Russell Wilson with Dr. Henry Louis Gates, Jr. at The Richmond Forum

Russell Wilson with Dr. Henry Louis Gates, Jr. at The Richmond Forum


RICHMOND FORUM” IS MADE POSSIBLE BY GENEROUS SUPPORT.>>THEY SHAPE, ENLIVEN AND ILLUMINATE OUR WORLD. SOMETIMES, WORLDS BEYOND. THEY’RE FAMOUS FOR MORE THAN 15 MINUTES. WE KNOW THEIR NAME AND FACES. AND WONDER WHERE THEY MIGHT TAKE US NEXT. AND YET, THERE IS A DISTANCE BETWEEN US. THEY KNOW THEM ONLY THROUGH LIGHT AND SOUND. PIXELS ON A SCREEN. AND INK ON A PRINTED PAGE UNTIL TONIGHT TONIGHT WE SHARE A ROOM WITH SOMEONE KNOWN ONLY FROM A DISTANCE. FEEL THE HUMANITY WE HAVE IN COMMON, COME TO KNOW OURSELVES AND OUR WORLD EVEN MORE. AT THE RICHMOND FORUM. TONIGHT, TWO TIME SUPER BOWL QUARTERBACK AND A HARVARD SCHOLAR UNCOVER A FAMILY LEGACY AND INFLUENCE THAT’S HELPED CREATE A HOMETOWN HERO. RUSSELL WILSON AND DR. HENRY LEWIS GATES, JUNIOR, WELCOME.>>IT’S A GOOD CROWD. I SAY THE BIGGER THE CROWD, THE BETTER. >>IT’S GOING TO BE FUN GOOD TO BE BACK IN RICHMOND. >>I GOT MY FAMILY HERE. >>YES.>>THAT IS EXCITING. MY WHOLE CREW. I HAVE SEEN A BUNCH OF COUGARS JUST IN GENERAL. IT’S EXCITING TO BE HOME. AND TO BE HERE IS VERY SPECIAL. THANK YOU GUYS.>>THERE IS AN OLD SPIRITUAL. WRITE MY NAME IN THE BOOK OF LIFE.>>FIRST GIFT, NOW, I’M GOING TO WALK YOU THROUGH EACH PAGE. I’M GOING TO ASK YOU TO OPEN IT ONE PAGE AT A TIME. YOU CAN’T CHEAT. OKAY?>>LOTS OF CHEATING.>>OKAY.>>WE’RE GOING TO START WITH YOU AND YOUR BIRTH AND FOLLOW THE PAPER TRAIL ON YOUR FATHER’S SIDE, THEN COME DOWN TO YOUR MOM’S SIDE OF THE FAMILY TREE AND LOOK AT YOUR DNA TO SAY WHAT IT TELLS ABOUT THE MORE ANCIENT ORIGINS. WHAT ARE YOU HOPING TO LEARN ABOUT TODAY?>>I DON’T KNOW MUCH PAST MY GRANDPARENTS. ESPECIALLY MY DAD’S SIDE. I DON’T KNOW MUCH PAST THAT. YOU KNOW? I LOVE TO FIGURE OUT WHERE EVERYONE CAME FROM. AND WHO KNOWS WHAT WE’LL FIND OUT? I AM A FIRM BELIEVER IN KIND OF THE FAMILY HISTORY. THAT AND AT THE SAME TIME, I BELIEVE THAT THIS LIGHT IS NOT ABOUT NECESSARILY THE PATH. A GOOD, BAD, INDIFFERENT. MORE SO ABOUT INDIVIDUALS.>>ALL RIGHT. LET’S GET STARTED. OPEN THE BOOK TO THE FIRST PAGE.>>FIRST PAGE. >>THERE YOU ARE. >>YOU LIKE THIS PICTURE. >>RUSSELL CARRINGTON WILSON BORN NOVEMBER 29TH, 1988. YOUR MOM WAS A NURSE, YOUR FATHER, A LAWYER. WHAT DO YOU THINK WERE THE IMPORTANT LESSONS FROM YOUR PARENTS WERE?>>MANY DIFFERENT THINGS. FIRST THING IS DEDICATION, COMMITMENT THAT IT TOOK TO BE SUCCESSFUL. YOU KNOW, AND EARLY MORNINGS MY DAD WOKE ME UP, THERE ARE TIMES MY MOM PUSHED ME WITH EDUCATION. THE TIMES I DIDN’T FEEL LIKE GOING TO CHURCH THEY TOOK ME. AND I USED TO BE A TERRIBLE KID. YOU KNOW. LIKE I SAID THEY ENCOURAGED ME. AND THAT WAS THE MOST-IMPORTANT THING. THEY GAVE ME A GREATER VISION AND ALLOWED ME TO HAVE AN IMAGINATION THAT EXPANDED PAST WHAT I’M DOING NOW. >>THEY REWARDED YOU WHICH IS VERY, VERY IMPORTANT.>>WHAT ROLE DID SPORTS PLAY IN YOUR FAMILY LIFE?>>SURROUNDED EVERYTHING WE DID. YOU KNOW? WE GET THROUGH PLAYING BASEBALL. MY BROTHER WAS PLAYING AND I WAS BALL BOY OR BAT BOY. YOU KNOW? I STARTED PLAYING IN THE BACKYARD AT MY GRAND FATHER’S HOUSE AT 2, 3 YEARS OLD. AND MY GRANDFATHER, THERE IS THAT BALL. IT WAS ME, SWINGING A BAT. YOU KNOW? BUT SO WE USED TO ALWAYS PLAY SPORTS.>>WHEN YOU’RE ALMOST TWO, YOUR FAMILY MOVED HERE TO RICHMOND. YOU STARTED TO PLAY FOOTBALL WITH YOUR FATHER AND BROTHER AT AGE FOUR. WERE YOU GOOD AT FOOTBALL?>>I HAD BIG HANDS FOR A LITTLE KID. I THINK MY PARENTS, MY TAD AND BROTHER WOULD ALWAYS PLAY. I REMEMBER BREAKING GLASSES, SORRY MOM, BREAKING GLASSES IN THE HOUSE AND THROWING A FOOTBALL AROUND. AND PAINTED WHITE AND THAT ON THE SIDE. THAT IS HOW WE GREW UP. SO IT REALLY PREPARED ME. >>WHAT IS YOUR FONDEST MEMORY OF GROWING UP IN RICHMOND?>>WE TWOENT MY HOUSE TO CHECK OUT WHERE I GREW UP. 11:00, 12:00, 1:00 IN THE MORNING MY BROTHER AND I WOULD BE PLAYING PLAYING BASEBALL. A GOOD SIZED HOUSE. YOU HIT IT OVER THE HOUSE. IF YOU HIT IT OVER THE BACKYARD FENCE IT WAS A HOME RUN. YOU KNOW. AND WE’D HAVE TO HOP THE FENCE. AND YOU HAD A DOG CAGE BEHIND ME. WE SHOULD HAVE SOLD TICKETS, REALLY. IT WAS ENTERTAINING SO I’D NEVER BEAT MY BROTHER. AND HE’D RUB IT IN. YOU KNOW? SO GROWING UP, WE USED TO PLAY AGAINST EACH OTHER. I USED TO THROW MY CONTROLLERS ALL THE TIME AND HAD TO REALIZE HOW TO BREAK IT DOWN. PLAYING BASKETBALL IN THE MORNING, I HAD TO GO GET IT. I DID A GRAND SLAM OVER THE HOUSE, BOOM. YOU KNOW? AND MY BROTHER WOULD RUN AND GO GET IT. AND HE’D NEVER GO GET IT. >>FABULOUS MEMORY. HE’S GOING TO KICK YOUR BUTT. WOULD YOU PLEASE TURN THE PAGE? DO YOU RECOGNIZE THAT YEARBOOK PHOTO? WHAT ABOUT APPEARING IN THE “SPORTS ILLUSTRATED” ARTICLE?>>I REMEMBER THAT. LED THE COUGARS TO A 38-16 IN A FOURTH STRAIGHT VIRGINIA INDEPENDENT DIVISION I TITLE. AND RUSHED 30 YARDS. I SHOULD HAVE SCORED MORE.>>THAT IS GREAT.>>GUESS WHAT? IT WASN’T THERE. HE WAS REMEMBERING IT. HE MEMORIZED THAT. DURING SENIOR YEAR, YOU WERE PICKED ALL CONFERENCE.>>THERE IS NO CHOICE. YOU KNOW. JUST FOR THEM. FOR ME, I LOVE FOOTBALL, BASEBALL. IT WAS HARD. THERE ARE HARDER DECISIONS IN MY LIFE THAN JUST CHOOSING FOOTBALL. BUT FOR ME, I HAD AN OPPORTUNITY TO CALL IN A HIGH SCHOOL. GOT OFFERED $1 MILLION AND LATE FIRST ROUND, SECOND ROUND. I KNEW IF IT WAS MEANT TO BE IT WAS GOING TO COME BACK TO ME. I’M A FIRM BELIEVER FOR EDUCATION. IF I CAN GRADUATE IN THREE YEARS, AND SO THAT IS WHAT I DID. SO MY DAD GOT SICK DURING FRESHMAN YEAR. AND PLAYED BASEBALL AND ENDED UP BEING DRAFTED. FOR SOME REASON, I PLAYED A BUNCH. I PLAYED PRETTY MUCH EVERY GAME, EVERY PLAY. HAD 400 SOMETHING AT BATS. AND DID WELL. WE GOT 90 AT BATS. AND I REMEMBERED SCRIPTURE, I CALLED MY MOM IN TEARS TALKING TO HER ABOUT IT. PUT RIGHTEOUSNESS AND THESE THINGS. THAT IS KIND OF MY STORY. FOR ME, I JUST LIENED ON THAT SCRIPTURE. FOR ME, I FOCUSED ON THAT. I ENDED UP GETTING DRAFTED IN THE EARLY FOURTH ROUND BY THE ROCKIES. SO I HAD A CROSS ROADS AND JUST TRYING TO FIGURE OUT WHAT TO DO. I ENDED UP GOING TO SPRING BASEBALL. AND CALLED NC STATE. IT DIDN’T WORK OUT. ENDED UP GOING TO UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN. AND GOT DRAFTED TO SEAHAWKS AND JUST STARTED QUARTERBACKING FOR SEAHAWKS. >>IF I LEAN ON THAT SCRIPTURE I MIGHT GET DRAFTED? WHAT A HECK OF A STORY. THANK YOU. WOULD YOU PLEASE TURN THE PAGE?>>YES. >>DO YOU REMEMBER THAT?>>YES. >>THERE YOU ARE, LEADING NC STATE WOLF PACK.>>THAT IS AMAZING. >>IF YOU HADN’T TURNED PRO, WHAT WOULD YOU HAVE DONE?>>IN FOOTBALL?>>NO. IF I DIDN’T TURN PRO FOOTBALL, I’D BE PLAYING BASEBALL. YOU KNOW FOR ME, I COULD DO WHATEVER I WANTED TO DO. FOR ME, MENTALLY, I WAS GOING TO BE PUT TO WORK AND SOMEONE WAS GOING TO CHOOSE ME. I DID SEE IT SOMEWHERE, TRY TO OWN A BUSINESS. AND I LOVE FASHION, I OWN MY OWN CLOTHING BRAND NOW. I TRY TO DO STUFF THAT IS MORE THAN JUST FOOTBALL. IT’S MY BRAND. FOOTBALL COULD END ANY DAY. IT’S GOING TO END AT AGE 47. 47. AND SO AFTER 47, THEN WHAT? YOU KNOW? HOLD OTHER 50 YEARS.>>SO I THINK FOR ME, JUST TRYING TO FIGURE OUT WHAT I WANT TO DO FOR FAMILY, LONG TERM.>>YOUR FAMILY BELIEVED IN EDUCATION. THEY WANTED YOU TO EXEL AND I HOPE THAT IS A MODEL FOR OTHER ATHLETES, PARTICULARLY YOUNG AFRICAN AMERICANS. >>GIVE ME FIVE.>>MANY TIMES, AND I WENT TO GO THREE A FOOTBALL LEAGUE I PLAYED IN. I PLAYED FOOTBALL ALL THE TIME. I PLAYED IN THE BACKYARD. IT WOULD BE SNOWING AND RAINING OUT. AND I GO AROUND AND HAVE A LITTLE Q AND A. A LOT OF PARENTS AND KIDS ASK QUESTIONS. THE QUESTION, WHAT DO YOU RECOMMEND WE TELL OUR KIDS? WHAT IS A MAIN THING YOU CAN TELL THEM? FOR ME, DON’T LIMIT THEM JUST TO PLAY FOOTBALL OR JUST BASEBALL. OR JUST BASKETBALL, SOCCER, FIELD HOCKEY. JUST YOU KNOW JUST THE STAGE. YOU KNOW? I BELIEVE THAT FOR ME, MORE I CAN DO IS I GAIN KNOWLEDGE. THERE IS 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. THERE ARE JUST HAVING MY HANDS ON THE BASEBALL, A BASKETBALL. AND SOCIALLY, TOO, IT DECREASES YOUR SOCIAL CAPACITY. THAT IS WHAT I ENCOURAGE. TWO SPORTS ARE MANDATORY, ONE OF THE THINGS YOU’VE GOT ME TO NO DIFFERENT KIDS FROM ALL OVER. YOU KNOW?>>SO MULTI TASKING IS GOOD FOR YOU? >>MAJORLY. THE MORE I HAVE ON MY PLATE, BETTER OFF I AM. >>IT KEEPS ME MOTIVATED.>>IF THERE ARE EVENTS LIKE THIS, IT MAKES ME WANT TO DO MORE TO SHARE MY STORY. JUST TO GRASP THE IMPACT THAT YOU HAVE HAD. YOU GET BORED EASILY. >>AND MY DAD, GOD REST HIS SOUL WOULD SAY SON, WHEN YOU’RE DEAD, YOU’RE DEAD FOR A LONG TIME. RUSSELL WOULD YOU PLEASE TURN YOUR PAGE? AFTER FINISHING YOUR CAREER WITH THE WISCONSIN BADGERS YOU WERE DRAFTED TO NFL, JOINED SEAHAWKS, LED THEM TO SUPER BOWL 48 WHERE YOU DOMINATED THE BRONCOS. I WAS HERE FOR YOU, BROTHER.>>OUR ONLY THE SECOND BLACK QUARTERBACK TO WIN A SUPER BOWL, JOINING DOUG WILLIAMS WHO WON SUPER BOWL 22, 10 MONTHS BEFORE YOU WERE BORN. HOW DOES THAT FEEL?>>I JUST GOT OLDER. DID BEING AFRICAN AMERICAN, I KNOW YOU WOULD HAVE DONE GREAT BUT WAS IT MORE SPECIAL BECAUSE YOU’RE AFRICAN AMERICAN? YOU’RE MAKING HISTORY?>>I GOT THIS QUESTION A LOT. AND I THINK FOR ME, MY PARENTS NEVER RAISED ME ON RACE. MY GRANDPARENTS — IT WAS NEVER ABOUT RACE BUT INDIVIDUALS. FOR ME, I ALWAYS, MY DAD NEVER TOLD ME BLACK QUARTERBACK OR WHITE QUARTERBACK. IT WAS HOW I WAS GOING TO DO IT. AND SO WHEN I GOT TO MEDIA DAY, I GOT TONS AND TONS OF QUESTIONS. FOR ME, WHEN I’M ON THE FIELD IS THERE ARE 11 I DON’T CARE WHAT RACE THEY ARE, RELIGION THEY’RE, OR SOCIALO ECONOMIC STATUS THEY CAME FROM. IT DOESN’T MATTER. IT COMES DOWN TO WINNING. BUT I DO BELIEVE THAT THERE IS SOMETHING COOL ABOUT BEING THE SECOND IN HISTORY. THE GUYS BEFORE ME, YOU HAVE TO PAY HOMAGE FOR THAT. >>MY BROTHER, IT’S TIME TO TAKE THE PLUNGE. TURNING TO YOUR ANCESTRY. THERE IS YOUR FATHER, BORN NOVEMBER 9, 1954, JACKSON, MISSISSIPPI. HE PLAYED FOOTBALL AND BASEBALL. AND RECEIVED HIS LAW DEGREE FROM UNIVERSITY OF VIRGINIA IN 1980. SADLY HE PASSED AWAY JUNE 9, 2010, COMPLICATIONS TO DIABETES AT THE TENDER AGE OF 55. HOW ARE YOU LIKE YOUR FATHER?>>WELL, MY DAD, THE WAY HE LOVED US ALL. YOU KNOW? PRETTY PERFECT. THE WAY HE TRUE TRULY CARED FOR US ALL. HE WANTED THE BEST FOR US ALL. I THINK ABOUT THE HARD WORK AND QUESTIONS AND IMAGINATION HE GAVE ME. EVERYTHING IS SO IMPORTANT IN THIS SOCIETY. I THINK ABOUT A PARENT. RIGHT? MY DAD FOR EXAMPLE. IMPACT THAT HE, INDIVIDUALLY HAD ON ONE PERSON, ME? RIGHT? MY BROTHER AND SISTER, TOO. BUT JUST ON ME. FROM ALL THE GRIT, LOVE, HUGS AND TEARS. FROM ALL OF THE SADNESS, FRUSTRATION AND HAPPINESS, JOY, PEACE. THE LAST FEW MINUTES AND LAST FEW SECONDS, WHEN I THINK ABOUT THAT, THE IMPACT JUST ON MYSELF, NOW, I GET TO IMPACT A BUNCH OF PEOPLE. IT’S AMAZING HOW ONE PERSON CAN AFFECT A GENERATION. YOU KNOW? SO I WANT TO HAVE THE SAME THING FOR ME. AND YOU KNOW, AND MY MOTHER, SIX YEARS OLDER THAN ME WITH TWO DAUGHTERS. HIS DAUGHTER, GRACY SO INTELLIGENT, SMART, LOVING AND BRIGHT. WHO KNOWS WHAT SHE’S GOING TO BE. HARRY AND I THINK SHE MAY BE AN ASTRONAUT ONE DAY. JUST THE PERSON SHE IS. HIS LITTLE DAUGHTER NORA JUST SO SWEET, TOO. ANGELIC. JUST KIDS, CHILDREN, JUST IN GENERAL. THAT IS ONE IMPACT THAT THIS PERSON, IN THIS PICTURE HAD ON MYSELF, AND I GET TO AFFECT A GENERATION.>>THAT IS BEAUTIFUL, MAN.>>MY DAD CARED SO MUCH, MAKING SURE IT’S JUST RIGHT. I GUESS I’M A PERFECTIONIST. YOU KNOW, I’M I THINK MY DAD WAS SOMEWHAT THAT WAY. WHATEVER IT MAY BE, YOU KNOW, THAT IS SOMETHING I NOTICE. WE WEREN’T TOO MUCH DIFFERENT. YOU KNOW. MY MOM AND I ARE PRETTY CLOSE. MY SISTER SEEMS LIKE ME. YOU KNOW. MY BROTHER, TOO MUCH LIKE HIM. I GUESS THAT IS A GOOD THING. >>YES. YES. >>WE GET TO YOUR MOM’S SIDE LATER. COULD YOU PLEASE TURN THE PAGE? DO YOU RECOGNIZE THAT GOOD LOOKING COUPLE?>>MY GRANDFATHER, AND MY GRANDMA, LUCY.>>YES.>>LUCY REID WILSON. THE PHOTOGRAPH FROM 1976. LUCY BORN SEPTEMBER 23, 1930, IN SOUTH CAROLINA. SHE GRADUATED FROM SOUTH CAROLINA STATE COLLEGE. A LONG, IMPRESSIVE CAREER AS AN ACADEMIC ADMINISTRATOR YOUR GRAND FATHER BORN IN AMSTERDAM, NEW YORK. HE SEEMS LIKE AN AMAZING MAN. FOR COMING OUT OF THE NAVY, AFTER WORLD WAR II HE WENT TO COLLEGE, GRADUATED IN 1950, CUM LAUDE, ENDED UP BEING THE PRESIDENT OF NORFOLK STATE UNIVERSITY FROM 1975-1997 AND TODAY IS 90 YEARS OLD. GIVE IT UP FOR THAT. RIGHT?>>GOOD STORY RIGHT THERE.>>HAS HE BEEN A BIG INFLUENCE ON YOU?>>A LITTLE HARDER. AND IN TERMS OF GROWING UP. JUST THE TIMES HE TOLD ME THESE LONG, LONG STORIES. I’D BE PAYING ATTENTION. JUST ALL OF THE STORIES FROM THE MILITARY. BASKETBALL STORIES AND FOOTBALL STORIES.>>YES.>>YOU KNOW HE WAS A TRUE LEADER. I’VE SEEN PEOPLE IN RICHMOND JUST TO SEE ALL OF THE — AND HEAR, REALLY ALL OF THE PEOPLE TALK ABOUT THE LEGACY.>>IT’S BEEN A COOL THING FOR ME. >>LET’S TAKE A LOOK AT HIS EARLY LIFE. OKAY? WOULD YOU PLEASE TURN THE PAGE?>>DO YOU KNOW WHO THAT IS?>>THERE IS MY GRAND FATHER.>>SO COOL. >>YOUR GRANDFATHER ON THE BASKETBALL TEAM. HIS GRANDFATHER WANTED TO GO TO WANTED TO GO TO UNIVERSITY OF KENTUCKY BUT COULDN’T BECAUSE OF HIS RACE AND THE UNIVERSITY OF KENTUCKY ENDED UP APOLOGIZING. ISN’T THAT GREAT? DID HE TELL YOU ABOUT HIS CAREER?>>ALL THE TIME. HIS JUMP SHOT. AND AT TIMES, HE TOLD ME HE BEAT UP MOHAMMED ALI.>>HE LED THE TIGERS PROGRAM, 16 SEASONS NOW. YOUR GRAND FATHER WAS ONE OF EIGHT CHILDREN BORN TO YOUR GREAT GRANDPARENTS. HAVE YOU HEARD ABOUT THEM?>>I HEARD A LITTLE BIT. NOT TOO MUCH. >>LET’S SEE WHAT WE’RE ABLE TO FIND OUT.>>ALL RIGHT.>>TURN THE PAGE. >>YES.>>DO YOU EVER SEE THAT PHOTO?>>NO.>>LOOKS LIKE AL IN THE BACK. YOU’RE LOOKING AT YOUR GREAT GRANDPARENTS. THIS IS 1949.>>THAT IS OLD. >>I WAS BORN IN 1950. WATCH IT. MARGUERITE BORN IN 1895. AND HE IN 1888. AND THEY MOVED TO AMSTERDAM, NEW YORK WHERE YOUR GRAND FATHER WAS BORN. YOUR GREAT GRANDMOTHER WAS GIVEN THE TITLE NEW YORK’S MOTHER OF THE YEAR BY AMERICAN MOTHERS, AN ORGANIZATION STARTED BY ELEANOR ROOSEVELT. ACCORDING TO HER OBITUARY, SHE AND YOUR GREAT GRANDFATHER SAW TO IT THAT SIX OF THEIR CHILDREN COMPLETED COLLEGE. ISN’T THAT AMAZING? WE WANTED TO FIND OUT WHAT THEIR LIVES WERE LIKE IN KENTUCKY. SO WE BEGAN OUR SEARCH THROUGH THE RECORDS DOWN THERE. WOULD YOU PLEASE TURN THE PAGE? THIS IS A PAGE OF THE 1920 FEDERAL CENSUS FOR KENTUCKY. IN PENNINGTON COUNTY. SO GOING BACK 29 YEARS FROM THAT PHOTO. RIGHT? WOULD YOU PLEASE READ THE SECTION THERE?>>WILSON 31, MARRIED LABOR. IN A TOBACCO. >>THIS TELLS THEM THEY LIVED IN AN ADDRESS CALLED 320 LITHENS STREET. YOUR GREAT GRAND FATHER WERE CONSIDERED MULATTO, “M”. YOU CAN SEE HE WORKED IN A TOBACCO WAREHOUSE. THERE IS OTHER BIT OF INFORMATION. ANY IDEA WHAT O AND S MIGHT STAND FOR? YOUR GREAT GRAND FATHER OWNED HIS OWN FARM. O FOR OWNED AND F, FOR FARM. FREE AND CLEAR. NO MORTGAGE. AND THAT IS WHAT O AND F MEANS. >>HOW DID HE PULL THAT OFF?>>HE MULTI TASKED.>>DID YOU KNOW YOUR FAMILY OWNED LAND IN KENTUCKY?>>NOW, I DO. BUT I DIDN’T KNOW WAY BACK THEN. I DIDN’T THINK OF HOW MUCH. >>WELL, ANY GUESS ABOUT HOW THEY GOT IT?>>LET’S FIND OUT. WOULD YOU PLEASE TURN THE PAGE? THIS IS A CERTIFICATE OF DEATH DATED AUGUST 20, 1911. SO NINE YEARS BEFORE THAT CENSUS. WOULD YOU PLEASE READ THE TRANCE SCRIBED SECTION?>>FULL NAME JOHN L WILSON, COLORED. DATE OF BIRTH, SLAVE. WOW. DATE OF BIRTH, SLAVE. BIRTH PLACE, EAST VIRGINIA. NAME OF FATHER.>>THIS IS A DEATH CERTIFICATE FOR YOUR GREAT, GREAT, GRANDFATHER. THIS IS HARRISON SENIOR’S FATHER, HE INHERITED HIS FARM FROM HIS FATHER, HE LEFT 125 ACRES TO HIS WIFE, UPON DEATH. ISN’T THAT AMAZING? THAT IS A LOT OF LAND, MAN. >>THAT IS A LOT. >>I BET YOU DON’T HAVE 125 OUT THERE?>>NO. ANYBODY LET ME MOW WHY YOU FIND IT. >>THIS TELLS US THAT YOUR SECOND GREAT GRAND FATHER WAS BORN INTO SLAVERY. HAVE YOU EVER THOUGHT ABOUT WHETHER OR NOT YOUR FAMILY HAD BEEN ENSLAVED?>>I KNOW I HAD FAMILY IN SLAVERY. DON’T KNOW WHO OR MORE THAN THAT.>>WE’VE TAKEN YOUR FAMILY BACK INTO SLAVERY WITH THAT ONE DOCUMENT. IT’S DIFFICULT TO MAKE OUT, THE RECORD GIVES US POSSIBLE NAME OF HIS FATHER, TERPENT. HAVE YOU EVER HEARD THAT NAME BEFORE?>>NO.>>LET’S SEE WHAT WE CAN LEARN ABOUT THIS PART OF THE FAMILY. WOULD YOU PLEASE TURN THE PAGE. THIS IS THE 1880 FEDERAL CENSUS RECORD FOR PENDELTON COUNTY, KENTUCKY. WOULD YOU PLEASE READ THE TRANSSCRIBED SECTION?>>WILSON, JOHN, MAYORED OCCUPATION, FARMER. WILSON, MADDY. 38 YEARS, OCCUPATION, KEEPING HOUSE. >>THOSE ARE YOUR GREAT, GREAT, GRANDPARENTS. AND LISTED UNDER NAMES OF THE EIGHT CHILDREN RANGING FROM 15 TO 1 YEAR OLD. GRUR GREAT FATHER WOULDN’T BE BORN ANOTHER EIGHT YEARS BUT THAT IS THEIR FAMILY IN THE YEAR 1880. SO MADDY AND JOHN ARE MARRIED.>>YES. RIGHT. >>MADDY IS MARTHA. >>I SEE. 12 YEARS DIFFERENCE.>>YES. YOU’RE ABOUT 12 YEARS OLDER THAN YOUR FIANCEE?>>NO.>>WE’RE ALMOST THE SAME AGE. >>YOU JUST LOOK 12 YEARS OLDER.>>WOW. THAT’S OKAY.>>AT LEAST I’M NOT 120. OH, OH.>>THINK HE WANTED TO CHANGE THE SUBJECT. FROM EXAMINING A NUMBER OF RECORDS WE’VE DETERMINED YOUR GREAT, GREAT GRAND FATHER WAS BORN ABOUT 1811 IN VIRGINIA AND YOUR GREAT, GREAT GRANDMOTHER IN 1844 SO ONLY SEVEN YEARS. SO WHAT IS IT LIKE TO LEARN THIS? TAKING YOUR FAMILY BACK TO 1830s?>>AMAZING HOW FAR BACK YOU CAN FIND IT. >>MANY AFRICAN AMERICANS CAN’T GO BACK THIS FAR. SLAVERY IS AN ABYSS. SILENCE. DO YOU KNOW WHERE YOUR SURNAME, WILSON COMES FROM?>>WE WONDERED IF HE GOT IT FROM A FORMER SLAVE OWNER AS MANY OF OUR ANCESTORS DID. WE STARTED LOOKING FOR WHITE SLAVE HOLDERS NAMED WILSON WHO LIVED IN KENTUCKY AND AREAS OF VIRGINIA WHERE HE MIGHT HAVE BEEN BORN. THERE ARE NONE THAT FIT THE BILL. SO WE’RE STUMPED, SORRY. WELL, BRIEFLY.>>I KNEW IT HAD TO BE SOMETHING COMING UP.>>WOULD YOU PLEASE TURN THE PAGE?>>WHAT?>>THIS IS A TRANSCRIPT FROM AN INTERVIEW YOUR FATHER GAVE WHILE HE WAS PRESIDENT AT NORFOLK STATE. DATED OCTOBER 6, 1978. WOULD YOU PLEASE READ THE TRANSSCRIBED SECTION.>>MY GRANDFATHER SERVED AS CONFEDERATE COLONEL FOR THREE YEARS DURING THE CIVIL WAR, WHEN THE WAR ENDED HE LEFT AND WENT TO KENTUCKY. >>DO YOU EVER HEAR YOU HAD AN ANCESTOR WHO WAS A SERVANT IN THE CONFEDERACY?>>NO.>>THIS INTERVIEW WAS INTRIGUING AND WE DID DIGGING AND SPOKE WITH YOUR UNCLE BENJIMAN. HE WAS ABLE TO GIVE US A CLUE. HE TOLD US HE THOUGHT YOUR SECOND GREAT GRAND FATHER’S MIDDLE NAME WAS LYLE. SO HE STARTED SEARCHING THROUGH RECORDS FOR A COLONEL FOR LYLE WILSON. AND WE COULDN’T FIND ANY, THEN, KE WE DECIDED TO SEARCH FOR TERPENT AND MADE AN UNEXPECTED DISCOVERY. WOULD YOU PLEASE TURN THE PAGE? THIS IS A MILITARY RECORD FROM NATIONAL ARCHIVES IN WASHINGTON, D.C. WOULD YOU PLEASE READ THE SECTION?>>IT’S TOUGH. CONFEDERATE, LIEUTENANT, COMPANY F. VIRGINIA INFAN TI.>>THOMAS TERPENT. WE BELIEVE THIS LIEUTENANT MAY BE THE COLONEL YOUR GRAND FATHER THOUGHT JOHN LYLE WILSON HAD SERVED AS AN ORDERLY DURING THE CIVIL WAR. WE CAN’T BE SURE. RECORDS ABOUT AFRICAN AMERICANS ARE LIMITED AND MUCH WAS DESTROYED BUT WE KEPT LOOKING FOR EVIDENCE OF YOUR SECOND GREAT GRAND FATHER JOHN LYLE WILSON’S SERVICE. WE EXPANDED OUR SEARCH, WE’RE AMAZED BY WHAT WE DISCOVERED. WOULD YOU PLEASE TURN THE PAGE? THIS IS ANOTHER SERVICE RECORD FROM THE NATIONAL ARCHIVES. >>COMPANY L, 13TH REGIMENT. HEAVY ARTILLERY, JOHN LYLE. HEIGHT, FIVE FEET, NINE INCHES. WOW, SHORT. COMPLEXION, YELLOW, EYES BLACK, HAIR, BROWN. BORN FED FORD COUNTY. OCCUPATION, WAITER. >>DO YOU SEE LETTERS USCT? DO YOU KNOW WHAT THEY STAND FOR?>>UNITED STATES? CONFEDERATE?>>WRONG SIDE.>>UNITED STATES COLORED TROOPS. YOUR SECOND GREAT GRAND FATHER WASN’T SERVING A CONFEDERATE COLONEL. HE WAS FIGHTING FOR THE FREEDOM OF OUR PEOPLE. ISN’T THAT AMAZING? THAT IS YOUR ANCESTOR.>>NEAT.>>DID YOU HAVE AN IDEA ONE OF YOUR ANCESTORS FOUGHT FOR THE NORTH?>>NO. I DIDN’T. I DON’T KNOW MUCH. YOU KNOW? I’M TOO OCCUPIED WITH FOOTBALL AND BASEBALL. THIS IS AMAZING. >>WELL, JOHN LYLE WILSON ENRIGHT AFTER THISSED JANUARY 11TH IN COVINGTON, KENTUCKY. WE BELIEVE IT’S POSSIBLE HE BEGAN AS UNWILLING ORDERLY FOR THE CONFEDERACY. HE MIGHT HAVE SERVED FOR A FEW YEARS, THEN FLED FOR KENTUCKY, A BORDER STATE PART OF THE UNION. ORAL HISTORY OFTEN CONTAINS A GRAIN OF TRUTH. THERE IT IS. YOUR ANCESTOR, YOU SAW “GLORY” RIGHT? DENZEL? THAT WAS YOUR GREAT, GREAT, GRANDFATHER, MAN. HIS REGIMENT WAS FORMED AT CAMP NELSON. AND BY THE END OF 1865, ABOUT 10,000 MEN, OR 40% OF KENTUCKY BLACK SOLDIERS PASSED THROUGH CAMP NELSON. YOUR ANCESTOR WAS ONE OF THEM. NOW, WE HAVE STRAIGHTENED OUT YOUR SECOND GREAT FATHER WE WANTED TO DETERMINE WHAT THE CONNECTION TO THE TERPENT FAMILY WAS. ARE YOU READY?>>YES. >>PLEASE TURN THE PAGE. THIS IS FROM RECORDS OF A FARMER NAMED THOMAS TERPENT IN VIRGINIA. HE IS THE FATHER OF THE CONFEDERATE THOMAS TERPENT. THIS IS PART OF AN APPRAISAL OF HIS PROPERTY. WOULD YOU PLEASE READ THE SECTION. >>10 COWS, $120. TWO STEERS, SIX CALFS, JIM, $1,000, JOHN, $1,000. JOHN? $1,000.>>WE BELIEVE THE MAN NAMED JOHN YOU’RE LOOKING AT THE NAME OF YOUR GREAT, GREAT GRAND FATHER AS A PIECE OF PROPERTY OWNED BY ANOTHER HUMAN BEING.>>WOW.>>WHAT DOES IT FEEL LIKE TO SEE YOUR GREAT, GREAT GRAND FATHER LISTED HERE WITH LIVE STOCK?>>YOU KNOW, NEVER A GOOD THING. IT’S A DIFFERENT TIME PERIOD. BUT IT’S AMAZING TO FIGURE OUT. AMAZING. >>THERE ARE VERY FEW AFRICAN AMERICANS, TO BE ABLE TO FIND THE RECORD WHEN YOU SEE AN ANCESTOR’S NAME AND VALUATION. BY THE WAY, $1,000 THEN IS $29,700 TODAY. YOU’RE WORTH THIS. YOU’RE — YOU BELONG TO ANOTHER HUMAN BEING. IT’S A HEAVY THING TO SEE. >>YES.>>YOU CAN SEE THOMAS TERPENT OWNED 20 OTHER ENSLAVED PEOPLE, INCLUDING A MOTHER AND CHILD. JOHN L WILSON’S DEATH RECORD STATED THAT TERPENT WAS THE NAME OF HIS FATHER, REMEMBER? SO WHAT DO YOU THINK? DO YOU THINK TERPENT COULD BE JOHN’S OWNER? AS WELL AS SLAVE OWNER?>>WELL, WE’VE COLLECTED CIRCUMSTANTIAL EVIDENCE. THE CENSUS, LISTED AS MULATTO. HIS COMPLEXION REPORTED YELLOW. WHICH WAS A MIXED RACE. THE PAPER TRAIL JUST WOULDN’T GET US ANY CLOSER TO SOLVING THIS MYSTERY. SO WE TURNED TO DNA AND LOCATED SEVEN TERPENTS. >>WOW.>>THEY CLAIM DIRECT ANSEFTRY AND COMPARED THEIR DNA WITH YOUR DNA. >>AND?>>WOULD YOU PLEASE TURN THE PAGE?>>THIS IS A LIST SHOWING SEVEN DIFFERENT WHITE TERPENT FAMILY DESCENDENTS WE WERE ABLE TO COMPARE. IF YOU AND OTHER SEGMENTS SHARE DNA YOU SHOULD SEE A CHECK NEXT TO THE NAME. WHAT DO YOU SEE?>>CHECK IN EVERY BOX. >>YOU’RE RELATED TO THE TERPENT FAMILY OF BEDFORD COUNTY, VIRGINIA. YOUR GREAT, GREAT GRAND FATHER WAS LIKELY THE SON OF THE MAN WHO OWNED HIM. THOMAS TERPENT?>>SO HE BOUGHT HIM? HE FATHERED HIM? OH.>>IF I DID DNA OF ALL OF THE BLACK MEN IN THE NFL AND RICHMOND, ALL OF THE BLACK MEN IN THE UNITED STATES, 35% STEM FROM A WHITE MAN WHO HAVE A EUROPEAN Y-DNA. THAT IS HOW MUCH WELL, YOU KNOW, RACE AND I, TOO, STEM FROM AN IRISHMAN BUT FEW KNOW THE NAMES OF THEIR WHITE ANCESTORS AND YOU DO. ISN’T THAT INTERESTING? HOW DOES THAT MAKE YOU FEEL?>>WELL, IT’S KIND OF AMAZING THING. THINKING ABOUT THAT WHOLE THING. IT’S FASCINATING.>>THESE SEVEN WHITE PEOPLE SEE THIS ONLINE? HEY! GOOD TO HEAR FROM YOU, JIM. I DON’T KNOW IF YOU GOT MY LETTER IN THE MAIL, BUT, WE’RE IN SEATTLE. WE’RE COMING TO A GAME. ARE THERE TICKETS? GOOD TO HEAR FROM YOU?>>COUSIN. >>HELLO.>>A HECK OF A FAMILY REUNION, TOO.>>I’D LIKE TO TELL YOU ABOUT ANOTHER LINE. THE AYERS FAMILY. SO LET ME SHOW YOU WHERE THE AYERS FAMILY FITS ON YOUR FAMILY TREE. THIS IS A BREAK OUT TREE, LADIES AND GENTLEMEN. YOU CAN SEE IT THERE. SHOWS US IN DETAIL, THIS BRANCH, ONE BRANCH. STARTS WITH YOU. SEE?>>WILSON, AND THEN, YOU SEE YOUR FATHER, THEN, HIS MOTHER, SHE WAS VOTED MOTHER OF THE YEAR IN 1954. REMEMBER? AND YOUR GREAT GRANDMOTHER WAS A DAUGHTER OF A MAN NAMED ROBERT LEE AYERS BORN IN KENTUCKY AND ELIZABETH BETTY PRICE. THEY’RE YOUR GREAT, GREAT GRANDPARENTS. ROBERT AYERS WORKED AS A JANITOR FOR N.A COURT HOUSE 30 YEARS AND WAS HIGHLY RESPECTED IN THE COMMUNITY. YOUR THIRD GRAND FATHER WAS ALSO NAMED ROBERT AYERS BORN 1836. MARRIED TO A WOMAN NAMED LUCINDA SOUTHGATE, A GREAT NAME, BORN IN FALMOUTH, KENTUCKY. I KNOW YOU’VE NEVER HEARD OF THESE PEOPLE. RIGHT?>>NO.>>WHEN WE INVESTIGATED LUCINDA SOUTHGATE’S BACKGROUND WE STUMBLED ON SOMETHING INCREDIBLE. SOMETHING WE’VE NEVER UNCOVERED.>>NEVER?>>EVER. THIS IS NOW 11 YEARS BEFORE THE BEGINNING OF THE CIVIL WAR. AT THIS POINT, MOST AFRICAN AMERICANS APPEAR ON SLAVE SCHEDULES. JUST LISTED UNDER THE PERSON OF THE WHITE PERSON THAT OWNED THEM. LISTED IN COLOR, MULATTO, BLACK, MALE, FEMALE AND AGE. SEX, NO NAMES. WOULD YOU PLEASE READ?>>ALLEN SOUTHGATE, 45 YEARS OF AGE, BLACK LABORER. JERRY SOUTHGATE, 42, MULATTO. LUCINDA SOUTHGATE, BLACK.>>WE’RE READING THEIR NAMES. DO YOU KNOW WHAT THAT MEANS? THE FACT WE CAN READ THEIR NAMES?>>MUST BE CONNECTED TO SOMETHING. >>THEY WEREN’T SLAVES. THEY WERE FREE. THIS BRANCH OF YOUR FAMILY WAS FREE.>>WOW. >>THEY’D BEEN FREED, FREE PEOPLE OF COLOR. NOT ONLY DO YOU HAVE SLAVES ON THE FAMILY TREE BUT YOU’RE IN THAT SMALL GROUP WHO ALSO HAD PEOPLE IN THE FAMILY TREE WHO WERE FREE.>>FREE, FREE AT LAST. >>YEAH. RIGHT.>>HERE WE CAN SEE YOUR THIRD GREAT GRANDMOTHER LUCINDA, 16 YEAR OLD FREE, YOUNG WOMAN. >>I SEE LUCY. >>THIS DOCUMENT INTRODUCES YOU TO HER PARENTS, YOUR FATHER GRANDPARENTS, GREAT, GREAT, GREAT GRANDPARENTS NAMED CHARITY AND ALLEN. CHARITY, BIRTH 1807 AND ALLEN, 1804. DID YOU EVER THINK YOU’D GO BACK 200 YEARS AGO? AND THEY’D BE FREE? THERE ARE ONLY A FEW WAYS A BLACK PERSON COULD HAVE BEEN FREE IN THE EARLY 1800s. THEY COULD HAVE BEEN A SLAVE WHO RAN AWAY TO THE NORTH. RIGHT?>>SOMETHING ABOUT ESCAPIBILITY. YOU KNOW? RUNS IN THE FAMILY.>>YOU HAVE THE HARRIET TUBMAN GENES. YES. OKAY. TWO, THEY COULD HAVE BEEN SLAVES THAT PURCHASED THEIR OWN FREEDOM. THREE, THEY COULD HAVE BEEN AN ENSLAVED PERSON THAT WERE FREED IN THE WILL OF THEIR OWNER MY MY GRANDPARENTS. YOU KNOW, PEOPLE ON THEIR DEATH BEDS, THEY DIDN’T WANT TO BURN IN HELL. THERE IS A FOURTH ONE. REMEMBER WHITE MEN WHO FATHERED CHILDREN WITH BLACK WOMEN WHO ARE SLAVES. THE OFF SPRING OF A BLACK WOMAN, NO MATTER THE FATHER, WAS A SLAVE. SO IF YOUR MOTHER WAS FREE, YOU CAN BE FREE. HOW DID YOUR ANCESTORS GET FREE? DID THEY RUN? TO THE NORTH. YOU MULTI TASK, RIGHT? YOU COME FROM A LONG LINE OF PRODUCTIVE PEOPLE. COULD THEY HAVE BEEN AN ENSLAVED PERSON? WHAT DO YOU THINK?>>WELL, YOU KNOW, JUSTIFYING THAT OUT.>>AND THAT IS — WHAT DO YOU THINK?>>WOUP TURN THE PAGE. WE NEVER ENCOUNTERED SOMETHING ABOUT YOUR FAMILY TREE. THIS IS FROM PENTELTON COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT IN 1835. IT’S A DEPOSITION. THIS IS A LONG TIME BEFORE THE CIVIL WAR. 16 YEARS BEFORE THE CIVIL WAR BREAKS OUT.>>SAYS CHARITY WAS REPUTED IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD WHERE SHE LIVED TO BE A WHITE WOMAN’S CHILD. AND WAS FED BY EVERY PERSON AND WAS ENTITLED TO HER FREEDOM. >>THIS IS INCREDIBLE. THAT YOUR FATHER GREAT GRANDMOTHER WAS THE DAUGHTER OF A WHITE WOMAN.>>WOW. A WHITE WOMAN WHO SLEPT WITH A BLACK MAN AND HAD A MIXED RACE.>>THAT IS TRICKY STUFF. THAT.>>EVER. NO.>>THAT IS ONE BOLD WHITE WOMAN, BOY, BACK THEN, I TELL YOU THAT! AFTER GOING TO AN INCREDIBLE AMOUNT OF RESEARCH, WE DISCOVERED TESTIMONY CLAIMING CHARITY WAS BORN TO A WHITE WOMAN, MARTHA PATSY PALMER OF LOUDOUN COUNTY, VIRGINIA. IT WAS CONTENDED CHARITY WAS BORN OF A LIAISON BETWEEN PATSY AND YOUR GREAT GREAT GREAT GRANDFATHER WHO WAS A HOUSE SERVANT OF HER BROTHER-IN-LAW. ACCORDING TO THE COURT RECORDS CHARITY STAYED WITH HER MOTHER ABOUT AGE 2 OR 3, THEN SENT TO LIVE WITH A FAMILY FRIEND IN NELSON COUNTY. PROBABLY BECAUSE OF THE PRESSURE FOR HAVING A BLACK CHILD IS ENORMOUS. SHE SENT HER DAUGHTER CHARITY TO LIVE IN KENTUCKY. HOWEVER, YEARS WENT BY, THIS CHILD WAS SOLD INTO SLAVERY. CHARITY WAS.>>OH.>>CAN YOU IMAGINE KNOWING YOU’RE BORN FREE, YOU’RE MULATTO AND BEING HELD ILLEGALLY?>>THAT IS WORSE. >>YES. >>WOW.>>LET’S SEE WHAT SHE DID ABOUT IT. WOULD YOU PLEASE TURN THE PAGE? THIS IS ONE OF THE FEW ORIGINAL, HAND WRITTEN PAPERS RELATING TO THIS CASE FROM THE COURT HOUSE. MOST HAD BEEN LOST. SO WE’RE LUCKY TO HAVE THEM. SO 21 YEARS PRIOR.>>CHARITY A WOMAN OF COLOR BY JOSHA PURNELL, HER NEXT FRIEND. COMPLAINANT? AGAINST DAVID L PALMER READS THOMAS JEFFERSON, JUST KIDDING.>>I KNEW YOU GUYS COULDN’T READ CURSIVE.>>RIGHT. THIS DAY CAME THE COMPLAINANT BY HER ATTORNEY AND TENDERED HER BILL FOR CHANCERY IN COURT. IN CHANCERY FOR THE PURPOSE OF ASSERTING HER RIGHT TO FREEDOM, BEING SWORN TO BY THE SAID COLONEL IS ORDERED TO BE FILED. >>YOUR FATHER GREAT GRANDMOTHER, JUST 18 SUED HER SLAVE OWNERS FOR HER FREEDOM.>>WHO SUED?>>CHARITY, YOUR FATHER GREAT GRANDMOTHER SUED ASSERTING HER RIGHT TO FREEDOM. ISN’T THAT INCREDIBLE? NOW, AT THE CONCLUSION HER OWNER AGREED TO EMANCIPATE HER BUT SAID ONLY TEN YEARS IN. SO HE MADE HER WAIT UNTIL SHE’S 28 YEARS OLD. WITHIN A YEAR OF THE LAWSUIT, 1825 CHARITY MARRIED YOUR FATHER GREAT GRAND FATHER ALLEN SOUTHGATE AND SHE’S WAITING TO BE FREE. SHE HAD, SO IT’S — >>ALLEN IS AFRICAN AMERICAN?>>YES. AFRICAN AMERICAN.>>WHO IS ALLEN?>>HE WAS A SLAVE. >>ALLEN WAS A SLAVE.>>SHE’S A SLAVE, A YEAR INTO THIS THING. SAID I’M IN LOVE WITH ALLEN.>>GOT ENGAGED JUST LIKE YOU D RIGHT? THEY GOT MARRIED IN 1825. THAT IS WITHIN A YEAR OF THE LAWSUIT, RIGHT? THE NEXT DECADE SHE HAD FIVE CHILDREN. AND REMEMBER, SHE’S WAITING TO BE FREE. AND ON JUNE 8, 1834, HER EMANCIPATION WAS EXPECTED BUT WASN’T GRANTED. THE GUY REFUSED TO FREE HER. WHAT DO YOU THINK SHE DID?>>SHE TOOK OFF. ESCAPIBILITY.>>NO. SHE WAS JOINED BY HER ELDER SON SUED AGAIN. AND THIS TIME, SHE SUED NOT ONLY HER FREEDOM BUT THAT OF HER FIVE CHILDREN WHOM SHE ARGUED SHOULD HAVE BEEN FREED, GIVEN HER RIGHTFUL STATUS. AND IF SHE IS FREE, HER CHILDREN WERE FREE THOUGH ALLEN WAS A SLAVE. SHE WENT TO COURT, AGAIN. WHAT DO YOU THINK HAPPENED TO CHARITY AND HER CHILDREN?>>SHE WAS LET GO?>>THEY COULD HAVE BEEN SOLD DOWN THE RIVER IN NEW ORLEANS. OR, IT WAS ROUGH. DO YOU THINK SHE MADE IT?>>DID SHE BECOME FREE AT SOME POINT?>>I DON’T KNOW. TURN THE PAGE. SHE’S NOT FREE YET. ALL RIGHT. THIS IS A TRANSCRIPTION OF THE DECISION MADE ON MARCH 25, 1847.>>CURRENTLY SHE’S A SLAVE SUING TRYING TO GET HER FREE AND HER CHILDREN FREE. THIS IS 23 YEARS AFTER FIRST SUING FOR HER FREEDOM. WOULD YOU PLEASE READ THE TRANSSCRIBED SECTION?>>LUCY, ELSIE, REBECCA, CHARLOTTE AND MINERVA, INFANTS UNDER 21 YEARS OF AGE BROUGHT THIS SUIT BY THEIR MOTHER, CHARITY A WOMAN OF COLOR BUT ENTITLED TO FREEDOM AS ALL PARTIES ADMIT AS EARLY AS 8, JUNE, 1834. AT 28 YEARS OF AGE. >>I CANNOT DOUBT THE RIGHT TO DECLARE FREE AND INDEPENDENT PERFECT ALL SERVICE TO ANY PERSON OR PERSONS.>>YEAH! HERE BY ABSOLVING THEM FROM THIS DAY, EVER.>>SHE WON HER LAST CASE. >>WHO IS THE JUDGE?>>HE WAS A GOOD MAN. >>SHE WON HER LAST CASE IN A SERIES OF LAWSUITS, 23 YEARS AFTER SHE FIRST SUED FOR FREEDOM. SHE DIDN’T GIVE UP. SHE HAD TREMENDOUS TENACITY. SHE SAID I DESERVE TO BE FREE. I’LL LEGALLY FREE. THEY’RE NOT GOING TO BEAT ME. SHE HUNG IN THERE, BROTHER FREED HERSELF AND HER FIVE CHILDREN. >>SO COOL. >>AMAZING STORY. AND THAT IS NOT ALL, IN 1846, 1 YEAR BEFORE THE CASE WAS SETTLED SHE PURCHASED THE FREEDOM OF HER HUSBAND ALLEN SOUTHGATE. >>HOW DID SHE DO THAT?>>IT’S INTERESTING. WE DID RESEARCH ABOUT THIS TODAY. I KNEW YOU’D ASK THAT QUESTION. I WAS HOPING. A SLAVE HAD NO LEGAL STATUS TO GO INTO COURT. BUT SHE SAVED MONEY. AND SHE MADE A DEAL WITH HER, THE MAN ALLEN’S OWNER, AND SHE HAD TO TRUST HE WOULD WHEN SHE PAID, THAT HE WOULD HONOR HIS WORD AND FREE HER HUSBAND. AND HE DID.>>A YEAR BEFOREHAND?>>YES. >>ONE YEAR BEFORE THIS CASE WAS FINALLY SETTLED.>>SO HUSBAND WAS FREE BUT SHE WASN’T FREE?>>NOT UNTIL PENDING THAT ONE YEAR. SHE HAD TO BELIEVE SHE’S GOING TO BE FREE AND SHE WAS FREED.>>SO ALLEN WAS FREE. THEY WERE SLAVES AND HE HUNG AROUND?>>GOOD MAN. >>THAT IS TRUE. THEY HUNG AROUND AND HAD TEN CHILDREN TOGETHER INCLUDING YOUR THIRD GREAT GRANDMOTHER. >>I’D BE HAPPY, TOO.>>INCLUDING YOUR THIRD GREAT GRANDMOTHER, LUCINDA, BORN IN 1836. ISN’T THAT AN AMAZING STORY? YOU CAN’T EVEN MAKE THAT UP. TRUTH IS STRANGER THAN FICTION. THAT IS YOUR FATHER’S FAMILY TREE.>>GOOD. SO GOOD. >>NOW, LET’S TURN TO YOUR MOM’S SIDE. >>KEEP GOING. >>RIGHT.>>WOULD YOU PLEASE TURN THE PAGE. >>WHO IS THAT BEAUTIFUL WOMAN? THAT IS YOUR MOTHER. THIS IS HER UNIVERSITY OF VIRGINIA YEAR BOOK PHOTO FROM 1981. SHE WAS A MEMBER OF THE UNIVERSITY JUDICIARY ARBITRATION BOARD AND NAACP. HOW ARE YOU MOST LIKE YOUR MOM?>>MY MOM’S FAITH IS SO STRONG. SHE’S ONE OF THOSE LADIES THAT IS UNWAVERING. YOU KNOW? SHE’S GOT A HARD HEADED SENSE IN A GOOD WAY.>>HOW ARE YOU DIFFERENT THAN YOUR MOM?>>I’M NOT TOO MUCH DIFFERENT THAN MY MOM AND DAD, HONESTY.>>WOULD YOU PLEASE TURN THE PAGE?>>CAROLYN. YOUR GRANDMA MA. YOUR MOTHER WAS RAISED IN VIRGINIA. RIGHT? BY HER GRANDMOTHER FLORA. HER MOTHER WENT TO NEW YORK CITY TO PURSUE A CAREER AND WE LEARNED CAROLYN WORKED AS AN OFFICER FOR WEST MINISTER BANK IN THE EMPIRE STATE BUILDING. IN 1990, YOUR GRANDMOTHER RETURNED TO VIRGINIA. AND DO YOU KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT YOUR MOM’S FAMILY?>>NO. NOT AT ALL. >>FOR A NUMBER OF REASONS IDENTITY OF YOUR MOTHER’S FATHER HAS BEEN A TURNER FAMILY SECRET AND WITH THEIR BLESSING WE CAN NOW REVEAL WHO HE WAS. WOULD YOU PLEASE TURN THE PAGE?>>THIS WILL BE MY — GRANDFATHER?>>YES.>>THAT IS YOUR GRANDFATHER. ALEXANDER BROOKS JACKSON, PASSING AWAY MARCH 23, 1981. HE’S YOUR GRANDFATHER. HE WAS A DISTINGUISHED PAINTER RECEIVING HIS BACHELOR’S DEGREE FROM YALE.>>AFRICAN AMERICAN AT YALE? PAINTING?>>YES. HE GOT HIS BFA IN THE MID 1950s. BEST KNOWN FOR PAINTINGS WHICH ARE OWNED BY PRESIDENT JOHNSON.>>I KNEW I HAD ARTISTIC SKILLS.>>PERHAPS MOST CELEBRATED ARE THE PORCH PEOPLE PAINTINGS. ONE ARCRYLIC PIECE IS ACTUALLY DISPLAYED, YOU CAN SEE IT TOMORROW AT VIRGINIA MUSEUM OF FINE ARTS HERE IN RICHMOND.>>WOW. >>NOW ARE YOU GOING TO GO SEE IT?>>OF COURSE. YES. I’M GOING TO GET PIECES FROM MY HOUSE.>>YOU CAN’T DO IT. DO YOU DOES IT FEEL TO KNOW YOUR MATERNAL GRANDFATHER IS A FAMOUS PAINTER?>>I NEVER GOT TO KNOW MY GRANDFATHER. THROUGHOUT HE USED TO MAKE ME FISHING AND HANG OUT, SO THAT IS THE GRANDFATHER I KNEW IN TERMS OF THAT SIDE OF THE FAMILY. SO AN AMAZING MAN. YOU KNOW? SO, TO FIND THIS OUT IS — THIS IS SO, I THINK FAMOUS PAINTER AND PRESIDENTIAL STUFF AND I HAVE TO GET SOME OF THE STUFF IN YOUR HOUSE.>>ALEXANDER JACKSON BORN IN NEW HAVEN, SON OF A BLACK FATHER A RAILROAD PORTER. AND MOST BIOGRAPHIES STATE HIS MOTHER WAS A WHITE IRISH WOMAN. BUT I RESEARCHED THROUGH THE CENSUS SHOWS HER MOTHER, YOUR GREAT, GREAT GRANDMOTHER WAS A WHITE WOMAN FROM MANCHESTER, ENGLAND. SHE WAS ENGLISH.>>GOOD THING I SPEAK ENGLISH.>>SO NOW, I’D LIKE TO TURN BACK TO YOUR MOTHER’S MOTHER’S LINE. OKAY. WOULD YOU PLEASE TURN THE PAGE?>>MOM. OKAY. >>YES. ANOTHER BREAK OUT TREE FROM A LARGER FAMILY TREE. THIS IS FOR YOUR MATERNAL TURNER LINE, RIGHT? THERE YOU ARE. THERE IS YOUR MOTHER, AND HER MOTHER, AND YOUR GREAT GRAND FABLGER HERMAN TAYLOR. HE LIVED IN NEWPORT, VIRGINIA WORKING IN THE SHIP YARD AS A PAINTER. HIS PARENTS, YOUR GREAT, GREAT, GRANDPARENTS WERE NAMED REDDING TURNER AND VIRGINIA BORN IN SUSSEX, AND REDDING ABOUT JANUARY, 1866 JUST ONE YEAR AFTER THE END OF THE CIVIL WAR IN SOUTH HAMPSON, VIRGINIA. REDDING WORKED MANY JOBS. A FARMER, SAW MILL, AND THEN, LATER IN A FACTORY. HAVE YOU EVER HEARD ABOUT THE TURNER FAMILY?>>NO.>>WOULD YOU PLEASE TURN THE PAGE? THIS IS 1880 CENSUS. WOULD YOU PLEASE READ THE SECTION?>>TURNER, WASHINGTON, BLACK. 40, MARRIED OCCUPATION, FARMER. TURNER, ISABEL, BLACK, 38 YEARS OLD, WIFE. TURNER, REDIC 15, OCCUPATION, FARM LABORER. TURNER, MINERVA, MOTHER, WIDOW.>>YOU CAN SEE YOUR GREAT, GREAT, GRANDFATHER AS A 15 YEAR OLD BOY WORKING AND WASHINGTON AND ISABEL ARE HIS PARENTS. WE COMPARED WITH OTHER DOCUMENTS, WE BELIEVE YOUR GREAT, GREAT GRANDFATHER WAS BORN 1838 IN SOUTH HAMPTON COUNTY, VIRGINIA. AND THIS INTRODUCES YOU TO YOUR FATHER GREAT GRANDMOTHER BORN ABOUT 1805 IN VIRGINIA. ALL OF THEM WERE BORN INTO SLAVERY. DID YOU THINK WE’D BE ABLE TO NAME ONE OF YOUR ENSLAVED ANCESTOR?>>I DIDN’T THINK BACK TO MY GRAND FATHER ON THAT SIDE OF THE FAMILY. AND I THINK ABOUT MY GRANDMOTHER, CAROLINE. JUST AN AMAZING WOMAN. SO DEAR. DIDN’T THINK ABOUT GOING BACK TO MINERVA TURNER IN 1800 IS JUST, THAT IS CRAZY.>>WE HAVE BRITTON TURNER LISTED AS 60 YEARS OLD, TELLING US YOUR FOURTH GREAT GRAND FATHER. >>BRITTON?>>YES. BRITTON. AND WHEN YOUR FOURTH GREAT GRANDPARENTS WERE 20 THEY WITNESSED ONE OF THE MOST INFAMOUS EVENTS IN AMERICAN HISTORY. WOULD YOU PLEASE TURN THE PAGE? THIS IS A WOOD CARVING OF NAT TURNER’S REBELLING. YOU’VE HEARD OF NAT TURNER’S REBELLION?>>YES.>>THE BLOODIEST SLAVE REVOLT IN AMERICAN HISTORY. NATE TURNER AND KILLED ABOUT 60 PEOPLE, THE MAJORITY WOMEN AND CHILDREN. TROOPS KILLED MORE THAN 100 ENSLAVED PEOPLE. 13 MORE ENSLAVED PEOPLE AND FREE BLACK PEOPLE WERE HANGED. AND AFTERWARDS, 50 AFRICAN AMERICANS WERE ACCUSED OF CONSPIRACY AND PUT ON TRIAL. AND ON NOVEMBER 11, 1831, NAT TURNER EXECUTED IN THE TOWN OF JERUSALEM IN SOUTH HAMPTON COUNTY, WHICH IS WHERE WE BELIEVE YOUR TURNER ANCESTORS LIVED AT THAT TIME. THEY HAD THE SAME SURNAME, WE FOUND NO EVIDENCE CONNECTING YOUR TURNER ANCESTORS TO NAT TURNER BUT WOULD HAVE KNOWN EACH OTHER. IT’S AMAZING. I NEVER MET ANYBODY WHO DESCENDED FROM ANYONE WHO KNEW NAT TURNER. CAN YOU IMAGINE BEING NAMED TURNER LIVING IN THE SAME COUNTY AS NAT TURNER? LIKE I DON’T KNOW NO NAT TURNER? I LIVE HERE.>>TURNING EVERY CORNER. WOW.>>HOPE YOU CATCH HIM, GOOD LUCK!>>WE SPELL IT DIFFERENT. TWO T’S.>>WHILE MILITIA SPRANG UP AND SCORES OF AFRICAN AMERICANS WERE MURDERED. IN RESPONSE THE STATE LEGISLATOR PASSED CRUSHING NEW LAWS PROHIBITING EDUCATION OF ENSLAVED AND FREED BLACK PEOPLE AS WELL AS RESTRICTING THEIR RIGHT OF ASSEMBLY. YET, DESPITE EVERYTHING YOUR ANCESTORS SURVIVED AND WHEN FREEDOM CAME, THEY WERE READY. THIS IS A PAGE OF A POLL BOOK AS PART OF EXHIBITION OF THE LIBRARY OF VIRGINIA.>>I SEE BRITTON TURNER AND WASHINGTON TURNER. >>IT MEANS BRITTON TURNER AND HIS SON REGISTERED TO VOTE. IN SOUTH HAMPTON VIRGINIA AS SOON AS THEY LET FREE BLACK PEOPLE DO THAT. >>ISN’T THAT GREAT?>>WHO WAS THE PRESIDENT IN 1857? I WANT HOW SMART YOU ARE. >>LET’S SEE. ABRAHAM LINCOLN WAS ASSASSINATED. RIGHT? WHO FOLLOWED HIM? THERE YOU GO. AND THEN, WHO FOLLOWED JOHNSON? A LOT OF STUDENTS.>>GRANT. RIGHT.>>AND THIS IS A BIG DEAL. TWO YEARS AFTER EMANCIPATION, THE RIGHT TO VOTE, AND TODAY, WE BEG TO REGISTER TO VOTE. AND YOUR ANCESTORS, AS SOON AS THEY COULD, THEY VOTED. WE HAVE A DOCUMENT SHOWING DO YOU KNOW HOW RARE THAT IS? YOU CAN SEE YOUR ANCESTORS REGISTERED TO VOTE? AND I’M PROUD OF YOUR FAMILY!>>YES. >>IN THE INTEREST OF TIME, I CAN SHOW YOU MORE OF YOUR FAMILY TREE. HERE, IN THE INTEREST OF TIME. >>DO I TURN THE SNAJ. >>NO. NOT YET. I SAID WE HAD TWO GIFTS. THIS IS YOUR BOOK OF LIFE. THERE IS ONLY ONE COPY IN THE WORLD. YOU’RE GOING TO TAKE THIS. THIS IS YOUR WHOLE FAMILY TREE. WOULD YOU UNFURL THERE? AN AMAZING FAMILY TREE.>>I SHOULD STAND UP FOR THIS, RIGHT?>>JUST UNFURL THAT ON THE TABLE.>>THAT IS INCREDIBLE. THAT IS AMAZING. EVERYBODY IN THE SERIES GETS IT FRAMED. OPRAH HAS HIS FRAMED AND QUINCY HAS HIS FRAMED. >>HOLD ON.>>THERE IS COOL STUFF HERE YOU HAVEN’T SEEN YET. >>IT IS. OH, MAN. IT IS AMAZING.>>THIS IS GOOD. GOOD.>>ON YOUR MATERNAL SIDE WE’RE ABLE TO GO BACK. THAT IS YOUR MOM’S SIDE.>>SHOULD I KEEP THIS OPEN?>>YES. ON YOUR MOM’S SIDE, WE’RE ABLE TO GO BACK TO MINERVA TURNER, BORN IN VIRGINIA IN 1805. THROUGH CHARITY’S WHITE MOTHER, PATSY PALMER, WHERE IS CHARITY? THERE IS CHARITY. THERE YOU GO.>>THROUGH, GET READY FOR THIS. THIS IS GOOD.>>THROUGH CHARITY’S WHITE MOTHER PATSY PALMER AND THOMAS TERPENT WE’RE ABLE TO TRACE YOUR FATHER’S LINE TO THE BISHOP OF MET, BORN IN 582 AD. ARNIFF THE THIRD GREAT GRANDFATHER OF CHARLAMAGNE, LEADER OF THE HOLY ROMAN EMPIRE.>>YOU WEREN’T EXPECTING THAT, WERE YOU?>>LOOK AT THAT.>>JOHN, THE KING OF ENGLAND, HENRY III, EDWARD I. IT IS AMAZING. THIS IS WHAT THEY USED TO CALL ANOTHER NEGRO FIRST.>>OH, MAN. >>THIS IS YOUR FAMILY TREE. >>KING OF ENGLAND?>>THERE YOU GO.>>ISN’T THAT AMAZING?>>BISHOP?>>YES. >>LIKE THE METS.>>CHARLAMAGNE. >>WE CAN REPLICATE THIS FOR YOUR FAMILY. >>HOW MUCH WILL THAT COST? BECAUSE I KNOW THE TERPENT FAMILY IS GOING TO BE CALLING ME. I’M TRYING TO GET MY FINANCIAL ADVISORS.>>LISTEN, PROBABLY LESS THAN YOUR GRAND FATHER’S PAINTING. >>TELL YOU WHAT, I’LL TRADE YOU.>>HEY.>>ALL THE FAMILY TREES FOR ONE ORIGINAL OF YOUR GRAND FATHER’S PAINTINGS. >>THIS IS AMAZING. >>NOW WE HAVE TO WRAP. LOOKING AT YOUR DNA. >>NOBODY LOOKS AT THIS.>>OKAY. >>THIS CAN GOING TO BE MY KINGDOM.>>IT’S TRUE. ALL YOURS, BROTHER. WE GAVE YOU THREE DNA TESTS. THE FIRST ONE IS CALLED AD-MIXTURE TEST. IT REVEALS BACK 500 YEARS. EVERY BLACK AMERICAN, IF I SAID ALL AFRICAN AMERICANS HERE TOLD YOU’RE GREAT, GREAT GRANDMOTHER HAD HIGH CHEEK BONES AND STRAIGHT BLACK HAIR BECAUSE THEY’RE NATIVE AMERICAN? CLAP IF YOU HEARD THAT ABOUT YOUR FAMILY. HAVE YOU EVER HEARD THAT, RUSSELL?>>YES. FOR SURE. >>OKAY.>>SO WE’RE GOING TO FIND OUT IF YOU DO. AD-MIXTURE IS REALLY FUNNY. YOU KNOW? YOU NEVER KNOW BY LOOKING. I’M A LOT 50-50, BLACK AND WHITE. 48.6% SUB-SAHARAN AFRICAN. SO LET’S SEE WHAT YOURS IS. CAN YOU TURN THE PAGE?>>YES. >>52% AFRICAN AMERICAN. 36% EUROPEAN. 1% WEST ASIAN AND 1% ASIA CENTRAL. >>YOU WERE HOPING TO HAVE NATIVE AMERICAN, BUT LIKE ALL OF THE OTHER BLACK PEOPLE IN HERE, YOU HAVE DONE. YOU HAVE NONE. YOU DON’T HAVE A TINY ISLAND.>>I DON’T SEE THIS AND IT’S ABOVE MADAGASCAR. WE CAN BREAKDOWN TO A NEW FEATURE PART OF DNA COMPANY. SO LET’S SEE. WOULD YOU PLEASE TURN THE PAGE? THESE ARE THE MODERN DAY COMPANIES YOU SHARE DNA.>>27% CONGO. 10% GHANA. 9% NIGERIA. 6% MALI. 5% TOGO. 2% NORTH AFRICAN. 2% SENEGAL AND LESS THAN 1%. AFRICA SOUTH CENTRAL HUNTER AND GATHERERS.>>BUT THERE ARE 0 SPACE SHUTTLES THERE.>>I’M GOING TO STICK WITH CHARLAMAGNE. >>THAT IS LESS THAN 1% AFRICAN SOUTH CENTRAL. HUNTER, GATHERER. >>YES.>>SO YOU SEE NONE OF OUR ENSLAVED ANCESTORS CAME FROM AFRICA. >>LET’S WRAP UP. END OF THE JOURNEY. HAVE A FASCINATING FAMILY TREE. WHAT DO YOU THINK MAKES US WHO WE ARE? OUR EXPERIENCES? OUR DNA? MOTHER, FAMILY? BEATING YOUR BROTHER IN BASEBALL? BASKETBALL? WHAT SHAPES US?>>GOES BACK TO LOVING PEOPLE. YOU KNOW? THAT IS WHAT I FIND. LOVING, THE LOVE SHE HAD FOR HER CHILDREN. AND THE NEED TO BE FREE AND SAVE HER CHILDREN, HER HUSBAND, FIRST. YOU KNOW? THE LOVE MY GRANDMA HAS FOR MY MOM. AND EVERY DAY, SHE CALLS ME, FAMILY MEMBERS ARE HERE TONIGHT TO BE GOING BACK TO HISTORY, AND THINK ABOUT JUST THE LOVE I HAVE THIS FROM MY MOM AND DAD. GOING BACK TO THAT. TO GROW AS A CULTURE. AND COMMUNITY. AND PEOPLE. YOU KNOW, SOMETIMES, YOU HAVE TO FORGET WHAT THAT AMERICAN LOOKS LIKE. YOU HAVE TO FORGET WHAT THAT PERSON CAN AND CAN DOT DO AND DOES HAVE AND DOESN’T HAVE. BECAUSE YOU CAN DO THAT. BEAUTIFUL. BEAUTIFUL. BEAUTIFUL. LIKE A POET.>>GREAT. GREAT.>>RUSSELL WILSON, THANK YOU FOR THE HONOR.>>THANK YOU. >>OF INTRODUCING ME TO YOUR ANCESTOR. >>THANK YOU.>>THANK YOU.>>GREAT.>>THANK YOU.>>GREAT.>>THANK YOU. AND NOBODY TRY TO STEAL THIS BOOK. IT’S MINE.>>THANK YOU VERY MUCH RUSSELL. DR. GATES THANK YOU FOR A WONDERFUL EVENING. THANK YOU. THANK YOU.>>THANK YOU.>>THANK YOU, BROTHER. >>THANK YOU. WELL, FIRST THANK YOU FOR HAVING ME, IT’S BEEN UNBELIEVABLEFUL I’LL HAVE TO COME BACK TO RICHMOND TO DO THIS. IT’S AMAZING. GOES BACK TO LOVING PEOPLE. YOU KNOW? THAT IS WHAT I TRY TO DO EVERY DAY. JUST LOVE ON PEOPLE. I’M GRATEFUL FOR THE PEOPLE THAT LOVE ME, IN THIS ROOM. I HAVE A LOT MORE TO DO AND GO, I’M LOOKING FORWARD TO IT.

