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Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates Jr. Show Summary, Upcoming Episodes and TV Guide

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Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates Jr.

  • Show status
    Running
  • on network
    PBS
  • Last episode S7E10 aired 2021-05-05
    5 months ago
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Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates Jr. (source: TheTVDB.com)

Last episode:

Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates Jr. - S7E10
(Screencap by tvmaze.com)
aired 2021-05-05 (5 months ago)
Laughing on the Inside
Season: 7 | Episode: 10
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Show Summary

Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates, Jr. is the 12th and latest series from the renowned cultural critic and Harvard scholar. In this 10-part series, Professor Gates continues the quest he begun in African American Lives 1 and 2 and Faces of America delving into the genealogy and genetics of an all new group of famous Americans. The series combines history and science in a fascinating exploration of race, family, and identity in today's America. Each hour features a different pair of celebrity guests, who are bound together by an intimate, sometimes hidden link, whether it be as old friends, through long-lost relatives, or even through a common ancestral past.

PBS Started:
Usually airs on:

Type: Documentary
Genres: History
Country: US US
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  • s07e10
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    5 months ago
    00:00
    Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates Jr. - S7E10

    Henry Louis Gates, Jr. uncovers the roots of comedians Lewis Black and Roy Wood, Jr.—two funny men whose family trees are filled with stories that tend more towards drama than comedy. Along the way, Gates introduces his guests to the ancestors who gave them their names—as well as to an array of men and women who took great risks and overcame enormous hardships for the sake of their families.


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  • s07e09
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    5 months ago
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    Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates Jr. - S7E10

    Henry Louis Gates, Jr. investigates the family mysteries of Broadway stars Audra McDonald and Mandy Patinkin, introducing them to relatives whose names they've never heard before. Gates leads his guests back to long-vanished communities in Eastern Europe and the American west, uncovering the stories of ancestors whose struggles laid the groundwork for their success.


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  • s07e08
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    5 months ago
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    Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates Jr. - S7E10

    Henry Louis Gates, Jr. introduces trail-blazing journalists Gretchen Carlson and Don Lemon to the ancestors who blazed a trail for them, traveling from Louisiana sugar plantations to immigrant towns in rural Minnesota, meeting soldiers and Civil Rights activists, entrepreneurs and day laborers who worked tirelessly to keep their families together so that, one day, their descendants might thrive.


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  • s07e07
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    5 months ago
    00:00
    Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates Jr. - S7E10

    Henry Louis Gates, Jr. explores the family trees of actor John Lithgow and journalist Maria Hinojosa, introducing them to ancestors who arrived in North America long before the birth of the United States. Using a mix of documents and DNA, Gates guides his guests on journeys from Spain to Mexico, England to Plymouth Rock, compelling them to re-imagine their families as well as their nation.


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  • s07e06
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    7 months ago
    01:00
    Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates Jr. - S7E10

    Henry Louis Gates, Jr. uncovers the remarkable backgrounds of country music icons Clint Black and Rosanne Cash, traveling generations into the past to trace lineages from the shores of Sicily to the American South. With Gates' guidance, guests reimagine family stories and encounter surprising ancestors they never knew they had, revealing the diverse origins of a quintessentially American art form.


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  • s07e05
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    7 months ago
    01:00
    Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates Jr. - S7E10

    Henry Louis Gates, Jr. helps musician Pharrell Williams and filmmaker Kasi Lemmons understand the experiences of their enslaved ancestors, uncovering extraordinarily rare first-person accounts of their relatives who endured bondage. Through testimonies, we meet individuals who emerged from slavery resilient and refusing to be erased—yearning, like our guests, to trace their stories back to Africa.


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  • s07e04
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    Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates Jr. - S7E10

    Henry Louis Gates, Jr. reveals the immigrant roots of actors Tony Shalhoub and Christopher Meloni, introducing ancestors who confronted inconceivable challenges almost entirely alone. From an abandoned infant in a small Italian village to a devastating plague in Lebanon, long-forgotten records reveal individuals who came from nothing and built a better life in America.


