Paula Williams Madison: My Chinese-Jamaican Legacy

April 1, 2019  - by 
paula madison at rootstech 2019

Paula Williams Madison is an award-winning journalist and a former NBC executive. She’s been named one of the “75 Most Powerful African Americans in Corporate America” by Black Enterprise Magazine and has been honored by the East West Players and AARP with their Visionary Award.

Currently, Madison serves as chairman and CEO of Madison Media Management LLC, a media consultancy company based in Los Angeles with global reach. In addition to her remarkable professional accomplishments, Madison has an incredible family story.

After her retirement in 2011, Madison wanted to learn more about her family’s story. She knew that her mother was born in Jamaica to her Jamaican grandmother and Chinese grandfather. When her grandfather left Jamaica to return to China with a second wife and some of his children from his first wife, Paula’s mother experienced a deep sense of loss. Her entire family foundation was taken away from under her and it affected her throughout the rest of her life. She said that her mother always had a sense of sadness because of this loss.

In April 2015 Paula wrote a book about her story, documenting her experiences as she discovered the details of her relatives in China and traveled with her American family to China to meet, for the first, time, more than 300 members of her Lowe family. It was also produced as a movie titled Finding Samuel Lowe: China, Jamaica, Harlem, which documented her search.

Paula’s story is both heartbreaking and enormously inspiring. It’s story about the triumph of the family spirit. Take a moment and view the video below to hear her amazing story.

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  1. It’s amazing what we can discover; especially when we are African American on at least one side. That is my case as my father was given the name ‘Baskerville’ as the landowner was named Baskerville and the town is also. So, tracing back, it’s hard to find the connections and which are direct descendants to my father. Trying and writing what I can find.

  2. Great documentary, you brought a different definition to the word family. To see your family quest and to see you pay homage to your Ancestors was transformative. Thank you. Great work, please do your best to make this documentary part of the Academic experience in schools around the world. This Documentary needs to be seen by the world. You’re Mother is so very proud of you, the Lord Be with you.