Which Ancestor Do You Wish You Could Meet?


At a panel held after the premiere screening for Henry Louis Gates Jr.'s new genealogy-themed PBS series, Finding Your Roots, in New York City on Monday, Gates asked Newark, N.J., Mayor Cory Booker and Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.) a poignant question: If you could go back in time to get to know one person from your family tree, who would it be?

Booker, who appears in an episode along with Lewis, told Gates (The Root's editor-in-chief) that he'd like to meet his third great-grandmother, whom he's dreamed about since he received the results of his genealogy test during the show's taping. "Her life to me was fascinating, and in may ways her very existence connected two worlds," Booker said at the panel.

Lewis, who was moved by the findings of his test, said that he would like to meet an ancestor whose interests seemed strikingly similar to his own. In the clip below, Booker and Lewis speak more about the ancestors they wished they had an opportunity to meet.

Finding Your Roots airs Sundays at 8 p.m. on PBS, starting on March 25. Booker and Lewis' episode premieres on April 1. Check local listings to find it in your area.

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