From the mid-fifteenth century to the nineteenth century, approximately 12 million Africans were stolen from their homes, placed in chains and shipped westward by American and Europeans and subsequently forced into slavery. As a result, today millions upon millions of African Americans, African Latinos and African Caribbeans have little to no idea of their specific African origins.
Recently Black Thought and ?uestlove, off The Legendary Roots Crew, decided to trace back exactly where their ancestors came from on the Motherland down to their respective specific ethnic groups. The incredibly talented multi-instrumentalist and his super lyrical comrade (otherwise known as Big Pun‘s favorite lyricist) got cheek-swabbed and now know their real roots. Quest discovered that his roots come from Sierra Leone, West Africa, whereas Thought found out that his roots originate from both Sierra Leone and Senegal. The gentlemen sat down with our brothers and sisters over at OkayAfrica to discuss their recent discovery and what it means to them both.
As a PROUD Sierra Leonean myself I am ecstatic to find out that two of some of my favorite musicians are Sierra Leonean. Kuché!
Bonus… Former Grey’s Anatomy star Isaiah Washington traced his genealogy to Sierra Leone a few years ago. Watch the footage below of the Isaiah in Sierra Leone taking the citizenship oath.