Nicka Sewell-Smith is a speaker, host, and documentarian with more than 20 years of experience as a genealogist. She has diverse experience in communications with a background in radio and video production and has been a host for several genealogical topics within the Midwest African American Genealogy Institute (MAAGI). She is the host of BlackProGen LIVE, an innovative web show focused on people of color, genealogy, and family history. Nicka has also served as an expert in genealogical research on the television.
Held in the Balance: The Trask 250
Saturday - 9:30am to 11:00am
The Trask family ran a cotton empire in Mississippi and Louisiana valued upwards of $4 million, all while remaining residents of Massachusetts. Discover how DNA shared by more than 100 people who descend from their formerly enslaved unearthed this discovery and how a multitude of documents detailing their lives have created a family history project documenting more than 5,000 people.
Finding Isaac Rogers
Saturday - 11:10am to 12:30pm
Isaac Rogers was a well-known Cherokee Freedmen, U.S. Civil War veteran and Deputy Marshal, but who was he outside of those titles? This is the story of how traditional genealogy, oral history, and DNA collided to reveal his family origins, which include connections to Cherokee Nation leaders, stories of resilience during the Trail of Tears/forced removal, and the true story of life as people of African descent within a indigenous group.