A team of scholars at Emory University has launched a website that uses names and linguistic analysis to uncover the likely origins of Africans sold into the trans-Atlantic slave trade.

More than 9,000 names are already in the database at the African-Origins website, but the work is just beginning. Researchers are asking those who know African languages and naming practices to provide cultural insight into the names already collected, according to a news release.

Pairing modern name variations with their older counterparts can be particularly helpful. The modern speaker's language becomes a clue that could link the 19th-century name with a certain African region.

"The website provides a rare glimpse of the identifies of Africans aboard 19-century slaving vessels, and through this information, the possibility of tracing the origins of millions of other Africans forcibly transported to the Americas," said David Eltis, a chaired history professor at Emory who is leading the project.

To help, visit www.african-origins.org.

Avinandan (Avi) Mukherjee, currently chair of the marketing department at Montclair State University in New Jersey, has been appointed dean of the College of Business at Clayton State University. His appointment is effective Aug. 1. More
Avinandan (Avi) Mukherjee, currently chair of the marketing department at Montclair State University in New Jersey, has been appointed dean of the College of Business at Clayton State University. His appointment is effective Aug. 1. More