The fundamental drive to answer these questions is at the heart of Finding Your Roots, the companion book to the PBS documentary series. As Harvard scholar Henry Louis Gates Jr. shows us, the tools of cutting-edge genomics and deep genealogical research now allow us to learn more about our roots, looking further back in time than ever before.
Gates’s investigations take on the personal and genealogical histories of more than twenty luminaries, including United States Congressman John Lewis, actor Robert Downey Jr., CNN medical correspondent Sanjay Gupta, President of the “Becoming American Institute” Linda Chavez, and comedian Margaret Cho. Interwoven with their moving stories of immigration, assimilation, strife, and success, Gates provides practical information for amateur genealogists just beginning archival research on their own families’ roots, and he details the advances in genetic research now available to the public. The result is an illuminating exploration of who we are, how we lost track of our roots, and how we can find them again.
Don’t miss new Finding Your Roots episodes every Tuesday at 8 p.m. ET, September 23 — November 25. Season Two’s special guests include Nas, Ben Affleck, Billie Jean King, and Anderson Cooper, among others. Tune in tonight to view featured guests Stephen King, Gloria Reuben, and Courtney B. Vance as they discuss the mysteries surrounding their fathers in an episode titled, “In Search of Our Fathers.”