‘Sankofa’ means “It is not wrong to go back for that which you have forgotten”

Wake up your inner family historian

Join us the 3rd Saturday of every other month to learn how to use free resources to explore your family’s past and bring new light to the present.

Follow outo stay updated with our monthly events and sessions.

Connecting us to our 
lineage and ancestors

The Scratching Your Roots Black Genealogy Society was created to assist African Americans in their search for ancestral connections.

Partnering with the Chattanooga Downtown Public Library, we host free, bi-monthly educational sessions where we share the basics of genealogy with our community, including hands-on research assistance, online tools, lectures, and books.

Honoring our ancestors grounds us and gives us all opportunities to learn & heal together.

We learn about ourselves and our loved ones through the stories we share.

Placing the pieces of our shared stories in context with each other liberates us as individuals and brings us closer together in our families. We believe our stories are important and that each generation of every family should have at least one family historian.

Meet Marie and Gwen: Our Passionate Experts

The co-directors of The Scratching Your Roots Black Genealogy Society, Marie Stoudemire and Gwen Davis, each have over 40 years of experience in researching for their family heritages.

Gwen Davis

Marie Stoudemire

The Chattanooga Public Library: Our Indispensable Partner

The Downtown Public Library's little-known secret is its 3rd floor Genealogy and History section. The staff provides expertise in Genealogy research, laptops during our meetings, assistance with searching on the free Ancestry.com software, and space for speakers when needed.

Join Us

The Scratching Your Roots Black Genealogy Society, in partnership with the Chattanooga Festival of Black Arts & Ideas, meets every other month to discuss and explore family history research with support and resources from the Downtown Public Library’s Local History and Genealogy Department on the 3rd Floor.

Meetings are open to the public, and we welcome anyone interested in learning more about African American genealogy.