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  • s07e03
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    7 months ago
    01:00
    Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates Jr. - S7E10

    Henry Louis Gates, Jr. reveals the roots of actor Jane Lynch and comedian Jim Gaffigan, exploring the experience of their Irish ancestors on America's shores—an experience characterized by sacrifice and religious persecution. Weaving together stories of maids and coal miners, Gates traces the journeys of ancestors who arrived empty-handed from the Emerald Isle and flourished.


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  • s07e02
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    8 months ago
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    Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates Jr. - S7E10

    Henry Louis Gates, Jr. introduces media personality Andy Cohen and radio journalist Nina Totenberg to Jewish ancestors who journeyed from Russia to America determined to overcome enormous odds in the face of oppression. With little more than grit and talent, these individuals tested the limits of luck and familial love as they battled to survive and lay the groundwork for future generations.


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  • s07e01
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    8 months ago
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    Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates Jr. - S7E10

    Henry Louis Gates, Jr. uncovers the lineages of actor Glenn Close and director John Waters, digging into centuries past to encounter a succession of bold forebears who found fortune amidst drama and rebellion. From the gold rush fields of the Yukon to an enclave in Quaker Pennsylvania to British royalty, our guests meet a succession of relatives who prove to be as eccentric as they are.


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  • s06e21
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    7 months ago
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    Henry Louis Gates, Jr. helps Pharrell Williams and Kasi Lemmons discover their enslaved ancestors.

  • s06e20
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    7 months ago
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    Henry Louis Gates, Jr. reveals the immigrant roots of actors Tony Shalhoub and Christopher Meloni.

  • s06e19
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    Henry Louis Gates, Jr. explores the Irish roots of actor Jane Lynch and comedian Jim Gaffigan.

  • s06e18
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    Henry Louis Gates, Jr. introduces Andy Cohen and Nina Totenberg to their survivor ancestors.

  • s06e17
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    Henry Louis Gates, Jr. discovers the privileged lineages of Glenn Close and John Waters.

  • s06e16
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    Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates Jr. - S7E10

    Henry Louis Gates, Jr. helps Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi, news anchor Norah O'Donnell and fashion designer Zac Posen explore their immigrant roots, retracing the journeys of their ancestors who arrived in the United States with little more than a dream--and revealing why that dream is still so inspiring today.


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  • s06e15
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    Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates Jr. - S7E10

    Henry Louis Gates, Jr. explores the family secrets of journalist Gayle King, film director Jordan Peele, and comedian Issa Rae, introducing them to ancestors who raise profound questions about the shape and meaning of their family trees.


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  • s06e14
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    10 months ago
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    Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates Jr. - S7E10

    Henry Louis Gates, Jr. meets actors Scarlett Johansson and Lupita Nyong'o and chef Lidia Bastianich--three women whose families crisscrossed the globe to escape oppression--and find opportunity.


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  • s06e13
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    Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates Jr. - S7E10

    Henry Louis Gates, Jr. explores the roots of actor Julianne Moore, comedian Bill Hader, and painter Kehinde Wiley, revealing how their ancestors' military service left an indelible mark on their families--and on their country.


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  • s06e12
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    Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates Jr. - S7E10

    Henry Louis Gates, Jr. uses DNA detective work to solve mysteries in the family trees of actor Téa Leoni, and radio host Joe Madison, introducing each of them to parents and grandparents whose names they've never heard before.


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  • s06e11
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    Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates Jr. - S7E10

    Henry Louis Gates, Jr. steps into the world of fashion and meets three icons of style: Diane Von Furstenberg, Narciso Rodriguez, and RuPaul Charles, introducing ancestors who were just as audacious as they are.


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  • s06e10
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    Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates Jr. - S7E10

    Henry Louis Gates, Jr. explores the roots of actor Laura Linney and journalists Lisa Ling and Soledad O'Brien—telling them stories of tricksters, scoundrels and outright criminals, who nevertheless laid the groundwork for their success.


