The African Americans: Many Rivers to Cross

I really feel this should be required viewing in high school. Most curricula spends a day or maybe a couple of days on the history of African Americans in America, but that leaves out so much. For as well read as I like to pretend I am, there are SO many things I don't know. 

Even more importantly, watching this gives me an insight into how we've gotten to the point we have today, and ways it can be turned back. The injustice, intolerance and violence African 

Americans have had to endure at the hands of the White people in this country should, if not shame, then at least cause you to have more empathy for what they have endured and we should all feel pride in all they’ve accomplished in spite of it.

Even if you didn't have southern, slaveholder ancestors or if your ancestors came over after the civil war, (which is how I used to comfort myself into thinking I bore minimal responsibility) it's likely that your family and/or way of life profited either directly or indirectly at the expense of African Americans. 

This series is well written, interesting and thought provoking. It’s sad and heartbreaking at times, but also has funny moments. Lest you think it’s a one-sided big white-bashing series, it most certainly is not. It is as fair as it can be, presenting the facts and not getting bogged down in too much sentimentality and rose-colored glasses nostalgia for the good old days.

As a final note, Henry Louis Gates Jr. is a great host and the historians and experts he talks to are very enjoyable to watch.

I highly recommend this series to anyone with an interest in American History or anyone with an interest in how we’ve gotten to the point we have in America today, and what we must do to keep progressing forward, not regressing into the self- destructive, self-defeating actions of the past.

Please click below to buy the series from

Book Review

Organize your Genealogy Cover

Organize Your Genealogy, by Drew Smith

As a new professional genealogist, I found Organize your Genealogy to be an amazingly helpful read. Drew Smith offers advice and methodology for every aspect of a day in the life of a genealogist. Even beginners will get a lot from this book, though I think intermediate researchers will get the most benefits. 

I’ve been researching families for years and have developed many procedures and methods, but after reading Drew’s book, I can see where I can make improvements to my habits and practices to save me time and effort. He includes enough examples and screenshots to understand and illustrate the text, but not so much as to be a distraction to the message. It’s helpful that he includes organizational tips for preparing your physical work area, files and documents in addition to strategies for research and keeping track of your searches and goals. It is a very well rounded book and I highly recommend it! 

To purchase your own copy, please click below.