Tuesday, July 14, 2009
Black in America: Your roots

Tracing your family’s roots can often be a journey in itself. And, for three iReporters, their family migrations take center-stage in an intricate interactive on CNN.com . These powerful voices personalize the nationwide trends of African-American migrations from 1790 to present day.


Listening to family stories and researching archives helped these iReporters find their black roots in America. Neal Kelley goes all the way back his great-great-great grandfather, Valentine Watts, a runaway slave. Sharon Morgan remembers her great-grandmother Rhodie and hears that she’s just like her. And Anita Davenport is immensely proud of her family’s heritage, but wishes there would have been someone in her family to pass down their history.


"It’s like I’m on this personal quest because I need to know where I came from and many of us don't know where we came from because of slavery," Sharon Morgan said. "As I find out more and more, it's very exciting because I'm finding these incredible people who survived these horrific times."


We hope these stories inspire you to delve into your family’s past. Feel free to share images and tell us about your black roots in America.

July 15, 2009
Click to view GaelX's profile
It is really important to know where you come from. Because without your history, you are nothing in this world. We should not be ashamed of our history because even if we came from a very low family, look at us today. The achievement that our family has been through. They, our ancestor, will be very proud of ourselves. Any personal loan that was used is worth if you are able to find your history.
July 15, 2009
Click to view johnbrown's profile

It's hard to find your roots more than 3 genaration back because of all the maltreatment. When they sold a slave, that slave change names. He or she had a new family. I wish it would be easy for us to find our true roots. Slaves were sold for $10.00 when the slave trade was frist adopted. Personally, I don't think no one from a slave ancestor can find out what part of africa they came from.

July 15, 2009
Click to view jvictor21je's profile


Beyond Barack Obama:  The Time for Shirley Chisholm Again…

The 1972 Progressive Movement that Changed America…Returns

Shirley Chisholm was the candidate and catalyst for CHANGE IN AMERICA as SHE CHANGED AMERICAN HISTORY

1972 Campaign Encore: Elect Shirley Chisholm 2008

The original change candidate has already made history but the American press and political news media/shows seems to be in denial or non-recognition of the history of this – our American country In the 70’s Shirley Chisholm founded the new America…

