In the fall of 2002, the late Marquita Elaine Walker Anderson and Karim T. Aldridge Rand spearheaded the campaign to reform the then defunct Houston Chapter of the Afro-American Historical & Genealogical Society (AAHGS). The official kickoff was launched on November 9, 2002 at the formal reception of the Willie Lee Gay Collection in Robert James Terry Library at Texas Southern University. By April 7, 2003, AAHGS National recognized the reformed Chapter, then incarnated as AAHGS – H-Town Chapter. The Chapter was later rededicated as the Willie Lee Gay – H-Town Chapter during our February 2004 Black History Month Program.
As a Chapter of the premier institution (AAHGS) for African ancestry family history and genealogy in the United States, our primary task is to nurture the interest and collaboration of genealogical and family history research, with emphasis on though not limited to people of African descent. The Chapter further seeks to preserve the local history and cultural heritage of people of African descent in the State of Texas.
The thrust of the Chapter acts as a facilitator and teaching vehicle in order to advance African American genealogical & family history research in Texas. The Chapter also serves as an agent to encourage greater involvement of African Americans in the study and preservation of their respective family history.
We believe that the collective compilation and corroboration of our family histories will generate a more accurate portrayal of African American family life, history and culture. Most of all, we believe that through these endeavors the restoration and strengthening of the African American family is made possible.
Through sharing data, attending educational workshops, sponsoring and/or co-sponsoring special events, and participating in local, regional and national conferences, our membership will obtain or reinforce the necessary skills-set to document their research in multiple media format for future posterity.
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