I attended a wonderful genealogy conference in Chicago this past weekend. Sponsored by the Afro-American Genealogical and Historical Society of Chicago (AAGHSC), the featured speakers were Melvin Collier and Michael N. Henderson. Both men have written books about their breakthroughs in discovering ancestors. I have already purchased "Mississippi to Africa," by Collier and plan on buying Henderson's "Got Proof" soon.
These men have inspired me not to give up on my search no matter how difficult it may seem. They did it against incredible odds. It was all a matter of following the clues, little bread crumbs left by the ancestors.
Sometimes I feel like my ancestors don't want to be found. I keep encountering burned down courthouses, lost records, constant surname changes and just seemingly complete anonymity. The elders that are left claim they have little to share. But I will persevere.