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.
Harry Connick Jr. and Branford Marsalis (#101H) Duration: 56:46 STEREO TVPG
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.
Cory Booker and John Lewis (#102H) Duration: 56:46 STEREO TVPG
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.
Barbara Walters and Geoffrey Canada (#103H) Duration: 56:46 STEREO TVPG
What's in a name? Well, a lot, at least when it comes to piecing together your family history. For former slaves, choosing a last name was one of their first acts of freedom. For Jewish immigrants, it was a way to fit in their new country. Whatever the reason for a name change, it can make the process of learning about one's ancestors difficult, if not impossible. In this episode, we unearth missing links in the family histories of media legend Barbara Walters and educational superstar Geoffrey Canada. Walters did not know her father's real last name. Canada did not know the name of his grandfather. Both of them had been unable to access their history... until now.
Kevin Bacon and Kyra Sedgwick (#104H) Duration: 56:46 STEREO TVPG
What do Kevin Bacon and Kyra Sedgwick have in common? They are both famous actors and both descend from prominent American families that have been in this country since its inception. But they share something else, too: both had ancestors who were early opponents of slavery. Bacon's Quaker ancestors repudiated slavery long before the rest of the country, in 1780. And Sedgwick's ancestor Theodore Sedgwick argued the freedom case of Elizabeth Freeman, also known as "Mumbet," in 1781 -- which helped bring an end to slavery in Massachusetts. We reveal this fact - and many others - to Sedgwick and Bacon in this episode, and learn quite a bit about slavery in the North in the process.
Also on KQED.org this week ...
"The Bay Bridged" Music for June
Listen the The Bay Bridged mix of bands performing live in the Bay Area this month, including The Mantles, Cold Cave, The Spyrals, Blitzen Trapper, Monster Rally, and more. Enjoy the podcast and then go see some concerts!
Obamacare Explained: A Guide for Californians
Starting Jan 1, 2014, most Americans will be required to have health insurance or pay a fine. KQED has created a simple guide to explain how the health law affects you, your family or your small business, here in California.