On the latest episode of PBS’ “Finding Your Roots,” Janet Mock, Ta-Nehisi Coates, and Ava DuVernay trace their ancestry back as far as possible. When Mock, a transgender icon, is presented evidence of where her last name comes from, her response is as classy and interesting as she is.
Host Henry Louis Gates, Jr. shows Mock a piece of paper that shows a William Mock from Louisiana who owned an unnamed slave that the show has discovered is her third great-grandfather. The two discuss how slaves often took their former (or current) owner’s last name during the period, when Mock muses that her ancestor “chose” his name just as she chose her first name after coming out as transgender.
Watch below for a snippet from Mock’s segment. The episode will air tonight.