Faces of America
Looking beyond the black experience to the wider immigrant experience, Professor Gates unravels the American tapestry, following the threads of his guests' lives back to their earliest origins around the globe. Along the way, the many stories he uncovers - of displacement and homecoming, of material success and dispossession, of assimilation and discrimination - illuminate the American experience. Professor Gates' guests include poet Elizabeth Alexander, chef Mario Batali, comedian Stephen Colbert, novelist Louise Erdrich, writer Malcolm Gladwell, cellist Yo-Yo Ma, director Mike Nichols, Her Royal Highness Queen Noor, actress Eva Longoria Parker, actress Meryl Streep, figure skater Kristi Yamaguchi and Martha's Vineyard fishing captain William "Buddy" Vanderhoop, who will have his family history researched alongside the series' well-known guests.
Faces of America Previous Broadcasts
Know Thyself (Episode #104)
KQED World: Tue, Sep 10, 2013 -- 7:00 AM
Episode Four takes up the search for the guests' ancestries where the historical record leaves off and links their distinctive family histories to the broader history of "the family of man." Combining the documented stories of some of the guests' last known ancestors with DNA evidence, the series travel backward through time to reveal both distant relatives and surprising shared ancestral connections. Elizabeth Alexander learns that she is a direct descendent of Charlemagne, and that her paternal roots are not only European, but Jewish. Meryl Streep and Mike Nichols discover that they are distant cousins, as do Yo-Yo Ma and Eva Longoria. Interwoven with these stories and others is the journey of the host, Henry Louis Gates, Jr. as he and his father and brother undertake an historic project to have their entire genomes mapped, and thereby to learn everything they possibly can about their own family. This episode offers a compelling and thought-provoking meditation on the importance of ancestry, the meaning of family and the role of both in creating identity.
- KQED World: Tue, Sep 10, 2013 -- 1:00 PM
Making America (Episode #103)
KQED World: Tue, Sep 3, 2013 -- 7:00 AM
Episode Three tells the story of the peopling of the New World, of how land came to define the settling and identity of America, and of how the guests' ancestors were part of this history. We discover descriptions of Meryl Streep's eighth great-grandfather who fought in Metacom's War; records of a land dispute in Spain that pushed Eva Longoria's ancestors to leave for the New World; a treaty that Louise Erdrich's Native American ancestor was forced to sign; and Yo-Yo Ma's family genealogy in China, which gives insights into his identity he has longed for his whole life.
- KQED World: Tue, Sep 3, 2013 -- 1:00 PM