About the National Archives

Welcome Remarks for "The Black Family: Representation, Identity, and Diversity"

Greetings from the National Archives. I’m David Ferriero, Archivist of the United States, and it's my pleasure to welcome you to tonight’s panel discussion on "The Black Family: Representation, Identity, and Diversity.

We are presenting this program in partnership with the Association for the Study of African American Life and History, and we thank them for their support.

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The theme of tonight’s program—”The Black Family: Representation, Identity, and Diversity”—is also the theme of this year’s Black History Month. Family is the core unit of our society, and those seeking family history documentation compose the single largest group of researchers at the National Archives.

Indeed, the greatest boost to genealogical research here was the publication of Alex Haley’s Roots and the subsequent miniseries in the 1970s. Family research was no longer only for elites; it was something we all could dive into. We could all fill out our family stories and share them across the generations.

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Now it is my pleasure to welcome our panel and begin our discussion of the family as the foundation of African American life and history..

Our moderator is Ida E. Jones, University Archivist at Morgan State University, and our panelists are Alison Parker, author of Unceasing Militant: The Life of Mary Church Terrell; Darius Young, author of Robert R. Church Jr. and the African American Political Struggle; John Whittington Franklin and Karen Roberts Franklin, managing members with Franklin Global LLC; and Barbara Spencer Dunn, Vice President for Membership & Contributor and Member of the Black History 365 Professional Development Team, for the Association for the Study of African American Life and History.

Thank you for joining us today.