Finding Your Roots
Presented and written by Professor Henry Louis Gates Jr., and based on the formats of "African American Lives" and "Faces of America," this series journeys deep into the ancestry of a group of remarkable individuals and provides new understanding of personal identity and American history.
Finding Your Roots Previous Broadcasts
Our People, Our Traditions (Episode #207H)
KQED World: Sun, Jun 28, 2015 -- 7:00 PM
In this episode we learn about the ancestors of three celebrated Americans who not only share a Jewish heritage, but a history of perseverance in the face of withering opposition. Tony Kushner delves into the history of the Holocaust to discover his ancestors' fate; Carole King learns the origins of her family name and confronts the reality of the discrimination her ancestors faced in America; and Alan Dershowitz finds out that the first Hassidic synagogue in Brooklyn, started by his great-grandfather, played a secret role in WWII.
Our American Storytellers (Episode #203H)
KQED World: Sun, Jun 21, 2015 -- 7:00 PM
Three iconic American storytellers have spent their lives chronicling the lives of others, while knowing almost nothing about their own family history. Ken Burns confronts the reality of his southern ancestors' role in the Civil War, including Confederate soldiers held captive and a slave-owning Virginian. Anderson Cooper, scion of one of America's most storied families, the Vanderbilts, longs to know more about his father's southern roots - including the story of an ancestor murdered by one his slaves. Anna Deavere Smith learns the story of her great-grandfather Basil Biggs, a free black man and former conductor on the Underground Railroad. All three guests' ancestors intersect at pivotal moments of American history.
Sanjay Gupta, Margaret Cho and Martha Stewart (Episode #108H)
KQED World: Sat, Jun 20, 2015 -- 5:00 PM
The three guests in this episode are all children of first- or second-generation immigrants and share the peculiar burdens of that heritage. In an episode that crisscrosses the planet, from India to Korea to Poland, catch a glimpse of three distinct yet oddly overlapping experiences of families leaving their homes and becoming American.
Born Champions (Episode #202H)
KQED World: Sun, Jun 14, 2015 -- 7:00 PM
Three of America's greatest athletes, whose determination and love of sports were deeply shaped by their families, were all cut off from their true origins. Billie Jean King learns the story of her grandmother, who had always kept her orphan status a secret. Derek Jeter confronts his ancestors' lives as slaves and learns that they were owned by a white man named James Jeter - the source of the Jeter name and Derek's third great-grandfather. Rebecca Lobo finds out that her Spanish ancestor fought side by side with a famous revolutionary and was forced to flee Spain because of his democratic ideals.
John Legend, Wanda Sykes and Margarett Cooper (Episode #109H)
KQED World: Sun, Jun 7, 2015 -- 7:00 PM
Most African Americans struggle to trace their ancestors beyond Emancipation; slavery erased names and family ties with brutal efficiency. But what about the descendants of the handful of free black people who evaded bondage during that terrible time? Musician John Legend and comedian Wanda Sykes discover the extraordinary stories of the free black ancestors they never knew about, while Professor Gates himself and his 98-year-old friend Margarett Cooper delve into the mysteries shrouding the free people of color in their family trees.