Some thirty six years ago Alex Haley launched his documentary “Roots.” This was after he traced his oral history to the Gambia finding out his ancestor to be Kunta Kinte. His findings led to his production of the documentary and which in turn has been a source of encouragement to several other African Americans to trace their roots.
Haley found out that his ancestor Kunta Kinte was sold into slavery. His work on Roots has encouraged several other celebrities of African descent to trace their roots. Some celebrities who have traced their roots include Oprah Winfrey who found out she is Zulu though she was raised in Mississippi.
Laboratories have started amassing a database of DNA samples over the last few years. These samples have been collected from all over the world including West Africa. West Africa was the center of slave trade which brought most Africans through the American shores.
Via technology samples are easily analyzed and lineages are traced either through genes or statistical breakdown or even geographical region. The test kits for tracing ancestry have been available for sale and several celebrities have made their purchases just to trace their roots.
Another notable African American celebrity who has traced his roots is the vibrant preacher Bishop T.D. Jakes. When he did he discovered he was of the Igbo tribe in Nigeria. All of these are results of Alex Haley’s documentary “ROOTS.”