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PBS Researcher Leads African American Genealogy Workshop

January 12, 2018

Photo courtesy of the Center for Family History, International African American Museum

In 2006, the ground-breaking PBS series African American Lives set out to explore the genealogical history of some of this country’s most famous African-Americans.

In honor of African American History Month, the Columbus Public Library is pleased to welcome one of the researchers from that series – Ms. Frazine Taylor – for a free public workshop on how to start (or continue) a similar search for you and your family.

The workshop will be held on Saturday, February 17th, 2018 at 2:00pm at the Columbus Public Library, 3000 Macon Road, in Synovus/CB&T Meeting Rooms A+B. Admission is free and pre-registration is not needed. Participants are urged to bring a laptop or to check out one of the library’s laptops prior to the session, as the workshop will focus on available online research tools and will be highly interactive.

As a preview to the workshop, the Library will also be screening the PBS series African American Lives 2. This version of the series traces the genealogy of such personalities as actors Morgan Freeman and Don Cheadle, poet Maya Angelou, comedian Chris Rock and others. Ms. Taylor helped conduct research for two of the participants – nationally syndicated radio host Tom Joyner and Ebony Media CEO Linda Johnson Rice.

Parts One and Two of the series will be presented on Monday February 5th and Parts Three and Four will show on Monday February 12th. All screenings begin at 7:00pm in the Columbus Public Library Auditorium, 3000 Macon Road. Admission is free.

Questions about the workshop and the screenings can be directed to the Columbus Public Library Adult Services Department at 706.243.2701.

Ms. Frazine K. Taylor

About Frazine Taylor: Frazine K. Taylor is a former Peace Corps volunteer and administrator who served in the Fiji Islands and traveled extensively in the South Pacific before she obtained her Master in Information Studies degree from Atlanta University. She has over twenty years’ experience as a librarian, archivist, lecturer and writer and has received numerous awards during her career including Employee of the Year from the Alabama State Employee Association. She is the former Head of Reference for the Alabama Department of Archives and History (ADAH) and was an expert on Alabama records at ADAH.

Ms. Taylor is a member of the Afro-American Historical and Genealogical Society and serves on the Editorial Board of the Journal of the Afro-American Historical and Genealogical Society. She is the President of the Elmore County Association of Black Heritage, Chair of the Black Heritage Council of the Alabama Historical Commission, a member of BBAAGHS and of the Society of Alabama Archivists, and serves on the Board of Directors of the Alabama Historical Association. Ms. Taylor is the author of Researching African American Genealogy in Alabama: A Resource Guide (2008) and researched Tom Joyner’s and Linda Johnson Rice’s family roots and ties to Alabama for the PBS series African American Lives 2.

About African American Lives 2: (from pbs.org) Building on the widespread acclaim of African American Lives (2006) and Oprah’s Roots (2007), African American Lives 2 again journeys deep into ancestry of an all-new group of remarkable individuals, offering an in-depth look at the African-American experience and race relations throughout U.S. history.

Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates, Jr. returns as series host, guiding genealogical investigations down through the 20th century, Reconstruction, slavery and early U.S. history, and presenting cutting-edge genetic analysis that locates participants’ ancestors in Africa, Europe and America.

Joining Professor Gates in the new broadcast are poet Maya Angelou, author Bliss Broyard, actor Don Cheadle, actor Morgan Freeman, theologian Peter Gomes, publisher Linda Johnson Rice, athlete Jackie Joyner-Kersee, radio personality Tom Joyner, comedian Chris Rock, music legend Tina Turner, and college administrator Kathleen Henderson, who was selected from more than 2,000 applicants to have her family history researched and DNA tested alongside the series’ well-known guests.

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