Ex-Black Panther Stunned To Learn Her Ancestors Owned Slaves And Came Over On Mayflower

Henry Louis Gates Jr. is the director of the Hutchins Center for African & African American Research at Harvard University. He hosts an amazing show called Finding Your Roots on PBS. He looked into the roots of ex-Black Panther Angela Davis and Obama’s former DHS head Jeh Johnson.

What he found out blows a hole in any reparations effort because both had ancestors who owned slaves. It was a particular troubloing revelation for Davis who was a Black Panther. She also learned her ancestors came over on the Mayflower.

“Our researchers discovered Angela Davis’ ancestors traveled to the US on the Mayflower and here is her reaction,” Gates said. “No. I can’t believe this. No, my ancestors did not come here on the Mayflower,” Davis said.

Davis added that she “never” expected to learn she was descended from one of the nation’s white settlers. “That’s a little too much to deal with right now,” she said.

“I’m going off the top of my head! You just threw information at me.

“I’m remembering that so many people have called those of us who tried to fight against racism and who have visions of a more radical democracy as ‘un-American.’ I’ve always insisted that the best way to pay tribute to this country is to try to change it.

“I always imagined my ancestors as the people who were enslaved. My mind and my heart are swirling with all of these contradictory emotions.

“I’m glad on the one hand that we’ve begun to solve this mystery. We have something that we didn’t have before. But at the same time I think it makes me even more connected to struggling for a better world.

“It’s good to know my genetic background. it’s good to know my ancestry. But those are not necessarily my people. My people are those who fought for me, who supported me.

“I assume that my ancestors lived on plantations as slaves. But of course I didn’t now who they were. I didn’t know who the slave owners were.

“I just feel so sad that these are my people who had to live under those conditions. It makes me realize what a miracle it is that we’re here now.”