Archive for February 9th, 2008

The genealogies of black folk

Saturday, February 9th, 2008

Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates, Jr. traces the genealogy of more famous (and one non-famous) black people in African American Lives 2 on PBS. I watched the first series last year and was riveted by his exploration of the documentary record and DNA to uncover the family histories of people like Oprah Winfrey and Quincy Jones.

The second series premiered last Wednesday. Check your local listings to find a replay of the first 2 hours and don’t miss the last 2 hours this Wednesday. It’s fascinating stuff and deeply affecting.

See the impact on Chris Rock when he discovers his great-great grandfather Julius Caesar Tingman fought for the Union after 21 years as a slave in this clip. Now multiply that times 12 to get a sense of how amazing this program is.

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