“Genealogy is more popular than ever, but it’s far more than a solitary pastime.It’s a fascinating endeavor that can drastically alter both history and the way we think of ourselves.”Guest groupings include: award-winning husband-and-wife actors Kevin Bacon and Kyra Sedgwick, who both descend from prominent American families that have been in this country since inception; New Orleans jazz masters and close friends Harry Connick, Jr.

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Finding Your Roots builds on the success of African American Lives 1 and 2 and Faces of America, journeying deep into the ancestry of remarkable individuals Harry Connick, Jr., Robert Downey, Jr., Samuel L.

Jackson, John Legend, Branford Marsalis, Condoleezza Rice, Michelle Rodriguez, Barbara Walters, and many other well-known names learn long-lost secrets from their family histories. Du Bois Institute for African and African American Research.

The basic drive to discover who we are and where we come from is at the core of the new 10-part PBS series , the 12th series from Professor Gates, the Alphonse Fletcher University Professor at Harvard University and director of the W. Filmed on location across the United States, the series premieres nationally Sundays, March 25 – May 20 at 8 pm ET on PBS (check local listings).

(Note: program one and two are scheduled on Sunday, March 25 from 8-9 pm and 9-10 pm respectively.)Continuing on the quest begun in his previous projects, African American Lives (2006), African American Lives 2(2008) and Faces of America (2010), Gates finds new ways to, as he says, “get into the DNA of American culture.” In each hour-long episode, he takes viewers along for the journey with one celebrity group bound together by an intimate, sometimes hidden link, treks through layers of ancestral history, uncovers secrets and surprises of their family trees and shares life-altering discoveries.“ will be a moving, uplifting, entertaining and enlightening experience for viewers,” says Gates.

marvels at the vastness of his family tree dating back to the 13th century, and Michelle Rodriguez discovers family secrets and heroes that her parents left behind when they came to the United States as immigrants.

Gates travels with his guests throughout the series, sharing the details of ancestral stories and helping process what they’ve learned. Mayor Cory Booker as he reveals the root-seeking results to his parents, and trails CNN chief medical correspondent Dr.

He accompanies musician John Legend to a rock concert, goes backstage on Broadway with Samuel L. Sanjay Gupta and Geoffrey Canada to memorable family reunions.

The 25 guests featured in the series are: Kevin Bacon, Cory Booker, Angela Buchdahl, Geoffrey Canada, Linda Chavez, Margaret Cho, Harry Connick, Jr., Margarett Cooper, Robert Downey, Jr., Adrian Grenier, Sanjay Gupta, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Samuel L. genealogists (including staff of the New England Genealogical Historical Society and Johni Cerny, co-author of the acclaimed ) and ancestry experts from around the world, Gates and his production team comb through family stories to discover unknown histories and relatives the guests never knew existed.

Jackson, John Legend, John Lewis, Branford Marsalis, Yasir Qadhi, Condoleezza Rice, Michelle Rodriguez, Kyra Sedgwick, Ruth Simmons, Martha Stewart, Wanda Sykes, Barbara Walters and Rick Warren. When paper trails end for each story, the team turns to top geneticists and DNA diagnosticians (such as the genetic testing services 23and Me, African Ancestry and Family Tree DNA) to analyze each participant’s genetic code, tracing their bloodlines and occasionally debunking their long-held notions and beliefs.