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TSLA to hosts African American Genealogy Workshop in July

Noted author to present African American Genealogy Workshop at the Tennessee State Library Archives. Free event is open to public. Early reservations are encouraged due to limited seating.

John Baker, award-winning author
John F. Baker Jr., award-winning author

The Tennessee State Library and Archives will play host to an African American Genealogy Workshop presented by award-winning author John F. Baker. The one-day workshop will be held on Saturday, July 25, from 9 AM until 10:30 AM. The TSLA is located at 403 Seventh Avenue North, Nashville. The workshop is free and open to the public.

Baker will discuss African American genealogy as told through his own genealogical research which resulted in his recently published book, The Washingtons of Wessyngton Plantation: Stories of My Family’s Journey to Freedom.

Baker discovered the story of his ancestors quite by accident when he saw a photograph of four former slaves, entitled, “Black Tennesseans,” in a seventh grade social studies book. Later he learned that two of them were his grandmother’s grandparents. Baker has lived his entire life just a dew miles from Wessyngton Plantation in a town populated by hundreds of descendants of its former slaves.

Wessyngton Book Cover

For more than thirty years, he has been researching, conducting interviews, and collecting photographs and information about them and the hundreds of others enslaved on the plantation. Baker has written extensively on Wessyngton and the lives of African Americans there.  The National Historical Home submission, Families and Cabins: Archaeological and Historical Investigations at Wessyngton Plantation included his paper, which earned him a national history award from the American Association for State and Local History.

Those wishing to attend the workshop must contact TSLA to reserve a seat as the number of attendees is limited. Reservations can be made via e-mail to . Patrons can also register by telephone by calling 615-741-2764.  Parking is available in front, on the side, and in back of the Library and Archives building.


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