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AfriGeneas Books~Authors~Reviews Forum

[Current] Skin Deep, by Lisa B. Lee

Most of us have "Finding A Place Called Home”, by Dee Palmer Woodtor and “Black Roots”, by Tony Boroughs in our personal libraries. They’re essential texts for their how-to’s on African Ancestored genealogy alone.

Often, we read about documents, paper trails and physical journeys that take writers to the homeland of their Ancestors. Then we’re told what to do in a somewhat antiseptic way. Next, we give it a go; flounder, get frustrated, look for solace and wonder if it’s really this daunting. If it is, how are we to go about this genealogy research thing and finding success?

Once in a while a book comes along where the author reveals as much about themselves, their struggles, trials and tribulations as they do about their research techniques.

“Skin Deep, My Journey To Discover The “Black” & “White” Descendants of William Lee- Part I”, by Lisa B. Lee is such a book.

“Genealogy is my passion”, the author’s first words, clues us to the emotional, spiritual and intellectual trip we are about to take. She then inquires, does “Race” really matter? Oh, Oh, there’s some politics and sociology coming our way. Thirty years of research and traveling between the United States and Canada has Ms. Lee thinking about governments, genetics, ancestry, and racism. She tells us what’s in her heart and what’s on her mind and let’s the chips fall -with love- where they may.

“The only thing that truly matters in life is love, unconditional love...” Lisa B. Lee, loaded down with her binders, laptop computer, tape recorder and a bouquet of flowers, took that love and knocked on the door of one of her “white" cousins. She gives voice contrasting that encounter to those with her “black” cousins.

Do you want to be told how to do genealogy or Shown how to do genealogy?
Ms. Lee does the latter, warts and all. When she commits a genealogical crime (breaks a research rule), she explains by using her mistakes as examples. Genealogical Tunnel Vision? She’s suffered, recovered and is here to testify. The Genealogy Happy Dance? Lisa teaches the steps in her book. We follow her as she goes from California to Michigan and then to Canada, summoned by the Ancestors. Along the way we are given a ‘reality’ lesson in how to discover our roots with tips on what to do and what not to do.

It is not a difficulty in recommending a book that is seemingly narrow in focus. How many of us are related to this William Lee anyways? However, what we have in ‘Skin Deep’ is an expository into the research efforts, commitment, dedication and love of a talented genealogist who, in the parlance of a sports metaphor - leaves it on the court.

Complete with photographs, charts and endnotes this book is a welcome edition to any genealogist’s reference shelf.
Ms. Lee gives us the courage to find and embrace all of our multicultural Ancestors- unconditionally and with love!

Folks, this is the template for your family history book; this is the real deal.

Lisa B. Lee
Chairman, Board of Directors African American Genealogical Society of Northern California (AAGSNC)
former Editor ‘Baobab Tree’, journal of AAGSNC, ‘Black-Canadian Forum’, manager

To purchase “Skin Deep, My Journey To Discover The “Black” & “White” Descendants of William Lee- Part I”
Contact: Lisa B. Lee

“Guided by the Ancestors”

18 Dec 2002 :: 14 Nov 2008
Copyright © 2002-2008 by AfriGeneas. All rights reserved.
AfriGeneas ~ African Ancestored Genealogy