Bamileke

Ben Carson

by follers on November 7, 2014

Birth Name: Benjamin Solomon Carson

Place of Birth: Detroit, Michigan, U.S.

Date of Birth: September 18, 1951

Ethnicity: African-American

Ben Carson is an American author and retired neurosurgeon. He has been the U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, since March 2, 2017.

He was a candidate for the Republican Party’s nomination for President of the United States in 2016.

Ben is the son of African-American parents, Sonya (Copeland) and Robert Solomon Carson, a Christian minister. In 1987, he became the first person to successfully surgically separate conjoined twins joined at the head. He is married to author and businessperson Candy Carson, with whom he has three children.

Ben’s paternal grandparents were Robert Carson (the son of Robert Carson and Amy Darden) and Anna/Amy L. Gordon. Ben’s great-grandmother Amy was the daughter of Ethan Darden and Lettie Swan.

Ben’s maternal grandfather was John Martin Copeland (the son of John H. Copeland and Indiana Ash). Indiana was the daughter of Thomas Ash and Millie Gay. The 1870 U.S. Census lists a man named James Ash living near Indiana’s household, who was possibly her grandfather. James is then-listed as being 100 years old, and as having been born in Africa (c. 1770).

Ben’s maternal grandmother was Ruby Stanley (the daughter of Coleman Stanley and Lucy Smith). Lucy was the daughter of Green Smith and Emily.

A DNA test whose results were displayed on the show African American Lives (2006) stated that Ben’s genetic ancestry is:

*80% Sub-Saharan African
*20% European

In his 2009 book about the show, In Search of Our Roots: How 19 Extraordinary African Americans Reclaimed Their Past, Henry Louis Gates, Jr. wrote that Ben’s African DNA matches the Makua people of Mozambique (through his father’s line), and on his mother’s side, the Yoruba, Bassa, and Edo people of Nigeria, the Mende people of Sierra Leone, the Turkana people of Kenya, the Bamileke people of Cameroon, and the Bantu tribes of the Congo-Angola region.

Sources: Family background of Ben Carson – http://www.theroot.com

Genealogy of Ben Carson – http://www.geni.com

Photo by Gage Skidmore

{ 9 comments }

Don Cheadle

by ethnic on July 20, 2010

Don Cheadle

Birth Name: Donald Frank Cheadle, Jr.

Place of Birth: Kansas City, Missouri, U.S.

Date of Birth: November 29, 1964

Ethnicity: African-American

Don Cheadle is an American actor, writer, producer, and director. He is the son of African-American parents, Bettye (North), a teacher, and Donald Frank Cheadle, a clinical psychologist. He has two children with his partner, actress Bridgid Coulter.

Don plays James Rhodes / War Machine in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Don’s paternal grandfather was Lee Therman Cheadle (the son of William M. Cheadle and Maggie/Odie Lewis). William was the son of Henderson Hence Cheadle and Mary Kemp. Maggie was the daughter of Henry Lewis and Caroline.

Don’s paternal grandmother was Cynthia Barnes (the daughter of Joseph Smith Barnes and Clennie Carroll).

Don’s maternal grandfather was Basil Leon North, Sr. (the son of Horace P. North and Rachel S. Kenoly). Horace was the son of John Ralls. Rachel was the daughter of Myers Kenoly and Mary Mathilda, who were born into slavery.

Don’s maternal grandmother was Louisa “Louie” Maretta Thompkins.

A DNA test whose results were displayed on the show African American Lives 2 (2008) stated that Don’s genetic ancestry is:

*81% Sub-Saharan African
*19% European

In his 2009 book about the show, In Search of Our Roots: How 19 Extraordinary African Americans Reclaimed Their Past, Henry Louis Gates, Jr. wrote that 45% of Don’s African DNA matches Benin and western Nigeria, including specifically the Ewondo, Bamileke, Masa, and Tikar people, 30% matches Upper Guinea (Senegal to Liberia), and 25% matches the Congo-Angola region.

Source: Clip of Don’s appearance on African American Lives 2 (2008) – https://www.youtube.com

photo by Prphotos

{ 7 comments }

Chris Tucker

by ethnic on May 1, 2010

Chris Tucker

Birth Name: Christopher Tucker

Place of Birth: Atlanta, Georgia, U.S.

Date of Birth: August 31, 1971

Ethnicity: African-American

Chris Tucker is an American actor and stand-up comedian. He was born to African-American parents.

Chris’s paternal grandparents are Deacon Charlie Sims and Sara.

Chris’s maternal grandfather is Theodore Arthur Bryant, Jr. (the son of Theodore Arthur Bryant, Sr. and Zudie Waits). Chris’s great-grandfather Theodore was the son of Spencer Bryant and Mary Ann Shoemaker. Zudie was the daughter of Henry Crawford Waits and Ella King.

Chris’s maternal grandmother is Flora B. Robinson (the daughter of John Robinson and Mary Harris). John was the son of Joseph Robinson and Sarah De Lamar/DeLamar. Mary was the daughter of Daniel Harris and Flora Allen.

A DNA test whose results were displayed on the show African American Lives (2006) stated that Chris’s genetic ancestry is:

*83% Sub-Saharan African
*10% Native American
*7% European

In his 2009 book about the show, In Search of Our Roots: How 19 Extraordinary African Americans Reclaimed Their Past, Henry Louis Gates, Jr. wrote that Chris’s African DNA matches the Mbundu people of Angola, the Basa people of Nigeria, the Ewondo/Bamileke people Cameroon, the Biaka/Mbenzele people of the Central African Republic, and the Chwabo people of Mozambique.

