital Divide.

I was here in the Divide’s early stages, when connectivity and technical knowledge was a matter of socioeconomic status and geographical location. Translated — if you were poor, a minority and/or living in a rural area opportunities to own, learn and exploit the new gadgets were little to none. You were ignored and left standing on the sideline of the “technology revolution”.

I watched as technology evolved and expanded its reach, but our cultural mindset didn’t. In my IT world I [repeatedly] manage the development of world-changing technology that rarely considers a person of color as its primary end-user.

Within my community, I’ve witnessed brown people VOLUNTARILY “opt-out” of the digital revolution. Often quickly dismissing the opportunities this medium affords; not acknowledging its ability to level the economic playing-field nor the reality this is THE rule-stick our brown children’s potential and future success is being measured by.

I’ve fought the Digital Divide battle — on BOTH sides  — for 14+ years.

I’m a multiracial woman, raising multiracial children in a multiracial world. It’s silly for anyone seeking validation of my bigotry to use my formation of a closed African American/Slave Ancestry genealogy group as evidence! Get over it and just be honest — the broader, mostly white online genealogy community did not want to face my enslaved Ancestors (or their oft times frustrated and sometimes angry descendant) EVERY morning and night. I know, I was there attempting it.

Serious times call for serious measures. The restoration, preservation and dissemination of African American historic data is at risk — and its rescue mission cannot wait. I challenge anyone to deny I spent years attempting to get our larger, historic groups and organizations to take this effort as their charge.

I adore my AAGSAR Community, but don’t give a damn about Facebook, the platform. As a matter of fact, can’t stand it! I wasn’t attempting to win a popularity contest, expand my brand or alienate other persons/groups engaged online in African American genealogy research.

I simply pulled my community close to have an ongoing, and sometimes harsh, family conversation. And I said, if I’m willing to invest, to be here, you must invest too.

No politics, ego games, hidden agendas or disrespect of ANYONE is permitted within AAGSAR. Just Ancestor Work, learning, camaraderie, support and progress.

“To build and maintain our community together and to make our brother’s and sister’s problems, our problems and to solve them together.” ~ Maulana Karenga

UJIMA.

If you were or are searching for a reason why AAGSAR was created, you’ve discovered it. It takes a Village.

Luckie

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