Previews + Extras
Henry Louis Gates, Jr. explores the extraordinarily diverse roots of journalist Sunny Hostin and actor Jesse Williams—telling long-lost stories of African and European ancestry that compel his guests to rethink their own identities.
Through investigative efforts, Sunny Hostin's ancestral lineage was traced back three generations to Fermín Beza, Sunny's third great-grandfather, from Aguadilla, Puerto Rico.
Jesse learns about his ancestor, July Hadley's life as an enslaved individual, tracing connections to Samuel Hadley's estate and the cultivation of cotton. Despite geographical proximity to ancestral lands, the emotional impact of visiting evokes a profound sense of connection and reflection.
Jesse Williams learns about his great grandmother, Inge, who left her small farming parish in Sweden to study at the Royal Music Academy in Stockholm in 1871 -- a significant move for a young woman at that time.
A 1940 census, reveals that Sonny Hostin's grandmother, Mary's father was absent from her parental home. Mary's father, Robert Cummings, left the family around 1937. This absence likely impacted Mary, who was close to her mother but didn't discuss her father much.
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