Marcus Garvey and Martin Luther King trace DNA to Sierra Leone

Murtala Mohammed Kamara, AfricaNews repoter, reports on the tracing of Garvey’s and King’s ancestry.

Martin Luther King III, son of civil right leader Martin Luther King Jr. and Julius Garvey who is also son of Marcus Garvey are the latest African Americans to trace their DNA root to the Mende people of Sierra Leone. Grey Anatomy star Isaiah Washington became the first African American to trace his root to the Mende and Temne people of Sierra Leone.

Washington became the first African American to receive a Sierra Leonean passport through DNA. Inspired by this discovery, Washington set up an elementary school through his Gondobay Manga Foundation. He has used his personal resources and commits himself to make a better life for the people of Sierra Leone.
The DNA testing of both King and Garvey which were revealed at the African ancestry reveal dinner and program at the Hyatt Regency Atlanta: Cetennial Ballroom 3&4 establish that King and Garvey’s forefathers lived in Sierra Leone hundreds of years ago before they were forcefully taken to the United States as slaves.
Garvey and King were among several other African Americans whose DNA results were revealed at the special dinner session on Sunday night at the just ended Africa Policy Forum: A vision for the 21st Century in Atlanta, Georgia.
Speaking with the press immediately after the declaration both King and Garvey confirmed that they will soon visit Sierra Leone to complete the other formalities to get their citizenship.
The five days conference which was organized by The Leon H. Sullivan Foundation is the first to be hosted outside Africa. Founded by the late Rev. Dr. Leon H. Sullivan, the conference has attracted several thousands of delegates from within and outside Africa since it started in 1991.
The conference is focused on building a bridge between Africa and the United State and also foster economic corporation.
Present and past African leaders were in Atlanta for the African Policy Forum among which Nigeria former President Olusegun Obasanjo, Sierra Leone’s minister of Trade and Development David Carew, Hon. Kasim Reed mayor Atlanta,Georgia and Ambassador Andrew Young US former Ambassador to the United Nations, former mayor Atlanta among others.
Key areas addressed at this year’s forum included a high level policy meeting on the Obama Administration’s policy to Africa, exclusive networking opportunities, exciting entertainment, critical education, health and economic opportunities, ccelebrities and live cultural events and sports.
Every two years, the Leon H. Sullivan Foundation convenes thousands of delegates from Africa, America, the Caribbean and Europe to an African country for the Leon H. Sullivan Summit – the largest Diaspora gathering in the world.
The next summit will be hosted in Morocco

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22 thoughts on “Marcus Garvey and Martin Luther King trace DNA to Sierra Leone

  1. “Isaiah Washington became the first African American to trace his root to the Mende and Temne people of Sierra Leone.”
    Then he gets a Sierra Leonean Passport because of his DNA ….then set up a school there …
    Did he find out how is ancestors where sent to the new world?
    Only a question!

    1. It is not unusual for a Sierra Leone an to have dual tribal lineages-Mende/Temne; creole/Sherbro; Mende/Limba, etc. Because intertribal/religious marriages are very common even in today’s world.
      My family (Pieh) is a product of three -Creole/Shebro/Mende -tribal identities. We are descendants of the Amistad Saga. We know the grave sites of our parents in Sierra Leone; We know the migration pattern of our ancestors from the time of their return to Freetown, to Shebro town of Bambu ibuprofen, Moyamba District to Bauya, Taiama, Njama, Tongea/Panguma-Kenema District and Back to the USA where over 45 immediate descendants are legal residents/Citizens who believe in American Values and committed to the profound ideology of Freedom, Justice and rights to pursue happiness with civic responsibilities. We are productively engaged in Medical practices, Environmental protection & Law, Hospital Administration, Transportation& Communication Services, Academia, International and Diplomatic Services, Insurance and Hospitality, and NGO/Missionary work. We applaud all your efforts to help improve Standards and Quality Living for people living in your newly identified homeland in Sierra Leone, West Africa. Thank God that there many such stories in the Gambia, Benin, Cote d’I voice and several other African Nations where Africans in the Diaspora realistically originated.

