Description

The basic drive to discover who we are and where we come from is at the core of Season 2 of Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates, Jr. Continuing on the quest begun in his previous projects, African American Lives, African American Lives 2, Faces of America, and the first season of Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates, Jr. Gates finds new ways to, as he says, “get into the DNA of American culture.”

Description

The basic drive to discover who we are and where we come from is at the core of Season 2 of Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates, Jr. Continuing on the quest begun in his previous projects, African American Lives, African American Lives 2, Faces of America, and the first season of Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates, Jr. Gates finds new ways to, as he says, “get into the DNA of American culture.”

    • EPISODE 1

    In Search of Our Fathers

    Three guests know almost nothing about their fathers’ past. Stephen King’s father walked out on the family when Stephen was two years old and never returned; Courtney Vance’s father was a foster child and never knew who his biological parents were — after his suicide, Courtney wants to learn more about his roots; and Gloria Reuben’s father was 78 years old when she was born — he died when she was young, taking the secret of his ancestry with him. Henry Louis Gates solves the mystery of their paternal ancestry and introduces them to relatives they never knew they had.

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    • 52 Minutes

    Three guests know almost nothing about their fathers’ past. Stephen King’s father walked out on the family when Stephen was two years old and never returned; Courtney Vance’s father was a foster child and never knew who his biological parents were — after his suicide, Courtney wants to learn more about his roots; and Gloria Reuben’s father was 78 years old when she was born — he died when she was young, taking the secret of his ancestry with him. Henry Louis Gates solves the mystery of their paternal ancestry and introduces them to relatives they never knew they had.

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    • 52 Minutes
    • EPISODE 2

    Born Champions

    Three of America’s greatest athletes, whose determination and love of sports were deeply shaped by their families, were all cut off from their true origins. Billie Jean King learns the story of her grandmother, who had always kept her orphan status a secret. Derek Jeter confronts his ancestors’ lives as slaves and learns that they were owned by a white man named James Jeter — the source of the Jeter name and Derek’s third great-grandfather. Rebecca Lobo finds out that her Spanish ancestor fought side by side with a famous revolutionary and was forced to flee Spain because of his democratic ideals.

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    • 52 Minutes

    Three of America’s greatest athletes, whose determination and love of sports were deeply shaped by their families, were all cut off from their true origins. Billie Jean King learns the story of her grandmother, who had always kept her orphan status a secret. Derek Jeter confronts his ancestors’ lives as slaves and learns that they were owned by a white man named James Jeter — the source of the Jeter name and Derek’s third great-grandfather. Rebecca Lobo finds out that her Spanish ancestor fought side by side with a famous revolutionary and was forced to flee Spain because of his democratic ideals.

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    • 52 Minutes
    • EPISODE 3

    Our American Storytellers

    Three iconic American storytellers have spent their lives chronicling the lives of others, while knowing almost nothing about their own family history. Ken Burns confronts the reality of his southern ancestors’ role in the Civil War, including Confederate soldiers held captive and a slave-owning Virginian. Anderson Cooper, scion of one of America’s most storied families, the Vanderbilts, longs to know more about his father’s southern roots — including the story of an ancestor murdered by one his slaves. Anna Deavere Smith learns the story of her great-grandfather Basil Biggs, a free black man and former conductor on the Underground Railroad. All three guests’ ancestors intersect at pivotal moments of American history.

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    • 52 Minutes

    Three iconic American storytellers have spent their lives chronicling the lives of others, while knowing almost nothing about their own family history. Ken Burns confronts the reality of his southern ancestors’ role in the Civil War, including Confederate soldiers held captive and a slave-owning Virginian. Anderson Cooper, scion of one of America’s most storied families, the Vanderbilts, longs to know more about his father’s southern roots — including the story of an ancestor murdered by one his slaves. Anna Deavere Smith learns the story of her great-grandfather Basil Biggs, a free black man and former conductor on the Underground Railroad. All three guests’ ancestors intersect at pivotal moments of American history.

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    • 52 Minutes
    • EPISODE 4

    The Melting Pot

    Three celebrity chefs who cook the food of their ancestors discover family members who have shaped their lives — and America’s cuisine. Tom Colicchio of “Top Chef” learns the hardships his family endured (famine, bandits) living in a tiny town in Northern Italy and celebrates the courage of his original immigrant ancestor, a man who crossed the Atlantic many times to bring the Colicchios to the United States; Ming Tsai, the child of immigrants who fled Mao’s Cultural Revolution, was raised to believe that his that his family’s Chinese past was obliterated by the Communists — instead, he finds that his roots can be traced back more than 2,000 years, yielding a large family tree; and Aaron Sanchez discovers that his family’s treasured Mexican roots include people who were Spaniards, Africans and Native Americans.

