I'm a mutt. My family bloodlines are from all over Europe, and though it's a tricky, tangled task, one thing I have taken for granted is that if I wanted to, I could find out a lot more about my family tree. Now, it may be difficult for many of us to understand the importance of such a matter — knowing who your people are and were — unless you're faced with the near impossibility of finding out. Such is the case for most African Americans, who cannot trace their families back further than the person who arrived here in bondage, if they can even identify who that person was.
On Friday-Saturday, June 1-2, the Maafa Celebration Committee in collaboration with Akwaaba and Community Residents will host a two-day African American Genealogy Conference at Wilson Academy (200 Genesee St.). The June 1 session takes place 6-8:30 p.m. and the June 2 session is scheduled for 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m. The conference will include a pep rally, screening of "Roots" part I, guest speakers, a panel discussion with genealogy specialists, food, vendors, and workshops. Conference fees are $15 per adult, $20 for couples, $10 for seniors (60+), and $25 per family (six-person limit, adults and children aged 7-17). For more information or to register, contact Robin at 546-7067, or Diane at 313-3685.
Besides identity, what else has been stolen from African Americans? Credit for originating all of the good music. I'm serious. Celebrate the roots of what makes you feel good at the 4th Annual Black Music Month Celebration on Saturday, June 2. The event takes place at RCTV15 (21 Gorham St., off St. Paul), 2-8 p.m., and will include entertainers, food, and product vendors, and activities for children. For more info, call 325-1238. —BY REBECCA RAFFERTY