Collaborative organization works to help African Americans learn about their family history

Organization helps tracks down stories of enslaved ancestors

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As Americans celebrate the Juneteenth holiday, one organization is working to connect African Americans with stories of their enslaved ancestors.

“Juneteenth is an opportunity to celebrate the history of African American resilience and freedom," Dr. Kendra Field, the chief historian with 10 Million Names said.

From the 1500s to 1865, nearly 10 million men, women and children of African descent were enslaved in the United States. With their stories now publicly accessible, 10 Million Names is working to help African Americans learn more about their ancestry.

“Part of what 10 Million Names is doing is trying to connect those longer older threads with present day possibilities," Dr. Field said.

Field helps connect African Americans with the oftentimes emotional history and stories of their enslaved ancestors.

"It can be difficult and challenging and deeply emotional and sometimes very sad what we encounter in the archive, what we encounter in the course of our genealogical work. But it can also be tremendously empowering to actually know those names and to know those stories,” Field said.

Those stories can be found on the 10 Million Names website. Once there, you’ll be connected to other sites and databases to look deep into your family history and even work with a historian to help you gather even more information.

"Juneteenth is an exciting moment to shine a light on Black-led efforts to remember our own ancestors.”

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