Wednesday, February 05, 2014

Collective History as African Americans:  

A Three-Part Class with Paula Royster this February @ Main

Collective Memory is a term used to describe memories shared among members of a cultural group. 

Commemorative events, anniversaries, holidays, and memorial services are ways in which people gather to maintain collective memory.  This month at Richmond Public Library's Main Branch, 
Paula Royster will be leading a three-part exploration of our Collective Memory as African Americans.

Paula Royster is a renowned genealogist, cultural anthropologist, and academic lecturer.  She will lead a discussion of collective memories in the African American consciousness, a session on tracing the slave trade, and an interactive discussion of our Collective History culminating in the creation of a time capsule.  Participants are encouraged to share their memories of Richmond.

Here is a more detailed look at each of the sessions:

February 8, 3-5pm: Collective Memory
What is collective memory, and how do we remember events that shape our collective memory?  How does collective memory manifest in our political structure and government, in memorial sites such as the African Burial Ground National Monument in new york, in our memorializing of Civil Rights leaders, and in our experience of events affecting the African American culture during our lifetimes, such as the Trayvon Martin case?

February 15, 3-5pm:  Tracing the Slave Trade

Ms. Royster will discuss the Slave Trade from a cultural, historical and genealogical standpoint.   This discussion will include the oft-forgotten, oldest known slave trade: the Arab-Oriental Trade, which spanned 14 centuries and operated across the Mediterranean and Adriatic seas into Europe.  The class will examine the ethnic identities of various peoples from across the globe.

 February 22, 3-5 pm:  Collective History 

This class will cover events of historical significance to the African American culture, including the civil war, Juneteenth, and Sesquicentennial, as well as historical figures such as W.E.B. DuBois and Marcus Garvey.  Join us to create a time capsule that captures the essence of our community, reflects the social, economic and political aspects of our time, and preserves how we want to be remembered. 


Paula Royster is the founder, President and CEO of the Center for African American Genealogical Research, Inc/ (CAAGRI).  Ms. Royster is a guest lecturer at VCU, an Adjunct Professor at the University of Mary Washington, and a Fulbright Specialist.

Ms. Royster specializes in genealogy, Cultural Anthropology and the African Diaspora.  She chairs the Rappahannock Regional Juneteenth Committee and serves as an advisor to non-profit organizations related to her field. As a veteran genealogist, she has conducted seminars and workshops locally, regionally, nationally and internationally.

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