Finding Your Roots

 (184)
8.52012TV-PG
The basic drive to discover who we are and where we come from is at the core of the new series with Henry Louis Gates, Jr. Continuing the quest begun in his previous projects, Gates finds new ways to "get into the DNA of American culture."
Starring
Adrian GrenierAngela BuchdahlBarbara Walters
Genres
Documentary
Subtitles
English [CC]
Audio languages
English
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  1. 1. Harry Connick, Jr. / Branford Marsalis
    March 11 2012
    53min
    TV-PG
    Subtitles
    English [CC]
    Audio languages
    English
    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.
  2. 2. Cory Booker / John Lewis
    March 24 2012
    53min
    13+
    Subtitles
    English [CC]
    Audio languages
    English
    This program features two African-American politicians from different generations and opposite backgrounds.
  3. 3. Barbara Walkers / Geoffrey Canada
    March 31 2012
    53min
    TV-PG
    Subtitles
    English [CC]
    Audio languages
    English
    What’s in a name? Well, a lot, at least when it comes to piecing together family history.
  4. 4. Kevin Bacon / Kyra Sedgwick
    April 7 2012
    53min
    13+
    Subtitles
    English [CC]
    Audio languages
    English
    Kevin Bacon and Kyra Sedgwick are both famous actors and both descend from prominent American families that have been in this country since its inception. They both have ancestors who were early opponents of slavery.
  5. 5. Angela Buchdahl / Rick Warren / Yasir Qadhi
    April 14 2012
    53min
    18+
    Subtitles
    English [CC]
    Audio languages
    English
    Pastor Rick Warren, Rabbi Angela Buchdahl and Sheik Yasir Qadhi — clerics of three different faiths — all have complex family histories that profoundly shaped their religious beliefs.
  6. 6. Maggie Gyllenhaal / Robert Downey, Jr.
    April 21 2012
    53min
    13+
    Subtitles
    English [CC]
    Audio languages
    English
    Many Americans descend from a variety of European ethnicities, with ancestral roots across every country in Europe.
  7. 7. Samuel L. Jackson / Condoleezza Rice / Ruth Simmons
    April 28 2012
    53min
    18+
    Subtitles
    English [CC]
    Audio languages
    English
    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.
  8. 8. Sanjay Gupta / Margaret Cho / Martha Stewart
    May 5 2012
    53min
    13+
    Subtitles
    English [CC]
    Audio languages
    English
    The three guests in this episode are all children of first- or second-generation immigrants and share the peculiar burdens of that heritage.
  9. 9. John Legend / Wanda Sykes / Margarett Cooper
    May 12 2012
    53min
    13+
    Subtitles
    English [CC]
    Audio languages
    English
    Most African Americans struggle to trace their ancestors beyond Emancipation; slavery erased names and family ties with brutal efficiency. What about the descendants of the few free black people who evaded bondage during that terrible time?
  10. 10. Michelle Rodriguez / Adrian Grenier / Linda Chavez
    May 19 2012
    53min
    13+
    Subtitles
    English [CC]
    Audio languages
    English
    Michelle Rodriguez, Adrian Grenier and Linda Chavez all share Spanish colonial roots, yet each views their own identity very differently.

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Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars

184 global ratings

  1. 85% of reviews have 5 stars
  2. 6% of reviews have 4 stars
  3. 5% of reviews have 3 stars
  4. 2% of reviews have 2 stars
  5. 2% of reviews have 1 stars
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Top reviews from the United States

Craig HaynesReviewed in the United States on November 7, 2017
4.0 out of 5 stars
Maybe I can determine my own paternity?
Verified purchase
After witnessing the current role of DNA testing and analysis in the genealogical work of Dr Gates and his enormously talented and experienced team, I suddenly realized that I might be able to determine my own paternity mystery using some of the same methods. Maybe not as wide and deep, but it would be nice to learn my biological surname, at the very least, and hopefully the name of my biological father. Since I do not have ANY clues, DNA is a start. Thus, I am a little (maybe a lot) indebted to this series, for providing some hope. This series is, among the many knock-offs, a cut above, because of the rich and thorough historical context Gates provides to each of his guests/clients and the audience. It is so fascinating. I was so moved to see neurosurgeon, and CNN medical correspondent Sanjay Gupta so deeply touched, when he learned his ancestors deep Indian roots via centuries old scrolls maintained by holy men in India-- It is thrilling to watch.
22 people found this helpful
M. MaraReviewed in the United States on October 22, 2017
5.0 out of 5 stars
Wonderful show filled with surprises and mysteries
Verified purchase
So incredibly interesting and surprisingly, it is exciting too! I would love to have someone work this diligently on my family history. It's like watching a mystery. The Yale professor who host this show does an excellent job. Highly recommend.
12 people found this helpful
Brenda KrekelerReviewed in the United States on April 27, 2016
5.0 out of 5 stars
Outstanding! An historical perspective of real Americans
Verified purchase
Excellent! I learned so much about the ancestors of our African Americans and the Jewish ancestors. The history was very helpful and it allowed me to understand slavery in a very real context. I appreciate everyone who participated in these shows. I am sure that aspects of the show was difficult and emotional for the participants but I gained real knowledge about the real history of these real people and their ancestors. Thank you everyone for sharing their stories.
11 people found this helpful
JJensenReviewed in the United States on December 7, 2017
5.0 out of 5 stars
Five Stars
Verified purchase
The host is so good at his job.
11 people found this helpful
Nora NausbaumReviewed in the United States on April 20, 2016
5.0 out of 5 stars
great show on history, understanding our unique American racial makeup
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Wonderful, important show for Americans to better, much better understand our history and our society. Very well produced, fascinating look at selected well known actors, politicians, artists and their histories which resonate with the history of America. Mr. Gates is so empathetic with his guests. turns out we are all related. watch and be surprised.
8 people found this helpful
JohnReviewed in the United States on December 10, 2014
3.0 out of 5 stars
The final episode for this year that aired just before Thanksgiving was fantastic; it explained DNA testing in laymen's terms
Verified purchase
As the family genealogist I found the programs interesting, though the programs researching 3 individuals was too much for a one hour program; 2 individuals was about right. These programs do show how diverse the people of the US are, AND... how much we are alike (and related to each other). The final episode for this year that aired just before Thanksgiving was fantastic; it explained DNA testing in laymen's terms, and was quite interesting.
7 people found this helpful
K. CostanzaReviewed in the United States on July 5, 2015
5.0 out of 5 stars
AWESOME SHOW!!
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This show is SO AMAZING!!!!!!! To learn about history through the stories of one person's ancestors makes it all come alive and feel real instead of dry facts in a history text book. The special thing about this show is how the guests stories and history are related in some way to make it all the richer and more interesting.
7 people found this helpful
Indiana JReviewed in the United States on January 18, 2016
5.0 out of 5 stars
Wonderful show
Verified purchase
This is a great show. I love how deep the researchers go to find the information. It makes me want to dig into my own roots. Great show for anyone, especially anyone interested in family history.
One person found this helpful
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