Publication: Lansing State Journal
Author: Mike Hughes
Date: March 24, 2012
Decades ago, the Marsalis kids had their notion of fun.
Branford, 13, and Wynton, 12, would find white Marsalis families in Summit, Miss.
“We’d knock on the door and say, ‘We’re doing our family tree and I think we’re related,’” Branford Marsalis recalled semi-sheepishly, “ just to watch them go, ‘Oh no, there must some mistake!’”
In truth, he knew they weren’t related to these people – “we were just being jerks” – but he also knew there were whites somewhere on the family tree. “In the hot Louisiana sun, when I … saw little blond hairs on my arm, I thought, ‘Ahh, that’s not supposed to happen.’”
The search for answers is at the core of “Finding Your Roots,” Henry Louis Gates’ new PBS series. It reflects something that has drawn Gates since the 1960 funeral of his grandfather. Read more »