By Nii Ntreh
Americans of African descent are open to knowing where in Africa they would have been had history not taken them to the US. Most of those in this category are celebrities. Here are some of America’s most famous black people who have known from DNA and background searches, the African countries they originated from.
1. Cory Booker 2020 presidential candidate Cory Booker said it was “amazing” to discover that he was of Sierra Leonean descent.
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2. Whoopi Goldberg When American actress, comedian and daytime television host, Whoopi Goldberg, discovered in 2007 that she was of Guinea-Bissau descent, governmental officials were so excited that they sent her a letter.
3. Nas His middle name “bin Olu Dara” comes from the Yoruba people of Nigeria, and he also has ties to Benin, Togo, Ghana and the Ivory Coast. More specifically, he comes from the Yoruba and Fulbe tribes of West Africa.
4. Oprah Winfrey Billionaire media mogul Oprah Winfrey found out on a show called African American Lives that her ancestry traced back to three different countries: Liberia (the Kpelle people), Cameroon (the Bamileke) and Zambia (a Bantu-speaking tribe)
5. Chris Rock Comedian Chris Rock, found that his roots stem from the Udeme people (Ouldémé) of northern Cameroon.
6. Vanessa Williams Former Miss America and actress Vanessa Williams was born in Brooklyn, New York but as a DNA analysis shows the actress is 23% Ghanaian, 15% Cameroonian, 7% Togolese and 5% Senegalese.
7. Erykah Badu When singer and songwriter Erykah Badu found out in 2015 that her heritage traces back to Cameroon, she decided to make a trip there.
8. Don Cheadle The Hotel Rwanda star shares paternal ancestry with the Ewondo ethnic group of the Central African country. On his maternal side, he shares ancestry with the Bamileke, Masa and Tikar people.
9. Sheryl Lee Ralph Most know actress Sheryl Lee Ralph to have ties to her Jamaican roots, but it was only recently that she found she has ties to Cameroon, too.
10. John Legend A DNA test taken in 2012 revealed that American singer and songwriter, John Legend, is 64% African with roots tied to Guinea-Bissau and Sierra Leone.