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13 May 2011

East Bay Teens on a Familiar Journey

Today's San Francisco Chronicle carries a story on page A-1 under a heading I've never before seen on the front page: Genealogy. The article, "Emotional Peeks at Family History" has a different headline in its online version: Genealogy Search Expands East Bay Teens' Worlds.

Chronicle staff writer Jill Tucker reports on Family Journey – an ancestry program that has East Bay high school and community college students meeting weekly to learn about their roots. The program launched in February during Black History Month and will conclude with a special presentation on June 4, 2011.

The Family Journey Ancestry project is a collaborative effort by the African American Genealogical Society of Northern California (AAGSNC), the Oakland Regional Family History Center (ORFHC) and staff from the office of Alameda County's District 5 Supervisor Keith Carson. The supervisor's April 27, 2011 newsletter carries this quote from Carson:

A few years ago I had the chance to look into my family history and it gave me a deeper appreciation for what my parents and grandparents went through in their journey out of the South. I wanted youth in Alameda County to have that same chance to connect with a deeper sense of who we are.
I was curious about Supervisor Carson's "look" at genealogy so I called his office and learned that he took part in the 2007 Black History Month program at the ORFHC with then-mayor Ron Dellums.

You can read more about Family Journey Ancestry at the AAGSNC blog. Nicka Smith has written an insightful piece on the program's challenges and rewards AAGSNC Teams Up With County Supervisor for Program. Her use of Michael Jackson's ancestry as an example for the kids is brilliant. 

Kudos to Supervisor Carson and to Nicka Smith and our colleagues at AAGSNC and the ORFHC for introducing a new generation to their ancestors.

Copyright © 2011 by Kathryn M. Doyle, California Genealogical Society and Library