“My grandfather told me that this powerful man, Edgar, was his second cousin, and was passing for white,” says Millie McGhee, an African-American relative of Hoover’s. “If we talked about this, [Edgar] was so powerful he could have us all killed. I grew up terrified about all this.”
McGhee began to uncover facts about the possibility of Hoover’s Black ethnicity after she dug through altered court records, conducted oral interviews with both white and Black Hoovers and enlisted licensed genealogists who determined that Hoover was indeed a relative of hers.
The mystery of Hoover’s genealogy has become a topic of interest recently due to the the Clint Eastwood film “J. Edgar” released earlier this month. In the film, Eastwood makes no mention of Hoover’s race, much to the chagrin of his Black relatives such as McGhee.
“Since the movie has come out, so many people have asked me why my information about Hoover’s black roots was not included,” said McGhee who has authored two books on the topic, “Secrets Uncovered: J.Edgar Hoover-The Relative” and “Secrets Uncovered : J. Edgar Hoover Passing For White?”
Do you think McGhee’s research on J. Edgar Hoover’s genealogy should have been included in Eastwood’s film?