Reba Descended From Indentured Servant—and a Slave Owner
“We owned a bar! No wonder I’m so comfortable singing in honky-tonks all the time,” Reba says on NBC show.
Talk about reality television: Reba McEntire dug up her roots in front of TV cameras for Friday's (the March 2) episode of NBC's Who Do You Think You Are.
And it was quite an emotional roller coaster, as she found out the first person on her mama's side to come to America did so as an indentured servant who worked alongside slaves in tobacco fields. In a jarring twist, Reba also discovered that that man's grandson ended up owning as many as 10 slaves.
Not only that, but Reba's four-times great-grandfather, George Brassfield, bought and sold children as young as 14 months old, in Raleigh, N.C.
"When I found out my four-times great-grandfather was trading children, that broke my heart. To be taken away from your parents, your home, and just, there ya go . . . ," Reba said on the show.
"That little time machine would come in handy to say, 'George, what was going on? Why you’d do this?' I’d love to know."
Still, Reba was tickled to discover that same man owned a tavern.
"We owned a bar! No wonder I’m so comfortable singing in honky tonks all the time. That’s hysterical!"