Sources: Obituary of Chris’s father – http://216.119.69.91

Genealogy of Chris Tucker (focusing on his mother’s side) – http://www.pkgraham.com

photo by Prphotos

{ 4 comments }

Oprah Winfrey

by ethnic on June 5, 2009

Birth Name: Orpah Gail Winfrey

Place of Birth: Kosciusko, Mississippi, U.S.

Date of Birth: January 29, 1954

Ethnicity: African-American (including Kpelle, Bamileke, and Zambian)

Oprah Winfrey is an American media proprietor, talk show host, actress, producer, and philanthropist. She is regarded as one of the most influential women in the world, and possibly the wealthiest African-American of the 20th century. She was the host of The Oprah Winfrey Show from 1986 to 2011.

Oprah’s parents, Vernon Winfrey and Vernita Lee, are both black.

Oprah’s story is a rags-to-riches one. She was born in Kosciusko, Mississippi, to a single teenage mother. She herself became pregnant at the age of fourteen. Unfortunately, her baby died soon after birth. Despite her beginnings, Oprah got through school and received a scholarship into Tennessee State University, where she studied communication. At the age of seventeen, Oprah won the Miss Black Tennessee Beauty Pageant. Oprah’s partner is author and public speaker Stedman Graham.

Farmer Noah Robinson, Sr. has claimed that he is Oprah’s biological father. It is not clear if this claim has been investigated in any detail.

Oprah’s paternal grandfather was Elmore Winfrey (the son of Sanford Elias Winfrey and Ella Staples). Sanford was the son of Constantine Winfrey, who was born a slave, in Georgia, and of Violet A. Nunn, who was also born a slave, in North Carolina. Constantine likely took his surname from a slave owner, Absalom F. Winfrey. Oprah’s great-grandmother Ella was the daughter of William Staples and Abigail Howard.

Oprah’s paternal grandmother was Beatrice Woods (the daughter of Thomas/Tom W. Woods and Hattie Ross). Thomas was the son of Monroe Woods and Henrietta. Hattie was the daughter of Simon Ross and Katie.

Oprah’s maternal grandfather was Earless/Earlist Lee (the son of Harold/Harry Lee and Elizabeth). Harold was born a slave in Mississippi. He was the son of John Lee and Grace.

Oprah’s maternal grandmother was Hattie Mae Presley/Pressley (the daughter of Nelson/Milton Alexander Presley/Pressley and Amanda Winters). Amanda was the daughter of Pearce Winters and Henrietta.

A DNA test whose results were displayed on the show African American Lives (2006) stated that Oprah’s genetic ancestry is:

*89% Sub-Saharan African
*8% Native American
*3% East Asian

“East Asian” may refer to more Native American roots. It is not clear if these lineages have been documented/verified genealogically. The same DNA test stated that Oprah has ancestry from the Kpelle people (from what is now Liberia), the Bamileke people (from Cameroon), and a Bantu-speaking tribe (from Zambia).

Sources: Genealogies of Oprah Winfrey – http://www.wargs.com
http://www.geni.com
http://genealogy.about.com

Guardian article on DNA tests among African-Americans, 2006 – http://www.guardian.co.uk

Helga Esteb / Shutterstock.com

{ 82 comments }

Tina Turner

by ethnic on September 10, 2008

00/00/0000 - Tina Turner -  -  - Keywords:  - Photo Credit: Photorazzi - Contact (1-866-551-7827)

Birth Name: Anna Mae Bullock

Place of Birth: Nutbush, Tennessee, U.S.

Date of Birth: November 26, 1939

Ethnicity: African-American

Tina Turner is an American singer, actress, dancer, and writer. She is now also a Swiss citizen. Tina is the daughter of Zelma Priscilla (Currie) and Floyd Richard Bullock. Her parents were both African-American.

Tina’s paternal grandparents were Alex Bullock and Roxanna/Roxana Whitelaw.

Tina’s maternal grandfather was Joesephus “Joe” Melvin Currie (who was evidently the son of Logan Currie and Mollie Walker). Logan was the son of Logan Currie and Elizabeth Ford or Kimbrough.

Tina’s maternal grandmother was Georgianna Flag (the daughter of George Flag/Flagg and Mollie/Molline Mary Winborn/Winburn). George was the son of Samuel/Sam Flag and Fannie. Mollie was the daughter of Scott Winborn/Winbourne and Henretta/Henrietta.

A DNA test whose results were displayed on the show African American Lives 2 (2008) stated that Tina’s genetic ancestry is:

*66% Sub-Saharan African
*33% European
*1% Native American

Tina had previously thought that her mother had significant Native American heritage.

In his 2009 book about the show, In Search of Our Roots: How 19 Extraordinary African Americans Reclaimed Their Past, Henry Louis Gates, Jr. wrote that Tina’s African DNA matches the Mbenzele people of the Central African Republic, the Hausa people of Nigeria, the Tuareg people of Niger, the Bamileke people of Cameroon, and the Turkana people of Kenya.

Source: Genealogy of Tina Turner – http://www.geni.com

photo by PR Photos

{ 35 comments }