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. Featuring Kevin Bacon, Tyra Banks, Cory Booker, Angela Buchdal, Geoffrey Canada, Margaret Cho, Harry Connick Jr., Robert Downey Jr., Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Samuel L. Jackson, John Legend, John Lewis, Branford Marsalis, Yasir Qadhi, Condoleeza Rice, Michelle Rodriguez, Kyra Sedgwick, Wanda Sykes, Ruth Simmons, Martha Stewart, Barbara Walters and Rick Warren.
Finding Your Roots Previous Broadcasts
John Legend, Wanda Sykes and Margarett Cooper (Episode #109H)
KQED Life: Tue, Feb 25, 2014 -- 8:00 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.
- KQED Life: Wed, Feb 26, 2014 -- 2:00 AM
Samuel L. Jackson, Condoleezza Rice and Ruth Simmons (Episode #107H)
KQED Life: Tue, Feb 18, 2014 -- 8:00 PM
Samuel L. Jackson, Condoleezza Rice and Brown University President Ruth Simmons have each climbed to the pinnacle of their profession, yet each started life as a second class citizen in the Jim Crow south. In this episode we will use DNA to investigate family mysteries: where do they come from in Africa, and who are the white men in their family trees?
- KQED Life: Wed, Feb 19, 2014 -- 2:00 AM
Cory Booker and John Lewis (Episode #102H)
KQED Life: Tue, Feb 11, 2014 -- 8:00 PM
This program features two African-American politicians from different generations and opposite backgrounds. John Lewis grew up in a sharecropping family in rural Georgia, while Cory Booker was raised in an affluent, all-white New Jersey suburb. Although both men have devoted their lives to the betterment of African-American people, neither knows much about his own ancestors. In this episode, Booker is introduced to his white great-grandfather, a man he never knew, and Lewis is moved to tears over the extraordinary ambitions and accomplishments of his slave ancestors.
- KQED Life: Wed, Feb 12, 2014 -- 2:00 AM
Harry Connick Jr. and Branford Marsalis (Episode #101H)
KQED Life: Tue, Feb 4, 2014 -- 8:00 PM
Their European immigrant ancestors blazed unconventional trails in America, from capturing British ships for the American Revolution to crossing racial barriers in slave-era Louisiana. Generations later, as children growing up in New Orleans, Harry Connick Jr. and Branford Marsalis found a deep and abiding friendship through their common love of jazz and of the city itself. In this hour, trace the turbulent and contradictory history of the city of New Orleans through the family stories of these two fascinating men.
- KQED Life: Wed, Feb 5, 2014 -- 2:00 AM