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Tom Joyner is the host of the nationally syndicated radio program The Tom Joyner Morning Show, and is heard daily by millions of listeners.

Milestones in Tom Joyner's ancestry:

  • 1790 Tom Joyner's great, great, great grandfather Tony Dumas is born in Africa, a member of the Balanta people from the country of Guinea Bissau. Tony Dumas is brought to America as a slave between 1790 and 1808 after which the importation of slaves to the United States was prohibited by Congress.

  • 1834 Obadiah Dumas, the owner of Tom Joyner's great, great, great grandparents Tony and Clara Dumas, dies in the same year that the state of Alabama passes a statute prohibiting owners from manumitting slaves in their wills. Obadiah had provided for their freedom upon his wife's death, but Tom and Clara are refused manumission and die slaves.

  • 1909 Oscar Joyner, Tom Joyner's grandfather, graduates from Meharry Medical College, one of only 3,000 black physicians in the U. S. (two percent of all doctors in the country).

  • Between 1910 and 1925, 1 in 10 African-Americans move out of the rural South to seek employment opportunities in Northern cities, an exodus called "The Great Migration."

    Unlike the majority of African-Americans during this time, Tom Joyner's maternal grandparents, Nettie Lavinia Stanback and Isaac Lafayette Dumas, go south to Alabama where he works as a farmer and she is a teacher in a mission school started by the Presbyterian Church.

  • 1913 Tom and Meeks Griffith, great-uncles of Tom Joyner, are charged with killing a white Confederate soldier named John Q. Lewis in South Carolina. Their family leaves South Carolina after the brothers and three others are found guilty by an all-white jury and electrocuted in 1915. Of the 47 people who were put to death in South Carolina between 1912 and 1920, 44 were black.

  • 1949 Tom Joyner is born in Tuskegee, Alabama, home of the Tuskegee Institute and airmen program.

American Lives 2: Dr. Henry Louis Gates - 2008

LL Cool J

Finding Your Roots w/

Dr. Henry Louis Gates

Season 3

February 2016

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