The Times podcast: Hidden clues of a Black family’s Bible

Old family documents and photos on a table
Denise Diggs and her brother Richard Diggs sift through a table full of old family documents and pictures in Apple Valley, Calif. A few years ago while cleaning out their home, the siblings stumbled upon an old Bible with notes in the margins that documented their family’s history. The Bible is now on display at a Smithsonian Museum in Washington, D.C.
(Jason Armond / Los Angeles Times)

In the late 1980s, the Diggs family of Southern California came across a family Bible with an incredible backstory. Notes written in the margin documented their family history to an enslaved ancestor who learned to read and write — rare at the time. The Diggs eventually donated their heirloom to the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C., where it’s now on display. Historians say artifacts like the Bible are rare and offer a valuable portrait into legacy and resistance.


Read the full transcript here.

Host: L.A. Times Washington D.C. reporter Erin B. Logan

More reading:

How a Black family’s Bible ended up at the Smithsonian Institution

Black genealogists get help tracing their roots

Behind these names, you’ll find stories of L.A.’s Black history

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“The Times” is made by columnist Gustavo Arellano, senior producers Denise Guerra, Shannon Lin and Kasia Broussalian and producers David Toledo, Ashlea Brown and Angel Carreras. Our engineers are Mario Diaz and Mark Nieto. Our editor is Kinsee Morlan. Our executive producers are Jazmín Aguilera and Shani O. Hilton. Our theme song was composed by Andrew Eapen.