In a recent sit-down, actress and former talk show host, Tamera Mowry-Housley comes face-to-face with her complicated Irish and Bahamian ancestral history. 

Mowry-Housley sat down with Harvard professor and historian, Henry Louis Gates Jr. for the latest episode of “Finding Your Roots”, a PBS series that uncovers the ancestral pasts of celebrities. Using DNA evidence and historical records, Gates Jr. presents Tamera with some astounding facts that leaves her both in tears and in awe.

Tamera has spoken candidly about the struggles she faces as a result of her mixed-race background and interracial marriage. She shared in her memoir, You Should Sit Down for This: A Memoir about Life, Wine, and Cookies, part of the reason for her exit from the Emmy-winning talk show, The Real, was the anxiety brought on by the negative backlash she would get about her and her husband, former FOX News correspondent, Adam Housley. And while she and her three siblings, Tahj, Tavior and Tia, are the products of another interracial marriage (her mother is of Bahamian heritage and her father is Irish American), both Tia and Tamera have shared the challenges they experienced growing up biracial. 

While finding out about enslaved ancestors on her mother’s side brought Mowry to tears, discovering her father’s ancestors were among the first settlers in America elicited Tamera’s complicated feelings about her mixed-race heritage— “This is what’s crazy about being biracial—I have blood that started it, and then I have blood that was enslaved by it.” 

See what other surprising discoveries were made about Tamera’s family tree and catch episode co-star, Billy Crudup’s surprising, melanin-filled, long-distance relative.

Watch the full episode here:

Follow @tameramowry @henrylouisgates @ancestry on Instagram.

Main picture courtesy of Henry Louis Gates’ Instagram.