The Ten Percent: Free People of Color

Nicka Smith
Mar 5, 2021
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1m 18s
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Speaker's Introduction
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16m 01s
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Becoming Free
10m 28s
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Living Free
13m 03s
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Identifying Ancestors
29m 29s
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Announcements / prizes
8m 13s
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Questions / answers
10m 49s

About this webinar

In 1860, there were more than 4 million enslaved people of African descent living in the United States. At the same time, there were nearly 400,000 free people of color (FPOC) living in the U.S. Learn more about this often not talked about group and how you may have FPOC in your own lineage.

About the speaker

About the speaker

Nicka Smith is a professional photographer, speaker, host, and documentarian with more than 20 years of experience as a genealogist. She has extensive experience in African ancestored genealogy, revers
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  1. Legacy Family Tree
    3 years ago

    Nicka is excellent!! She explains everything with such ease and shares so much history as she goes along. Her Webinars are so interesting AND informative! I can’t wait to start trying out what I learned today:)

    5 plus. This was a great Webinar, Genealogy and History. She was SUPER!!!!!!!!!!! I am a member and cannot wait to watch again and again. So much information.

    Absolutely the best! I cant wait to dig in to this information. this opens up a new world of research for me. Thank You

    An excellent webinar with lots of great information to enhance the study of early American Colonial Slave histories and their Families.

    Best seminar I have heard on this topic. Excellent speaker.

    Best yet.

    Everyone needs a historical foundation.


    Excellent and informative

    Worked hard to disregard, but it took a lot of effort.

    It’s obvious that she knows her field and approaches her subject matter with insights that appeal to her audience.

    Excellent information and presentation.

    Excellent information. I learned many things.

    Excellent presentation

    Excellent presentation ❤️

    Excellent presentation both genealogical and historical information for those searching their African American Ancestors. Also for those in the current cultural of Black Lives Matter to gain a better understanding of their non African American Ancestors who might have been Slave Owners. Such a rich topic. Thank you again. I’m eager to begin a different way of researching after this presentation.

    Excellent presentation that gave me a few more paths to uncover with my free people of color ancestors. Thank you!!

    Excellent presentation with wonderful examples.

    Excellent presentation!

    Excellent presentation. I am going to search for my free people of color.

    Excellent Presentation…very informative…Thanks

    Excellent speaker and great information.

    Excellent speaker, loved her presentation, examples, and command of the subject.

    Excellent webinar, lots of useful information, sources and new avenues to research.


    Excellent! Has me thinking about ideas to explore to continue my research.


    Excellent, clean flowed well…

    Extremely informative. Great presentation!

    Fantastic presentation!

    Genealogy information was great but webinar was jam packed with context and historical information. Fabulous!

    good info

    good information

    Good overview. I will do more research on my family who are in the 10 percent from the tips of Ms Smith.

    Great information, dynamic speaker!

    Great information. She was very knowledgeable about the topic. What is her contact information?

    Great insight and content. Will explore her other subjects. Thank you

    great presentation by Nick

  2. Legacy Family Tree
    3 years ago

    great presentation learned a lot

    great presenter – informative topic!

    Great speaker, very knowledgeable.

    I already knew a lot of this information, but it may have been new to others, so this is not a negative. One really irritating thing was the speaker’s frequent insertion of the question right? into her talk.

    I always enjoy Nika Smith’s presentations. So very informative and always gives me more to explore in my research. Great presentation. Thank you

    I am on a mission to learn all I can about FPOC after learning about my maternal ancestors in VA. This certainly set me up to step forward with more information to learn….Many thanks

    I felt that there wasn’t enough definition of terms in an structured manner.

    I knew quite a bit about this subject, but Nicka always does a wonderful job of presenting. Enjoyed it very much.

    I knew very little about free people of color. Great overview!

    I learned so much new stuff regarding Free People of Color. For example, researching the 1800-1840 Census records was a pearl within itself.

    i love this speaker

    I really appreciated that she showed examples from the deep south. There have been so many times that I listen to webinars, etc. and they never touch on Mississippi or the deep south.

