Slave Ancestral Research: African American Genealogy Workshop

Perseverance is in our DNA — Elle McKinney

In partnership with Mobile African American Genealogical & Historical Society, Mobile Public Library will host Mary Jones-Fitts, MAAGHS President, for a genealogy workshop focusing on how to research ancestors during the enslavement period.

This workshop will be presented in-person, as well as virtually via Zoom and FB Live, and registration is required. 

Please contact etheris@mplonline.org, 251-494-2172, to register and indicate whether you will attend in-person or virtually.

Family Research with the DAR

Family Research with DAR at Local History & Genealogy

Learning about family history! Members of the Tristan de Luna Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution will be at the Local History and Genealogy Division to assist you with your questions and research concerning your ancestors.

For more information, please email Ms. Theris-Boone at etheris@mplonline.org or call (251) 494-2172.

Barracoon and the Language of Kossula

“Derefo’ we makee de Affica where dey fetch us.” – Kossula, in Hurston’s Barracoon (68). 

In 1927, Zora Neale Hurston spent several months interviewing Oluale Kosssula, aka Cudjo Lewis, in Africatown, Alabama. She collected her notes into a manuscript, but when she sent it to a publisher, they wanted her to rewrite it “in language rather than dialect” (Hurston 2018:xxiv). Hurston refused, and it was not until eight decades later, in 2018, that Barracoon was finally published, with Hurston’s portrayal of Kossula’s speech intact.

In this talk, Leah Nodar, PhD Candidate in Linguistics at Purdue University, looks at Zora Neale Hurston’s orthographic choices in Barracoon and compares them to how she portrayed speakers of Black English from Florida and Louisiana in Mules and Men. The differences between the two books indicate unique pronunciations and grammar in Kossula’s English and show how he carried both his African origins and his American life in the way he spoke.

 For more information, please email Ms. Theris-Boone at etheris@mplonline.org, or call (251) 494-2172.

Connecting Children To Their Roots, with Gaynell Brady

Genealogy for Kids!

Bring your family and join us with the Mobile Creole Cultural & Historical Preservation Society for a lesson in genealogy with Gaynell Brady of Our Mammy’s, a group committed to providing exceptional learning experiences that empower students to learn about their own family history. Mrs. Brady helps children (and parents) with their history in a meaningful and engaging way that promotes confidence and critical thinking in personal research. While this program is child-focused, adults are welcome and encouraged to come share in this experience as a family.

Registration is recommended! For more information, please email Ms. Theris-Boone at etheris@mplonline.org, or call (251) 494-2172.

Documentation – A Must: African American Genealogy Workshop

Traces of ancestors history.

Join us in the Ben May Main Library Meeting Room, via Zoom, or on Facebook Live. Professional genealogist and Mobile African American Genealogical & Historical Society President Mary Jones-Fitts will present on the importance of documentation in your genealogical research and how to stay organized. This program is presented in partnership with the Mobile African American Genealogical & Historical Society. Light refreshments will be served following the in-person presentation, as well as a special 30 minute session focusing on helping in-person attendees with their research problems.

Registration is required to participate in this program in-person or on Zoom. To register, please email Ms. Theris-Boone at etheris@mplonline.org and indicate if you would like to attend in-person or on Zoom. You may also call (251) 494-2172 for more information.

Wills, Deeds, & Minute Books: African American Genealogy Workshop

Traces of ancestors history.

Join us in the Ben May Main Library Meeting Room, via Zoom, or on Facebook Live. Professional genealogist and Mobile African American Genealogical & Historical Society President Mary Jones-Fitts will focus on using court records including wills, deeds, and minute books to research your ancestors. Light refreshments will be served following the in-person presentation, as well as a special 30 minute session focusing on helping in-person attendees with their research problems.

Registration is required to participate in this program in-person or on Zoom. To register, email etheris@mplonline.org, or call 251-494-2172, to request link; FB Live: https://www.facebook.com/LocalHistoryGenealogyMPL

Mapping the Black Town: Perspectives on the Evolution of African American Communities

Join us at the Ben May Main Library for a view through chapters of the past!

In partnership with Mobile African American Genealogical & Historical Society and Mobile Creole Cultural & Historical Preservation Society, Mobile Public Library will host Alabama Road Scholar Justin Rudder for a talk on the development of cartography from Black perspectives of community, including internal understanding of Black settlements often known as “the bottoms” or “the quarters.” Join us for this fascinating presentation on Black community development in Alabama, with a special focus on Mobile County. Justin Rudder is a Digital Asset Archivist at the Alabama Archives and a Road Scholar for the Alabama Humanities Alliance whose work is driven by a passion for sharing stories from overlooked chapters of our past.

Join us on FB Live: LHG FB Live: https://www.facebook.com/LocalHistoryGenealogyMPL.

For information, please email Ms. Theris-Boone  at etheris@mplonline.org, or call 251-494-2172.

African American Genealogy Workshop: Finding the Enslaver and the Plantation

Join us in the Ben May Main Library Meeting Room, via Zoom, or on Facebook Live.

Professional genealogist and Mobile African American Genealogical & Historical Society President Mary Jones-Fitts will focus on how to find the enslaver and the plantation home where your ancestors were located. This program is presented in partnership with the Mobile African American Genealogical & Historical Society. Light refreshments will be served following the in-person presentation, as well as a special 30 minute session focusing on helping in-person attendees with their research problems.

Join us on FB Live: https://www.facebook.com/LocalHistoryGenealogyMPL.

Registration is required to participate in this program in-person or on Zoom. To register, please email Ms. Theris-Boone at etheris@mplonline.org and indicate if you would like to attend in-person or on Zoom. You may also call (251) 494-2172 for more information.

African American Genealogy Workshop: Finding the Enslaver and the Plantation

Join us in the Ben May Main Library Meeting Room, via Zoom, or on Facebook Live.

Professional genealogist and Mobile African American Genealogical & Historical Society President Mary Jones-Fitts will focus on how to find the enslaver and the plantation home where your ancestors were located. This program is presented in partnership with the Mobile African American Genealogical & Historical Society. Light refreshments will be served following the in-person presentation, as well as a special 30 minute session focusing on helping in-person attendees with their research problems.

Join us on FB Live: https://www.facebook.com/LocalHistoryGenealogyMPL.

Registration is required to participate in this program in-person or on Zoom. To register, please email Ms. Theris-Boone at etheris@mplonline.org and indicate if you would like to attend in-person or on Zoom. You may also call (251) 494-2172 for more information.

MCCHPS Second Saturdays

Forgotten African American Cemeteries of Southwestern Alabama

Come Join the Mobile Creole Cultural and Historical Preservation Society (MCCHPS) as Dr. Jim Ellis leads a discussion on forgotten or neglected African American cemeteries of southwestern Alabama. While focusing primarily on Mobile County, the surrounding counties will also be included. Bring your questions and concerns about any existing cemeteries you are aware of. Tracy Neely, President of MCCHPS and Mobile County representative for the Alabama Cemetery Preservation Alliance will also be available for questions and to join the discussion.

For more information, please email Ms. Theris-Boone at etheris@mplonline.org or call (251) 494-2172.