Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Ferguson: George's reply

The conversation about What does Ferguson teach the genealogy community? evolved with Ferguson: Geoff's response and now, we have George Geder's reply reprinted here with his permission:

Hello Geoff,

First, let me say thank you for your response. I have appreciated and respected your work from a distance for some years now. I hold you in high regards. Again, thank you.

Before going further, I would like to make a distinction. When I mentioned Millennia in my post, I was thinking of the corporation and not any particular individual.

When some of my People of Color colleagues directed me to the website with the 2015 roster of presenters, I was struck by how non-POC the ‘wall’ of faces appeared. Some of my colleagues went further recounting the multiple times they submit papers and proposals, over the years, and get denied or ignored. I took that to mean for 2015 and years past.

I also took it mean other genealogy entities (NGS, Rootstech, etc.) as well. Given this heightened level of frustration from some very gifted POC genealogists and researchers, particularly African American, I decided to write my post.

If you say you didn’t receive overtures from any POCs, then my inferring that 2015 was implicit in the complaints needs adjustment. I stand corrected. However, the spirit of the concern goes unchanged.

In a perfect world, gender, ethnicity, nationality, orientation should not be factors in evaluating people. However, we really cannot avoid it in this country. We all have to look at demographics and make sure we have made reasonable attempts bringing diversity to our projects. That way, no one gets unintentionally left out.

I feel that American history cannot be truthfully told without input and stories from African Americans, Native Americans, Asian Americans and Latin Americans. These POC groups have been denied, excluded, and marginalized from the beginning of this nation. I say this, to say that American genealogy follows American history. These POC groups need representation and need to be included, and at the table. If not this table, then at another table.
It is in that 'spirit of the concern' as George puts it, that Ol' Myrt here has published these posts.

Happy family tree climbing!
Myrt :)
Your friend in genealogy.

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Twitter: @DearMYRTLE
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