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    • 52 Minutes

    Three celebrity chefs who cook the food of their ancestors discover family members who have shaped their lives — and America’s cuisine. Tom Colicchio of “Top Chef” learns the hardships his family endured (famine, bandits) living in a tiny town in Northern Italy and celebrates the courage of his original immigrant ancestor, a man who crossed the Atlantic many times to bring the Colicchios to the United States; Ming Tsai, the child of immigrants who fled Mao’s Cultural Revolution, was raised to believe that his that his family’s Chinese past was obliterated by the Communists — instead, he finds that his roots can be traced back more than 2,000 years, yielding a large family tree; and Aaron Sanchez discovers that his family’s treasured Mexican roots include people who were Spaniards, Africans and Native Americans.

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    • 52 Minutes
    • EPISODE 5

    We Come from People

    Trace three guests’ roots into the heart of slavery, revealing that there is no singular narrative and challenging preconceptions of an era that profoundly shaped our nation’s sense of itself. Hip-hop artist Nas discovers a web of his slave ancestors and their intimate relationship with their slave master; award-winning actress Angela Bassett meets ancestors whose slave family tragedy is rivaled only by a triumphant emancipation story; and presidential advisor Valerie Jarrett goes back in time more than 200 years to meet a formidable line-up of free people of color — all of them of trailblazers.

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    • 52 Minutes

    Trace three guests’ roots into the heart of slavery, revealing that there is no singular narrative and challenging preconceptions of an era that profoundly shaped our nation’s sense of itself. Hip-hop artist Nas discovers a web of his slave ancestors and their intimate relationship with their slave master; award-winning actress Angela Bassett meets ancestors whose slave family tragedy is rivaled only by a triumphant emancipation story; and presidential advisor Valerie Jarrett goes back in time more than 200 years to meet a formidable line-up of free people of color — all of them of trailblazers.

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    • 52 Minutes
    • EPISODE 6

    Our People, Our Traditions

    Three celebrated Americans who share not only a Jewish heritage but also a history of perseverance in the face of withering opposition. Tony Kushner delves into the history of the Holocaust to discover his ancestors’ fate; Carole King discovers the origins of her family name and confronts the reality of the discrimination her ancestors faced once they arrived in America; and Alan Dershowitz discovers that the first Hassidic synagogue in Brooklyn, started by his great grandfather, played a secret role in World War II. Now woven into the fabric of the American experience the immigrant stories of our guests’ ancestors provide an extraordinary testimony to this country’s triumph over adversity.

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    • 52 Minutes

    Three celebrated Americans who share not only a Jewish heritage but also a history of perseverance in the face of withering opposition. Tony Kushner delves into the history of the Holocaust to discover his ancestors’ fate; Carole King discovers the origins of her family name and confronts the reality of the discrimination her ancestors faced once they arrived in America; and Alan Dershowitz discovers that the first Hassidic synagogue in Brooklyn, started by his great grandfather, played a secret role in World War II. Now woven into the fabric of the American experience the immigrant stories of our guests’ ancestors provide an extraordinary testimony to this country’s triumph over adversity.

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    • 52 Minutes
    • EPISODE 7

    The British Invasion

    From PBS - Three guests whose ancestry demonstrates the extraordinary influence of the British Empire during the 18th and early 19th century: Sally Field discovers that she descends from William Bradford, who arrived on the Mayflower and helped his fellow English Puritans establish their new lives in colonial America and later discovers that her ancestors sided with the British crown during our nation’s War of Independence and paid the ultimate price; Deepak Chopra’s family made a similar gamble while living under harsh British colonial rule in India, where his grandparents pledged their loyalty to the British in hopes of achieving a higher place in society, and later his father chose to fight alongside British soldiers during World War II; Sting’s story goes back centuries in England where we find that being close to the seat of Empire doesn't mean that life is any better for those who fueled Great Britain’s world dominance during the Pax Britannica by building its merchant ships and working in its coal mines, and who toiled under unbearable working conditions and Dickensian poverty—conditions that would lead to the “Age of Revolution,” in which the young United States was a key player.

