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Finding Your Roots

The Story in My DNA

Hope Ferguson | Posted 05.24.2016 | Black Voices
Hope Ferguson

Although nothing materially changes when you know your ancestry, somehow it ameliorates part of the mystery of who you are and where you came from. Just because of a little bit of spit in a test tube, I now know at least part of the story of my forebears - as told by my DNA.

When It Comes to Genetic Genealogy, Women Need Not Apply

Megan Smolenyak | Posted 05.04.2016 | Entertainment
Megan Smolenyak

Not long ago, I observed that genealogy is now officially a TV genre. One of the reasons I felt confident in making this claim is the frequency with w...

Genealogy Is Officially a TV Genre

Megan Smolenyak | Posted 04.05.2017 | Entertainment
Megan Smolenyak

It only took about two decades, but this genie's wish has finally been granted: genealogy is now officially its own TV genre. With current offerings i...

Mia Farrow Learns Her Family History In 'Finding Your Roots' Clip

The Huffington Post | Matthew Jacobs | Posted 03.08.2016 | Entertainment

We don't see much of Mia Farrow these days. Her most recent on-screen role was in 2012's little-seen "Dark Horse," and Farrow is now more commonly aff...

Finding Your Roots Looks to Find Its Footing, Again, After Misstep on Affleck's Slave-Owning Ancestor

David Hinckley | Posted 01.02.2017 | Entertainment
David Hinckley

One of the last TV shows you'd expect to find dusting itself off from a small, but embarrassing content-suppression scandal would be Finding Your Roots, Professor Henry L. Gates's genealogy program on PBS.

Season 3 of 'Finding Your Roots' Green-Lighted for January 2016 Return on PBS

Megan Smolenyak | Posted 07.14.2016 | Entertainment
Megan Smolenyak

Season 3 of the popular show, hosted and produced by Harvard scholar Henry Louis Gates, Jr., was put on hold until certain measures were implemented.

Celebrity Genealogy on TV: Who and When?

Megan Smolenyak | Posted 06.28.2016 | Entertainment
Megan Smolenyak

We can probably expect an interlude between the next seasons of Who Do You Think You Are? and Finding Your Roots, and the duration of that lull will hinge largely on how PBS chooses to balance and accommodate the sometimes competing goals of content accuracy and viewer demand.

'Finding Your Roots' Postponed After Affleck Episode Deemed A Violation Standards

Reuters | Posted 06.24.2016 | Entertainment

By Brian Steinberg LOS ANGELES ( - PBS will postpone new seasons of its documentary series "Finding Your Roots" after dete...

Racial Unrest Today Has Roots in Our Intertwined Genealogical Ties to Slavery

Marty Favor | Posted 05.20.2016 | Black Voices
Marty Favor

A comparison between actor Ben Affleck's apology and the Baltimore unrest might seem trivial to some, but it actually speaks to why we need to embrace our complex pasts. Selectively editing our backgrounds is a symptom of a larger inability of Americans of all races to honestly assess our history.

Ben Affleck's Ancestry Combines Abolitionists with Slave Owners

Blake Fleetwood | Posted 05.19.2016 | Media
Blake Fleetwood

The revelation of Ben Affleck's request to Harvard Scholar Henry Louis Gates to remove mention of a slave owning relative who lived 150 years ago caused a media brouhaha, but the actor failed to mention another illustrious relative who gave his life to the Abolitionist cause in the Civil War.

Much Ado About Nothing: Affleck's Ancestor

Cynthia Dagnal-Myron | Posted 06.22.2015 | Entertainment
Cynthia Dagnal-Myron

The comments beneath Ben Affleck's Facebook "mea culpa" for having his slave-owner ancestor cut from the PBS show Finding Your Roots were pretty typical.

PBS Launches Investigation Into ‘Finding Your Roots' Censorship

Deadline | Posted 04.21.2015 | Black Voices

PBS and WNET have launched an investigation into Henry Louis Gates Jr.’s decision to censor his celebrity-geneology series Finding Your Roots after ...

Ben Affleck Reportedly Asked PBS To Censor His Slave-Owning Ancestor

The Huffington Post | Erin Whitney | Posted 04.22.2015 | Entertainment

The PBS series "Finding Your Roots" is all about uncovering the ancestry of the show's celebrity guests. But according to a hacked Sony email, one gue...

Bully for Ancestry: My Journey Into the Past Uncovered a Forgotten Polish Odyssey

Greg Archer | Posted 05.01.2015 | Impact
Greg Archer

These may be heady questions, but now that we're 15 years into the 21st Century--yes, that's a jawdropper when you think about it--and the future has, basically, arrived, ironically, we find ourselves in the midst of another phenomena: Looking back into the past.

Watch Nas React To Seeing An Ancestor's Bill Of Sale Into Slavery

The Huffington Post | Avery Stone | Posted 11.06.2014 | Black Voices

During Tuesday's episode of PBS' documentary series "Finding Your Roots," rapper Nas was shown a devastating document from the past: a paper receipt f...

In Search of Our Fathers

Henry Louis Gates, Jr. | Posted 11.23.2014 | Arts
Henry Louis Gates, Jr.

History isn't just a set of boring facts and dates; it can have marvelous healing powers.

Courtney B. Vance Discovers A Rebellious Slave In His Family Tree

The Root | The Root Staff | Posted 09.22.2014 | Black Voices

In their book Friends: A Love Story, actor Courtney B. Vance and his actress wife, Angela Bassett, laid bare their seven-year struggle with infertilit...

Genealogy on TV: 28 Celebrities and Counting

Megan Smolenyak | Posted 08.05.2014 | Entertainment
Megan Smolenyak

A pair of Valeries: Valerie Bertinelli tapes for Who Do You Think You Are? in London and Senior Advisor to President Obama, Valerie Jarrett, learns ab...

DNA Stories: Did She Marry Her Cousin? (VIDEO)

Megan Smolenyak | Posted 11.18.2013 | Weird News
Megan Smolenyak

Though genetic genealogy has been around for more than a decade, the sight of celebrities swabbing their cheeks on TV shows like Who Do You Think You ...

HBO's Family Tree First of Four Genealogy Series to Air in U.S.

Megan Smolenyak | Posted 07.02.2013 | TV
Megan Smolenyak

Though there's been a bit of a vacuum in genealogical programming in the U.S. over the last year or so, that's happily about to change. First up is Christopher Guest and Jim Piddock's mockumentary series, Family Tree.

Family Scrapbooks: A Journey of Memories and Mourning

Helen Davey | Posted 08.11.2012 | Healthy Living
Helen Davey

There's a reason they call it honoring your "roots," because compiling such records provides feelings of grounding, stability, and continuity.

Skip Gates Helps Samuel L. Jackson Find His Roots

Posted 04.29.2012 | Black Voices

Every week, The Huffington Post Black Voices tells you what Henry Louis Gates has planned on his show "Finding Your Roots With Henry Louis Gates Jr." ...

Henry Louis Gates Helps Robert Downey Jr. Find His Roots

Posted 04.22.2012 | Black Voices

Henry Louis Gates Jr. has helped celebrities uncover fascinating aspects of their ancestry, oftentimes discovering things they never knew before. This...

Henry Louis Gates Helps 3 Religious Leaders Find Their Roots

Posted 04.15.2012 | Black Voices

This season on his PBS series, "Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates Jr.," Henry Louis Gates has already helped media legend, Barbara Walters, di...


Posted 04.05.2012 | Celebrity

Kevin Bacon and Kyra Sedgwick are cousins! Well, not really: Hollywood's poster children for marriage success -- we're counting 23 years -- discovered...