Actors Ted Danson, Mary Steenburgen and William H. Macy trace their nonconformist ancestors through American conflicts -- the Civil War and the American Revolution, all the way back to the Puritan establishment. Journalists Bryant Gumbel and Suzanne Malveaux and producer and writer Tonya Lewis-Lee discover a tapestry of the unexpected as they delve into their ancestry, revealing slaves and free people of color, Civil War legacies, and forgotten European origins. Actor Lupita Nyong'o, NBA star Carmelo Anthony and political commentator Ana Navarro trace their African heritage, investigating the political choices of their fathers and discovering sometimes unexpected heritage. Also, actors Tea Leoni and Gaby Hoffmann both have lives shaped by family mysteries and are introduced to the identities and life stories of their biological ancestors, thanks to DNA detective work. DJ and producer Questlove, talk show host Dr. Phil, and journalist Charlayne Hunter-Gault's family stories are rooted in the American south. Actors Scarlett Johansson, Paul Rudd and John Turturro, all with immigrant parents, gain greater understanding of the unique challenges their ancestors faced by way of prejudice and poverty at home and abroad. - KIDS FIRST! Reviews and Videos" />

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FINDING YOUR ROOTS WITH HENRY LOUIS GATES, JR., SEASON 4

What to know: Incredibly well done.
Recommended age 12-18
600 minutes
DVD
PBS DISTRIBUTION
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The title speaks for itself. I really enjoyed watching people find out about their ancestors in this series. Most are really surprised and some, visibly shaken by the information that is shared. You get to see a side of your favorite or not-so-favorite celebrity that's really up close and personal. This series allows you to think about your own past and your own ancestors and the struggles they may have endured. I wondered if Professor Gates would ever interview non-celebrities. Maybe he has, but hasn't included that in his series because it wouldn't be of interest to the general population. This series helps us to understand how people lived many, many years ago and what their lives were like. Professor Gates even shows countries that may no longer exist or he shows pictures of one's ancestors that people have never seen and had no idea of their relationship with them. The DNA tests that are done at the end of each episode is an added feature that helps individuals understand more about who they are and where they and their ancestors came from. Finding your roots is a history lesson by itself. I've learned tidbits about the Civil War, American Revolution, the Holocaust, Quakers, World War II, Japan and Germany. I hope that watching this series encourages young adults to look for their own roots. I give it 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 12 to 18 as well as adults. Reviewed by Tina Bunch, KIDS FIRST! Juror.
Today's leading artists, politicians, activists, performers and journalists will discover surprising ancestral stories while learning their family history in the fourth season of the critically acclaimed series. Professor Gates, the Alphonse Fletcher University Professor at Harvard University and director of the Hutchins Center for African and African American Research, continues exploring the mysteries, surprises and revelations hidden in the family trees of 28 of today's most intriguing cultural trailblazers.<

In "FINDING YOUR ROOTS WITH HENRY LOUIS GATES, JR., SEASON 4", comedian Larry David and politician Bernie Sanders discover they have more in common than they thought, tracing their roots back to Jewish communities in Eastern Europe. Comedic performers Amy Schumer, Aziz Ansari and Maya Rudolph learn contrasting stories of assimilation and independence all over the globe. Actors Fred Armisen and Christopher Walken and musician Carly Simon each learn about a grandparent whose real identity and background had been a mystery to them. Author Ta-Nehisi Coates, filmmaker Ava DuVernay, and author and activist Janet Mock see their basic assumptions about their families challenged, placing their ancestors -- of all colors -- into the greater context of black history.

Actors Ted Danson, Mary Steenburgen and William H. Macy trace their nonconformist ancestors through American conflicts -- the Civil War and the American Revolution, all the way back to the Puritan establishment. Journalists Bryant Gumbel and Suzanne Malveaux and producer and writer Tonya Lewis-Lee discover a tapestry of the unexpected as they delve into their ancestry, revealing slaves and free people of color, Civil War legacies, and forgotten European origins. Actor Lupita Nyong'o, NBA star Carmelo Anthony and political commentator Ana Navarro trace their African heritage, investigating the political choices of their fathers and discovering sometimes unexpected heritage. Also, actors Tea Leoni and Gaby Hoffmann both have lives shaped by family mysteries and are introduced to the identities and life stories of their biological ancestors, thanks to DNA detective work. DJ and producer Questlove, talk show host Dr. Phil, and journalist Charlayne Hunter-Gault's family stories are rooted in the American south. Actors Scarlett Johansson, Paul Rudd and John Turturro, all with immigrant parents, gain greater understanding of the unique challenges their ancestors faced by way of prejudice and poverty at home and abroad.

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