Charlene White emotional as she discovers ancestor was slave owner Hes responsible

Loose Women: Charlene White is introduced as new anchor

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As more British celebrities trace back their family history in the return of BBC One’s Who Do You Think You Are?, the Loose Women host is taking a look at her own roots on ITV’s Empire’s Child. The new programme is set to air this Thursday, but a first-look clip has already revealed Charlene White’s stunned reaction to her surprising genealogy. 

White discovered her five times great-grandfather John Stanbury was a slave owner in the new TV documentary. 

In a new clip for Empire’s Child, the Loose Women mainstay is rendered astonished when she traces her family tree back to Jamaica. 

She’s shocked and emotional when the unearthed documents reveal her ancestors’ connections to the British Empire. 

“He was a slave owner, he owned people who looked like me,” White explains.

“And that is within my bloodline, which is a weird thing to get my head around and he is responsible for my families’ lighter skin. 

“Is it a nice history? No, but I feel it is something I needed to know.”

The new documentary will follow the news presenter as she comes to terms with some of the more uncomfortable parts of her family history. 

White will host the in-depth documentary film as part of ITV’s Black History Month programming throughout October.

The Loose Women presenter will be joined by several members of her immediate family to unlock the secrets of their heritage.

They’ll also attempt to answer why so many Black Britons are still fighting to identify as British despite their positive contributions. 

In the documentary, White meets up with genealogist Dianne Golding-Frankson to find out more about Stanbury.

The expert informs her Stanbury had a number of children, many of whom were mixed race.

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White struggles to comprehend the information as she realises the extent of her ancestor’s role in the British slave trade. 

She responds: “You know the red in my hair when it’s not dyed? Gosh, it’s because of this man. 

“This man could have been responsible for a lot of pain. And chose to put his children in a stocktake of the slaves he owned.”

Thankfully, White’s family history wasn’t without its positives as she also discovered the remarkable story of her four times great grandparents, Andrew and Elsey Pusey.

Andrew and Elsey were born into slavery in the 1790s and only freed in 1834 when slavery was abolished in Jamaica.

The host teared up as she learned the Puseys went on to purchase their own land. 

Her predecessors were eventually able to “live out the dream” on their own property, on which they farmed to provide better lives for their children. 

Previewing the film, White told MailOnline: “The genealogist that worked on this went further than they ever thought possible, which was quite a shock. 

“Because it turned out that the record for my family were actually well kept and were traceable, so it just was an incredible journey.” 

Empire’s Child airs Thursday at 9pm on ITV.

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