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Crosscurrents is our award-winning radio news magazine, broadcasting Mondays through Thursdays at 11 a.m. on 91.7 FM. We make joyful, informative stories that engage people across the economic, social, and cultural divides in our community. Listen to full episodes at kalw.org/crosscurrents

Oaklander Jenah Keeby traces her roots back to her West African ancestors

Jenah Keeby was born in Oakland. But, unlike most African-Americans, she can trace her family roots directly back 163 years to West Africa.

That was where her great-great-great-great-great grandfather, Ossa Keeby, was captured in what was then the Dahomey Kingdom. He was sold into slavery and then smuggled aboard the Clotilda, the last slave ship to travel from and back to the United States. The story of that group of enslaved people was featured in the stage play “An Ocean in My Bones” earlier this month in Mobile, Alabama, which is where the ship originated.

In this interview, Jenah talks about about how she discovered her family’s unique history and what it means to her.

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This interview was produced by Sunni Khalid.

Hana Baba is host of Crosscurrents, KALW's weeknight newsmagazine that broadcasts on KALW Public Radio in the San Francisco Bay Area.