Ava DuVernay “I’m Black”
In an upcoming episode of PBS’s Finding Your Roots, Season 4, Episode 4: The Vanguard, host Henry Louis Gates Jr. sits down with director Ava DuVernay to dive into her lineage. When host Henry Louis Gates Jr. asks DuVernay to guess what her ethnicity is, she fears that she’s more than 50 percent European, contrary to what she’s believed her entire life.
In the episode, the Queen Sugar creator holds her breath before finding out she’s 57 percent African. “I’m Black,” she yells after turning the results page to see the DNA percentage breakdown. DuVernay is 57.3 percent African and 41.5 percent European.
DuVernay traces her stepfather’s past in Alabama — an inspiration for her breakout film Selma — to his third great-grandfather, a former slave who registered to vote in the same region where the movie took place.
However, her biological roots provide an unexpected twist: her biological roots place her family in the Haitian Revolution on the opposite side she expected: as white French slave owners fleeing the revolt.
Watch Full Episode Here : Ava clip is at the beginning of the episode and fast forward to 30:06 to hear about their connection in Haiti.