S04 E38: African American Genealogy: Researching Enslavers – Reframing the Slavery Narrative with Adrienne Fikes

African American genealogy will more than likely lead you to research enslaved ancestors. That research can take you down pathways you may not have anticipated. One of those unexpected pathways could be having to research enslavers. In other words, research the slaveholding families who enslaved your ancestors for their family papers and records. Adrienne Fikes joined us to discuss reframing the slavery narrative in a way that enables the descendants of enslaved people, and their enslavers, to gather together in a manner that encourages dialogue and taking early steps toward reconciliation.

She also addressed the systemic issues that continue to haunt African Americans’ lived experience in the U.S., as well as white Americans’ beliefs about our respective historical pasts. Chattel slavery in the United States is a history of difficult truths, cruelty, and racial injustice. It’s a subject we covered in S04 E01: Getting Your Mind & Spirit Right: Prep for Enslaved Research.

The subject is so charged that the U.S. has never been able to have an informed, honest, and transparent conversation about slavery. Added to this dynamic is a lack of any underlying framework to discuss it – or an agreed-upon language framework to engage in this painful history.

In the words of Dale Carnegie: “The past is where you learned the lesson. The future is where you apply the lesson Don’t give up in the middle.”

Adrienne Fikes, M.Ed, PCC, is the Soul Power Coach™, a seventh-generation Virginian, and creator of the Joy, Genealogy, Justice community-building framework. Adrienne is a speaker, author, organizational development consultant, and co-founder of Racial Justice Alexandria. Her 16Greats.com Challenge is to speak your sixteen great-great-grandparent’s names.


We are available for your genealogy research project!

Whether you’re new to genealogy, don’t have the time to pursue your own research, or have a stubborn brick wall you just can’t break through: you can hire one of our experienced research team who will happily work with you to achieve your genealogy research goals. As the first Black-owned genealogy research company, our African American genealogists excel at African American genealogy! As African Americans with caucasian ancestors – our genealogists are just as experienced in researching European-descended American ancestry.

The short video below covers what we do and how we do it:

How to contact us

For more information about our genealogy research services, our contact form, and our research service contact, please visit: https://genealogyadventures.net/research

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