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Finding and Filling the Holes in the Story – Guest Speaker: Betsy Phillips

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The history of African Americans in Nashville and it’s surrounding area is both rich and complicated – but there are many stories awaiting discovery for us all. Local author and Nashville Scene columnist,Betsy Phillips, has spent many hours in relentless pursuit of this history and finding and filling gaps in these stories.

Over the years, Betsy has written about many individuals, places, and events related to African Americans in Nashville – including local businessman and civil rights leader James Carroll Napier, the old historically black school Roger Williams University, and recently, the history of Fred Douglas Park in East Nashville.

We invite you to join us on Saturday, March 4th at 9:30am at the Nashville Public Library to hear Betsy’s work and learn about the research strategies and sources she uses – you may find that you can use some of them for your own research! As we explore our African-American family connections it is important we all stay on top of techniques that can help us learn more about our ancestors and the environments and events that helped shape their lives.


After the meeting, we welcome you to spend time working on your own family history research; books will be available to aid you. If you are able to join us, please register to let us know you’re coming. The meeting is free and open to the public and we look forward to seeing you there!

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Researching African-American Family History & Genealogy Workshop

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AAHGS Nashville invites you to join us February 11th, 2017 from 1-4pm at the Nashville Public Library to learn strategies and tips for researching your family history. 

After a 1-hour presentation we will have one-on-one consultation sessions to provide individualized advice. 

The afternoon is sponsored by Andrew Jackson’s Hermitage as part of their Black History Month outreach events.  

The event is free and open to the public – tickets can be obtained by registering below.  We look forward to seeing you there!

Come & Share Your Family Story

For our December Monthly Meeting, AAHGS Nashville is pleased to have YOU as our guest speaker!

That’s right – this meeting is a chance for you to present, show, and tell us all something interesting you’ve learned in your family history and genealogy research. We all have diverse backgrounds and family pasts so this will be an opportunity for us to learn more about you.

You can present on any aspect of your family history that you choose – have a family heirloom and want to tell it’s story? Made a connection and want to explain what led you there? Have you used DNA analysis to uncover family mysteries? We want to know!

We will meet Saturday, December 3rd at 9:30 am in the Civil Rights Room at the downtown Nashville Public Library. Our meetings are free and open to the public. 

Konnetta Alexander will facilitate the meeting and share one of her own personal stories – “How a Spinning Wheel Lead to documenting My South Carolina Family Slave”. Konnetta has more than 20 years experience doing genealogy research with most of her effort dedicated to three projects – researching family, transcribing and making public excerpts of an Antebellum slave account/record book, and performing interpretative presentations about the lives of free persons of color and slaves. Konnetta is an annual participant of MAAGI (Midwestern African American Genealogy Institute) and member of several historical societies. The focus of hergenealogy research is locating, documenting and personalizing the lives of slaves, whether family or not.

We look forward to seeing you there and hearing about your own family history!


After the meeting, we welcome you to spend time working on your own family history research; books will be available to aid you. If you are able to join us, please register to let us know you’re coming. The meeting is open to the public and we look forward to seeing you there!

African American Resources at the Tennessee State Library

For our November Monthly Meeting AAHGS Nashville is pleased to have Trent Hanner of the Tennessee State Library and Archives as our guest speaker!  Please RSVP if you can join us! We will meet Saturday, November 5th at 9:30 am in the Civil Rights Room at the downtown Nashville Public Library.

Trent will share with us details about the resources at the Tennessee State Library that can aid in researching individuals of African American ancestry. Now is your chance to learn more about the many great resources our State Library provides.

Trent Hanner is the senior reference librarian at the Tennessee State Library and Archives, where he has worked for ten years. After receiving his undergraduate degree at the University of Tennessee, Trent stuck around Knoxville for two more years to earn a Master’s degree in Library and Information Science. He loves telling folks about the many treasures and services offered by their State Library and Archives. When he isn’t in the stacks pulling books, you can usually find him at Nashville’s Belcourt Theatre or on one of Music City’s beautiful greenways.


After the meeting, we welcome you to spend time working on your own family history research; books will be available to aid you. If you are able to join us, please register to let us know you’re coming. The meeting is open to the public and we look forward to seeing you there!

