Sunny Hostin, a host on “The View,” said that she was in shock when she discovered that her maternal ancestors were likely involved in the slave trade in colonial Spain.
'I HAD NO IDEA': After digging more into her ancestry, the talk show host was not thrilled by what she found. She reacts to her family's "disappointing" story: https://t.co/ZQaRSmffgo pic.twitter.com/XsxupJdmHM
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“Wow, I’m a little bit in shock. I just always thought of myself as half Puerto Rican. I didn’t think my family was originally from Spain and slaveholders,” Hostin said.
“I think it’s actually pretty interesting that my husband and I have shared roots, so I do appreciate that, and I think it’s great for our children to know this information. I guess it’s a fact of life that this is how some people made their living, on the backs of others,” she continued after finding out that her husband’s family is also from Spain.
Hostin appeared on a recent episode of the PBS show “Finding Your Roots” hosted by Henry Louis Gates, Jr when the news of her ancestors was revealed.
“Our researchers discovered that her third great-grandfather, Fermín, was the son of a merchant who was likely involved in the slave trade, and Fermín himself owned at least one human being,” explained Gates Jr. “What’s more, moving back on this line, we found that it originates in Galicia, Spain.”
“Finding Your Roots” is a documentary show that researches prominent men and women in society through DNA testing and historical records and then reveals their findings on air.
Hostin did not allow the new information to change her mind or opinion about race relations in America or about the idea that black people are owed reparations because of slavery.
“I still believe in reparations, by the way. So, y’all can stop texting me and emailing me and saying that I’m a White girl and I don’t deserve reparations! I still believe in reparations. I still believe this country has a lot to do in terms of racial justice,” Hostin said in response to the show’s revelations.
While Hostin was initially “deeply disappointed” from finding out her ancestors owned slaves, she eventually said she felt “enriched” by knowing her family’s history rather than sadness.
“I’m enriched by knowing that my family has come so far from being enslavers to my mother marrying my father in 1968,” Hostin said.