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  • s06e09
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    Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates Jr. - S7E10

    Henry Louis Gates, Jr. explores the roots of talk show-host Jimmy Kimmel and actors Marisa Tomei and John Turturro, introducing them to ancestors who made immense sacrifices to bring their families from Italy to America.


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  • s06e08
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    Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates Jr. - S7E10

    Henry Louis Gates, Jr. journeys with Ava DuVernay, S. Epatha Merkerson, and Questlove to the unexpected places where their ancestors were scattered by slavery, upending their notions of African American history—and their own family trees.


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  • s06e07
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    Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates Jr. - S7E10

    Henry Louis Gates, Jr. traces the family trees of Francis Collins, Shirley Ann Jackson, and Harold E.Varmus--three pioneering scientists who've made dramatic contributions to our understanding of the world.


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  • s06e06
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    Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates Jr. - S7E10

    Henry Louis Gates, Jr. helps actors Sigourney Weaver, Justina Machado, and Amy Ryan unearth surprising revelations about their family histories, forever altering how they see themselves.


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  • s06e05
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    Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates Jr. - S7E10

    Henry Louis Gates, Jr. explores the Jewish heritages of actor Jeff Goldblum, radio host Terry Gross, and comedian Marc Maron, uncovering previously unknown stories that show each shares more with their ancestors than a religious tradition.


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  • s06e04
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    Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates Jr. - S7E10

    Henry Louis Gates, Jr. reveals the unexpected family trees of entertainer Queen Latifah and actor Jeffrey Wright, redefining their sense of the black experience — and challenging preconceptions about America's past.


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  • s06e03
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    Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates Jr. - S7E10

    Henry Louis Gates, Jr. helps actor Sterling K. Brown, comedian Sasheer Zamata and musician Jon Batiste discover the unexpected places their ancestors once called home.


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  • s06e02
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    Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates Jr. - S7E10

    Henry Louis Gates, Jr. explores the humble roots of comedic actors Melissa McCarthy and Eric Stonestreet, retracing the ancestral journeys that laid the groundwork for their success.


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  • s06e01
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    Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates Jr. - S7E10

    Henry Louis Gates, Jr. helps actors Isabella Rossellini, Anjelica Huston and Mia Farrow unearth surprising new revelations about their family histories, taking them generations beyond their famous cinematic forebears.


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  • s05e10
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    Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates Jr. - S7E10

    The family stories of actor Ty Burrell, radio host Joe Madison and political strategist Valerie Jarrett. Also a look at how a summer camp for children is using genetic genealogy to help people better understand their burgeoning identities.


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  • s05e09
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    Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates Jr. - S7E10

    Host Henry Louis Gates, Jr. shares the family histories of director Alejandro G. Iñárritu, iconoclastic performance artist Marina Abramović and painter Kehinde Wiley. These visionary artists find their identities challenged—and affirmed.


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  • s05e08
    • 0.00/5
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    Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates Jr. - S7E10

    Host Henry Louis Gates, Jr. explores the family stories of filmmaker Michael Moore and actors Laura Linney and Chloë Sevigny—three people whose distant ancestors overcame great hardships in ways that resonate with their lives today.


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  • s05e07
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    Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates Jr. - S7E10

    Henry Louis Gates, Jr. shows comedians Seth Meyers, Tig Notaro and Sarah Silverman that their family trees are filled with people whose struggles laid the groundwork for their success. Gates also reveals news of an unexpected DNA cousin.


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  • s05e06
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    Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates Jr. - S7E10

    Host Henry Louis Gates, Jr. explores the diverse family histories of politicians Paul Ryan, Tulsi Gabbard and Marco Rubio. They each see a shared vision of the great American melting pot reflected in their ancestors' stories.


