Shannon LaNier is a television reporter, actor, author, and a direct descendant of Thomas Jefferson, the third president of the United States. He's also a Black man — the sixth great-grandson of Jefferson and Sally Hemings, an enslaved woman who had six children with the Founding Father. Read the rest
In early 2016, comedian Larry David played beside Senator Bernie Sanders in an SNL skit. He also portrayed the Vermont politician in "Bern Your Enthusiasm," an SNL spoof of his own show Curb Your Enthusiasm.
David's performance was so spot-on that he received an Emmy award.
The pair learned earlier this year, by appearing on the PBS celebrity genealogy research show Finding Your Roots, that they are actually related. On Tuesday night, when the show's season four premiere aired, we got to see their reactions on learning that their DNA proves they are cousins.
Both Brooklyn natives were charmed by the news.
Sanders responded with a laugh, "You're kidding, oh my God! That's unbelievable." David remarked, "That is really funny. That is amazing. Alright, Cousin Bernie."
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The records will be online by late next year, to coincide with the opening of the new Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture on the National Mall in Washington.
"Yaya and Friends," a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial (2.0) image from bigfatstupidslob's photostream, contributed to the Boing Boing Flickr pool. About the image, I asked him where it came from, and he explained:
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It's my grandmother and some of her friends in what seems to be a dress-up photo studio. Who knew they had them way back when? And in Greece no less! That's Yaya on the top right - her name is Domna.