For the last week of Black History Month we have an amazing story of Black excellence to share with you all, centered around one of our former sisters in media that put the pen down in pursuit of discovering a long lost chapter in African American ancestry: slave ships that sank during The Middle Passage.
As a result of her courageous efforts, journalist-turned-pioneering-deep-diver Tara Roberts has now become the first Black woman to grace the cover of National Geographic as a Nat Geo Explorer.
Roberts had a successful editorial career at prestigious publications like Essence, EBONY and CosmoGirl before encountering a photo of Black women divers at the National Museum of African American History and Culture that eventually proved to be fate. She later found out the women were part of a non-profit organization called Diving With a Purpose that dedicated themselves to uncovering secrets of the African Diaspora. From there, the rest was history.
Read up more on her inspiring story below, via Nat Geo:
“When Roberts, who is also a storyteller, editor, MIT Open Documentary Lab fellow, and, of course, diver, reached out to the group, she was invited by founder Ken Stewart to join one of their diving expeditions. That invitation started the journey that led to Roberts’s becoming the first Black female Explorer featured on the cover of ‘National Geographic’.”
In an interview with ABC News’ Linsey Davis, a Black pioneer in her own right, Roberts spoke deeper on the impact this journey had on her overall, stating, “There is something really powerful about being an ordinary person who just likes to scuba dive and saying that I’m going to raise my hand and I’m going to be a part of finding this history, honoring this history and raising it from the bottom of the ocean floor and back into humanity’s memory.”
Watch the full interview below, and follow Tara Roberts’ journey in uncovering long lost slave ships via her Into The Depths podcast:
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