Evening with an Expert: Dr. Paula Royster

Dr. Paula Royster is the founder of The Center of African American Genealogical Research Inc. (CAAGRI), a non-profit organization whose mission is to reunite African-descended Americans with their distant African relatives. Dr. Royster’s presentation explores how CAAGRI uses historical research, digital technology, and forensic science to bring together families affected by African Diaspora.


This program will be in the Renwick Building (previously the Fredericksburg City Renwick Courthouse), 815 Princess Anne Street, from 7:00 – 8:30 pm.  Evening with An Expert is a FREE program.


“Evening with an Expert: Hen Asem” coincides with Hen Asem, FAM’s year-long program series that commemorates the arrival of the first Africans to the English colonies in 1619. This series highlights African American stories and hopes to bring Fredericksburg closer to its African connections.


Derived from the fante/twi words of the Ghanaian language, Hen Asem means “Our Story.” The Hen Asem series was established by FAM in conjunction with the Congressional 400 Years of African American History Commission to develop and carry out activities throughout the United States to commemorate the 400th anniversary of the arrival of Africans in the English colonies at Point Comfort, VA, in 1619. Virginia officially kicked-off the state commemoration in October 2018, and the FAM’s programming supports not only the state’s commemoration, but also the Nation’s. In addition, Ghanaian President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has announced that 2019 is the “Year of Return” for descendants of all Africans captured and transported to the Americas as slaves. FAM’s programming aims to bring these international initiatives to the local level.


This pivotal program series is graciously sponsored by the City of Fredericksburg. Their support enables FAM to present quality cultural and educational programming in an effort to unify and better understand our diverse community and history.