Vanessa Williams Discovers Her African Roots

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Vanessa Williams as Olivia Dunn in "666 Park Avenue"

Vanessa Williams as Olivia Dunn in “666 Park Avenue”

 

*Vanessa Williams traced her history through one of those mail in order DNA test kits and found some interesting results.

“I’ve got blue eyes, my brother also has light eyes, and everyone says, ‘Well, what are you? You’re mixed with something. What is it?’” Williams told The Huffington Post. “My parents are black … but I was a bit defensive, because I don’t know, all of my relatives look like me. And we know as much as we can.”

This isn’t the first time she traced her ancestry. In 2011, she journeyed to a family cemetery on her father’s side on NBC’s “Who Do You Think You Are?” and discovered images of her great, great-grandfather, who was a Civil War vet.

“I got a chance to go to the National Archives and see a tintype, which he had sent in to get his military benefits,” Williams said. “Because he couldn’t read or write, because he was a laborer in Oyster Bay on the fishing ships, they got his name wrong. When he was released … he sent a picture in a tintype to the government to prove who he was. That was an amazing discovery to actually see him in his Union uniform with the American flag draped over his knee. It was phenomenal.”

But she wanted to find out more, and dig a little deeper into her bloodline.
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