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African American Lives 2 -- Hosted by Henry Louis Gates, Jr.
In Search of Our Roots -- Buy the companion book now from ShopPBS
Peter Gomes
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Henry Louis Gates, Jr. Linda Johnson Rice Don Cheadle Chris Rock Tom Joyner Peter Gomes Maya Angelou Morgan Freeman Jackie Joyner-Kersee Tina Turner Katheleen Henderson Bliss Broyard
Minister and theologian Peter J. Gomes serves as the Plummer Professor of Christian Morals and Pusey Minister in the Memorial Church at the Harvard Divinity School. The recipient of 36 honorary degrees, Gomes won the Phi Beta Kappa Teaching Award from Harvard University in 2001. His books include The Good Book: Reading the Bible with Mind and Heart (1996), The Good Life: Truths That Last in Times of Need (2002), and Strength for the Journey: Biblical Wisdom for Daily Living (2003).

Milestones in Peter Gomes's ancestry:

  • 1782 Samuel Bailey, a prominent Quaker of Surrey county, Virginia, frees his 17 slaves, including Rose Bailey, Peter Gomes's great, great, great grandmother. Quakers were ardent abolitionists who condemned slavery for its violence and because it denied equal status to all human beings. By 1800 most Quakers had freed their slaves.

  • Around 1890 Manuel Lobo Gomes, grandfather of Peter Gomes, is born in Brava, Cape Verde. Later in life, his skills as a pilot for New England coaling ships stopping at Brava will lead him to immigrate to the U.S.

  • 1923 Peter Lobo Gomes, Peter Gomes's father, leaves Brava, Cape Verde to reunite with his father who had previously immigrated to Plymouth, Massachusetts. Massachusetts was attractive to Cape Verdeans for its cranberry industry, and Peter Lobo Gomes uses his agricultural skills to cultivate cranberry bogs.

  • 1942 Peter Gomes is born in Boston, Massachusetts.

  • Put Peter Gomes's life and ancestry in historical context with the Interactive Historical Timeline.


    Major corporate funding for African American Lives 2 and its outreach initiatives is provided by The Coca-Cola Company and Johnson & Johnson. Additional corporate funding is provided by Buick.
    The Coca-Cola Company Johnson & Johnson Buick
    KUNHARDT Thirteen/WNET New York