A phenomenal event has been happening on Tuesday nights since October 22, 2013. On the PBS channel, a six-hour miniseries called “The African-Americans Many Rivers to Cross” written and presented by Henry Louis “Skip” Gates. It is a documentary of the past 500 years of African-American History. Well if that was not enough alone to stand on it’s on merit of being phenomenal, this additional fact will complete it. Due to social media people all over the United States discussed the series as it is be televised by using the platforms of Twitter, Facebook and blogging. I have personally been involved in all the platforms. Research groups such as African-American Genealogy and Slave Research (AAGSAR), African-American Genealogy Forum and Our Black History. Blogging groups such as Carnival of African-American Genealogy (CoAGG) and African Genealogy Blogging Circle. DNA groups such as DNA tested African Descendants. Blog talk radio with Research at the National Archives Beyond and Beyond. I am not a professional writer nor scholar and as you can tell I probably rate at a 9th grade level in my writing. But I am the evidence, that ancestors call on the ones that are the most passionate to tell their stories, the best way that they can. I feel very fortunate to have access to all the tools mention above and the great people involved.
Back to “The African-Americans Many Rivers to Cross’, the fourth episode of the series was about Making a Way Out of No Way portrays the Jim Crow era, when African-Americans struggled to build their own worlds within the harsh, narrow confines of segregation. At the turn of the 20th century, a steady stream of African-Americans left the South, fleeing the threat of racial violence, and searching for better opportunities in the North and the West. Leaders like Ida B. Wells, W.E.B. Du Bois, Booker T. Washington and Marcus Garvey organized, offering vastly different strategies to further black empowerment and equality. Yet successful black institutions and individuals were always at risk. At the same time, the ascendance of black arts and culture showed that a community with a strong identity and sense of pride was taking hold in spite of Jim Crow. “The Harlem Renaissance” would not only redefine how America saw African-Americans, but how African-Americans saw themselves.
Making a Way Out of No Way (1897-1940) will be the heading of my future blogs about the migration travels of my ancestors. Most of my ancestors took the typical paths as described on this map.