Shirley Chisholm 1972, The Catalyst of Change and Our Political Leader Forever. The Dream Part 1….. This is a past posting but it does show how important an underdog candidate such as John Edward can play very, very important roles in presidential and election politics Shirley Chisholm taught us about this strategy and I hope America learns the lessons about delegates and politics which Shirley Chisholm gave us all…God Bless Her. Barack Obama 2008 must learn from past political leader of 1972 From: www.factxchange.com THE UNDENIABLE POLITICAL-LEADERSHIP OF SHIRLEY CHISHOLM Follow the Chisholm Trail: The current (Democratic) Candidates lack the stage presence, articulate, and powerful electrifying performance of true Leaders such as Shirley Chisholm. The original change candidate has already made history but the American press and political news media/shows seems to be in denial or non-recognition of the history of this – our American country. In the 70’s Shirley Chisholm founded the new America… which the media is trying to deny or destroy…The similarities of Vietnam and Iraq and the Nixon era politics and Bush era politics and the politics of Black America cannot be denied… and therefore the founder of the Change Campaign of Shirley Chisholm (and democratic nominee George McGovern) cannot be neglected. A Country that cannot build upon its past cannot construct a future. In the memory and honor of Shirley Chisholm’s Groundbreaking and Landmark Campaign for Change, and as the 1972 Chisholm trail – Presidential Campaign – trail-blazed the path through-out this country for others such as Jesse Jackson and Barack Obama. I hope to set the record straight by establishing that the foundation, founder and catalyst for change is and was the 1st black/woman presidential candidate Shirley Chisholm, and now hope that Barack Obama carries on the baton that has been passed to him for change in this country as well. John Edwards and Hillary Clinton also share this responsibility which Shirley Chisholm has made for them. Barack Obama, John Edwards and Hillary Clinton are all good candidates but the person who stands out above all of them is Shirley Chisholm’s and her electrifying and groundbreaking campaign of 1972 when Richard Nixon ran on the republican ticket and George McGovern was the democratic nominee…and Shirley Chisholm was the candidate and catalyst for CHANGE IN AMERICA as SHE CHANGED AMERICAN HISTORY and the future course of the country. She is the model for all of the other candidates to emulate or give tribute. The question of black leadership still exists, so far the question is if black/ african-americans are going to be voting for Hillary Clinton, wife of the first president (accepted as being Black) or Barack Obama – a black candidate who’s parents are racially different Kenyan-African/black and white American woman from Kansas. but as we all know curly hair and light of dark complexion means that your a black man and your are treated or perceived negatively by American society from your childhood through becoming an adult and the worse as you advance into your career/ or you suffer from past facial tactics and biases. Therefore being black often means you are Black listed often, treated unfairly, mistreated or treated deconstructively while others are often promoted fraudulently or constructively. Accept if you’re promoted for diversity reasons. But in this case all of your struggles and accomplishments are overlooked and you are seen as filling a position not because of your accomplishments but because of the color of your skin. Which brings us to today’s political topic (more or less).Often times the white/mainstream adopt a black person as their own and treat/promote them so specially that they separate them from the (priorities of the) flock. This person is often seen as a house (Negro) or (Uncle Tom) someone who has lost all of their cultural and historical values and has become a casualty of the important agenda. (In a few words).Black Americans are often faced with the challenge of voting for the underdog in political campaigns with the agenda of making a statement to the world or American society. White people often vote for underdogs but they could be potential winners Black people often vote for underdogs but they are losers who have no chance of winning or making a statement, in essence nearly useless in American society. Shirley Chisholm revolutionized America and became a revolutionary woman known around the world as one of the top 10 most important women in the world which dismissed all negative notions of the potential of black America, as she constructed the foundation for a renewed and revolutionized American society. TODAY….Today Barack Obama has been accepted/adopted and popularized by white American media and society far ahead of getting any concrete facts and information of is presidential run. American society has turned him into somewhat a pop-star instead of a serious political candidate like Shirley Chisholm. Hillary Clinton is a woman candidate who of course brings the potential of a woman candidate to the presidency of the USA, who naturally brings issues of black America to the presidency because of the shared black America and women’s movements together because of the Shirley Chisholm presidential Campaign era of the early-mid. 70’s, where she carried the needs of everyone in the country. Black AMERICA (is…very Serious)It would seem that the underdog here is John Edwards who the media has neglected like a potential black candidate, also the media has denied his john Kennedy like characteristics while over promoting Obama’s Lincoln similarities which is totally insane. Shirley Chisholm has created the revolution in America and changed the country from it’s racist a male-gender oriented history, and she has created the America we live in today. Not necessarily Martin Luther king who dissevers his credit especially in the south, but the national and world agenda belongs to Shirley Chisholm, at the dawn of our advanced economy in the 70’s Shirley Chisholm founded the new America… which the media is trying to destroy… so if the Media is looking for a revolutionary leader it is not Abraham Lincoln but it is Shirley Chisholm, who has created the society we all enjoy Today.



Joseph Edgecombe, Boston

July 18, 2009
Click to view burnley's profile

I am sure that there are lots of black people in America that have no connection to slavery but are cashing in on their history. The colour of my skin happens to be white and I object to being "lumped in" with every other white skinned person, I happen to be English and am just as different to,for eg.,a Polish or German person as you can get, I am proud of my own routes. There are many many people who emmigrated to America after the slavery issue and they are now being held hostage and blamed for slavery. How would a black person feel if there was a National White college, a white fund and a white entertainment awards show and TV show, there would be an outcry

July 22, 2009
Click to view JustFixIt's profile

Why are we discussing this as if it is only affecting people of color?

I am white, but I also have been discriminated against because of my color.

Is Al Sharpton on TV screaming that my rights have been violated? NO. He only sees black or white.

We need to fix the system, end Affirmative Action, and treat everyone with the respect they deserve.

As for the "Illegal Issue", it is simple; Pay Taxes, Learn English, follow the Laws or LEAVE.

My ancestors did!


