I planned to pen this post for private viewing by my AAGSAR Facebook Community only, but I do favor transparency. So that said, this post is available to anyone having interest to read it.
As I shared with AAGSAR this morning, this has been a tough week. As we near our 2014 BLOGFEST event, the first step in preparing has been the work of removing inactive members from the forum. Not a warm n’ fuzzy task at all!:)
Why are inactive members removed from AAGSAR? Read here — AAGSAR Official CHEAT SHEET: Surviving The Principal, TRIBE & 21st Century Slave Ancestry Research.
Members are NEVER happy to exit the forum and some are more “vocal” than others. My reaction to the commentary is usually a mix of surprise, frustration and sadness. Though specific to the transition our Community is making, the responses expose cultural and emotional wounds that feel set on historic rewind. As I shared with Liv of Claiming Kin, we are the only people I’ve worked with who no matter what, fight AGAINST progress and deem anyone attempting to make it, the enemy.
So I’m publishing a behind the scenes exchange between myself and a [former] member who requested to be removed from the community this morning. I think it speaks to how some who are currently silent could be feeling, and my thoughts in this respect.
I consider the message you have sent me and “ask” that you please delete me. You must understand life provides us all stages and levels – perhaps it is not time for certain members to interact within the group. To delete based on a “No Observers” policy you risk future contributions from those who may prove to be significant to African Americans and our history. As for me I am a simple Black Woman finishing her Masters and seeking a PhD program – no one of value to the group. So as you deem, as requested – please delete me.
- I invest 5-10 hrs daily to provide a forum created to move our collective research forward — knowing the challenges we face with technology and community interaction. This is a personal investment for me and in my 14 year career I’ve never seen anyone offering for free, the services I provide here.
- AAGSAR was never intended to meet the needs of all African American researchers and that’s been said many times, from the start. As well as posted about within the forum and on my personal blog.
- Our Group Description has been in place from the start — Who The Heck Is AAGSAR?!
- Before joining, people have the opportunity to read the description and decide if AAGSAR is a good fit for their needs.
- What they don’t have the right to do, is to join and then decide to recreate and/or change the model they are not investing in.
- As a community our struggle is often with each other. We understand everywhere else how to honor house and/or work rules. But when we come together, no matter how valuable or important the gift, we will find issue with it.
- Whatever is offered is never enough to satisfy everyone. It’s sad to me anyone could receive the degree of information and hands-on consulting they do here and their biggest issue is I ask that they talk to and assist one another. What does that say about who we are?
- If you chose to join the group, I have every right to expect you to meet the ask that you committed to when joining.
- And one last thing… you are/were of value to this group.
- If our people were not valuable to me and the collective, I would NEVER have created this group and invested the time.
- When you say you are of no value to the group, that speaks to what is happening within you, to allow that to be your belief.
- The very act of kindness that’s being offered is in itself saying, you are valuable and we don’t want you or your Ancestors left behind.
- I know what the technology of tomorrow looks like because I manage people in creating it — and have for 14 years. We (black people) are not factored in that equation.
- So when you leave this group, know that you do so because you didn’t value it and/or your place in it enough to meet a very simple ask. Not because I didn’t want you here. Take care.
This is my DEFINITIVE POSITION on member feedback in respect to the requirements of AAGSAR participation and/or the necessity at times to vacation members from the forum.
The departing Member was in route to funeral services for Nelson Mandela and hinted to the point that he/she could be of significant importance to our African American history. I hope so, but that said, ALL our Ancestors are important to me — their descendants to. We’re all equals in AAGSAR.
My bar is HIGH and it’s NOT BUDGING. So Now What?!
AAGSAR 2014 Housekeeping Updates:
- NEW MEMBERS. No NEW Members will be approved prior to receiving the AAGSAR Group Description from me AND agreeing to the participation asks to join the group. I need to confirm we’re all on the same page from the start!:)
- BLOG REQUIREMENTS. NEW Members the blog requirement is a way I can immediately gauge how committed you are to the principles outlined in the Group Description. If you DO NOT have a genealogy blog or family site online at the time of joining, you will need to commit to working with me and/or another Community Member to have one online within 7 days of joining.
- EXISTING MEMBERS SUPPORT. We will share the ♥ onboarding New Members in 2014. I ask Existing Members to step-up to support how our Newbies transition into the group. We are a family and I own it can be intimidating getting up to speed with us! We’ll show ourselves EXTRA friendly (Luckie included), supportive and helpful to New Members. As assistance is needed for blog setups, I’ll make a call for volunteers who can lend a hand!:)
- MEMBERSHIP INCREASE. AAGSAR will increase our 150 member capacity to 200 following BLOGFEST. We turn a lot of family researchers away due to our membership threshold. We’ll continue seeking ways to assist more folks coming our way and I’m open to Member suggestions!:)
As Liv once said, AAGSAR is the best collaborative Ancestor research group for the SERIOUS RESEARCHER! 2014 is going to be a BLAST! I do hope you’ll either choose to stick with and/or join us!:)
Image Resource: the HENDERSON Wash GA image was among 100+ Unknown Ancestor photos recovered by Ms. Annie HALL — Mingo Judson WINGFIELD’s neighbor in WILKES Co. She saved the mysterious images [most with no names] when Mingo’s house was gutted following his death in 1958. The pics were returned to me and Mingo’s 4th Great Granddaughter Malinda CROSS in 2002. The image represents our collective purpose, restoring the names and legacy of our Unknown Ancestors.