Visions of America: African American Family Stories and Genealogy

Uncovering African American Stories and Genealogy: Visiting the International African American Museum and Exploring Connections, part of the VISIONS OF AMERICA: All Stories, All People, All Places series, produced collaboratively by PBS Books and the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS). The program is hosted by the National Director of PBS Books, Heather-Marie Montilla, and the IMLS Acting Director, Cyndee Landrum.

Celebrating lesser-known stories of African Americans, IMLS Deputy Director of Museum Services Laura Huerta Migus begins our journey at the International African American Museum (IAAM) in Charleston, South Carolina with the Museum’s President and CEO Dr. Tonya Matthews and the Museum’s Center for Family History’s Director Brian Sheffey. IAAM is a newly opened museum, which tells the unvarnished stories of the African American experience.  

Anthony Smith, who is the Associate Deputy Director for Discretionary Grants for Libraries at IMLS and a hobbyist genealogist, speaks with librarian and scholar Dr. LaVerne Gray, who is an Assistant Professor at Syracuse University and the recipient of an IMLS grant supporting her project: Uncovering Black Lives Project: Investigating the information community and collections of African Americans Genealogists. We’ll investigate the connections and collectives that bring people together in community and how they contribute to the genealogical field. 

For more information, visit Visions of America.