From African American Lives (2006) through the first season of Finding Your Roots (2012), Harvard scholar Henry Louis Gates, Jr. has been helping people identify relatives hidden for generations. Now Gates and his team of genealogists and geneticists are back for a 10-part second season to uncover the origins of a diverse group of almost 30 guests.
The new season premieres at 8pm Tuesday, Sept. 23, on CET and ThinkTV16 and will continue on consecutive Tuesdays.
This first episode, “In Search of Our Fathers,” features three guests who 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 B. 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.
Future episodes feature 29 of today’s leading entertainers, athletes, chefs and art personalities including Ben Affleck, Jessica Alba, Khandi Alexander, Tom Colicchio, Tina Fey, Sally Field, Derek Jeter, Stephen King, Nas, Anna Deavere Smith, Sting and Courtney B. Vance.
Working closely with leading U.S. genealogists (including Johni Cerny, co-author of the acclaimed The Source: Guidebook for American Genealogy) and ancestry experts from around the world, Gates and his production team comb through family stories to discover unknown histories and relatives the guests never knew existed. When paper trails end for each story, the team turns to top geneticists and DNA diagnosticians to analyze each participant’s genetic code, tracing their bloodlines and taking guests back further in time than ever before.
Watch full episodes from season one here: http://watch.cetconnect.org/program/finding-your-roots/.
Here’s a preview for season two: