Dean Tops Off Women's History Month With Prominent Genealogist


Left, Robin Bowman. Assistant to the Dean, School of Liberal Arts at Dean College, interviewing Kenyatta Berry during an event on March 27.

On March 27, Kenyatta Berry—author, attorney, professional genealogist, podcaster, and television personality—spoke to

the Dean community and Franklin residents about the path she's taken to reach success in her field, and why she is so passionate about making genealogy accessible to everyone. Kenyatta ignites the desire in others to connect to their pasts in order to find out who they really are. As demand grows for people to learn more about their lineage and DNA, she continues to innovate, transforming the world of genealogy by making it more accessible to the masses.

Supporting the importance of this field, Kenyatta said, “I think we need to explain to folks why it is important to know your family history. If you’re a student seeking knowledge, your family could have contributed something to the world that you don’t even know about. You all have stories. These stories are important. And do you want someone else to tell them, or do you want to write them yourselves?”

Kenyatta has energized the genealogy world with an illustrious career spanning more than 20 years of data collection, in-depth genealogical research, and historical content in the discipline of genealogy. Her vast knowledge in the areas of African American genealogy, enslaved ancestral research, and DNA has made her an invaluable expert on the subject. In fact, she is a contributor to the groundbreaking “1619 Project” an ongoing initiative from the New York Times Magazine that aims to place the consequences of slavery and the contributions of black Americans at the center of our national narrative.

“My advice to young adults is to find out what you’re passionate about. For me, it was discovering what I would do for free,” she told the audience. “If you want to be part of the change, you need to go out and do something.”

Berry's given name, Kenyatta, is a homage to Kenyan independence leader, Jomo Kenyatta.

-- Dean College Reporting + Franklin Observer

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