Fraser and Marian Shields Robinson raised their children, Craig and Michelle, in Chicago, but their family's ancestry can be traced back to pre-abolition Georgia.
Credit Barack Obama Campaign
The Shield and Robinson lines met in 1959 in Chicago, where Fraser and Marian Shields Robinson married and raised their children, Craig and Michelle.
Credit Barack Obama Campaign
The first lady's maternal great-great-grandfather Dolphus Shields (seated) was born to Melvinia Shields. After emancipation, he settled his family in Birmingham, Ala., where he stayed until his death in 1950.
Credit Courtesy of Jewell Barclay
Obama's paternal grandfather, Fraser Robinson Jr., fought in World War II and spoke Gullah, a language that emerged on the South Carolina coast during slavery.
Credit Courtesy of Francesca Gray
DNA tests have shown that Joan Tribble, the great-great-granddaughter of Melvinia Shields' owner, and the first lady are distantly related.
Credit Damon Wood
Michelle Obama's family was part of American history long before she, Malia, Sasha and Barack Obama moved into the White House.
Credit The White House / Getty Images
Rachel Swarns reconstructs Michelle Obama's family tree in her book <em>American Tapestry</em>. (Click <a href="http://media.npr.org/assets/artslife/arts/2012/06/6familytree-americantapestry.jpg">here</a> for a closer look.)
Credit Courtesy of HarperCollins
Author Rachel Swarns has been a reporter for <em>The New York Times</em> since 1995. She lives in Washington, D.C., with her husband and their two children.
When Michelle Obama's great-great-great grandmother was 8 years old, her life underwent a dramatic change.
Melvinia Shields was a slave who grew up at a South Carolina estate with a relatively large community of slaves she knew well. But then she was moved to a small farm in northern Georgia where she was one of only three slaves; most white people in the area didn't own any.
On a week monopolized by important political news, many of you still took time out to comment on our National Geographic inspired poll, which asked "Which president, would-be president or movie president would do the best job if extraterrestrials come to visit?"
About 250 million people will tune in Sunday to watch Italy and Spain duke it out in the Euro 2012 final in Kiev. As always with European soccer, this battle has laid bare more than just skills on the field. Guest host David Greene talks with ESPN's Roger Bennett about the national undercurrents.
As Carrie said, the war on drugs is not the primary campaign issue in Mexico. But it has been at the heart of outgoing President Felipe Calderon's agenda. The bloodiest battlefield in that war has been Ciudad Juarez, which is right across the border from El Paso, Texas. And the presidential election has not put residents there in a hopeful mood.
As Monica Ortiz Uribe, of member station KJZZ reports, many in Juarez have little faith that a new president can bring peace.
Everyone who lost a home to the Waldo Canyon Fire in Colorado seems to have a story about stuff: the stuff they grabbed as they fled, the treasures they forgot to pack. Colorado Public Radio's Megan Verlee reports on what it means to start over.
Recently, people in the small western town of Bethel, Alaska, got very excited when they saw flyers announcing the opening of a Taco Bell. But then, residents got the sad news: the flyers were a hoax. But the people of Bethel will not go taco-less.
This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm David Greene. Since the Supreme Court's ruling that upheld President Obama's signature health care law, it has been hard to separate substance from rhetoric. This has been one important theme coming from the White House.
PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: I know there will be a lot of discussion today about the politics about all of this, about who won and who lost. That's how these things tend to be viewed here in Washington. But that discussion completely misses the point.