African American Conference Track 2022

February 22nd, 2022 by Roger Prince

Nine Lectures on African American Genealogy

A total of nine lectures on African American genealogy are included in this year’s conference. There is a complete list below. There is a strong emphasis on early African Americans in California and the West.  Janice Lovelace is giving three talks and five other speakers are giving one as well.

Lovelace will talk about the long history of Black men and women in the American West and Southwest beginning in the 16th century (F313), how to research African American women (T252) and where to look for records of African American cowboys (W148).  Charlotte Bocage discusses the records she used to trace Pamela, an enslaved woman (T202). Calvin Dark will take listeners through the complicated scheme a southern slave owner set up to circumvent southern anti-manumission laws and free his slaves upon his death (T212).  Karina Robinson will talk about a few of the more than 360 African Americans who owned land in the first decade of California’s statehood. (T222).  Ari Wilkins will talk about how to search in newspapers to find enslaved and formerly enslaved people (T242).

Wed 25 May 11:30 AM Freedmen’s Bureau Records (sponsored by Ancestry) TBD
Wed 25 May  2:30 PM Were all the Cowboys White? Finding Mexican and African American Cowboys Janice Lovelace, PhD
Thu 26 May 8:00 AM Finding Pamela: Researching Your Enslaved Ancestors Charlotte Bocage
Thu 26 May 9:30 AM McMasters’ Will:   The Scheme That Made Us Virtually Free Calvin Dark
Thu 26 May 11:00 AM An Introduction to California’s Early African American Landowners Karina Robinson
Thu 26 May 2:30 PM Tracing the Enslaved and Formerly Enslaved in Newspapers Ari Wilkins
Thu 26 May 4:00 PM Telling Their Stories:  African American Women’s Stories and Voices Janice Lovelace, PhD
Fri 27 May 9:30 AM Afro-Latinx in Nineteenth Century California Janice Lovelace, PhD
Sat 28 May 12:15 PM Colored Citizens of Coloma and the Life of Rufus Burgess (NGS Sponsored Luncheon) Jonathan Burgess

Top L. to R. Charlotte Bocage, Calvin Dark, Janice Lovelace and Karina Robinson

Ari Wilkins


Charlotte Bocage has over four decades of experience in genealogy.  She has taught for OLLI at UCLA, Family Tree University and lectured at societies and conferences nationwide.

Calvin Dark is a cofounder of RC Communications, Duke University graduate, Fulbright Scholar to Morocco, and author of numerous articles on genealogy and oral traditions in North Carolina.

Janice Lovelace, PhD, is a genealogical researcher, lecturer, and author of the NGS continuing education course African-American Roots:  A Historical Perspective.

Karina Robinson, formerly the California State Librarian’s principal researcher and contributor to the biography  Kamala’s Way, holds an MA in history and a genealogical certificate from BU.

Ari Wilkins is a genealogy professional and staff member at Dallas Public Library.  Researching for the past twenty years, she specializes in African American research.

Jonathan Burgess (photo and syllabus n/a) is a battalion chief, Sacramento Fire Department, entrepreneur, founder of the African American Gold Rush Association, and descendant of Coloma’s African American Burgess family.