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  • s05e05
    • 0.00/5
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    Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates Jr. - S7E10

    Henry Louis Gates Jr. delves into the histories of two African-American guests, actress S. Epatha Merkerson and athlete and television personality Michael Strahan, and finds unexpected stories that challenge assumptions about black history.


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  • s05e04
    • 0.00/5
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    Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates Jr. - S7E10

    Henry Louis Gates, Jr. explores with Marisa Tomei, Sheryl Sandberg and Kal Penn the tremendous challenges faced by their immigrant forebears. From Italy, Russia and India, their histories show success could take generations to achieve.


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  • s05e03
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    Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates Jr. - S7E10

    Host Henry Louis Gates, Jr. shows journalists Christiane Amanpour, Ann Curry and Lisa Ling that the stories within their own family trees are every bit as compelling as the news stories they have been covering for the world.


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  • s05e02
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    3 years ago
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    Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates Jr. - S7E10

    Henry Louis Gates, Jr. helps actors Felicity Huffman and Michael K. Williams discover a wealth of hidden family history. Both grew up knowing little about their biological fathers, and seeing their lost ancestry restored proves empowering.


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  • s05e01
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    3 years ago
    01:00
    Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates Jr. - S7E10

    Host Henry Louis Gates, Jr. helps actor Andy Samberg and author George R. R. Martin answer family mysteries when DNA detective work uncovers branches of their family trees. The DNA analysis upends family history and reveals new relatives.


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  • s04e10
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    4 years ago
    01:00
    Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates Jr. - S7E10

    Three guests who have found fame mining their family stories for comedy learn about ancestors who overcame immense suffering. Amy Schumer learns of her paternal great-grandmother, who came to America in 1912 from what is now Ukraine, lost her father almost immediately after arriving in New York, and ultimately saw her own marriage dissolve and her name nearly vanish from family memory. She also learns the incredible tale of her maternal eighth great-grandfather's siblings, who were kidnapped by Native Americans and taken to Canada in the early 1700s, only to become part of the tribe. Maya Rudolph grapples with the struggle for freedom for her African-American ancestors and learns how her Jewish family first came to the United States. Aziz Ansari traces his ancestry back further than he thought possible in Southern India, learning his great-grandfather was a landowner who was forced to patrol his fields with a rifle in order to save his property from local warriors. All three guests are struck by the contrast between themselves and these ancestors whose names and stories they never heard before.


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  • s04e09
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    4 years ago
    01:00
    Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates Jr. - S7E10

    Questlove, Dr. Phil and Charlayne Hunter-Gault dig into their roots where slavery shaped families. These stories reassure them that they are not alone by exposing them to stories that show that America's racial history is shared by all.


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  • s04e08
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    4 years ago
    01:00
    Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates Jr. - S7E10

    Téa Leoni and Gaby Hoffman, whose lives have been shaped by family mysteries, are introduced to ancestors they never knew they had. Following the paper trail, both guests take these lines back to the 18th century.


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  • s04e07
    • 0.00/5
    4 years ago
    01:00
    Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates Jr. - S7E10

    Lupita Nyong'o, Carmelo Anthony and Ana Navarro explore how their family trees were shaped by political turmoil and violence, discovering unexpected ancestry along the way and realizing that history is more complex and personal than thought.


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  • s04e06
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    4 years ago
    01:00
    Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates Jr. - S7E10

    Three African-American guests, Bryant Gumbel, Tonya Lewis-Lee and Suzanne Malveaux, delve deep into their family trees, discovering stories that challenge our assumptions about black history.


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  • s04e05
    • 0.00/5
    4 years ago
    00:00
    Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates Jr. - S7E10

    Scarlett Johansson, Paul Rudd and John Turturro explore the challenges faced by their immigrant forebears. In the end, each guest gains a greater understanding of how their immigrant ancestors laid the groundwork for their success.


