After discovering the horrors his family endured, Emmitt says he's even more thankful for the power of progress. "I thank God for people who stood up for equality for all of us," he says.

Emmitt says he felt the true power of his newfound knowledge while sitting on the porch of an old slave quarters in Clayborn, Alabama.

"That house down in Clayborn is where I started to put things together," he says. "And right then and there, I sensed that my ancestors were crying out to me because they were lost for so many years, and here, their great-great-grandson is going on the journey to find who they were."

While Emmitt sat on the porch, it started to rain. "It was coming to me all at one time, and it was incredible," he says. "Oftentimes, people want closure, and I felt like my folks did not have closure. At that time, when I found that information, I felt like they were crying out, 'We got closure now.'"


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