Surely to inspire lots of debate… ahead of this summer’s Olympics in London, a documentary airing tonight on Channel 4 in the UK asks why all the successful track and field sprinters can trace their ancestry back to the trans-Atlantic slave trade.
The longer story reads:
In this landmark documentary, Olympian Michael Johnson embarks on a personal genealogical and scientific journey in a bid to understand if he and other world-class African American and Caribbean athletes are successful as a result of slavery. In this remarkable authored film he discovers some disturbing truths about the lives of his enslaved ancestors. From the mass murder of those on the slave ships to the nightmarish breeding programmes of the plantation owners, Johnson confronts this appalling history. He speaks to leading voices in the world of sport and science to examine the link between the trans-Atlantic slave trade and genetic selection. He investigates the role slavery may have played in altering the genomes of their descendants. He speaks to experts whose research has led them to conclude this has contributed to the success of African American and Caribbean sprinters.
Titled Michael Johnson: Survival of the Fastest, the doc will be broadcast tonight on Channel 4 UK. No word on whether American or Caribbean audiences will be able to see it anytime soon, especially since they are the focus of the work.
Watch the trailer below for a glimpse of what to expect: