Invited as part of a famous program broadcast on the PBS channel, “Finding your roots”, Edward Norton is logically flabbergasted to learn that he is a descendant of the famous Pocahontas!
On the poster for Glass Onion, broadcast on Netflix, where he portrays a billionaire character, Edward Norton was recently the guest of a famous program broadcast on the PBS channel, entitled Finding your roots.
Presented by Henry Louis Gates Jr, designer of the show, historian and above all specialist in genealogy teaching at Harvard, the show aims, as its name suggests, to embark on a search for the ancestors of the guests, amazed and very often moved by the discoveries made.
In 2015, for example, Don Cheadle was particularly shocked by revelations about his slave ancestors. These were not owned by white people, but by Indians of the Chickasaw tribe, who resided in the southeastern United States.
The terrible and cruel irony is that his ancestors remained slaves years after the abolition of slavery, a consequence of the Civil War. The reason ? The nation of Chickasaws was sovereign, and refused to abandon its slaves. And long after the US federal government forced the Indians to release their slaves, the Chickasaws refused to give them citizenship, contrary to what the American authorities did after freeing the slaves.
Still, it was recently the turn of Edward Norton to delve into his past with introspection. And to be in turn absolutely flabbergasted by the discovery of Henry Gates Jr.
Going back 12 generations, it turns out that the actor’s great-grandmother is none other than the illustrious Pocahontas, married to John Rolfe in April 1614, whose tragic story has been brought to the fore many times. screen, at Disney as in Terrence Malick’s sublime film.
The channel aired a short excerpt from the show, with Norton’s logically stunned reaction, listening to the host explain to him that there is a whole trail of authenticated documents relating to his genealogy, therefore dating back to 1614. “It makes you realize how much you are only a small piece of all human history” drop the actor.
In the episode, Norton also learns that his ancestors also owned an entire family of slaves: a 55-year-old man, his 37-year-old wife, and their five daughters. “These things are uncomfortable and […] you should be uncomfortable with them. Everyone should be uncomfortable with that” drop the actor. Adding: “It is not a judgment on you and your own life, but it is a judgment on the history of our country. It must first and foremost be recognized, then it must be fought”.