'View' host Sunny Hostin stunned to learn her ancestor was a slaveholder: 'That's disappointing'

user avatar Author: Editors Desk, Kristine Parks, Fox News Source: Fox News:
February 8, 2024 at 14:01
"The View" host Sunny Hostin was shocked to learn about her family's history in the slave trade on the PBS show, "Finding Your Roots." PBS/Screenshot
"The View" host Sunny Hostin was shocked to learn about her family's history in the slave trade on the PBS show, "Finding Your Roots." PBS/Screenshot

'The View' host appeared on the February 6 episode of 'Finding Your Roots'

"The View" host Sunny Hostin was shocked to discover her family's hidden history in a new episode of the PBS documentary show, "Finding Your Roots."

The documentary show researches prominent figures' family histories through historical records and DNA testing. On the February 6 episode, show host Henry Louis Gates Jr. revealed one of Hostin's ancestors on her maternal side was likely involved in the slave trade in colonial Spain. 

Her third great-grandfather also "owned at least one human being," he said.

Hostin, whose mother is Puerto Rican and father is Black, confessed the revelation left her "in shock."

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photo of Sunny Hostin stunned on Finding Your Roots
"The View" host Sunny Hostin was shocked to learn about her family's history in the slave trade on the PBS show, "Finding Your Roots." (PBS/Screenshot)

 

"Wow, I’m a little bit in shock. I just always thought of myself as half Puerto Rican. I didn’t think my family was originally from Spain and slaveholders," she said.

She shared that her husband Manny's family is also from Spain, so they have that in common.

"I think it’s actually pretty interesting that my husband and I have shared roots, so I do appreciate that, and I think it’s great for our children to know this information. I guess it’s a fact of life that this is how some people made their living, on the backs of others," she continued. 

Hostin's family tree and own DNA revealed even deeper ties to Spain, which further surprised Hostin.

"I had no idea the Spanish roots to this extent. I'm still sorta shocked at the depth of the ties," she said.

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Sunny Hostin stunned by family history news
Sunny Hostin was "disappointed" to learn her family descended from slaveholders. (PBS/Screenshot)

 

Gates teased Hostin that her White side of her family had to have "come from somewhere," before jokingly asking her what she had against Spain.

"Just the colonization of other people," Hostin responded with a chuckle before growing more somber. "I’m surprised that they were enslavers, actually. That’s disappointing."

Hostin went on to say that her mother "certainly identifies as Puerto Rican and non-White, actually." 

"So I hate this for her," she said with a laugh.

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Sunny Hostin
"The View" co-host Sunny Hostin also learned about her third great-grandfather on her father's side who was likely born into slavery. (Screenshot/ABC/TheView)

 

Earlier in the show, Hostin explained how her mother was very politically active and often took her to protests as a child, which shaped Hostin's concerns about social justice.

"The View" host received happier news later in the show. Gates presented her with her third great-grandfather's Georgia voter registration card from 1867. The show host said Hostin's ancestor was likely born into slavery in 1835.

"Wow, that's cool," she said, admitting the news touched her. Wiping back tears, she remarked happily, "That's amazing. In 1867 to register to vote… that's amazing."

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