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  • s04e04
    • 0.00/5
    4 years ago
    00:00
    Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates Jr. - S7E10

    Three guests who have helped to redefine Black America in the last decade find their identities challenged as they learn about their family origins. Ava DuVernay's biological roots place her family in the Haitian Revolution on the opposite side she expected: as white French slave owners fleeing the revolt. Ta-Nehisi Coates follows the ancestry of his Black Panther father to Virginia, where his fourth great-grandmother saw the transition from slavery to freedom, and his mother's family to Maryland, where his third great-grandmother had a very different experience of the slave era. Janet Mock follows the Mock surname to Louisiana and her maternal roots to Hawaii, where her second great-grandparents were farm laborers. By placing their ancestors' lives in the larger context of history, our guests gain a deeper appreciation for their family narratives and see how those narratives illustrate the diversity of the black experience — a diversity that is even reflected in their DNA.


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  • s04e03
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    4 years ago
    00:00
    Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates Jr. - S7E10

    Three mainstays of modern-day Hollywood discover family legacies that predate the United States itself. Ted Danson learns of two Colonial ancestors who broke the mold: a Connecticut Revolutionary colonel who allowed his slave to buy his freedom, and famed iconoclast Anne Hutchinson, who was banished from Massachusetts Bay for her subversive religious views. William H. Macy learns of his own family's nonconformists — a Puritan punished for helping Quakers who went on to help purchase Nantucket, and a Confederate widow who committed pension fraud to attempt to regain the family's financial stability. Mary Steenburgen's ancestors, too, refused to follow the script, including a rowdy drunkard who served under George Washington in the French and Indian War, and a Tennessee soldier who paid the price of siding with the Union. Taken together, these diverse stories from the past show our guests how personal choices can change history.


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  • s04e02
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    4 years ago
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    Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates Jr. - S7E10

    In this episode, three guests each learn about a grandparent whose real identity and background had been a mystery to them. Along the way, two of them also discover that their close relatives were on the wrong side of history. Christopher Walken, who grew up never meeting or even knowing the name of his mother's father, learns that he was a Scottish felon who served prison time in the 1880s. Walken also learns about his paternal uncle, a German baker who served in a notorious Reserve Police Battalion that helped perpetrate the Holocaust. Fred Armisen, too, discovers an unexpected connection to Nazi Germany as he sees evidence that his grandfather — a man he'd thought to be a Japanese dancer — had a much more complicated life than he'd ever imagined. Carly Simon learns the surprising ethnic identity and hidden Cuban past of her own mysterious grandmother. Each guest comes to see his or herself in a new light based on these freshly revealed facts about their intimate kin.


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  • s04e01
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    4 years ago
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    Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates Jr. - S7E10

    Two guests linked by one hilarious impersonation trace their roots from 1940s Brooklyn back to Jewish communities in Europe. Larry David discovers his German heritage by way of ancestors who settled in Mobile, Alabama in the mid-19th century — including one who became a slaveholding Confederate; Bernie Sanders gains greater understanding of his father's dangerous childhood in Austrian Galicia during World War I. Both guests discover what happened to the family members who were still in Europe during the Holocaust — Larry David's grandfather lost nine siblings; Bernie Sanders' uncle, a member of the Limanowa Judenrat, heroically went head to head with a Nazi officer. Through DNA testing, our guests learn that there is more to their uncanny likeness than they ever suspected.


    (Screencap by tvmaze.com)
  • s03e10
    • 0.00/5
    6 years ago
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    Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates Jr. - S7E10

    Learn how Dustin Hoffman and Mia Farrow, who last shared the screen together in 1969, also share a history of tragic deaths in their families that played major roles in shaping future generations.


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  • s03e09
    • 0.00/5
    6 years ago
    01:00
    Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates Jr. - S7E10

    Discover how actress Julianna Marguiles, author Azar Nafisi and chef Lidia Bastianich are bound together by their ancestors' singular and deeply human desire to preserve their most cherished traditions.


    (Screencap by tvmaze.com)
  • s03e08
    • 0.00/5
    6 years ago
    01:00
    Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates Jr. - S7E10

    Discover how Neil Patrick Harris, Gloria Steinem and Sandra Cisneros are connected to pioneers who broke new ground and paved the way for their modern day descendants to continue shaping our culture.


