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Finding Your Roots

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Catalogue Number:  041565
ISBN Number:  0793663911
Producer:  PBS Video
Subject:  Biography, Black History
Language:  English
Grade Level:  Post Secondary, Adult
Country Of Origin:  United States
Copyright Year:  2012
Running Time:  600

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The basic drive to discover who we are and where we come from is at the core of this 10-part PBS series Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates, Jr., the 12th series from Professor Gates. Continuing on the quest begun in his previous projects, African American Lives, African American Lives 2 and Faces of America, Gates finds new ways to, as he says, get into the DNA of American culture. He takes viewers along for the journey with one celebrity pair bound together by an intimate, sometimes hidden link. And he treks through layers of ancestral history to uncover the secrets and surprises of their family trees. Gates' guest pairings include:

  • Award-winning husband-and-wife actors Kevin Bacon and Kyra Sedgwick, who are revealed to be distant cousins
  • New Orleans jazz masters and close friends Harry Connick, Jr. and Branford Marsalis, whose European immigrant ancestors made very different choices in the slave-era South
  • Spiritual leaders Angela Buchdahl, Yasir Qadhi and Rick Warren, whose ancestors' paths to America were shaped by religious convictions
  • Education superstar Geoffrey Canada and media legend Barbara Walters, who both rediscover family histories long obscured by forgotten name changes. 

Gates shares the findings with each guest and travels with them as they process what they've learned. He accompanies musician John Legend to a rock concert, goes backstage on Broadway with Samuel L. Jackson, joins Newark, New Jersey Mayor Cory Booker as he reveals the root-seeking results to his parents, and trails Dr. Sanjay Gupta and Geoffrey Canada to memorable family reunions. The series searches through several branches of the American past, leaving audiences all the more curious about their own background and eager to unearth their own family roots.

Available late July 2012.

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