Meet Our Guests

S. Epatha Merkerson

Merkerson S Epatha Headshot Photo Credit: Lisa Berg Photography

S. Epatha Merkerson is featured in:

Season 6, Episode 8: Slave Trade
Season 5, Episode 5: Freedom Tales

An accomplished actor S. Epatha Merkerson has won critical acclaim for her work in theatre, television, and film. She is best known for her 17-season run as Lieutenant Anita Van Buren on NBC’s LAW AND ORDER (3 NAACP Image Awards) and currently plays Sharon Goodwin on NBC’s CHICAGO MED.

Her role in the HBO film LACKAWANNA BLUES earned her an EMMY, GOLDEN GLOBE, SAG, GRACIE ALLEN and NAACP IMAGE Awards. Other credits include RADIO which garnered her a CAMMIE Award, BLACK SNAKE MOAN, TERMINATOR II: JUDGEMENT DAY, PEEPLES and LINCOLN.

Her many theatre credits include the 2008 Broadway revival of COME BACK LITTLE SHEBA (Tony nom); August Wilson’s THE PIANO LESSON (Tony, Drama Desk, Helen Hayes Award noms) BIRDIE BLUE (Obie Award), I’M NOT STUPID (Obie Award), Billy Porter’s WHILE I YET LIVE (Lucille Lortel nom) Merkerson directed and executive produced the award winning documentary film THE CONTRADICTIONS OF FAIR HOPE and directed CONVERSATIONS WITH MARY LOU WILLIAMS with music by the late piano/composer Geri Allen, book by Columbia Professor/ author Farah Jasmine Griffin and starring jazz vocalist/musician Carmen Lundy.

A native of Detroit, Michigan Merkerson holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Wayne State University and four Honorary Doctorates, from her alma mater in 2009, University of Maryland Eastern Shore in 2012, Montclair State University 2013 and the University of Pittsburgh 2017.

She lives in New York City.

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Guests From Episode 8 of Season 6

Guests From Episode 5 of Season 5

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Episode Guide

Finding Your Roots Season Six

Discover the surprising ancestral stories of 27 fascinating guests, including Jeffrey Wright, Sigourney Weaver, Melissa McCarthy, Sterling K. Brown, Jordan Peele, Nancy Pelosi, Gayle King, Norah O’Donnell, Queen Latifah, Jon Batiste, Diane von Furstenberg, Zac Posen, Jeff Goldblum, Anjelica Huston, Isabella Rossellini, Terry Gross, Eric Stonestreet and more in season six of Finding Your Roots.

Learn More
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WETA | Finding Your Roots
with Henry Louis Gates, Jr.

New Episodes: Tuesdays at 8/7c