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Finding out about his ancestor's accomplishments was mind-blowing, Chris says. "It's weird how you don't realize what low expectations you have for yourself until somebody shows you what your people have actually accomplished," he says. "I would've never thought anybody in my family did anything like that. It really blew my mind."

Chris says the experience made him feel a range of emotion. "It made me proud that this stuff exists and I can pass it down to my children," he says. "And it made me a little sad because I always considered myself so lucky. Yes, there's a lot of luck with the success … but when you see that people before you managed to make it, you feel like maybe it's your birthright or destiny. We as black people don't feel that we're destined to do anything but bad, and when we do good, we're like, 'Ooh, I'm so lucky.' So it made me happy and sad."
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FROM: What Makes America America
Published on January 23, 2008

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