'African American Lives 2' Searches For Roots

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Henry Louis Gates, Jr.

Henry Louis Gates, Jr. is the director of the W.E.B. Du Bois Institute for African and African-American Research at Harvard University. Courtesy of Henry Louis Gates Jr. hide caption

itoggle caption Courtesy of Henry Louis Gates Jr.

More On The Series

Henry Louis Gates, Jr. can pinpoint the day when his career as a historian began: nearly 50 years ago, on the day his grandfather died, Gates saw a photo of his great-great grandmother, who was a former slave.

Years later, Gates' fascination with his own ancestry led to a PBS series on the genealogy of a number of well known African Americans — from Oprah Winfrey, to Whoopi Goldberg, to Chris Tucker.

Gates' first PBS series was so successful that he has selected a new group to profile. In African American Lives 2, Gates explores the ancestry of Maya Angelou, Tina Turner, Chris Rock, and many more notable African-American men and women.



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