During Tuesday’s edition of “Finding Your Roots” on PBS, racial activist and former runaway Angela Davis revealed how surprised she was to discover she is a Mayflower descendant.
Davis is well known for his involvement with the Black Panther Party and the Communist Party USA in the 1960s and 1970s. Her role in the armed invasion of a courthouse in California led to the murders of four people and her inclusion on the FBI’s Most Wanted List.
Davis, who is now 79, was the most recent guest on the PBS program that teaches famous people about their history.
The former Black Panther discovered at the conclusion of the show that she was descended from William Brewster, one of the 101 passengers who traveled to the colonies aboard the Mayflower in 1620, after talking about many members of her family.
The program’s host and the Hutchins Center for African & African American Studies at Harvard University, Henry Louis Gates Jr., tweeted a snippet of the episode on Twitter.
“Our researchers discovered #AngelaDavis’s ancestors traveled to the US on the Mayflower and here is her reaction. #FindingYourRoots,” he said on his Twitter account.
“Do you know what you’re looking at? That is a list of the passengers on the Mayflower,” Gates questioned Davis.
“Do you know what you’re looking at? That is a list of the passengers on the Mayflower.”— Henry Louis Gates Jr (@HenryLouisGates) February 22, 2023
Our researchers discovered #AngelaDavis’s ancestors traveled to the US on the Mayflower and here is her reaction. #FindingYourRoots pic.twitter.com/G2HhA9BSrT
“No, I can’t believe this. No, my ancestors did not come here on the Mayflower,” Davis answered while laughing.
Although Gates checked the results and then reacted, she persisted in her resistance., “Oof. That’s a little bit too much to deal with right now.”
“Would you ever in your wildest dreams think that you may have been descended from the people who laid the foundation of this country?” he said.