Afatasi the Artist leads genealogy research project focused on Black San Franciscans

News from Shipyard artist Afatasi The Artist:

FaTasiLima presents “Where’re Yo’ People’s From?”, a culturally affirming, digital archival project which uses genealogical research as a powerful tool to support, engage, and empower descendants of the Transatlantic Slave Trade in the Americas, (descendant communities).

Where’re Yo’ People’s From?: Introduction to your genealogy

Tuesdays (sorry, currently scheduled workshops are full)
Dr. George W. Davis Senior Center, 1753 Carroll Ave., San Francisco, CA

Afatasi the Artist is a worlds-building visual artist, futurist and counterstory teller, investigating the nexus of being a proud generational San Franciscan of Black-American and Sāmoan descent. Her work is informed by her deep concern of the continued population decline of Black-Americans in her hometown over the course of her lifetime.

She is the Creative Director of FaTasiLima, a fine arts organization which collaboratively curates beautiful and welcoming, multi-disciplinary experiences & programming which honor the past accurately, engage and confront our present, and imagine a new future.

The objective of “Where’re Yo’ People’s From?” is to create a digital archive through audio and video mediums, recording the family histories, narratives, and autoethnographies of descendant communities through genealogical research and exploration. These archives can be preserved easier, are a more accessible medium, can be shared across community groups and can be used as educational materials for years to come. The larger goals of this project are to empower members of descendant communities to be intentional about gathering documents and recording their family histories, sharing intergenerational knowledge within family and community groups, and to reclaim their own histories and narratives through family lineage tracing.

This project centers their narratives and histories within the larger, social, economic, and cultural forces that shaped their lives. For centuries, these “descendant communities” were targets of raced-based human and civil rights abuses, facing challenges in accessing education, employment, and legal rights, well after emancipation. These factors and more, have caused significant challenges when attempting to accurately document, trace, and record, their genealogies.

By actively engaging in family history, members of descendant communities experience valuable benefits: The transmission of stories, traditions, historical and ancestral knowledge, the reclamation of history and narratives, educating and strengthening of cultural and community connections, restoration of identity, fostering civics advocacy and social change, and as a form of resistance against erasure and state-sanctioned genocide. It not only helps to fill historical gaps but also contributes to personal healing, cultural preservation, and social empowerment. By embracing their past, these communities build a stronger foundation for their futures.

Please check out the “genealogy tracing” section of my website for more information and highlight videos of the genealogy workshops: