4 Famous Personalities You Didn’t Know Had Slave Ancestors

4 Famous Personalities

The majority of black Americans are supposed to have slavery ancestry. Slavery is the one disrespectful epoch in American history that can never fade away. Even the lush celebrities are connected to slavery.

Following are some big personalities you had no idea about their slave ancestors.

#1. Oprah Winfrey

When Oprah was offered with the papers listing her motherly great-great-ancestors Grace and John Lee as belongings, she stated that it’s one of the causes she worked so hard. She felt like she had no right to be tired because she knew she came from this. Oprah drew her roots to Violet and Constantine, were born in 1839 and 1836, respectively. Though the poll where Constantine first appeared after liberation discloses that he cannot read or write even at age 35.

#2. Morgan Freeman

In the 1930s and 1940s, The Federal Writers’ Project their workers to interview former slaves into the South. There, they interviewed Morgan Freeman’s ancestor – Cindy Anderson of Charleston, Mississippi. It was exposed that her parents had been held by a man named Herbert Cain. Cain bought the two since they were children, he went on to vend Cindy’s father years later when she was just a child. “Not even treated as well as a mule,” Freeman also noted about the buying and selling of his ancestors during a program.

#3. Michelle Obama

In 2009, the genealogist Megan Smolenyak & ‘The New York Times’ traced former first lady Michelle Obama’s lineage to her great-great-great-grandmother. Her ancestor was an enslaved girl named Melvinia. After her owner’s death when she was just 8, was sold for $475 and drove to a family where she got pregnant by a white man in the age of 15.

Even after freedom, Melvinia continued to work close to the house where she was enslaved until her 30s or 40s. The heart-wrenching fact is that in 1938, on her death certificate, “don’t know” was written in parents’ column by a relative. It indicates that she might never know herself.

#4. John Legend

Legend is a successor of Peyton Polly. His owner died in 1847. His luck was with him as upon his owner’s death, Polly and his fellow slaves were freed and some land and money were given to start their new lives. Polly’s eight children were imprisoned all across Kentucky and he like any other father refused to depart the state without them. He and his brother purchased them all in 1849 and shifted to the free state of Ohio.

But this was not a happy ending. In June 1850, a group of white men busted into their home, shot Polly, and abducted all eight children. The white men took those eight children across the Ohio River again into the mud of slavery. There they were sold to Kentucky and Virginia owners. Polly and his family persistently fought for justice. The resultant catastrophe went all the way to the governments of Kentucky, Virginia, and Ohio. Luckily, the Kentucky courts freed the four children, but Virginia declined to concede the legal position of the other four children. They were enslaved for over a decade until liberation happened. Finally, they were able to unite with their family.

Facebook Comments