In this week's Who Do You Think You Are?, James Bond star Naomie Harris star looks into her Caribbean roots
“I was asked seven years ago to be on it,” Naomie told TV Times. “And I don’t think I was ready.
“I’d never been interested in my ancestry but when my mum gave me a DNA kit as a present and I discovered I was almost 50% Nigerian, it sparked my interest, so then I approached the show!”
First, Naomie heads to Trinidad and then Grenada on the trail of her paternal ancestors, who she knows nothing about.
She is horrified to learn that, after the abolition of slavery, her four-times great-grandfather managed a sugar plantation worked by “liberated Africans” who were in fact tied to contracts and unable to leave.
“Being from the Caribbean, you know you’re involved in slavery in some way,” says Naomie. “But – it seems naive now – I never thought that my family would’ve been overseers, so it was a huge shock.
“But it’s a wonderful message that we’re made up of a multitude of different heritages, because you can’t be racist when you’re a mixture of so many things.”
Meanwhile, in Jamaica, as she takes an emotional look into the roots of her beloved maternal grandfather Joscelyn, she uncovers a surprise on his birth certificate and another story of slavery but also hope as she traces her five-times great-grandmother, Elizabeth Leevers.