Afro-American Historical and Genealogical Society
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Organizational Mission and Chapter History
The Afro-American Historical and Genealogical Society, Inc. (AAHGS) is a non-profit, membership organization committed to the preservation of the history, genealogy, and culture of the African-ancestored populations of the local, national, and international community. AAHGS stresses the importance of African American history and genealogy by encouraging active participation in researching, recording, and documenting personal family histories. Membership is open to the public.
Metro Atlanta Chapter Objectives
To provide a forum in the Metro Atlanta area for the sharing of historical and genealogical information and research sources about African Americans.
To organize workshops and a speakers' forum to meet the needs and interests of chapter members.
To compile research that will preserve African American history in the United States.
Metro Atlanta Chapter History
The Afro-American Historical and Genealogical Socity (AAHGS), Inc. - Metro Atlanta Chapter was established in February 2000 as a vehicle of exchange and support for genealogical research by co-founders Monica J. Hackney and Doris Posey and a group of eight other local genealogists, family historians, and novice researchers.
The Vision for an Atlanta Chapter
The vision of a chapter of the Afro-American Historical and Genealogical Society, Inc. in Atlanta is credited to Courtney Scott-Cannon. In August, 1999, Ms. Scott-Cannon distributed flyers inviting all who were interested to attend the first meeting of a chapter of AAHGS. Although Courtney Scott-Cannon never became a member of the official chapter, she is credited with the vision for a chapter in the Atlanta area. The meeting in August was to be held at the Radisson Hotel on Old National Highway at Interstate 285 on a Sunday afternoon. That meeting did not take place. Several persons who had gathered in the lobby that Sunday started to exchange phone numbers; two of the people who exchanged numbers were Monica J. Hackney and Doris J. Posey. Both Ms. Posey and Ms. Hackney were researching their families. Several other persons who met in the lobby of the Radisson that afternoon later became members of the chapter.
The National Office is Contacted
Before the end of 1999, Doris Posey and Monica Hackney met again in the Central Branch of the Atlanta Fulton Public Library's Genealogy Department. Doris Posey was there doing research and Monica Hackney was an employee in the department. After realizing that both had been at the Radisson, the conversation about the chapter started almost jokingly. Doris said (not seriously at the time) that if no one was following up on the chapter here in Atlanta, "Maybe we should do it." The next time they talked, Monica asked Doris if she had been serious about starting the chapter. That question was the official beginning of the Metro Atlanta Chapter of AAHGS, Inc.
Within weeks, Doris drafted a letter to AAHGS (dated January 2000) and asked for clarification of the status of an Atlanta Chapter. The National office responded in March 2000 stating there was not a chapter in Atlanta and congratulating the efforts of starting a chapter by scheduling meetings. Monica and Doris continued to work toward meeting the requirements of starting a chapter and planning the monthly meetings that started in February 2000. Courtney Scott-Cannon was contacted and kept informed of all the meetings and encouraged to continue with the efforts of Monica and Doris or give some indication of how they could be of assistance to her in the efforts of starting a chapter.
The Work to Organize Starts
In February 2000, the first meeting of the Atlanta Start-up Chapter was held at the Central Branch of the Atlanta Fulton Public Library in downtown Atlanta, Georgia. The meetings were announced by placing flyers at the local libraries, the National Archives and the Georgia Archives. The interest in starting a chapter was growing, and the number of people attending the meetings was also growing. The National group of AAHGS, Inc. continued to provide detailed information (via email) as to the requirements for a chapter. Meetings were held the third Sunday of each month; the Certificate of Existence for the national chapter was obtained for a fee of $20.00; The Georgia Secretary of State was petitioned for the chapter to operate as a non-profit organization in Georgia. The Certificate of Existence for the National office was a requirement -along with a $70.00 fee. A post-office box was opened in the name of the chapter to receive official mail from the AAHGS National organization and conduct other business, and the monthly Sunday meetings continued.
Officers are Named and the Chapter is Acknowledged as a Start-Up Chapter by National
A requirement of the National office was that officer's names along with checks for a minimum of ten paid members (including names and addresses) should be submitted to officially become a Start-Up Chapter. The first officers' names submitted were: Monica Hackney and Doris J. Posey as Co-Presidents, Courtney Scott-Cannon as Vice President (a courtesy and acknowledgement of her role in having the vision for the chapter. Ms. Cannon was not however, a member of neither National nor the local Start-Up Chapter when this information was submitted.), Ms. Linda D. Lundy as Secretary and Mr. Louis Childers as Treasurer. Although National required ten members of a start-up chapter, a total of twelve were submitted to start the chapter. They were: Jonnie P. Brown, Louis Childers, Emma L. Davis, Wilma E. Espy, Beverly Floyd-Abdullah, Monica J. Hackney, Nikita M. Harris, Linda D. Lundy, Yolvondra Martin, Daniel E. Meyers, Doris J. Posey, and Shirley Randolph.
As the meetings continued, it became apparent that Ms. Posey and Ms. Hackney were bearing the expenses of starting the chapter. Mr. Daniel E. Meyers is credited with making the suggestion, at one of the meetings that persons attending the meetings should start to contribute to the expenses of starting the chapter by paying dues. The dues were set at $12.00 per person and were later credited to each person who contributed toward chapter dues once the start-up chapter was official.
The Official Name Changes to the Metro Atlanta Chapter
In July 2000, twenty-one paid members of the Start-Up Chapter voted to name the chapter officially “Metro Atlanta Chapter”. Ten votes were for the “Metro Atlanta” Chapter name and 7 votes were for “Atlanta Chapter”. Four members did not vote. Ms. Linda D. Lundy, Secretary, conducted the polling.
The Application, By-laws, Goals & Objectives are Submitted
On September 15, 2000, the complete Application Package, By-Laws, and Goal and Objectives of the Chapter with checks and a Current List of Paid Members were submitted to National.
This was also the first time a local logo was used for the Start-up Chapter. Monica J. Hackney designed a logo for the chapter and submitted it on the front cover of the By-Laws. The design was that of a map of Africa, the United States and a tree. This design was three diagonally placed boxes connected by straight lines using purple as a dominant color. This design was used for the chapter until 2004 when (following the requirements of National) the local design was changed to resemble more closely that of National's official logo.
This was the completion of the process to charter a chapter of the Afro-American Historical and Genealogical Society, Inc. in Atlanta, Georgia. The Metro Atlanta Chapter of the Afro-American Historical and Genealogical Society, Inc. had begun.
RESPECTFULLY SUBMITTED BY
Monica J. Hackney, Charter President Doris J. Posey, Charter President
Metro Atlanta Chapter, AAHGS, INC. Metro Atlanta Chapter, AAHGS, INC.