    I really liked the excitement in the speakers voice. She has inspired me to keep researching and writing.

    I was pleasantly surprised to learn that there were more was for a slave to be free. I have FPOC ancestors and now I can go back and look at 1830 and previous census to see if they were free there as well. Excellent webinar! Thank you

    I wish it had been longer!

    I would have enjoyed it more without the right? ending to most sentences.

    Incredible presentation! Nicka Smith is engaging, knowledgeable, and a tremendous speaker.

    It is an a real education attending these webinars. This should be taught in schools. It is eye opening. Thank you Ms. Nicka for this & all the other webinars you have done. Looking forward to the next one.

    It was a wonderful lecture, really good information

    It was informative

    It was surprising to learn that 10% of African Americans who were in the US before the Civil War were living as Free People of Color.

    Nicka, thank you for all the work you have done and continue to do.

    Learned a ton today. Nicka is an excellent presenter and speaker.

    Learned new things about this topic, greatly appreciated.

    Lots of great information with examples from all over the country. Nice!

    Love Nicka Smith’s topics and how she presents. She is a great teacher and very through in her information.

    Loved it!

    Loved it! Learned a couple of resources I should investigate further.

    More, More…

    Nicka always give good information and is very thorough

    Nicka is always a great presenter for all levels of genealogists!!!

    Nicka is one of my favorite presenters. I love her scholarship, breadth of knowledge, ways of thinking about different types of record searches, but, most of all, I love the passion that you can hear in her voice. Thank you to all for creating this series of tremendously important webinars.

    Nicka is truly an excellent speaker who has an ability to present a wealth of information in an accessible and entertaining way. Loved every minute of this presentation! I learned so much! Thank you!

    Nicka Sewell-Smith is such a dynamic, knowledgeable genealogist and speaker! I could listen to her teach us all day long! THANKS!

    Nicka Smith is always informative. Great presenter.

    Nicka was fantastic. I learned so much!!!

    Nika blended Black history and genealogy in a beautiful way.

    Nikka needs a wider audience including public school teachers

  3. Legacy Family Tree
    3 years ago

    Outstanding in every way!!


    Really interesting and well presented!

    Really learned a great deal.


    She was AMAZING,

    She was excellent!

    Simply outstanding. I’m not much of a history fan, but Nicka’s presentation makes me want to learn more. Her explanations make the difficult or challenging, simple. Thank you and looking forward to more presentations from her!

    So informative. Lots of needed information given. Nicks is an excellent presenter. She must come back…

    So very informative and well delivered. Thank you very much

    The detailed information about how to look at the census records prior to 1840 and understanding why someone born in Arkansas would be living in Ohio at a certain year and the laws that dictated this are very important heavy tools to use in my research.

    The information given here was superb and will prove beneficial. However, I would like to have seen the speaker speaking rather than simply hearing her and seeing her picture. Yes, I will follow through with some of her suggestions.

    This speaker was so informative! She gave us the information in such a way that made understanding it so easy. I definitely will be looking for more of her presentations.

    This was the MOST informative, rich seminar. Nikka did a great job and I wish we could have had more time with her but understand.

    Totally new information for me; quite facinating and quite informative. Thank you.

    Very good.

    Very helpful. Thank you.

    Very informative webinar. I always enjoy listening to Nicka

    Very informative

    Very informative! Thank you.

    Very informative, both in history and for genealogy. thank you. Excellent presentation and presenter.

    Very informative, well organized, loved the examples of documents, truly a great webinar.

    very informative. down to earth – easy to understand. speaks clearly. friendly manner.

    Very informative…

    Very interesting. I enjoyed it tremendously and learned so much!

    Very intersecting

    Very knowledgeable, thorough, good pace, fantastic! Thank you

    Webinar provided very valuable information.

    well done. very informative. thanks.


    Wonderful presentation. It provided lessons in history as well as a assistance in genealogical research.

    Wonderful speaker!


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