|Written by Esther Callens|
|Thursday, 28 June 2012 12:11|
Genealogy is a very important component of a person’s life as it paints a picture of your family history by showing the numerous ancestors that have come before you. It is quite fascinating to find out just who your descendants are and particularly those of various luminaries. Having said that, there is a fascinating new book that reveals the lineage of the First Lady of the United States. American Tapestry, the Story of the Black, White, and the Multiracial Ancestors of Michelle Obama by Rachel L. Swarns is the title of this remarkable tome. Citing relatives that date back to the 1800s, American Tapestry offers an intriguing history story.
To compose a book of this magnitude Swarns used numerous records, articles, publications, as well as various photographs and other treasured items that she obtained from public venues (i.e. libraries) as well as a number of Mrs. Obama’s relatives. What she unearthed was a trail that begins with slavery and ended in the White House a mere five generations later. It is amazing.
American Tapestry brings to light the extraordinary people that blossomed on Mrs. Obama’s family tree. Listed were slaves, soldiers from the Civil and Revolutionary Wars, ministers and entrepreneurs. Revealed is the exciting exodus of Phoebe Moten Johnson, a poor sharecropper’s daughter who was one of the pioneers that went north in search of a better lifestyle. Incidentally, she accomplished this long before the Great Migration got under way. Then there is Dolphus Shields, a former slave who went on to become one of Birmingham, Alabama’s most successful businessmen during the early 1900s. These and many more all make up the many branches that went into producing the First African American First Lady. American Tapestry offers quite the inspiring story.
Rachel L. Swarns is a reporter that has worked for the New York Times covering stories all over the world. She and her family make Washington, D.C. home.