Michael Johnson: Survival of the Fastest

2012

Olympian Michael Johnson makes a personal genealogical and scientific journey to discover if African American and Caribbean athletes are successful as a result of slavery. Why is it that all of the athletes that lined up for the men’s 100m final at the Beijing Olympics could trace their ancestry back to the trans-Atlantic slave trade?

In this remarkable authored film 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 and 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.

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