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    • 52 Minutes

    From PBS - Three guests whose ancestry demonstrates the extraordinary influence of the British Empire during the 18th and early 19th century: Sally Field discovers that she descends from William Bradford, who arrived on the Mayflower and helped his fellow English Puritans establish their new lives in colonial America and later discovers that her ancestors sided with the British crown during our nation’s War of Independence and paid the ultimate price; Deepak Chopra’s family made a similar gamble while living under harsh British colonial rule in India, where his grandparents pledged their loyalty to the British in hopes of achieving a higher place in society, and later his father chose to fight alongside British soldiers during World War II; Sting’s story goes back centuries in England where we find that being close to the seat of Empire doesn't mean that life is any better for those who fueled Great Britain’s world dominance during the Pax Britannica by building its merchant ships and working in its coal mines, and who toiled under unbearable working conditions and Dickensian poverty—conditions that would lead to the “Age of Revolution,” in which the young United States was a key player.

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    • 52 Minutes
    • EPISODE 8

    Ancient Roots

    From PBS - Ancient Roots traces the family history of three quintessential voices in American life. All three descend from ancestors that were part of the wave of Greek immigrants that flooded America's shores in the early decades of the 20th century. But along the way, the stories of their Greek ancestors were lost. In recovering these stories, we'll find that their ancestors overcame terrible hardship, and showed remarkable courage in times of war. For Tina Fey, we discover her 5th great-grandfather survived a terrible massacre, and became a hero in the Greek War of Independence. We reveal that David Sedaris' ancestors were also touched by the Greek War of Independence. Their home village was raided by the Ottoman military, and David's great grand-aunt was taken captive -- never to see her family again. And we learn that George Stephanopoulos’ family was willing to sacrifice their own lives in the struggle against the Nazi occupation of Greece during World War I.

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    • 52 Minutes

    From PBS - Ancient Roots traces the family history of three quintessential voices in American life. All three descend from ancestors that were part of the wave of Greek immigrants that flooded America's shores in the early decades of the 20th century. But along the way, the stories of their Greek ancestors were lost. In recovering these stories, we'll find that their ancestors overcame terrible hardship, and showed remarkable courage in times of war. For Tina Fey, we discover her 5th great-grandfather survived a terrible massacre, and became a hero in the Greek War of Independence. We reveal that David Sedaris' ancestors were also touched by the Greek War of Independence. Their home village was raided by the Ottoman military, and David's great grand-aunt was taken captive -- never to see her family again. And we learn that George Stephanopoulos’ family was willing to sacrifice their own lives in the struggle against the Nazi occupation of Greece during World War I.

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    • 52 Minutes
    • EPISODE 9

    Decoding Our Past

    From PBS - Deval Patrick is the first African American Governor of Massachusetts, and Jessica Alba is an actress who proudly embraces her Mexican American heritage. But cutting edge DNA analysis reveals that their family trees in fact contain a far more diverse range of cultures and races. Jessica Alba descends from, Jewish ancestors, Mayans and the official cartographer of France’s King Louis the 14th. Deval Patrick’s roots lead to a black homesteader in Colorado and a white master who gave his former slave land after the Civil War. We also use DNA to delve deeper into the families of other guests from the series including Valerie Jarrett, Anderson Cooper and to overcome dead ends on host Henry Louis Gates, Jr.’s own tree. The secrets encoded in their genomes challenge these guests’ ideas about their families’ histories and their identities today.

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    • 52 Minutes

    From PBS - Deval Patrick is the first African American Governor of Massachusetts, and Jessica Alba is an actress who proudly embraces her Mexican American heritage. But cutting edge DNA analysis reveals that their family trees in fact contain a far more diverse range of cultures and races. Jessica Alba descends from, Jewish ancestors, Mayans and the official cartographer of France’s King Louis the 14th. Deval Patrick’s roots lead to a black homesteader in Colorado and a white master who gave his former slave land after the Civil War. We also use DNA to delve deeper into the families of other guests from the series including Valerie Jarrett, Anderson Cooper and to overcome dead ends on host Henry Louis Gates, Jr.’s own tree. The secrets encoded in their genomes challenge these guests’ ideas about their families’ histories and their identities today.

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    • 52 Minutes
© 2014 THIRTEEN Productions LLC, Kunhardt McGee Productions, Inc. and Inkwell Films, Inc.

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