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Tara Roberts and National Geographic go to great depths in new podcast

Tara Roberts and National Geographic go to great depths in new podcast
Journalist Tara Roberts, Photo Courtesy of National Geographic

Journalist, Tara Roberts and National Geographic are excited to introduce listeners and television viewers to a poignant podcast, “Into the Depths,” beginning Jan. 27 and running through March 3. The six-part podcast series, funded in part by the National Geographic Society,  delves into the history of the transatlantic slave trade. Black scuba divers across the world converge in search of lost shipwrecks from the Trans-Atlantic slave trade, which trafficked millions of enslaved Africans to the Americas from the 15th to the 19th centuries. An estimated 1.8 million unsung souls perished during the Middle Passage. The project will be featured in the March issue of National Geographic magazine and for Roberts, the experience has been the chance of a lifetime.

What attracted you to create this project, Into the Depths?

I visited the National Museum of African American History and Culture a few years ago, and on the second floor of the museum, I saw a photograph of Black women divers standing together on a boat. Something clicked when I saw that photo.  The women looked like superheroes to me. Then I discovered that they were a part of this group called Diving with a Purpose, and that part of their mission was to help search for and document slave shipwrecks.

I googled them while I was still in the museum, and left thinking, “Oh my goodness, maybe I could do that too!”  And I did. Eventually, I quit my job to follow them full-time. I wanted to help tell their story – the story of the divers, the ships, of the African souls on those ships and of the communities around the world helping to bring this history back into memory. So, I applied for a National Geographic grant and got it.  And from there, “Into the Depths,” the six-part narrative podcast about my journey, was born.

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