      1. This morning, I found peace in your writing knowing that we have all of you Sierra Leone will become great again. we need to work with you to make our country the blessed land that we love. I am Sherbro hailing from Bonthe Island and went to school with some Piehs. The Pieh families are from Sherbro land. I remember also Mary Moran and her descendants when they visited Sierra Leone over ten years ago after the discovery that they have their root here in Sierra Leone. I work in development and with an international NGO, Plan international based in Freetown.

  2. It is not impossible, the Mende triats is seen in thier ability to Militate, and Mobilize, the Mendes, are like that.

  3. Hinga Demby: My intuitive mind always tells me that Martin Luther King, Jr is one of ours, a severed distant relation! His close resemblance to my forbears. Let his descendants come down to a small town (Gerihun) in the south of Sierra Leon, Bo District and I will show them what I mean.

    1. Mentioning Gerihun brings back good memory as my dad’s older brother Osman Hamid (deceased) was the station master. During the holidays, our parents will gave us travel by train to Uncle Osman for at least two weeks. Rather unfortunate that I could not learn Mende language.

  4. Hinga Demby: My intuitive mind always tells me that Martin Luther King, Jr is one of ours, a severed distant relation! His close resemblance to my forbears. Let his descendants come down to a small town (Gerihun) in the south of Sierra Leone, Bo District and I will show them what I mean.

  5. Perhaps a little explanation on how this DNA is done and traced will suffice. Surely though, African Americans know their ancestors came from either one African country or the other

  6. My 20 years African American delopmatic research has not failed my intuitions. I had no doubt in my mind that the long awaiting hidden truth shall manifest itself when the due process is completed. The charismatic Leaders Marcus Garvey and Martin Luther King jr. were true replicas of the Then Anthems of Africa from the two greatest tribes, the Temne and Mende of Sierra Leone.
    Thanks to most unimaginable advancement of (DNA) and ICT which help not only to reunite the lost families but also to restore their confidence that they have a Home of their Origin called Sierra Leone.

    1. I still feel excited as I did on the day the announcement was made. I felt so connected to greatness. But am somehow disappointed that Bunce Island, the gateway of slavery to the Americas is still neglected. It is a great historical monument that will go down forever if our government and our families in the USA whose connection to us has been proven do not work hand in hand for its revival. Isaiah Washington cannot do it alone. My hats off to him. If I am wrong on this, no offence.

      1. Thanks for that observation. How can we keep it as Senegal has done. Please contact the \minister of tourism and work with the Tourism Ministry on this.

  7. The Back to Africa Movement funded by Whites after the Civil War was started because Sierra Leone and Liberia were prime locales for newly freed slaves to begin a new life. The experiment in reparation in both countries failed in part because the indigenous tribes in both countries made life difficult for the returning newly freed slaves and some of those wishing to return to the States refused to accept the reality of their new life.

    I applaud the heirs of the esteemed Messieurs Garvey, King Families and, of course, the Leon Sullivan Foundation.

  8. I sm a Sierra Leonesn. My name is Eugenia Chinsman I live in Norwalk Connecticut. For the pas 18 years I have been selling Roots and Cultural Tours to West Africa and I have connected over 200 people with their roots and some of them have found the exact tribe they came from. We travel to Ghana. Togo. Benin, Mali, Nigetia the Gambia. Senegal, Nigeria, Sierra Leone . I will be willing yo
    Help anyone who
    Would like to take these tours and make these connections. Our theme is ‘CONFRONTING THE PAST AND PREPARING FOR THE FUTURE.’ Our next tour yo Ghana. Benin and Togo will be from March 28-April
    20 2019

  9. We heartily welcome our own to the motherland. It is no secret that African Americans living in the United States have their ancestral homelands here on the African soil. Truly speaking there is absolutely no need to have to go through DNA analysis before our brothers and sisters feel comfortable that they belong here. The gene is very dominant no matter what you do. DNA or not as “Peter Tosh” once put it in one of his lyrics “As long as you are a black man, you are an African”. Welcome home my brothers and sisters.

    1. Thanks.i agree with you completely.what my family are doing in Sl is known only to the people that we are doing it with. Senehun gola is our home. Wilson Moran. Son of Mary Moran. The change isn’t coming,it’s here.

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