Morgan Freeman

by ethnic on July 18, 2009

Morgan Freeman ethnicity

Place of Birth: Memphis, Tennessee or Mississippi, U.S.

Date of Birth: June 1, 1937

Ethnicity: African-American, more distant English

Morgan Freeman is an American actor, narrator, director, and producer. He won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for Million Dollar Baby (2004).

Morgan is the son of Mayme Edna (Revere) and Morgan Porterfield Freeman. His parents were both black. He has four children, including actor Alfonso Freeman.

While he is usually stated as having been born in Memphis, Tennessee, Morgan’s listing on the 1940 U.S. Census states that he was born in Mississippi, where his parents were from.

Morgan’s maternal great-great-grandfather, Alfred Carr, was a caucasian man (with English ancestry) who had eight children with Morgan’s black great-great-grandmother, Celia Johnson. The two lived together, or close to each other, in Mississippi, though they could not legally marry at the time (the late 1800s). The couple was buried side by side.

Morgan’s paternal grandfather was named Hubert Freeman. Hubert was born in North Carolina.

Morgan’s paternal grandmother was Evie Anderson (the daughter of Albert Anderson and Lucinda “Cindy” Cain). Evie was born in Mississippi. Lucinda was born into slavery in Mississippi, and was the daughter of Milton Wright and Sylvia Cain.

Morgan’s maternal grandfather was Jacob Isiah Revere (the son of Daniel Revere and Riller). Jacob was born in Florida.

Morgan’s maternal grandmother was Lenora Greenlee (the daughter of Samuel Greenlee and Elizabeth/Betty Carr). Lenora was born in Mississippi. Elizabeth was the daughter of Alfred Carr and Celia/Celie Johnson.

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

*83% Sub-Saharan African
*17% 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 75% of Morgan’s African DNA matches the Congo-Angola region, and 25% matches the Upper Guinea region, including the Shong and Tuareg people. On his father’s side, his DNA has matches with Igbo (Nigerian) ancestry.

Sources: Genealogies of Morgan Freeman – http://familypedia.wikia.com

Morgan’s father on the 1920 U.S. Census – https://www.familysearch.org

Morgan’s mother on the 1930 U.S. Census – https://www.familysearch.org

Morgan’s maternal grandfather, Jacob Isiah Revere, on the 1900 U.S. Census – https://familysearch.org

Background story on Morgan’s caucasian great-great-grandfather, Alfred Carr, and black great-great-grandmother, Celia Johnson – http://www.nytimes.com

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Tupac Shakur

by ethnic on April 25, 2009

1996 MTV Video Music Awards

Birth Name: Lesane Parish Crooks

Date of Birth: June 16, 1971

Place of Birth: East Harlem, Manhattan, New York City, New York, U.S.

Date of Death: September 13, 1996

Place of Death: Las Vegas, Nevada

Ethnicity: African-American (including, possibly, Tuareg)

Tupac Shakur was an American rapper, songwriter, and actor.

He was the son of African-American parents, William Garland and Afeni Shakur (born Alice Faye Williams). He was born Lesane Parish Crooks. He adopted his surname, “Shakur”, from his stepfather, black nationalist Mutulu Shakur (who was born Jeral Wayne Williams). His mother gave him the name Tupac Amaru after the Peruvian revolutionary Túpac Amaru II. His parents were Black Panther members. His mother was also a businessperson, philanthropist, political activist. His stepbrother is rapper Mopreme Shakur.

His father is said to have Tuareg heritage, an African ethnic group. It is not clear if this ancestry has been verified/documented.

Tupac’s maternal grandfather was Walter Williams, Jr. (the son of The Rev. Walter Williams and Lena).

Tupac’s maternal grandmother was Rosa Belle McLellan (the daughter of Kennie McLellan and Rosa Lee Powers). Tupac’s grandmother Rosa was born in North Carolina. Kennie was the son of Peter McLellan. Tupac’s great-grandmother Rosa’s father was Robert Powers, who was the son of a slave named Jeffrey Powers. Rosa’s mother was Millie Ann Wooten.

Sources: Genealogies of Tupac Shakur (focusing on his mother’s side) – http://www.wargs.com

Tupac’s maternal great-great-grandfather, Robert Powers, on the 1870 U.S. Census – https://familysearch.org

Tupac’s maternal great-great-great-grandfather, Jeffrey/Jeff Powers, on the 1850 U.S. Slave Schedule – https://familysearch.org

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