Reminder – African American Lives Tonight

If you are in the US, you might want to check out a show that PBS is premiering tonight, African American Lives. It traces the family history of nine prominent African Americans, and is shaping up to be one of the highest-profile shows about genealogy that has shown on American TV in years. It is a two-part, four-hour series (tonight and Feb 8th) and will probably repeat throughout the month (check your local listings at the link above).

The Baltimore Sun has a good article written by David Zurawik, about the show.

Some excerpt from the article:

But before the series gets to DNA, it starts with the more traditional, non-scientific methods of trying to re-create one’s lineage: family stories, oral history and genealogy. As Gates interviews his eight fellow time travelers about their knowledge of their histories, he broadens their personal narratives with still photographs, music and video clips that skillfully create an underpinning of African-American life in 20th- and 21st-century America…..

Jakes, the minister, puts his finger on one of the difficulties often experienced by members of an oppressed minority in even getting started on a study of their personal pasts: parents and grandparents who self-censor family stories to spare their children some of the harsher facts.

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