Event—Public Programming

Conversation with Kenyatta


Listen to an audio recording of this program.

Genealogist Kenyatta D. Berry brings her series "Conversations with Kenyatta" to to the Newberry.

Kenyatta Berry and Matt Rutherford, the Newberry's Curator of Genealogy and Local History, will discuss how she helps researchers get to the bottom of their most burning questions.

After their conversation, Berry will sign copies of her recent book, The Family Tree Toolkit: A Comprehensive Guide to Uncovering Your Ancestry and Researching Genealogy, which will be available for purchase in the Newberry's Rosenberg Bookshop.

Kenyatta D. Berry, cultural anthropologist, professional genealogist, lecturer, writer, attorney, and television personality ignites the genealogist world with a bigger than life personality and illustrious career spanning over 20 years of data collection, in-depth genealogical research and historical content in the discipline of genealogy. Berry's vast knowledge in the areas of African American Genealogy, Slave Ancestral Research and DNA has made her an invaluable go-to source for information from all parts of the world. Her features in publications such as Black Enterprise and the Wall Street Journal, to Kenyatta's on-air TV Host jobs on Genealogy Roadshow (PBS) - which has received over 1.5 million viewers per episode - are generating enormous buzz surrounding her insight, understanding, and expertise by colleagues, genealogist organizations, experts, media, and supporters alike. She is the Association for Library Collections and Technical Services (a division of the American Library Association) 2019 Honorary Chair for Preservation Week.

Matt Rutherford is Curator of Genealogy and Local History at the Newberry. In addition to managing the Newberry’s renowned genealogy collection, Matt has also answered thousands of questions on a wide range of genealogy topics. He has spoken at the Illinois State Genealogical Society and the Conference on Illinois History, as well as several local genealogy societies, including the North Suburban Genealogical Society, the Genealogical Forum of Elmhurst, and the Illinois St. Andrew Society. In addition, Matt teaches seminars on a variety of genealogy topics, including beginning genealogy, researching at the Newberry, researching pre-fire Chicago, adoption searches, non-population census schedules, the history of the federal census, and the Social Security Death Index. He is the co-author of A Bibliography of African American History at the Newberry Library (2005).

Explore the Newberry's extensive collections in Genealogy and Local History, and check out our bibliography for African-American Genealogy.

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