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BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. (AP) — When Nas became the first rapper invited to trace his family tree through the PBS series “Finding Your Roots,” he welcomed the opportunity.

But it hit him hard when he saw 1859 documentation of an ancestor being sold as a slave, he said during a panel discussion Wednesday.

“First I was enraged when I looked at the bill of sale,” Nas said. “I was like, that guy that owned property owes me some cash. My people made him really wealthy, so maybe I should find his family and talk.”

The unearthed information made him think about his ancestors’ contribution to America, he said, “and now I’m on a mission to find out more.”

His family’s story is among those told on season two of Finding Your Roots, hosted by Harvard University scholar, author and filmmaker Henry Louis Gates Jr. and debuting Sept. 23.

The 10-part series that traces celebrities’ ancestry will focus on, among others, Ben Affleck, Jessica Alba, Tina Fey, Sting, Stephen King, Billie Jean King, Derek Jeter and chef Ming Tsai.

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3 thoughts on “Nas Finds His Roots Via PBS Show

  1. msyellarose on said:

    With you all on this one. It would definitely be more interesting on our networks to see these shows rather than the ratchet hell that is “reality” tv. Truth is, Black people in America are the ones with the most scrambled backgrounds. We unfortunately lost our histories long ago. I, for one, would love to know from where I inherited a genetic disorder most common to people of Irish and Scottish decent. When trying to trace my family history, I hit a brick wall only 3 generations back. I might present quite the challenge to mister Gates!

  2. I said it. on said:

    It would be nice if people who are lesser known would be invited to partake in this activity. The show would be just as good and probably gain viewers hip.

  3. demp109 on said:

    Finding ordinary African-American family roots would be a very interesting project for BET, OWN or TVOne to produce. Much more valuable than the reality shows. I really hope that they can make it happen.

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