From PBS - 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 ...
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Well known faces within the British media each embark on individual journeys to answer some questions in regards to their own family history. An interesting and intelligent programme for ... See full summary »
Ellen McNulty loses her hamburger joint and goes to see her son, who marries a socialite at the same time. Due to her modest background and a case of mistaken identity, Ellen poses as the newlyweds' cook.
Australian celebrities play detective as they go in search of their family history, revealing secrets from the past. Travel around Australia and the world with Jack Thompson, Kate Ceberano,... See full summary »
Genealogical research is often fascinating, illuminating and addictive. But here's the thing about televising something that involves a lot of library time and reading -- you have to make it engaging. Finding Your Roots means well but it is nowhere near as fun or interesting to watch as another genealogical show, Who Do You Think You Are, currently airing on TLC. Unfortunately, it is Gates himself that is a drag on the show. He is a scholar and a professor and his sit downs with his guests come across like a dry lecture. The guests show up like good students for the lecture but they have had little or no personal involvement in the quest up to that point. And frankly some of them don't look too interested in their own stories.
I've been involved in genealogical research for many decades and I have learned some remarkable things at the hands of Professor Gates and his association with PBS. I don't want the show to disappear but I would encourage PBS to reformat it in favor of engaging both the guest and the viewer to a higher degree. They have the perfect opportunity to do that in the wake of the revelation that Gates and the show's producers covered up the facts of Ben Affleck's slave owning ancestry.
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