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Dolphus Shields

Does Accuracy in History Matter? The Case of 'American Tapestry' and Michelle Obama's Ancestors

Megan Smolenyak | Posted 08.19.2012 | Books
Megan Smolenyak

Perhaps many reading this will consider me a relic to place so much weight on accuracy. If so, I suppose it's an occupational hazard as a genealogist's worth is measured largely in credibility, but what do you think?

Michelle Obama's Ancestors: 'American Tapestry' Has Holes in It

Megan Smolenyak | Posted 07.31.2012 | Books
Megan Smolenyak

As the genealogist who initially researched the first lady's family tree (four to five generations on all branches), I wanted to love American Tapestry: The Story of the Black, White and Multicultural Ancestors of Michelle Obama, but found myself disappointed -- mostly due to what's missing.

Michelle Obama's Ancestors: Purnell Shields

Megan Smolenyak | Posted 04.25.2012 | Chicago
Megan Smolenyak

D.T. lived in hopeful expectation, but even today, it's stunning to think that the life of this one-time slave overlapped with that of his great-granddaughter, Marian, who now resides in the White House.

Michelle Obama: Family History Of First Lady Is Complex, Tied To Slavery

The New York Times | RACHEL L. SWARNS and JODI KANTOR | Posted 05.25.2011 | Politics

Melvinia Shields, the enslaved and illiterate young girl, and the unknown white man who impregnated her are the great-great-great-grandparents of Mich...