GoHardGoHomeFor the past 14 years there have been two concurrent addictions in my life – Slave Ancestry Research and Emerging Technology!:)

Yes, I’m Luckie and I am a TECHIE — by day and by night. Though I’ve managed technology initiatives in various channels of the IT spectrum, it’s the NEW TOOLS I dig most! The stuff making life [more] manageable or making access to viable information seamless really gets me excited!

My genealogy research is more calling than addiction and one I’ve carried for 15 years now! I’ve been online with my Our Georgia Roots since 1999 (DO NOT laugh at my use of color!:) and since 2007 with Our Alabama Roots.

Genealogy has been my lifeline. It gave me [and my family] a history that had been blurred over time with the lost of each Elder. It afforded me an outlet and much needed distraction during the 4 year journey with my Mom through Alzheimer’s Disease. So when the Ancestors called me off my 2+ year hiatus — ironically, the day after Mom’s passing on 8/5 — as always I answered.

But this return IS different. It needed to be more than just blogging and tweeting about my family or community activities. Rather than assisting the random researcher with making the genealogy blogging/twitter “leap-o-faith”, I wanted to focus where there’s the greatest deficit online — the African-American genealogy community.

So with the aid of my Sister-Cousin in crime, Felicia Mathis of Echoes of My Nola Past I jumped right back in the mix of things by creating the African-American Genealogy and Slave Ancestry Research Group (#AAGSAR) via Facebook.

Is AAGSAR a “Closed Group”? YES. Meaning, you don’t allow white and/or other ethnicity folks to join? Correct… well sort of!:)

IF you’re white OR other and have real slave ancestry in your family line to research, you’re welcome to join AAGSAR! For the record — we also don’t allow brown/black folks who OBSERVE rather than RESEARCH and COLLABORATE with the group either!:)

Why the exclusion? Because RACE MATTERS folks — in real life and certainly in Slave Ancestry Research! There’s no “issue of race” or “audience considerations” to be taken in AAGSAR.

We don’t tip-toe around hurtful slave topics and historical slave owner ugliness is discussed [in the context of our research] without restraint. Researching Slave Ancestry is ROLL UP YOUR SLEEVES, GROW TOUGH SKIN and SUCK IT UP W-O-R-K!

When researching in a broader/diverse community the weight of our research and the dependency on pre-1865 slave owner data often gets lost. The discussion IS NOT natural, it has to be initiated — hell, sometimes it must be forced.

There’s no chance of that in AAGSAR. If there’s an obstacle, hurdle or brick impacting a TRIBE members progression they’re encouraged to present and work through it within the collaborative. In AAGSAR, Slavery is an accepted element of the historical narrative we’re restoring. We deliberately focus on the facts and clues rather than emotion and circumstance.

Another KEY difference in AAGSAR is our leveraging of technology to push the collective African-American online community forward. ENOUGH already, the 21st century is here! Computers and databases ARE NOT the sworn enemy of the National Archives and microfiche! LOL

YES, black people who are looking for information online have to share their information online. To be successful with your research you NEED search engine/keyword levity, slave owner descendant contact/data and consistent community support.

IF your research is to survive beyond the next 5-7 years, you MUST be online. PERIOD.

So while we’re kicking down Ancestor BRICK WALLS in AAGSAR, we’re also guiding MANY genealogy NEW KIDS ON THE BLOG into the scary — but liberating — online space and leveraging smart technology to make their journey easier.

AAGSAR is NOT about exclusion OR not “liking” our broader and more diverse research community. As a Georgia/Alabama researcher, I understand the importance of supporting the work happening across ALL communities. My family research has benefited from the contributions of EVERYONE!

But given the community challenges we’re facing with lack of access to traditional methods of family research, and the necessity of sharing information/resources/family data across multiple online platforms — it’s time to take the lack of Slave Ancestored genealogy researchers online serious!

AAGSAR — our Ancestors have been muted long enough! Go Hard or Go Home!:)

Happy to be back y’all!:)

Luckie, Gerrie’s Baby Girl
Don’t call it a comeback! I been here for years…