Michelle Obama’s Ancestry Traced

After a two-year project to draw the first lady’s family tree, a book will be published Tuesday that highlights Michelle Obama’s rich American heritage. In an excerpt from American Tapestry: The Story of the Black, White, and Multiracial Ancestors of Michelle Obama published in The New York Times, the first lady’s roots are traced back to the turmoil of the Civil War era, when blacks and whites mixed in ways that seem unlikely as we look back now. Among author Rachel L. Swarns’s discoveries are the many white relatives who help make up Obama’s background, the descendants of whom are scattered across Georgia, South Carolina, Texas, and other parts of the South today.