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Family history

While growing up in Oak Park in the 1980s, it never crossed my mind that I could trace my family history very far. I didn’t feel rootless, but as an African-American the legacy of slavery presented huge obstacles; record keeping being a prime example. Slaves were considered property, leaving the intimate details of their lives pretty scarce. At the time, Alex Haley’s 1976 book “Roots” was one of the few examples I had regarding an African-American that accomplished the seemingly Herculean task of tracing his family.