NOTE from DearMYRTLE: The following was just received from our friend Henry Louis Gates, Jr. host of PBS’ Finding Your Roots.
Three African-American guests delve deep into their family trees, discovering unexpected stories that challenge our assumptions about black history. Find local listings here: http://www.pbs.org/weta/finding-your-roots/watch/tv-schedule/
Bryant Gumbel learns that his surname comes from a German Jewish community by way of his second great grandfather — a white man who arrived in America midway through the Civil War. He also learns that on a different line of his father’s family, his second great grandfather was a manumitted slave who signed up for the Confederate army in New Orleans, then changed sides when the Union arrived in his city.
Tonya Lewis-Lee, a descendant of free people of color going back centuries on her father’s side, learns about her mother’s unknown heritage, including her third great-grandfather, a slave who fought for the Union only to struggle with poverty later in life.
Suzanne Malveaux discovers that her roots include a black slave owner, a French-Canadian fur trader, and a Native American from the Kaskaskia tribe. Along the way, our guests are reminded that there is no universal African American narrative — that there are as many ways to be black as there are black people.
Here’s the preview: