Self-proclaimed Hip-Hop Genealogist, Natlee Green has recently helped 90’s hip-hop artists such as Lord Jamar and Sadat X of the group Brand Nubian, Fredro Starr from platinum-selling group Onyx, as well as rapper Mysonne discover their family’s roots. Some of her upcoming clients include rappers Keith Murray, and Killer Mike.
Raised in the South Bronx, the birthplace of hip-hop, Natlee has always had an appreciation and passion for the music and the culture which was the soundtrack of her childhood. It was at the same time that Natlee began to be curious about her ancestral roots.
Ancestry research started as a hobby and quickly progressed into a passion. Today, ancestry research has become Natlee’s business. After more than 15 years of helping friends, strangers, and her family put the pieces of their ancestry history puzzle together, Natlee created My Black Heritage Genealogy Services.
Natlee’s belief is that everyone, especially African-Americans, should have knowledge of their family history as far back as possible. Her desire to see this hope become a reality for people started in elementary school.
Natlee was unsettled when she couldn’t name her ancestors beyond her great-grandparents, while her non-black classmates could identify 3rd and 4th generation ancestors and beyond, and they even had stories about their lives.
Somewhat envious of her peer’s knowledge of their family history, Natlee made it her business to discover her familial roots. She went through every family book that her mother had saved from past reunions, she called elderly family members who either loved talking about their history or shut down at the very thought of bringing up any negative memories.
Being African-American meant that her elderly family members were mostly children or grandchildren of former slaves. The past was too painful for many of them to want to talk about, so there was often a brick wall when it came to certain parts of family history.
When internet sites started to pop-up which would allow people to research their ancestry in real time for a small subscription fee, Natlee jumped at the opportunity to intensify her research efforts and build her skills.
In addition to oral history, family history books, and the Internet, Natlee has visited state libraries, cemeteries, and courthouses over the years to uncover family history for herself, her friends, and complete strangers.
Fast-forward to present day, Natlee owns and runs My Black Heritage. The reason that she seeks hip-hop artists as clients is due in part to how their music made her feel.