As part of his ongoing ancestry series, Dr. Henry Louis Gates, Jr. sits down with rapper Nas to share pertinent info about his ancestors in the deep south. In the moving video, Nas is shown a bill of sale for one of his great, great, great grandparents dated March 27, 1859.
“A receipt for a human being,” Nas says as he lets out a breath. “Received of Benjamin Franklin Little, $830 being in full for the purchase of a negro slave named Pocahantas. They paid $830 for my great, great, great Grandma? I got more than that in my pocket right now.”
Gates goes on to reveal that she was 14 or 15 years old when she was sold and shows Nas photos of the man who owned her.
“This is painful now. To see that, that hurts.”
Watch the full video below.
Here’s the full episode of the PBS special featuring Nas, Angela Bassett and White House adviser Valerie Jarrett.