"This is a lot to take in. A lot I've never seen and never heard," Regina King shared after learning about her grandfather.
Although Regina King's late father, Thomas King Jr, didn't talk about his youth when he was still living, the actor discovered some startling details about his origins while filming an episode of PBS' Finding Your Roots, which helped her better understand him. After coming across the unimaginable double life of her grandfather, King became emotional. King praised her father during the episode, which was shown during Season 8 of the PBS program. Thomas King Jr. passed away in 2009. She did, however, admit that her father was a very enigmatic figure as per TODAY.
Henry Louis Gates Jr., the host of the program, then informed King that her father's youth was not entirely spent with her grandpa, Thomas King Sr. She was surprised to learn this. "Growing up, I never really knew much about him other than he loved us and where he worked and his friends, who were his good friends. But never did he share (his roots)," she said. “From my vantage point as a girl, my grandfather was definitely in (my father’s) life because I knew my grandfather. My grandfather actually gave me away at my wedding,” she added.
The 52-year-old star had a combination of emotions upon discovering that her late dad didn't have a solid father figure in his life. Census data from 1940 demonstrate that King's grandpa had two distinct families in two different places. Ruby, King's grandmother, and his father both resided in Memphis. However, her grandfather was formally wed to a Chicago-based woman called Cora. When King first saw the census record, she stated, "I don't understand." His separate life had never been mentioned in her family. Hearing this offered King new insight into Ruby's disposition. “It makes me angry. It makes me feel sad for my dad," King said in an exclusive word with the outlet.
"My grandmother was a very sad woman. I remember that as a little girl," King shared talking about her grandma. "My mind is just ... this is a lot to take in. A lot I've never seen and never heard," she said. The discovery, in her words, was "unimaginable." The actor was able to comprehend her father a little more after learning about the many layers of his childhood. The Finding Your Roots crew was able to dive into Thomas King Sr.'s biography to uncover that he likewise grew up under "challenging circumstances."
When he was a little child, James and Callie King were divorced. Records indicate that she vanished from his life and moved to a new city with a new spouse. King said that her family's "resilience" stems from her great-grandfather when reflecting on what he went through. Reflecting on the revelation and all that her family had gone through she said, “Pain is inherited as well as joy."
Cover Image Source: Getty Images | Paras Griffin