“Shelf Life” is a podcast from the Newberry Library about the humanities–and the humans behind them. Each episode features a new conversation with librarians, curators, and researchers about anything from the history of fake news to the secret lives of famous American authors.
Genealogist Tony Burroughs breaks down the procedures for finding African American ancestors and discusses why a unique set of research tools is necessary for doing African American genealogy. According to Tony, the same institutional forces that marginalized black Americans in the past also buried traces of their lives in the historical records that genealogists count on to fill out their family trees. Navigating the legacies of slavery, segregation, and discrimination is part of the process of finding one’s African American ancestors.