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
Becoming American (Episode #102)
KQED World: Tue, Aug 27, 2013 -- 7:00 AM
Episode Two explores the many journeys to becoming American that defined the "Century of Immigration" (1820s ? 1924) and transformed the United States from a sleepy agrarian country into a booming industrial power. Stephen Colbert's Irish great-great-grandfather escaped poverty and religious oppression in Limerick and never looked back, whereas Mario Batali's great-grandfather, who left the place where his family had lived for centuries, struggled to survive in the quartz mines of Montana. Her Majesty Queen Noor's Syrian great-grandfather quickly found his footing in New York's first Arab American community, while Kristi Yamaguchi's grandfather faced exclusionary laws and racially-defined barriers to citizenship for decades. The obstacles, short-cuts, tragedies and successes encountered or created by the guests' ancestors from around the world reveal the complexity of our shared history and identity as Americans.
- KQED World: Tue, Aug 27, 2013 -- 1:00 PM
Our American Stories (Episode #101)
KQED World: Tue, Aug 20, 2013 -- 7:00 AM
Episode One will explore the dynamic and shifting relationship America had with her new immigrants in the 20th century. World war tore apart families; and sundered the fabric of many lives; but America beckoned and millions came. Yet, America was an ambivalent host. At its best, a place of refuge and salvation, as for film director Mike Nichols whose entire family escaped Nazi Germany. At its worst, a country that would imprison two generations of Japanese Americans, like the ancestors of Olympic gold medalist Kristi Yamaguchi. Along the way, we'll discover the buoyant American optimism that shaped chance - as in a single encounter that changed cellist Yo-Yo Ma's life forever - to pave the road to success.
- KQED World: Tue, Aug 20, 2013 -- 1:00 PM