The purpose of the Midwest Afro-American Genealogical Interest Coalition (M.A.G.I.C.) is to promote genealogy and family history through the presentation of classes, monthly meetings, a quarterly magazine, exhibition of genealogies, guest lectures, and tours of Kansas City-regional agencies considered sources of genealogical interest.
In 1984, the Kansas City, Missouri Historical and Genealogical Society was founded by Dr. Collins F. Anderson, Jr., Elvis Gibson, and Artie Criswell. The purpose was to promote black genealogy.
On May 17, 1984, the Kansas City, Missouri branch of the Federal Archives strongly supported the society’s bold and successful attempt to bring an internationally known genealogical research consultant, James Dent Walker, as the featured speaker for their first program entitled, The Roots of Black Heritage—How to Begin. The program was successfully held at the Conference Cove Auditorium at 31st and Troost in Kansas City, Missouri. This event coincided with the 50th anniversary year since the establishment of the Federal Archives and its branches. The program was extremely successful; but, unfortunately, the society ceased to exist, despite the undeniable fact that no organization in the Kansas City area was publicly addressing the genealogical needs of African Americans.
In 1991, the Midwest Afro-American Genealogical Interest Coalition (M.A.G.I.C.) was formed by Dorothy Witherspoon, Dr. Collins Anderson, Jr., Audreay McKinnie-Hunter, Bertha Johnson, Gwendolyn Richards, Kim Tucker-Paige, and Jacqueline Briggs, to promote genealogy among the heartland’s African American community.
M.A.G.I.C. has more than 60 members. Monthly meetings (see Calendar) [LINK TO CALENDAR] are open to the public and prospective members who wish to share valuable information, discover new methods of research, learn from others’ successes, and provide opportunities to network with people who share similar interests.
M.A.G.I.C. members volunteer and help others to start or to overcome roadblocks in their genealogy.
Each year M.A.G.I.C. provides public programming for Black History Month in February; Juneteenth in June; and, a field trip each October.
The M.A.G.I.C. logo was developed in 1994; each part represents a different element of genealogy:
Top hat and gloves – Represents magician tools.
Letters – Sending and receiving correspondence is a tool utilized to uncover family history information.
Open book – Reading books, newspapers and other sources is imperative to uncover accurate information about ancestral lineage.
Magnifying glass – Reviewing countless documents that are difficult to read and decipher makes the magnifying glass an essential tool for genealogists.
Pencil – Taking meticulous notes while researching is very important, as is keeping organized files.