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Printable Conference Brochure (PDF)

Arkansas Chapter
Afro-American Historical & Genealogical Society

What’s In A Name?
A Voyage of Discovery

Rescheduled to March 4, 2006
Historic Arkansas Museum
200 East Third Street
Little Rock, AR 72201-1608

Arkansas Black History
Advisory Committee

Pre-Registration: $20.00
Students: $15.00
On-Site Registration: $30.00
(Includes catered lunch & conference syllabus)

Pre-Registration deadline:
February 10, 2006

Mail Registration to:
AAHGS Arkansas Chapter
12 Lorian Drive
Little Rock, AR 72212

Please make checks payable to:
AAHGS Arkansas
For More Information Call
(501) 425-5578


“What’s In A Name - A Voyage of Discovery”
February 18, 2006

9:00 - 9:40a.m. Registration
9:40 - 10:00a.m. Welcome & Libation
Stefania Booth, President AAHGS AR
Swannee Bennett, Curator-HAM
Purpose & Libation - Dr. Patricia McGraw

10:00 - 10:45a.m. What’s In a Name: The Historical, Genealogical, and Cultural Aspects of Afrikan Naming Ceremonies (45 minutes) Presenter: Dr. Patricia “mPata” McGraw
During this presentation, a brief summation of the importance of naming ceremonies and the significance of the meanings of names, titles, and kinship will be explained. Following the introductory statement will be a candlelight naming ceremony in which members of AAHGS will be granted their Afrikan names and presented certificates by Queen Mother mPata.

10:45 - 11:35a.m. The Significance of a Name (50 minutes)
Keynote Speaker: Dr. Theman R. Taylor

Names are like ones history, they can either move you forward or retard your development. If you don’t know your history or the significance of your name you can’t possibly answer the three fundamental questions: Who Am I? Am I Who I Say I Am? Am I All I Can Be?

11:35 - 11:45a.m. (10 minute break)

11:45 - 12:35p.m. How Names Transform Behavior (50 minutes)
Keynote Speaker: Dr. Theman R. Taylor

Would a slave master agree to his slave naming her child Moses? No, because the mother would raise that child not to accept servitude. We can understand the name George Washington, but yet would it have been permissible to give your child the name of a well known Liberator like Nat Turner. If you are a Sr., and exhibit deformed, violent behavior most of your life, will that same behavior
transform to Jr.? Learn how cultures can be redirected when not allowed to use their original names of heritage.

12:35 - 1:30p.m Lunch, Exhibits & Book Signings

1:30 - 2:00p.m. A Voyage of Destiny: What’s In the Namer? (30 minutes)
Presenter: Tamela Tenpenny-Lewis

Can the destiny of a child be pre-determined by the individual that names him or her. Look at the lives of two such individuals, their
paths, and the destiny of their namer.

2:00 - 2:45p.m. Naming The African American Experience, Post Civil War (45 minutes)
Guest Speaker: Khadijah Matin

A review of the naming process among the now ex-slaves and free blacks. What names emerged for towns, churches, and fraternal and social organizations. How do the name/naming process reflect the definitions of freedom, spiritual affirmation and aspirations for economic development.

2:45 - 3:30p.m. African Americans in Arkansas: An Historical Survey (45 minutes)
Presenter: Dr. John W. Graves

This presentation might be useful in helping participants place happenings and developments within their own families in a broader historical context and making them more understandable and relevant.

3:30 - 3:40p.m. (10 minute break)

3:45 - 4:30p.m. Naming the African American Experience: The Impact of the Civil Rights Movement and Social Protest (45 minutes)
Guest Speaker: Khadijah Matin

Looking at the time period after the passage of the 1964 Civil Rights Act and the major social protest movements – what changes occurred in how we named ourselves, our schools, and choice of leaders. What contribution did this make to institutional building in the African American community? Will again examine the evidence of spiritual, political and social affirmation.

For more information on the
Afro-American Historical & Genealogical
National and/or Local Chapter go to: