Julie Bowen's ancestors were fighting a fear that still exists today.
On Sunday's episode of Who Do You Think You Are?, the Modern Family actress discovers that her paternal great-grandfather fought to end slavery in the 1800s -- but ended up finding parallels in today's society.
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Only ET has an exclusive first look at the episode, in which Bowen meets with historian Erica Dunbar Armstrong at the Washington Historical Society in Washington, Pennsylvania, which was originally where her ancestor, Francis LeMoyne, lived and worked.
During her meeting, the actress discovers that LeMoyne was a respected speaker and radical abolitionist who risked his life to free fugitive slaves and fight off angry mobs who didn't accept the end of slavery in the north.
"It's just, we're in a moment where people feel very threatened by people that they consider 'other,' whatever 'other' is represented by religion, color, taking their jobs, and it just sounds so current at the same time," Bowen said after learning of LeMoyne's approach to combating racism. "It sounds so old and so new at once."
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"There are parallels, and I think from this story, we see that Francis LeMoyne said, 'No, absolutely not. We will not sign on or agree to the moral bankruptcy of slavery. We will fight,'" Dunbar Armstrong agrees.
Watch the exclusive clip above.
Who Do You Think You Are? airs Sundays at 10 p.m. ET/PT on TLC.
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