On NBC’s show “Who do you think you are?” where celebrities dig up their family history, NFL great Emmitt Smith discovered that he is a little bit Native American, some European, and 81 percent African and that one of his ancestors, by the name of Mariah, was “bred” by a slave owner and that was a connection between the black and white sides of his family. Also, while many slave families were torn apart by the constant trade of slaves going on, Mariah and her family were kept together. Amazing.

Lisa Kudrow (of “Friends” fame and whose family was of Eastern Jewish descent)’s father, in 1947 or 1948, was told by a relative named Uri that Jewish families were burned and killed, and it just happens that Uri is still alive and well in Europe, and for the first time since the WWII era, Lisa Kudrow’s father and his relative viewed each other via webcam. On another episode, Sarah Jessica Parker discovered one of her ancestors was one of the accused during the Salem witch hunt in American history.

I have a fascination with history, and this show is like watching a great adventure into the past. To see where we come from, and the people who have risen to fame in our society today, what all of our ancestors did and how they helped define and shape us. Granted, these people have the money to go digging for their past and a show is dedicated to helping them do just that, but to learn about the people in my ancestry and the lives they led and how they impacted who I am today would be a fascinating venture indeed.

I know little of my ancestry, and I hope for the chance to learn more in the future but I am proud of what I do know: My mom’s father was a man of God who loved to preach, and my dad’s father was bold about his faith, which helped define future generations of his family.

One thought on “Recalling and appreciating our past …

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