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  • s03e07
    • 0.00/5
    6 years ago
    01:00
    Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates Jr. - S7E10

    Uncover family mysteries about two legends of hip hop, Sean Combs and LL Cool J, through the use of DNA technology that reveals information that shakes their very foundations.


    (Screencap by tvmaze.com)
  • s03e06
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    6 years ago
    01:00
    Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates Jr. - S7E10

    Uncover a long history of military service in the families of Patricia Arquette, Julianne Moore and John McCain, and how this has instilled in each of them an enduring spirit of strength and integrity.


    (Screencap by tvmaze.com)
  • s03e05
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    6 years ago
    01:00
    Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates Jr. - S7E10

    Discover how the ancestors of business mogul Richard Branson and architects Maya Lin and Frank Gehry took audacious risks to create opportunities, and how their luck, ingenuity and chutzpah was passed on to these three visionaries.


    (Screencap by tvmaze.com)
  • s03e04
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    6 years ago
    01:00
    Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates Jr. - S7E10

    Uncover a history of tragedies and triumphs in the families of three of America's funniest men-Jimmy Kimmel, Norman Lear and Bill Hader—as they learn how comedy truly has its place in all aspects of life.


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  • s03e03
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    6 years ago
    01:00
    Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates Jr. - S7E10

    Learn how the ancestors of Maya Rudolph, Shonda Rhimes and Keenen Ivory Wayans struggled for freedom, and how each of these cultural trailblazers gain a new understanding of how they fit into this proud trajectory.


    (Screencap by tvmaze.com)
  • s03e02
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    6 years ago
    01:00
    Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates Jr. - S7E10

    Explore the shared Irish ancestry of Soledad O'Brien, Bill O'Reilly and Bill Maher and how they have been deeply influenced by their Irish roots.


    (Screencap by tvmaze.com)
  • s03e01
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    6 years ago
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    Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates Jr. - S7E10

    Discover the unsolved mysteries behind the family stories of political organizer Donna Brazile, actor Ty Burrell and artist Kara Walker as they learn how the legacy of slavery has shaped their identities.


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  • s02e10
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    7 years ago
    01:00
    Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates Jr. - S7E10

    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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  • s02e09
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    Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates Jr. - S7E10

    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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    Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates Jr. - S7E10

    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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    Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates Jr. - S7E10

    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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    Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates Jr. - S7E10

    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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    Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates Jr. - S7E10

    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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    Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates Jr. - S7E10

    Actor Ben Affleck discovers his mother's past as a Freedom Rider in 1964, NAACP President Ben Jealous learns how far his great-grandfather would go to keep his family whole, and actress Khandi Alexander learns about her grandfather's death.


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    Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates Jr. - S7E10

    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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    Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates Jr. - S7E10

    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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    Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates Jr. - S7E10

    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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    Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates Jr. - S7E10

    Michelle Rodriguez, Adrian Grenier and Linda Chavez all share Spanish colonial roots, yet each views their own identity very differently. In this episode we ask what it means to be Hispanic-and find that the answer lies in the tangled histories of European, Native American and African peoples. Crisscrossing Mexico, Spain, the Caribbean, and the Southwest, Professor Gates reveals stories of ancestral Conquistadors, Indian rebels, and 'Crypto-Jews' (Spanish Jews who converted to Catholicism to survive the Inquisition, yet continued to practice their religion in secret) - showing that the American experience has been shaped by people who were in the New World long before the Mayflower.


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    Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates Jr. - S7E10

    Most African Americans struggle to trace their ancestors beyond Emancipation; slavery erased names and family ties with brutal efficiency. But what about the descendants of the handful of free black people who evaded bondage during that terrible time? Musician John Legend and comedian Wanda Sykes discover the extraordinary stories of the free black ancestors they never knew about, while Professor Gates himself and his 98-year-old friend Margarett Cooper delve into the mysteries shrouding the free people of color in their family trees.


