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Professor Lectures on African-American Genealogy

By Ana Facio Contreras
Fairfield Daily Republic
April 12, 2002

Learning how to accurately research African Diaspora will be one of the topics discussed at a 6 p.m. Saturday lecture at Barnes & Noble in Fairfield, CA.

The free lecture, conducted by Manu Ampim, a professor of African American Studies at Merritt College in Oakland, is part of an African American study group that meets the second Saturday of each month at the bookstore.

Ampim, the study group’s Saturday’s guest speaker, will give a general overview of African history and culture. He will also talk about different methods of researching the topic and will be on hand to answer questions on how to trace African family roots.

“Most of the information people have on African and African American history is incorrect,” said Ampim, who has also taught at San Francisco State University. “(During the lecture) I will talk about how to correctly evaluate literature, and other sources on African history.”

Ampim will be talking about three methods used to examine and learn about African history. Those methods are primary research, secondary research and tertiary research.

“Primary research is first-hand research. It’s when you go to the source itself,” Ampim said. “For example, if a person wanted to learn about African culture, he would go to Africa to make an assessment for himself. This is one example of primary research.”

Another example, for those who cannot make the trip to Africa, is to search for accurate, original documents on the subject which can be found in libraries throughout the country, he said.

The African study group and its lectures held at the bookstore at 1520 Gateway Blvd., are open for adults and children and anyone who wants to learn about the subject.