Like so many black Americans before him, Marvin Greer figured slavery and migration had hopelessly scattered the heirlooms of his family’s past.
Now he’s found some of them, but and he’s not sure how to keep them intact.
The 23-year-old history buff looked on anxiously recently as a Smithsonian Institution worker catalogued and inspected his personal trove of portraits and military discharge papers, part of a museum-led push to help families like his save their history.
Years after author Alex Haley first encouraged blacks to research their roots, many are digging into attics and garages to find the rest of their history – captured in letters, portraits, beloved dolls and other long-forgotten heirlooms.
Read More: The Victoria Advocate