Comedic Actress Maya Rudolph Gets Emotional Learning About Her Ancestors Slavery History

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Maya Rudolph is a famous comedy actress from SNL, and is the daughter of late singer Minnie Riperton. Rudolph is mixed with African-American, and it's one thing to know our ancestors were slaves, but it's another to see our ancestors, know their names and what they did.

Rudolph went on the PBS genealogy show "Finding My Roots", the show aired last night, and Rudolph learned so much from about her ancestors. In the show, she learned about one of her great-grandfathers. The great-grandfather, who was a freed slave, was denied the compensation and liberty granted to him by his owner's will. In the 1830s, Rudolph's great-grandfather challenged the owner's grandson in a court of law and won.

In response, Rudolph asked, "How is that even possible? I can't imagine what the odds could have been, and then they went in his favor. To me, that's tremendous courage." After pausing for a moment, Rudolph says, "Yeah, they're my people. That's really cool."

Ruldolph herself stated, "I know I'm from 'peoples,' but I don't know who they are. I want to know people's names, I want to know what they did, I want to know where they lived. I want to go as far back as possible."