Real Estate News
--> Alabama News
PBS show reveals Questlove descended from last known slave ship, which landed in Alabama
The episode of the PBS program originally aired on December 12, while televisions in homes across the U.S. were fixated on Alabama's Senatorial elections. Talk show host Dr. Phil McGraw and journalist Charlayne Hunter-Gault are also given genealogy results ...
By Jared Boyd
In an episode of "Finding Your Roots", a program that explores celebrity genealogies, famed drummer Questlove receives an unprecedented look at his family historyIn a first for the series, an African-American's family history is traced all the way back to the very ship which brought their descendants to America.
That ship, Questlove finds out, is the Clotilda, the last known slave ship to successfully transport Africans through the Middle Passage and into the United States. That ship's destination - Mobile, Alabama.
Questlove, whose real name is Ahmir Thompson, appears on the show, sitting at a table opposite historian Henry Louis GatesAs Gates flips through a book of photographs and newspaper clippings, walking musician through his heritage, Questlove sits in apparent disbelief.
"I'm on the absolute last ship that ever came here," The Philadelphia native says, immediately after learning of his family's path through West Africa's Atlantic Coast to the Alabama Gulf Coast.
The Clotilda, a schooner constructed in 1855 by shipbuilder William FosterIn 1860, prominent Mobile entrepreneur Timothy Meaher took Foster's ship to West Africa, on a bet that he could return with a haul of slavesWhile slavery was still in practice, the trade of new slaves through the Atlantic Ocean had been outlawed in the U.Ssince 1808.
Meaher loaded the ship with goods such as rice, beef, pork, sugar, bread, molasses, rum and gold, before departing for Benin (then known as Dahomey)While there, Meaher traded those goodsIn return, Gates says, Meaher was able to choose 125 slaves from a selection of 4,000Among that 125 was Questlove's third-great-grandfather, Charles Lewis.
"Think about the odds, man," Gates tells a stunned Questlove.
At the table, Gates digs deeper into The Roots leader's familial past, detailing their life after the perils of slaveryLike many of the survivors of Clotilda, Lewis and his family remained in Mobile after gaining freedomIt was there that they founded the community of Africatown.
Gates then presents Questlove with a picture of his aforementioned family patriarchIn a solemn moment, he hones in on his ancester's eyes.
"The eyes are the same," he says in a chilling tone"I never imagined this, in my entire life, that I'd see thisI have to keep looking at 'em, because those are my eyes, man."
Dig reveals story of America's last slave ship -- and its survivors
The episode of the PBS program originally aired on December 12, while televisions in homes across the U.Swere fixated on Alabama's Senatorial electionsTalk show host DrPhil McGraw and journalist Charlayne Hunter-Gault are also given genealogy results during the episode, which aired as the ninth installment of the series' fourth season.
You can learn more about Questlove, the Clotilda and Africatown by watching the full episode online here, or by checking local listings on Alabama Public Television's website.
@questlove On behalf of the great @City_of_Mobile and the proud citizens of #District2's Plateau Community we'd love to invite you to visit your roots in historic Africatown! #MobileWelcomesQuestlove!
-- Levon CManzie (@lcmanzie06) December 16, 2017
About Alabama Media Group
Jobs at Alabama Media Group
Advertise with us
News In Education
Frequently Asked Questions
Already a Subscriber?
Manage your subscription
Place a vacation hold
Make a payment
Place an ad
Get home delivery
Promote your event in our calendar
Send us an email
Submit a news tip
Buy newspaper front pages, poster and more
High School Sports
Your Regional News Pages
Gulf Coast Beaches
On the Go
Mobile Apps | Tablet Apps
More on AL.com
Interact with us
Post a job
Post a free classified ad
Sell your car
Sell/rent your home
Site Map & search
Become a Member
The Birmingham News
The Huntsville Times
Twitter | Facebook | Google+ | Pinterest | Instagram
Registration on or use of this site constitutes acceptance of our
User Agreement and
Trending Alabama News:
Huntsville-area home sales rise sharply in April, more optimism forecast for second quarter
Historic apartment buildings set to undergo renovations
Tuscaloosa home sales strong in May
Birmingham's Lake Homes Realty expands to New York, Pennsylvania
How much did Alabama Airbnb hosts earn last year?
Alabama ‘Guitar House’ On Auction For The Third Time
Jim Kaplan named principal broker for Triad Properties' brokerage business in Huntsville
The First acquiring Alabama bank in cash/stock deal
Craig King Inducted President of Alabama Realtors Land Institute
Huntsville, Alabama-Based Company Awarded $28.5 Million FEMA Contract
Local faith based groups are helping Syrian refugee family adjust to life in Alabama
Eufaula Pilgrimage showcases historic homes
Navy volunteers painting homes in Mobile
What an expert thinks about the future of CRE in Alabama
New Freedom Homes Brand by D.R. Horton Set to Launch in Madison, Alabama
Alabama Tornado Slams Church and Daycare Center; Weather Kills 5
Abbeville, AL Homes For Sale & Real Estate
Alabama sells voter information, for one penny
6 homes temporarily evacuated as Graysville fire grows to 460 acres
Alabama's largest house heads to auction, again