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Top 10 African American Celebrities that have Traced their roots back to Africa


In a trend reminiscent of the Black Power era spurred by the Civil Rights, Black Panther movement and the classic movie ‘Roots’ five decades ago, African-American stars are trooping back to Africa. As 2019 became the official, “Year of Return” and the West African nation of Ghana designated as the focal point, a rebirth of sorts has taken place. With the help of several African governments, descendants of those who were once enslaved are making pilgrimages back to their ancestral homeland and celebrities are not left out. In today’s video, we shall be profiling 10 of these celebrities that have managed to fine their roots back to the motherland. Welcome to Positive Africa and thanks for watching. Remember to subscribe in order not to miss out on any of our videos.
1. Ludacris
Born as Christopher Brian Bridges on September 11, 1977, The Atlanta rapper and actor on January this year confirmed his new Gabonese citizenship in an Instagram post from Libreville Gabon. While flashing his new passport, he joked: "I am a loyal citizen of Zamunda! He also confirmed his mother and two daughters also received Gabonese citizenship. His wife, Eudoxie, is from Gabon. Over the holidays, the rapper and his family also visited Ghana for The Year of Return, where they spent New Year’s Eve.

2. Oprah Winfrey
When billionaire media producer Oprah Winfrey took a DNA test for the PBS show African American Lives a few years back, she learned that her DNA had three exact matches — with the Kpelle people, who lived in western Africa in what’s now Liberia; the Bamileke people in Cameroon; and a Bantu-speaking tribe in Zambia.
Like many African Americans whose genealogy is difficult to trace beyond slavery, Oprah knew little about her ancestry. She was born in Mississippi and on a previous African American Lives program, had learned that an ancestor started a school for black children after the Civil War. Hearing this, she broke into tears.
3. Chris Tucker
Chris Tucker was born in Atlanta, Georgia, to Mary Louise (Bryant) and Norris Tucker. After graduating from high school, Tucker made a change to move to Hollywood from Georgia to pursue a career in show business. He became popular for his role as Smokey in the film series Friday and the rush hour movies. In 2006 Chris Tucker was pronounced the most paid actor in Hollywood. Through the help of the website, according to his DNA results he is Tikar of Cameroon on his maternal side and Mbundu people of Angola on his paternal side.

4. Don Cheadle
The Academy Award-nominated actor hails from Kansas City Missouri and grew up in Nebraska and Colorado, but his DNA traces back to Cameroon. The Hotel Rwanda star shares paternal ancestry with the Ewondo ethnic group of the Central African country. On his maternal side, he shares ancestry with the Bamileke, Masa and Tikar people.
5. Idris Elba
Last year Elba was given the citizenship of his father’s native Sierra Leone. The famed international show celebrity was brought up in east London before finding fame in America. He is best known for playing Nelson Mandela in the biographical film Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom, drug trafficker Stringer Bell on the HBO series The Wire, and DCI John Luther on the BBC One series Luther.
6. Tiffany Haddish
In May 2019, American author and comedian Tiffany Haddish was granted Eritrean citizenship during a visit to join in the 28th independence anniversary celebrations. Brought up in the United States, she always identified herself as American with Eritrean parentage. In a statement she stated that “Signing those papers and getting the validation meant the world to me. That is something my father wanted”.

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Up next

Urban Outlook: National Museum of African American Music
14 Sep 2020
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