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Genetic Genealogy on TV – Meeting David Wilson

MSNBC will air a documentary tomorrow evening about the journey of 28-year-old African American David Wilson as he discovers his genealogical roots. Wilson uses both traditional genealogical research as well as DNA testing to learn more about his ancestry. Along the way, Wilson meets another David Wilson, a white 62-year-old descendant of the slaveowners who owned the other’s ancestors. From the Meeting David Wilson website:

“Coinciding with the 40th anniversary of the assassination of civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., MSNBC will premiere “Meeting David Wilson,” the remarkable and inspiring story of a young man’s reconciliation with his ancestors’ history as slaves. The world premiere of “Meeting David Wilson,” on April 11 at 9 p.m. ET will be hosted by “Today” Correspondent Tiki Barber and followed by a 90-minute live discussion of racial issues in America. The live event will be moderated by “NBC Nightly News” Anchor and Managing Editor Brian Williams and held at Howard University in Washington, D.C.”

The younger David Wilson also undergoes DNA testing in hopes to learn more about his ancestry:

“Curious to learn if they have more than a name in common, David tests his DNA. One of the results of this test identifies his African origins. Once this match is made, the lab provides him with a name and location of an African ethnic group and he travels back to Africa to complete his journey.”

To learn more, there is the official Meeting David Wilson Blog, an article on MSNBC, an interesting downloadable press kit (pdf) with a synopsis and pictures (pictures also available online here), other videos. And finally, here is the YouTube trailer:

HT: The Genealogue, and Megan’s Roots World.

Blaine Bettinger

Intellectual property attorney, genealogist, and author of The Genetic Genealogist since 2007

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