“A Grand Salute to the mighty works of those who unearth
African Ancestral Family histories; those who dare greater to
restore, educate and venerate the countless, bringing to LIFE
the vitality of each kinship, de-mystifying many…
Duly honored to be among the esteemed — touched!” *
What actually began as a Family history project in 1993 the “Call” from my maternal grandfather, Claude Waters, Jr. was later forwarded by my grandmother Ms. Elsie Waters, 94 years strong. This powerful inter-generational dynamic work culminated into over 2 decades of producing Family reunion booklets, bridging College background and cultural studies with the latest in field studies work, Genealogical research and today advanced by DNA testing.
When my Father transitioned in 2009, my grieving period was tempered through conducting independent field research works learning from field leaders specializing in African Ancestored Genealogy. I formally joined the Afro-American Historical & Genealogical Society, Inc, Jean Sampson Scott Greater New York Chapter (AAHGS-NY) in Harlem in 2010. Joining an African-Ancestored Genealogy society re-defined my purpose to pursue this field professionally. Under guided leadership, I combed impressive archives from the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture in Harlem to New Orlean’s Amistad Research Center at Tulane University and “closed” a many of libraries throughout various cities in my sojourn.
Then, a scathing NYC Winter kept me cove-like with the computer, intensifying my online studies with social media savvy. That season, I read scores of scholarly works focusing on colonial histories and African cultural retention, following Twitter and Genealogy blogs often leading to all-nighters and a stiff lower back — my antidote without fail? Afro Cuban Dance class with, Baba Richard Gonzalez at Djoniba! –Ache’ Baba.
It was then, that blogs like Angela Y. Walton-Raji’s africannativeamerican.blogspot.com, Felicia Mathis’ echoesofmynolapast.com and Luckie Daniel’s ourgeorgiaroots.com were the invaluable testimonies of inspiration and lucid streams of exchange that inspired me to brave a blog. Melvin Collier’s book mississippitoafrica.com invoked a personal and Family dream to chronicle my own genealogical journey. With these tools in tact, I found it necessary to relocate from Harlem back to my birthplace, Oakland, CA focusing upon unearthing family stories, while acquiring more names. Adding the genealogical component has heightened the significance of my works, coin-phrased
— “Working da Lines” today known as “Working My Lines”
The impetus of my works forward came upon the untimely death of my first cousin — God’s chosen, Miss Yolanda Morton, transitions May 2013. While grieving, it became important for me to take self-inventory, asking the question, “What truly speaks to your heart or your life’s passion?” One week after her transition, I answered “A Call” for applicants and applied for the Afrigeneas.com sponsored scholarship to attend the Midwestern African American Genealogy Institute [MAAGI]. (smile) July 2013 marked my first intensive experience at a Genealogy institute of any kind. Ushered by Director, Charles Brown, I was warmly welcomed by “Chicago-AAHGS” roommates and core track #4 leader, Ms. Angela Y. Walton-Raji into a stimulating atmosphere of empowerment and camaraderie. MAAGI boasted impressive core tracks of study, solid instruction in methodology and volumes of insiders tips with creative innovation — the resources were indefatigable. And as I envisioned, this experience left an indelible print upon advancing my life’s passion and career aspirations in preserving Family legacies as well as those of kinship.
I must make mention that it is imperative when embarking upon such a path, that one preserve and prioritize their wellness, especially where one lay their head; It’s been an extraordinary journey of trials to triumphs to date, yet I proclaim that I have inherited an immeasurable wealth of Spiritual kinship in village and salute the Nzo’s of: Calloway’s-Harlem, Stockton-Johnsons, King’s Waterside Inn, Mz. Crystal Beverly, Mosley-Katakanga, Malonga Family [Bay2Congo], Mz P. aka Zetwal Ashade Bon Manbo, Ile Nealy, #NOLA: Zulus, P. Guerra Studio Residency, Baba T. Henry [aka lil’ Nigeria], Ayan-Alafose, Sis Asia Rainey, #STL-Braimah-Peoples, Queen E. Soberanes, my Sistar Tamika Harris, Mz Leah Kimble-Price & Oruche/Bender de-Moll Fam’, Ariana Hall, Ibeji Apara & mi Guerrero Angelo…with deep gratitude and appreciation – Love, long life and legacy…
My Grandfather’s guardianship has been and still remains a formidable presence in my life and is the inspiration for my Ancestrally imbued mantra – “take care of your own backyard.” Ushering my Father’s Homegoing in October of 2009 was my greatest of Ancestor works as I’ve adopted his cryptic message “crack the code” as a driving force in unearthing Family History. This also serves as the catalyst to decoding vital information critical to my own existence and healing — testimony graced by all who lay eyes upon this page, as this blog serves an active service of inspiration to educate, elevate and venerate.
Honored for this breakthrough moment. Mo dupe Ori Egun, Ase.
( I give thanks for the wisdom of the ancestors, May it be so.)
Regina Waters Calloway, Field Research Genealogist
blog : “Working My Lines”
*Dedicated to those SiSTARS who “worked the Circle” with me then, for we ARE the TRUTH…
Be encouraged to visit the links cited on this page as they are a wellspring of information and inspiration.