kottke.org posts about geneology

Michelle Obama's family treeOct 07 2009

The NY Times traced Michelle Obama's family tree back to Melvinia, a slave girl who lived in rural Georgia.

"[Michelle] is representative of how we have evolved and who we are," said Edward Ball, a historian who discovered that he had black relatives -- the descendants of his white slave-owning ancestors -- when he researched his memoir, "Slaves in the Family."

"We are not separate tribes of Latinos and whites and blacks in America," Mr. Ball said. "We've all mingled, and we have done so for generations."

I wonder how much of this Obama was aware of before being contacted by the Times for comment (she declined):

The findings -- uncovered by Megan Smolenyak, a genealogist, and The New York Times -- substantiate what Mrs. Obama has called longstanding family rumors about a white forbear.

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