Three guests explore how their family trees were shaped by political turmoil and violence, discovering sometimes unexpected ancestry along the way. Lupita Nyong’o learns the full story of her father’s struggle for democracy in her native Kenya — including his imprisonment and torture — and then follows his line back to grapple with the complicated choices made by her great-grandfather, who served with a British-run police force predating Kenya’s independence. Carmelo Anthony unearths the ancestry of his activist father, tracing his roots back to Puerto Rico — where Carmelo himself has become socially engaged — all the way back to a third great-grandmother who was brought to Puerto Rico as a slave during a revolution in Venezuela (and bearing DNA that indicates she was likely the child of her owner). Ana Navarro learns that her father, who fled from Nicaragua in 1980 as a consequence of his political ties, was not the first governmental figure in her family: her second great-grandfather came to Nicaragua as a diplomat from Spain, marrying a woman whose father was disowned for abandoning his father, a mulatto born into slavery in Costa Rica. Along the way, each guest comes to realize that history is more complex, and more personal, than they ever thought.

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Episode Guide

Finding Your Roots Season Eight

Today’s most compelling personalities discover the surprising stories buried within their own families. Meet 21 fascinating new guests who are game-changers in their fields, with family histories that illustrate the power and diversity of the human experience. Tuesdays at 8/7c.

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

New Episodes: Tuesdays at 8/7c