Sunny Hostin's genealogical past is featured in the most recent episode of Finding Your Roots
Sunny Hostin's genealogical past is featured in the most recent episode of Finding Your Roots

Sunny Hostin Discovers Ancestral Ties to Spain and Slave Ownership


In the latest episode of PBS’s Finding Your Roots, hosted by Henry Louis Gates, Jr., Sunny Hostin’s ancestral background takes center stage, revealing surprising details about her heritage.

Ancestral Origins and Slave Ownership:

Hostin learns that she is only 7 percent indigenous Puerto Rican and discovers the unsettling truth that her ancestors “likely” owned slaves. 

Gates Jr. reveals that Hostin’s third great-grandfather, Fermín, was connected to the slave trade, shedding light on her family’s ties to Spain’s colonial past.

Tangible Connections to Spain:

Hostin reflects on her newfound “tangible connection to Spain,” especially considering her husband, Emmanuel “Manny” Hostin’s mixed heritage, including Spanish and Haitian roots. The revelation prompts Hostin to reassess her identity and familial history.

Expressing shock at the discovery, Hostin acknowledges her previous understanding of her heritage as primarily Puerto Rican. 

However, she finds solace in sharing this information with her children and appreciates the shared roots she and her husband possess.

Acknowledging Uncomfortable Truths:

Despite the discomfort of learning about her family’s involvement in slavery, Hostin recognizes the importance of acknowledging and discussing these uncomfortable truths. 

She emphasizes the educational value for future generations in understanding the complexities of heritage and history.

Continuing Dialogue on Identity:

Hostin’s journey of self-discovery extends beyond this episode, as she has been vocal about her Afro-Latino identity and the importance of representation in media and entertainment. 

She highlights the growing solidarity among individuals embracing their Blackness, fostering a sense of community and inclusivity.

Hostin’s openness about her identity and heritage contributes to a broader dialogue surrounding representation and diversity. 

Through her memoir and public discussions, she encourages others to embrace and celebrate their cultural backgrounds, fostering a more inclusive society.

Impact on Media and Beyond:

Hostin’s reflections underscore the evolving representation landscape in media and the broader societal impact of embracing diverse identities. 

She contributes to a more nuanced understanding of identity and heritage by sharing her story and engaging in meaningful dialogue.

Joshua Skate

Joshua Skate is a prominent contributor at Insider Los Angeles, known for his vibrant storytelling and deep dive into the city's culture, trends, and hidden gems. His pieces bring to life the unique spirit and diversity of Los Angeles, making him a go-to source for all things LA.

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