Watching another slave descendant black person get in touch with his or her African roots has become one of my geeky pleasures. Until I get a sponsor who will cover the not-so-low cost of the DNA testing that can show which region in Africa my ancestors came from, I’ll have to be content living vicariously through people like Q-Tip and Blair Underwood.

Underwood’s experience with tracing his family tree is a lot like my family’s: we’ve figured out who owned a number of our ancestors but can never get past the slave trade. DNA testing through the show Who Do You Think You Are? changed all of that for Blair Underwood, however, and he and his father traveled to Cameroon to meet distant relatives who still live there. Watch as he meets them and describes the “void” he feels as an African-American never having known his roots.

It’s clear that Blair Underwood thought a lot about how to describe the feeling of being disconnected from one’s own past and hearing him explain it to someone he’s related to who probably has never considered any of it before…fascinating.

Who Do You Think You Are? airs on Friday at 8pm.

What do you think of Underwood’s experience? Have you or would you try genetic ancestry testing?

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