Vy Higginsen

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Oprah says Dr. King challenged people to see how we are all more alike than we are different…a lesson one New York woman learned when she embarked on a journey far from home.

In Harlem, New York, Vy Higginsen turned her passion for African-American culture and theater into the Mama Foundation for the Arts, a company that helps preserve gospel, blues and jazz music.

In her personal life, Vy also set out to preserve the memory of her ancestors. Since the death of her grandmother, Anna West, in 1978, Vy says she's been studying her family's history and searching for answers.

To determine her true ancestry, Vy took a DNA test…and received surprising results. The test revealed that she was 28 percent European. "I called the laboratory," she says. "[I said], 'It's got to be a mistake, something's wrong here. Where does this European blood come from? Who are these people?'"

Then, one day an unexpected caller gave Vy her answer.