African American Lives
Dr. Henry Louis Gates, Jr. pieces together family histories and explores the Great Migration of African Americans as well as the experiences of those who endured Jim Crow segregation.
From the early 20th century to the end of the Civil War, a look at how African Americans defined their freedom after slavery. Courthouse records are key when tracing lineage through Reconstruction.
Genealogical research is more difficult moving back from the Civil War to the Colonial era. Genealogists explain the hurdles: African Americans have spent more generations enslaved than free.
Dr. Gates visits leading scientists using DNA analysis to trace ancestral roots. He and one participant travel to Africa to meet tribal elders whose DNA suggests are the participant's cousins.
Episode One focuses on stories of the participants' ancestors from the early 20th century.
Episode Two continues to trace the guests' lineages back through the late 1800s to the Civil War.
Henry Louis Gates
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