Tracing Roots

Friday, February 26, 2010

Editor-in-chief of The Root, Henry Louis Gates, Jr., explores family histories of 12 famous Americans in his new PBS series, Faces of America.


Henry Louis Gates Jr.

Comments [12]

Amy from Manhattan

I've been enjoying the series, & I was glad they did follow up on what happened to Louise Erdrich's ancestors & the connection to what Meryl Streep's ancestors did. I was wondering about that during the parts where they found that an ancestor of Eva Longoria's was granted land near the Rio Grande. All those white (Spanish & English) people talking about "their" land w/no sign of any consciousness of what they had done to the people they took it from!

It also occurs to me that all the people in the series have the resources to have found out all that info w/out needing Dr. Gates to do it for them. How about a follow-up w/regular, non-celebrity participants who don't have the means to do/pay for the research themselves? You could have people write in & then choose a representative sample to have their families researched. It'd be reality TV, only w/actual reality!

Feb. 26 2010 12:52 PM
the truth from BK

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Feb. 26 2010 11:32 AM
the truth from BK

I did too and like I said intellects will watch!

Feb. 26 2010 11:32 AM
john from office

I think the the definition of White will change to include other groups, like arabs and some hispanics. The White line has moved before, like with the Irish, who were not viewed as white and italians and greeks who are now viewed as white Americans.

Feb. 26 2010 11:28 AM
hjs from 11211

not just intellects. i watched

Feb. 26 2010 11:27 AM
Marielle from Brooklyn

"Race functions in this country as a metaphor for class" - one of the most intelligent and accurate comments I've heard in a long time.

Feb. 26 2010 11:23 AM
Edward F Berliner from Randolph, NJ

Some Jewish records have survived in the Polish archives. Some years ago I was able to purchase several records ($10 each) of my grandmother and her family from this website:

Unfortunately, the ordering service was shut down by the Polish archives. But you can still search surnames and towns, and I suppose one could travel to Poland to look at the records in person.

Feb. 26 2010 11:22 AM
the truth from BK

Intellects will watch.

Feb. 26 2010 11:22 AM
Kunta Kinte moment

I would like to trace my roots in the hope that my distant ancestors are less crazy and annoying than my immediate family.

Something to aspire to!

Feb. 26 2010 11:20 AM
pini from Brooklyn

Brian, we found many of our family records in the Lviv municipality in Ukraine. We are Eastern European Jewish origin, and after the fall of the iron curtain some records were found dating back to the early 1800s.

Feb. 26 2010 11:18 AM
Bob Laurence from Park Slope, Brooklyn

What is PBS thinking? They scheduled Mr. Gates' show against the Olympics and against American Idol. It's a miracle if anybody at all watches him.

Feb. 26 2010 11:17 AM
Mike C. from Tribeca

I believe the professor just said, "Americans are notoriously ahistorical." Ain't that the truth?

Never understood why my fellow citizens have so little interest in this fascinating subject. And don't get me started on geology, evolution, etc.

Feb. 26 2010 11:13 AM

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