Rachel L. Swarns has been a reporter for the New York Times since 1995, reporting on domestic policy, the presidential campaigns of 2004 and 2008, the First Lady, and the modern American family. She has also worked for the New York Times in Russia, Cuba, and South Africa, where she served as the Johannesburg bureau chief. She lives in Washington, D.C.
American Tapestry (Enhanced Edition): The Story of the Black, White, and Multiracial Ancestors of Michelle Obamaby Rachel L. Swarns
In six videos found only in American Tapestry’s enhanced e-book edition, join author Rachel L. Swarns as she talks to Reginald Washington—an archivist and genealogist at the National Archives—and Jewell Barclay—a distant relative of Michelle Obama—about the mystery man in Mrs. Obama’s family tree, the challenges of American
In six videos found only in American Tapestry’s enhanced e-book edition, join author Rachel L. Swarns as she talks to Reginald Washington—an archivist and genealogist at the National Archives—and Jewell Barclay—a distant relative of Michelle Obama—about the mystery man in Mrs. Obama’s family tree, the challenges of American genealogical work, and the rewards of learning about your own family’s history. This edition also features an exclusive interactive family tree which allows you to explore the First Lady’s ancestry through family photographs and historical documents.
Michelle Obama's family saga is a remarkable, quintessentially American story—a journey from slavery to the White House in five generations. Yet, until now, little has been reported on the First Lady's roots. Prodigiously researched, American Tapestry traces the complex and fascinating tale of Michelle Obama's ancestors, a history that the First Lady did not even know herself. Rachel L. Swarns, a correspondent for the New York Times, brings into focus the First Lady's black, white, and multiracial forebears, and reveals for the first time the identity of Mrs. Obama's white great-great-great-grandfather—a man who remained hidden in her lineage for more than a century.
American Tapestry illuminates the lives of the ordinary people in Mrs. Obama's family tree who fought for freedom in the Revolutionary and Civil Wars; who endured the agonies of slavery, the disappointment of Reconstruction, the displacement of the Great Migration, and the horrors of Jim Crow to build a better future for their children. Swarns even found a possible link to the Jewish Reform movement.
Though it is an intimate family history, American Tapestry is also the collective chronicle of our changing nation, a nation in which racial intermingling lingers in the bloodlines of countless citizens and slavery was the crucible through which many family lines—black, white, and Native American—were forged.
Epic in scope and beautifully rendered, this is a singularly inspiring story with resonance for us all.
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