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African American Lives by Henry Louis Gates, Jr.

African American Lives

by Henry Louis Gates, Jr.


Title Details

Running Time
54 Min.


African American Lives is a PBS television miniseries hosted by historian Henry Louis Gates, Jr., focusing on African American genealogical research. The family histories of prominent African Americans are explored using traditional genealogic techniques as well as genetic analysis.

The first installment of the series aired in February of 2006. The series featured research into the ancestral lineages of eight prominent African American guests. By billing the guests were: music producer Quincy Jones, astronaut and physician Mae Jemison, comedian Chris Tucker, bishop T. D. Jakes, sociologist Sara Lawrence-Lightfoot, actress Whoopi Goldberg, physician Ben Carson, and talk show host Oprah Winfrey. Writer, host, and executive producer of the series, Henry Louis Gates, also features his ancestral heritage on the show. The miniseries featured interviews with the parents and family members of guests including Winfrey's father, Vernon Winfrey. Geneticists Rick Kittles and Mark D. Shriver also make appearances.

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