100 thoughts on “Russell Wilson with Dr. Henry Louis Gates, Jr. at The Richmond Forum

  1. whoa! HenryGatesJr, way to deliver the academic research. That was super phenomenal. 2nd Quarterback of AfricanAmerican descent to win SuperBowl… only 1 distinction that demonstrates the outstanding achievements of Wilson.

  2. I have always been a fan and followed the stories of Dr. Gates on his program for years, he and his team are some of the foundations of helping individuals come to terms with the prejudices and misunderstandings that we have been working to keep at bay and striving against ignorant thinkers. The power of knowledge is not just knowing but giving ignorance an option for ourselves and others to overcome and make a turn around. The best way for this is a united brotherhood and this team highlights the fact. Thank you and I'll look forward with anticipation for more sessions.

  3. I so wish I could have this done and have a book like this with the color charts. I'm stuck in my research and spinning my wheels.

  4. Why are black African American men athletes especially NFL quarterbacks with the exception of few always act like church mouses when the camera is right in front of their face. For all that we know about the NFL and its racism in the 60s, 70,s 80s towards African American quarterbacks, Russell wants to sit there and lie that his parents never once even made mentioned to him about being black and playing quarterback in NFL? I find that to believe. Russell is BSing. Now you know your ancestors were listed as a property.

  5. I'd like to know personally what the hell is so honorable about a University that denied a black person entry and then so many years later give a posthumous honorary degree to him. As as if black people are supposed to be smiling and happy by that gesture. I would have told them they could keep it.

  6. WHY does Mr. gates help the Rich instead of the Average person learn about THIER family history. I GUESS. RHEY DON'T HAVE ENOUGH MONEY A

  7. His 4th great grandmother was born to a white woman and a black man in 1804. This let's me know that Black men and white women were getting together too.

  8. See women. When ciara fell for a man with a bunch of kids from different women and chose to have 1 with him and and even engaged. Look how it turned out. When she gave the " nice guy " the chance, she got respect from a good man. A good man that doesn't think it's ok to spread his seed to the whole community. Also loves her immensely and her child. Great nice guy and a lovely woman. So happy for them both

  9. Why is Gates slow to say the slaves were raped and that's why Wilson's great grandfather was owned by his own daddy. To infer marriage was also an option is absurd. You could not marry your property.

  10. ANCESTRY ALWAYS LINK BLACK PEOPLE WITH WHITE ANCESTRY, BUT RARELY LINK WHITE PEOPLE WITH BLACK ANCESTRY, EVEN THOUGH MANY OF THEM DO HAVE IT….. I'M ALWAYS LOOKING FOR BLACK ANCESTRY TO HOOK UP WITH MANSA MUSA, RAMSES, HANNIBAL, TUT, NEFERTITI, ASKIA MUHAMMAD, SUNDIETA KEITA HE HE. I AM NEVER TRYING TO FIND OUT IF MY ANCESTRY INCLUDE GEORGE BUSH, DONALD TRUMP AND GEORGE WASHINGTON he he he. Also I notice that these ancestral roots only goes back to SLAVERY, then come to a COMPLETE STOP, as if Black history started on the white mans plantation and moved forward……Good entertainment for me, but i don't honor this kind of mess…

  11. My heart always breaks for African Americans when they discuss where their last name came from. It almost like the crime of slavery keeps getting passed on from father to son for generations.

  12. I would really love to know if Russell was ever able to acquire any of his grandfathers art pieces like the one on display at the virginia museum of fine art "ghetto sketch # 1"

  13. Russell Wilson is a man with much personality and boy can he TALK. Ciara don't ever have to worry about being bored because he is plenty of company!

  14. Amazing story but at times it seemed Russell did not appreciate his roots or wasn’t comprehending the significance. Or perhaps still trying to process all this newfound information. Ironically many of this ancestors were educated yet he never seen the word “colonel”. Despite his wealth, fame and status I hope he educates himself. Based on this video, it would seem apparent his ancestors would have loved that.

  15. Gates said he had never come across a situation where a white woman gave birth to a mixed-race child during slavery, but he did an episode on Finding your Roots with Wanda Sykes where the woman who started her maternal line was also a white woman. I've heard of other stories like that so I don't know why he's acting like it was unheard of.

  16. elite people stay elite one of the most talented humans in the word is a decedent from the talented humans of the time.

  17. VERY INSPIRATIONAL WITH GOD ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE.THIS WHAT'S MISSING IN BLACK FAMILIES TODAY.GOD.YOUR MOM IS A NURSE SHOUT OUT TO HER SO AM I.I THINK YOU AND YOUR MOM SHOULD DO MOTIVATIONAL SPEAKING.

  18. MY LAST NAME I CAN'T STAND IT WITCHER WOULD BE INTERESTING TO KNOW THE HISTORY BEHIND SUCH A WICKED NAME.

  19. My 3x great grandfather owned a very large farm. Our family still owns it. I had two ancestors fight for the Colored Troops too. We are related to our white owners. I know their names. We changed our last name later.

  20. Dr. Gates historical knowledge is quite limited about Free People of Color and their experiences. The laws were changed in the early 1800s to outlaw manumissions. The children of Free People of Color were required by law to relinquish their children to the state. Prior to the Civil War, the laws were changed rapidly by the Southern states to keep FPC enslaved! Based on the information, it is highly likely that both sides of Wilson's Family Tree were FPC.

  21. It seems hard for him to grasp the gravity of the information at times ; the lessons learned from this ….. start telling your children their history the moment they are able to walk ….. history makes your walk differently
    "Charity's" story, will forever change my posture & walk !

  22. I cant stand to hear race neutral Black ppl. Be colorBlind all u want russell. So many of Us Black ppl catch hell all day especially from laws that our poor and uneducated parents cant shield is from. I pray they never snatch ur given wealth from u. U think poor ppl havent earned what u get?

  23. Thank you for sharing this video. It was one of the best I have seen and answered so many historical questions for me.

  24. Wow just watched this for the first time and figured out we are distant cousins as we most likely all are, that what I have learned doing genealogy all my life.

  25. With ALL DUE respect, what a sweetie pie!! Thank-you Dr. Henry Louis Gates Jr., for the amazing work you and your team do, to enlighten us all about our beautifully interwoven human heritage!

  26. Mandigo! I hope he gets his artistic heritage back into the family. Charity gave freedom to her husband and her children.

  27. Love Henry Louis Gates and his Family History work! This is another incredible Family history account… fantastic!!!!

  28. Dr. Gates is wonderful, he warms my heart every time I see him invest in our ancestral life. Russell is a comical guy, what a fascinating family story.

  29. As an Aussie I have no idea about the NFL, so of course I had no idea who Russell Wilson was.
    But want a sweet man he is, one a mother can obviously be very proud of.
    I do love the episodes of Finding your Roots I find on YouTube.
    But this was wonderful do ‘dive’ into more detail of a persons life.
    Thanks for sharing.

  30. Why couldn't they have been Black Native America's that were already here. All blacks did not come over on slave ship.

  31. Why did they hide who the grandfather was? That to me is an interesting story. Was he married, did he not want the child, did she hide the pregnancy?

  32. Hot Damn, you folks done gots slavery on the brain. Every conversation moonwalks it’s way back to the worse part of your history, even though it never happened to anyone still walking the Earth. Let us pray that y’all get over the sweet opium of victimhood…..soon.

    You’re welcome.

  33. RW acts clueless about slavery and the dynamics between us and white ppl. The only emotion he can describe is "amazing". He's way too excited to meet his white cousins (descendants of rapists).. Im not impressed with Ciaras new boo

  34. Yes Very Good Man Ciara is Extremely Lucky and So is Russell God put you and him together!!!!! Excellent Role Models!!!

  35. Enjoyed this vlog. Ciara is blessed to have met and married this good man. He comes from a good family as does Ciara. I wish them continued happiness.

  36. I loved this! Thank you for sharing this with us. Russell C. Wilson and Dr. Henry Loius Gates, Jr are two witty and intelligent men.

  37. Russell Carrington, what a name! He says his parents never raised him on race, I love it, more people need to do that. at 22:00 he talks about the impact his father had on him as an individual and I can see how he takes that so seriously, to impact people around him and impact his kids.

  38. Russell Wilson was an incredible guest on this show. His feedback and convo with Dr. Henry Louis Gates, Jr. was very entertaining and real. I wish I could get this type of family history done.

  39. What an interesting and amazing family background. It just shows the perseverance of people. God bless Black people in this country. We have overcome so much and still have far to go.

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