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African American Lives 2 -- Hosted by Henry Louis Gates, Jr.
In Search of Our Roots -- Buy the companion book now from ShopPBS
Tina Turner
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Henry Louis Gates, Jr. Linda Johnson Rice Don Cheadle Chris Rock Tom Joyner Peter Gomes Maya Angelou Morgan Freeman Jackie Joyner-Kersee Tina Turner Katheleen Henderson Bliss Broyard
Among the most popular and influential performers of all time, Tina Turner is legendary for her contributions to Rock, R&B and Soul music. A presence in American music since the 'fifties, Turner's catalog includes dozens of certified hits, including "Fool in Love" (1960), "River Deep, Mountain High" (1966), "Proud Mary" (1971), and "What's Love Got to Do With it?" (1984). The winner of eight Grammy awards, the "Queen of Rock and Roll" was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1991.

Milestones in Tina Turner's ancestry:

  • Between 1790 and 1860, 1 million slaves are forced to move from the upper South to the deep South to create the cotton kingdom. Among them is Lucy Kimbro, Tina Turner's great, great, great grandmother, who is born in North Carolina and forced to move to Tennessee.

  • 1805 Tina Turner's great, great, great grandmother Lucy Kimbro is born into slavery in North Carolina. In the same year, the abolitionist William Lloyd Garrison is born in Newburyport, Massachusetts. Garrison will advance abolition through publishing anti-slavery articles in his newspaper, "The Liberator," and forming the Anti-Slavery Society in 1832.

  • Between 1870 and 1888, Logan Currie, Tina Turner's great, great grandfather, marries over 50 African American couples.

  • 1866 Tina Turner's great, great grandfather Logan Currie signs a labor contract in Madison County, Tennessee, with Jesse Currie, the man that owned him during slavery. In exchange for land and the resources to cultivate it, Logan promises to grow grain and cotton. Such arrangements came to be known as sharecropping.

  • 1889 Benjamin B. Flag, the older brother of Tina Turner's maternal great grandfather, George Flag, sells one acre of his land for a school, Flag Grove School House, in Haywood County, Tennessee.

  • 1939 Tina Turner is born Anna Mae Bullock in Haywood, Tennessee.

  • Put Tina Turner's life and ancestry in historical context with the Interactive Historical Timeline.


    Major corporate funding for African American Lives 2 and its outreach initiatives is provided by The Coca-Cola Company and Johnson & Johnson. Additional corporate funding is provided by Buick.
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