finding your roots

Tag Archives: slavery

John Legend’s Unique Family History

Each family story is unique, and each of these stories contributes to our greater understanding of humanity. Finding these stories and sharing them with my guests is the most rewarding aspect of making these documentary series. This is particularly true … Continue reading …

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Suing for Freedom

Henry Louis Gates, Jr. learns about a friend’s great, great, great grandmother, an 18th-century slave who sued her master for her own freedom. Watch video. Continue reading …

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Condoleezza Rice and the Complexities of Race

Last summer, in August 2010, I gave a presentation on genealogy and genetics to the board of directors of the Aspen Institute at our annual board meeting. After showing a clip from our previous PBS series, Faces of America, I … Continue reading …

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Not a Dumb Critter

Actress Kyra Sedgwick learns about the slave, Elizabeth “Mumbet” Freeman who, after hearing the Declaration of Independence, turns to Kyra’s ancestor, the well-known attorney Theodore Sedgwick, to help secure her freedom. Watch video.

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Kyra Sedgwick and Kevin Bacon

Finding Your Roots looks into the ancestral pasts of real-life married Hollywood couple actors Kevin Bacon and Kyra Sedgwick. Watch the full episode. Continue reading …

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Barbara Walters and Geoffrey Canada

Finding Your Roots looks into the ancestral pasts of journalist Barbara Walters and educator Geoffrey Canada. Watch the full episode. Episode credits.

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Both Sides of Slavery

Coming to terms with mixed roots can be surprising and sometimes even painful. Educator Geoffrey Canada visits Franklin County Virginia where, a white man possibly fathered one of his enslaved ancestors more than a century ago. Watch video.

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About the Series

The basic drive to discover who we are and where we come from is at the core of the new 10-part PBS series Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates, Jr., the 12th series from Professor Gates, the Alphonse Fletcher University Professor at Harvard University and director of the W.E.B. Du Bois Institute for African and African American Research. Filmed on location across the United States, the series premieres nationally Sundays, March 25 – May 20 at 8 pm ET on PBS (check local listings).

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