Independent Journal

The View’s Sunny Hostin learns she descends from Spanish slaveholders on Finding Your Roots

Sunny Hostin, the co-host of the ABC talk show The View and a vocal advocate for reparations for slavery, was stunned to discover that she had ancestral ties to the Spanish slave trade on the PBS documentary series Finding Your Roots.

The View’s Sunny Hostin learns she descends from Spanish slaveholders on Finding Your Roots
Image: @sunny

Sunny Hostin, who identifies as Puerto Rican and Black, learned that her mother’s family were originally from Spain and owned at least one enslaved person in colonial times. She also found out that she had a large amount of Spanish ancestry in her DNA, as well as some indigenous Puerto Rican heritage.

Hostin expressed shock and disappointment at the revelation, saying: “I just always thought of myself as Puerto Rican… I didn’t think my family was originally from Spain and slaveholders.” She also reflected on the reality of some people profiting “on the backs of others” through slavery.

Hostin’s discovery sparked backlash and accusations of hypocrisy from some netizens, who questioned her stance on reparations in light of her ancestral revelation. Some suggested that she was undeserving of reparations due to her European ancestry, while others pointed out the irony of her being married to a man who also has Spanish roots.

Hostin’s mother, who identified strongly with Puerto Rican and Black cultures despite being of European descent, was also visibly disappointed by the news. Hostin said: “Maybe that’s why I have been so connected to Black culture, because it’s an atonement in my spirit.”

Read More

Dakota Johnson reveals her ‘worst time’ filming ‘The Office’ finale

Shawn Levy to Receive Helen Keller Achievement Award from AFB for His Groundbreaking Series All the Light We Cannot See

Hostin’s maternal ancestor who was likely involved in the slave trade was a merchant named Juan de la Cruz, who lived in the 18th century in Seville, Spain. He owned at least one enslaved person, according to a document shown by the host of Finding Your Roots, Henry Louis Gates Jr.

Hostin was also surprised by the discovery of her deeper ties to Spain through her family tree and her DNA. She said she had always thought of herself as “non-White” and had faced discrimination because of her appearance. Gates joked about her reaction to her family’s Spanish roots, prompting a somber response from Hostin.

Hostin expressed disappointment about her family’s ties to slavery, saying: “I don’t want to be part of that. I don’t want to be part of the oppressor.” She also reflected on her mother’s identity as Puerto Rican and non-White, and how it influenced her upbringing and political activism on social justice issues.

Despite the shocking revelations, Hostin found solace in discovering her third great-grandfather’s voter registration card from 1867, suggesting he was likely born into slavery but exercised his right to vote after the Civil War. Hostin reacted emotionally, describing the discovery as “amazing” and wiping away tears. She said she found inspiration in her ancestor’s determination to register to vote despite the challenges of slavery and the post-Civil War era.

Hostin’s response to the revelation was that her initial disappointment gave way to a sense of enrichment from knowing her family’s complex history. She reaffirmed her belief in reparations despite criticism, emphasizing her enriched understanding of her family’s journey from enslavers to her parents’ union. She said: “I think that’s the beauty of this country, that we can come from such different places and end up in such a beautiful place.”

Hostin also addressed the accusations of being undeserving of reparations due to her European ancestry, with her co-host Whoopi Goldberg dismissing such claims.

She said: “Reparations are not about blood quantum, they’re about the legacy of slavery in this country and how it has affected generations of people.”

Hostin acknowledged her mother’s identification as Puerto Rican and Black, but realized her ancestry identifies her as “White” and European. She described her mother’s physical appearance and how it aligns with her newfound understanding of her family’s history. “My mom looks like a White woman. She has green eyes, she has light skin, she has freckles.”

Hostin also discovered that she had seven percent indigenous Puerto Rican heritage, adding complexity to her identity. She said: “I’m really proud of that, because that means that I have some of the original people of Puerto Rico in me.”

Initially felt “deeply disappointed,” Hostin later expressed “enriched” by knowing her family’s history. She reflected on her family’s journey from enslavers to her parents’ marriage in 1968, which was considered interracial at the time. She described her mother’s emotional reaction to the news, indicating a connection to Black culture as “atonement.” ‘You know, maybe that’s why I married your dad. Maybe that’s why I married a Black man. Because I felt that I had to do something to make up for what my ancestors did.”

Source: via 1

Leave a Reply