In partnership with Dr. Brian Morrison, founder and director of The William J. Watkins, Sr. Educational Institute, Inc., BAAHGS members met monthly with students at Mergenthaler Vocational Technical High School beginning in September 2018. (Planning began in June 2018.) The goal of the project was to use genealogy to foster an interest, not only in individual family histories, but also in African American History.
Training sessions, conducted by individual members of BAAHGS, included interviewing skills–during which senior members of the community were interviewed by the students–newspaper research, community studies and Internet genealogy. The students created their own family trees on Familysearch.org.
Students enjoyed the latter session the most so planning for next semester will include increasing the time available for this activity. The last session consisted of students’ presentations of their family trees along with discussions of their plans for future research. Each of the 14 students was awarded a certificate for participating and received community service credits, a requirement for graduation in Maryland public schools.