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    Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates Jr. - S7E10

    The three guests in this episode are all children of first- or second-generation immigrants and share the peculiar burdens of that heritage. In an episode that crisscrosses the planet, from India to Korea to Poland, catch a glimpse of three distinct yet oddly overlapping experiences of families leaving their homes and becoming American.


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    Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates Jr. - S7E10

    Samuel L. Jackson, Condoleezza Rice and Brown University President Ruth Simmons have each climbed to the pinnacle of their profession, yet each started life as a second class citizen in the Jim Crow south. In this episode we will use DNA to investigate family mysteries: where do they come from in Africa, and who are the white men in their family trees?


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  • s01e06
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    Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates Jr. - S7E10

    Many American descend from a dense soups of European ethnicities; we could call them mutts, with ancestral roots across every country in Europe. Actors Robert Downey, Jr. and Maggie Gyllenhaal are textbook examples of Americans with a rich tapestry of European immigrant stories making up their family trees. We delve in to their deep American roots in early colonial communities, and we meet their Eastern European Jewish ancestors, who share almost identical migration stories From the Mayflower to Ellis Island, we journey through centuries of immigration that shaped and built our melting pot nation.


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    Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates Jr. - S7E10

    Pastor Rick Warren, Rabbi Angela Buchdahl and Sheik Yasir Qadhi are of three different faiths, all with complex family histories that profoundly shaped their religious beliefs. Our research of their roots unearthed a story about the spiritual foundations of this country, an unrelenting struggle to achieve our ideal of religious freedom and tolerance, but also the difficulties sometimes of holding onto one's faith and still feeling like an 'authentic' American.


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    Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates Jr. - S7E10

    What do Kevin Bacon and Kyra Sedgwick have in common? They are both famous actors and both descend from prominent American families that have been in this country since its inception. But they share something else, too: both had ancestors who were early opponents of slavery. Bacon's Quaker ancestors repudiated slavery long before the rest of the country, in 1780. And Sedgwick's ancestor Theodore Sedgwick argued the freedom case of Elizabeth Freeman, also known as 'Mumbet,' in 1781 -- which helped bring an end to slavery in Massachusetts. We reveal this fact - and many others - to Sedgwick and Bacon in this episode, and learn quite a bit about slavery in the North in the process.


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  • s01e03
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    Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates Jr. - S7E10

    What's in a name? Well, a lot, at least when it comes to piecing together your family history. For former slaves, choosing a last name was one of their first acts of freedom. For Jewish immigrants, it was a way to fit in their new country. Whatever the reason for a name change, it can make the process of learning about one's ancestors difficult, if not impossible. In this episode, we unearth missing links in the family histories of media legend Barbara Walters and educational superstar Geoffrey Canada. Walters did not know her father's real last name. Canada did not know the name of his grandfather. Both of them had been unable to access their history... until now.


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  • s01e02
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    Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates Jr. - S7E10

    In this episode, we feature two African American politicians from different generations and opposite backgrounds. John Lewis grew up in a sharecropping family in rural Georgia, while Cory Booker was raised in an affluent, all-white New Jersey suburb. Although both men have devoted their lives to the betterment of African-American people, neither of them knows much about their own ancestors. In this episode, we introduce Booker to his white great-grandfather, a man he never knew, and move Lewis to tears over the extraordinary ambitions and accomplishments of his slave ancestors..


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  • s01e01
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    Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates Jr. - S7E10

    Their European immigrant ancestors blazed unconventional trails in America, from capturing British ships for the American Revolution to crossing racial barriers in slave-era Louisiana. Generations later, as children growing up in New Orleans, Harry Connick, Jr. and Branford Marsalis found a deep and abiding friendship through their common love of jazz and of the city itself. In this hour, we trace the turbulent and contradictory history of the city of New Orleans through the family stories of these two fascinating men.


    (Screencap by tvmaze.com)