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Actor Sterling K. Brown was overwhelmed to the point of tears when he found out key details about his lineage on a recent episode of Henry Louis Gates’ show “Finding Your Roots.”

Before Gates dove into Brown’s deep past, the Emmy-Award winning actor had to come to terms with the loss of his most recent ancestor, his father.

The “This Is Us” star spoke about losing his dad at ten years old and the last memories he has of his father.

“I remember him like winking as they pulled him out into the ambulance,” Brown said of the last time he saw his dad on the episode.

“I remember thinking in my mind, That’s probably it. That’s probably it. It’s just something unsaid.”

Even though young Brown was overcome with emotion, he immediately felt compelled to “hold it together” despite his grief. But as an adult, the father of two learned that letting the tears flow was the best thing for him.

He no longer “holds it together” when he feels the pains of the loss.

“Not anymore. Now I just look at a picture and I’m like, Wah!” Brown revealed.

So it was not surprising that learning the birthplace of his ancestors led Brown to be visibility moved to tears. As Henry Louis Gates read off the birth place of his ancestors, Brown was stunned.

“Wow, man,” exclaimed Brown. “Wow. That’s, uh … That’s cool,” he said while weeping.

You can watch the clip below:



During the emotional conversation, Brown learned that his lineage goes back to Africa. The actor’s great-grandmother and grandfather was born on the continent. It’s very rare for African Americans to find native-born Africans on their family tree, but Brown has someone in his bloodline born on African soil just two generations away. The documents did not disclose where on the continent his family is from.


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