The search for family history can be complicated for many African Americans. Slavery's devastating legacy stripped family stories away from black Americans.
As the United States commemorates the 400th anniversary of the landing of the first Africans to Virginia, we're still grappling with slavery's impact.
“Knowing where you come from is so important. Our journey to where we are today is not a straight line. It’s full of pain, and intrigue, and laughter, and it’s a mixed bag," says Terry E. Brown, superintendent of Fort Monroe National Monument. "What I thought we were, is not exactly where we came from."
USA TODAY is asking readers to share what they know about their family history with our journalists in 2019.
Sharing these stories is so important to record not just black history but American history. Leave a short message on the 1619 Voices Project at (202) 524-0992. And answer this question — What were some oral histories that were passed down in your family? USA TODAY editors will reach out to document your story.
This will be an ongoing project.
Explore more 1619 stories
The founding family you've never heard of: The black Tuckers of Hampton, Virginia
America's original sin: How an accidental encounter brought slavery to the United States
Slavery's explosive growth, in charts: How '20 and odd' became millions
Slavery in America: Behind USA TODAY’s 1619 series on black history
Black history 1619 project: Call our Google number, share your story
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Black history 1619 project: Call our Google number, share your story