Find-A-Grave Community Days at Historic Greenwood Cemetery

 

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The weekend of October 7-9th, Find-A-Grave is hosting their 3rd annual Community Days! All around the world volunteers will visit cemeteries to take pictures and try and fulfill open photo requests.

AAHGS Nashville is organizing a meetup at Nashville’s historic African American Greenwood Cemetery.  Join us there from 9am-12pm on Saturday, October 8th to participate in the event!

If you plan to come, let us know by filling out this short form.  Let’s see how many photos we can take – hope to see you there!

October 1st Monthly Meeting: Guest Speaker – Patricia Lockett

AAHGS Nashville is pleased to have Patricia Lockett as our guest speaker for the October Monthly Meeting. The topic of her talk is “What do we Know about Cuba and the Cuban People.

Please join us Saturday, October 1st at 9:30am at the Civil Rights Room in the Nashville Public Library. If you are able to join us, please RSVP.

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Ms. Lockett has traveled to Cuba several times over the past ten years and plans to share what she has learned in her interactions with other Americans who have spent time in the country and are advocates for lifting the embargo.  There is much positive about Cuba to include its health care system and their educational system. In her presentation Ms. Lockett will describe these two systems and talk about their positive health outcomes. Cuba has a free education system and free health care and Ms. Lockett will speak briefly about how these work.

Patricia Lockett is a retired social worker, a graduate of Tennessee State University, with a masters degree from the University of Tennessee.  She worked for the state of Tennessee for a number of years and retired as Assistant Commissioner for the Social Services program. She later taught at Western Kentucky University in their undergraduate program, taught at Tennessee State University, and briefly taught at the University of Tennessee’s School of Social Work. Ms. Lockett has volunteered at the maximum security prison for men and the Catholic Charities’ Refugee Resettlement program and currently works closely with the Room in the Inn program for homeless women during the winter months at her church.


After the meeting, we welcome you to spend time working on your own family history research; books will be available to aid you. If you are able to join us, please register to let us know you’re coming. The meeting is open to the public and we look forward to seeing you there!

June 4th Monthly Meeting: Guest Speaker – Dr. Learotha Williams Jr.

AAHGS Nashville is pleased to have Dr. Learotha Williams Jr. as our guest speaker for the June Montly Meeting. The topic of his talk is “I’ve Got One More River to Cross: Middle Tennessee and African American Memory

Please join us Saturday, June 4th at 9:30am at the Civil Rights Room in the Nashville Public Library.  If you are able to join us, please RSVP.


lea-williamsDr. Learotha Williams, Jr. is a native of Tallahassee, Florida, where he earned his Ph.D. in History in 2003, from Florida State University.  He worked for two years in the public sector as a Historic Sites Specialist in the National Register section of Florida’s Division of Historical Resources.  In 2004, he accepted a position as an assistant professor of History at Armstrong Atlantic State University in Savannah, Georgia, where he taught courses exploring Slavery and Emancipation in the Georgia Lowcountry and Historic Preservation.  In 2006, he became program coordinator for its African American Studies program.  While in Savannah, he continued his engagement in the public sector, serving from 2007-2009 as a trustee of the Historic Savannah Foundation.

He is currently a professor of African American and Public History at Tennessee State University in Nashville, Tennessee where his current research interests include slavery and emancipation in Tennessee, 19th and 20th Century African American Intellectual History, and Public History.  At Tennessee State University, he serves as the director of the North Nashville Heritage Project, an effort initiated in 2009 for the purpose of exploring, chronicling, and analyzing the history of North Nashville as viewed through the eyes of its residents.


He has written works that explore the lives of 19th century African American politicians, African American education during the post-Civil War period, and the challenges faced by black presidents of Historically Black Colleges and Universities during the Civil Rights Movement. He is currently revising a biography tentatively titled, On Jordan’s Stormy Banks:  The Life and Times of Jonathan Clarkson Gibbs, Florida’s First Black Secretary of State, 1828-1874, for the University of Arkansas Press and co-editing a book entitled A People’s Guide to Nashville for the University of California Press.


After the meeting, we welcome you to spend time working on your own family history research; books will be available to aid you. If you are able to join us, please register to let us know you’re coming. The meeting is open to the public and we look forward to seeing you there!