The comedian and actress was professionally researched for a segment of “Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates, Jr.” and the pros discovered that she has the longest recorded history the franchise has ever uncovered.
Gates and his team of researchers found that her paternal ninth great-grandmother, Elizabeth Banks was a white woman who was punished with “thirty-nine lashes” for “fornication and bastardy with a negro slave” as is written on a June 20, 1683 court document from York County, Va.
Among the other celebrities to be featured on “Finding Your Roots” are Barbara Walters (who learns her original family surname), Harry Connick Jr., Samuel L. Jackson, Margaret Cho, Kevin Bacon, Rep. John Lewis (of Georgia), Branford Marsalis, Robert Downey Jr. and Dr. Sanjay Gupta.
The Wanda Sykes episode will air in May.
Read/learn more at NY Times.