July 22, 2009
Click to view ptbsharp's profile

Let me explain for you just how far we have come. I have a Master's in Health Care Administration and have held senior positions for managed care companies, colleges and medical schools..the list goes on and on. In addition and more importantly, I have also held a federal civil service position as a Health Systems Specialist. Due to recent illness of my parents here in Indianapolis, Indiana, I gave up a position as Director of Government Affairs at Meharry Medical College in Nashville, Tennessee to return to comfort them.  For the past year, I have been seeking employment here at the Richard L. Roudebush V.A. Medical Center, submitting extensive applications which include a section which asks you to designate your ethnicity.  Over the year, I have applied for some 28 positions, and have received letters from the Regional Office of V.A. Human Resources as well as from Human Resources at the V.A. Hospital, and on each of the positions I applied for, was "rated qualified and referred to the hiring authority".  On each of the 28 applications I indicated that I was a veteran, and "AFRICAN AMERICAN (NOT OF HISPANIC ORIGIN)"...yes it actually says that!  From each of the "Qualified and Referred" positions, I did not receive even an interview.  Why is this significant and worthy of a comment on being black in america?  Because on my 29, 30 31 and 32 applications, I selected "I do not wish to designate" on the ethnicity section.  Within 10 days of being referred to the hiring authority,(yes you're right...you know what's coming)I have been called to appear for two interviews.  This is being black in America.   

July 22, 2009
Click to view JustFixIt's profile

To ptbsharp;


Good point, if it is truly only race.

If you really think it is, then sue them.


But I still think it cuts all sides.


I was denied financial aid for college; and struggled to pay tuition.

I watched minority students get paid to attend, just to fill quotas.

I wound up dropping out; I could not afford to work and pay tuition.


Was this any less wrong?


July 24, 2009
Click to view Joshuaismad's profile

I was just watching the Black in America 2 show and was noticing that the stuff and things being done were quite disturbing, yet at the same time thinking wow. Im 33 years of age , told by my doctors that i cant work and im disabled. At the age of 31 i had 4 heart attacks, have no medical and am fighting my ass of to obtain some kind of help from "my government". I take 17-20 pills a day, none of witch are cheap. The problem is....im white, not black so i get overlooked. When are we gonna do White in America?

July 24, 2009
Click to view stupidly's profile

I am a 58 year old, black woman in America. Yes, there is racial profiling.  I was coming from a golf game in the Carmel Valley, of Northern California at Rancho Canada. There were two cars in front of me and approximately 3 cars behind me.  A Monterey County Sheriff was sitting on the right side of the road, monitoring traffic, I guess.  We were all lined up behind each other, with me in the middle.  The Sheriff look in my direction when I went by, pulled into traffic behind the third car.  He put on his lights and then proceeded to move the cars behind off the road and followed behind me.  I looked in the rear view mirror and saw that he had put his lights on me.  I pulled off the road at that point and stayed in my car.  The Sheriff walked up from behind my car on the passenger's side with his hand on his gun.  There was no one else in the car but me. He looked into the back of my car and saw my golf clubs.  He proceed up the passenger's side of my car with his hand on his gun.  I could see this through my left side mirror.  When he finally reached my window, I proceed to roll down the window.  I asked the Sheriff what was the problem.  He looked at me in astonishment, realizing that I was a Black woman with a hat on, not a Black man. When he realized this, (which showed all over his face)he commenced to say that he stopped me because my fog light was out. (smile).  That is exactly what I did, was smile. I had no lights on and it was approximately 2:00 pm on a sunny afternoon.  If I had of suggested to him or questioned him about his racial profiling, I believe I would have been in jail.  For what I don't know, besides being Black in America.

When people are wrong and know they are wrong, then they get angry.  Rather than walk away. I was lucky.

July 24, 2009
Click to view pschool's profile


July 24, 2009
Click to view Yosi's profile

outstanding report. show the diversity of the issue of being black in America and also a emigrant in this great nation. bring into perspective that even though we start with a few step behind the counter part with hard work and determination we can still make it no excuse, only in America

July 25, 2009
Click to view Njohnsonjr's profile

Like many Black Americans from the South my family has dealt with segregation. I grew up listening to my father telling me stories on how he and other black American classmates would run to the only black American teacher in the schools classroom after the last bell rung at the high school. The school name was the Escambia "Rebels." Years later my siblings and I went to the same school (now renamed) and did well but the feeling was still there in those same halls. We have always been taught to make stumbling blocks stepping stones

August 5, 2009
Click to view IHaveaDERam's profile

Tell Obama to show the world he truly believes in transparency, health care, and charity.


$10,000.00 in charity will be donated to the hospital where he was born if he simply releases his LONG-FORM birth certificate.




Or are you afraid of the truth?


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