A recent article posted at MSNBC, Family roots get tangled up in Africa, chronicles the success of an African-American man in making connections with relatives back in Africa. I hope this attention being focused during Black History Month will help convince many African Americans that they can learn quite a bit about their family histories.
While African-American family history research is not without its challenges, it is not significantly different from that of other Americans until one gets back to 1870. Americans of other ethnic groups also face a variety of challenges as researchers push closer back to the water's edge.
Hopefully the story linked above and coverage of the family stories of Vanessa Williams and Lionel Richie during the second season of Who Do You Think You Are?, which debuts tomorrow night on NBC, will encourage African Americans to search for their ancestral roots. Celebrating Black History Month, Ancestry is releasing new documents of interest.