In three weeks, the latest genealogy-related television series will be broadcast on most PBS stations. “Finding Your Roots” is a series that focuses on race, identity and heritage, hosted by Harvard Professor Henry Louis Gates Jr.
In the first episode we meet horror novelist Stephen King, actor Courtney B. Vance and Canadian actress-singer Gloria Reuben.
King’s father walked out on his family when Stephen was two and never returned. Courtney Vance’s father committed suicide and Courtney was brought up in a foster home. Gloria Reuben’s father was 78 years old when she was born. When he died he took the secret of his ancestry with him, but not for good. Using genealogy and in some cases DNA, Gates helps each of them to discover family history they never knew. The program airs on PBS at 8 PM Eastern time. Check your local listings for the time and channel near you.
In the second episode (September 30), Gates features three highly successful athletes: tennis great Billie Jean King, New York Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter and women’s basketball hall of famer Rebecca Lobo. Jeter, who is the son of an African-American father and Irish mother, is astonished to learn that his ancestors included slaves who were “owned” by a white man named James Jeter.
You can learn more about this television series on the PBS web site at http://www.pbs.org/wnet/finding-your-roots.