It may sound strange, but for William Holland, 43, of Atlanta, incorporating the long-lost African members of his family into this year’s family reunion is a reality. From the first DNA test he took in 2004 to his upcoming reunion this Memorial Day, Holland has accomplished the seemingly impossible through patience and sheer determination.
Tracing his family line all the way from the Virginia plantations where his American forefathers worked to the Oku people of Cameroon, Holland then discovered that several members of his “African side” were closer than he ever imagined — living in Northern Virginia and Maryland. Holland spoke to BET.com ahead of the big day about his own journey and the importance of knowing our history.
Holland’s genealogical journey started around 2004 when he took his first DNA test through Ancestry.com and began prodding his aging father for details about deceased family members. A year later, after his father died, Holland chose to take his search to the next level.