African American Lives 2 [Import]
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The first AFRICAN AMERICAN LIVES revealed the power in discovering one's family history. Now, Henry Louis Gates Jr. will guide a new group to discover their ancestry in AFRICAN AMERICAN LIVES 2. The series will draw on DNA analysis, genealogical research and family oral tradition to trace the lineages of the participants, including Maya Angelou, Morgan Freeman, Jackie Joyner-Kersee, and Tina Turner, down through U.S. history and back to Africa.
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Who we are is simply not that easy to say.Where we come from is not as simple as black or white.What is being "black" anyway? What is being "white"? What do you do with information when culture tells you that you are one "race", but DNA tells you either way more or the opposite? These are the complex questions that are answered in great detail for these 12 people,identified as "black" or "African-American." (Frankly, this is so interesting that any "race" will benefit immensely from this documentary film!)
This documentary brilliantly is non-biased and quite moving.See how Don Cheadle reacts when he finds that his family was owned by Native Americans!!!! Tina Turner is one third European and NO Native American blood! Chris Rock is 1/5 "white"! There is even the authoress Briss Bryson who has always been "white" who discovers that she has more African blood than most "negroes"!!!! What do we do with such information? Does it change who we are,or does it complete who we are? Henry Gates,Harvard Professor is 50% Irish, and yet has always identified as "African." African-American Radio personality Tom Joyner is overwhelmed when he sees a painting of his 5th-great grandfather, a white Supreme Court Judge who has the exact same grey eyes.This stuff is overwhelming! Lots of myths are dispelled about certain long held beliefs about slavery.Others are confirmed.Did all blacks come from slavery? No.Did "free blacks" live in the Old South-overwhelmingly! Anyone interested in their heritage, whatever it may be, will be touched and challenged to dig into their past and ask questions about whence they came.Will what you find,though, affect where you are going?
A fascinating companion film to this would be Frontline By PBS ; Jefferson's Blood, and African American Lives.I cannot give a higher recommendation for purchase than this documentary.LOOK FOR THIS TO AIR AGAIN IN THE NEXT WEEKS ON PBS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
African American Lives,Part One was good, but the ongoing saga/sequel is stupendous.I was captivated for 4 hours (and that is tough for me!) with the indepth look into the racial makeup of such well known people as Olympic Gold Medalist Jackie Joyner-Kersee,The Shawshank Redemption (Two-Disc Special Edition)'s Morgan Freeman, Hotel Rwanda's Don Cheadle and others whose backgrounds are shown to them through the latest technological advances in DNA testing.Not only were the twelve African-Americans involved in this documentary,who have always identified themselves as such, surprised,amazed,moved and aghast at the findings,but they are asked to either reject or embrace what they discover about their lineage.
As I will never see myself as pure Scottish ever again, neither will the likes of Linda Hamilton Rice,Tina Turner,Tom Joyner.Bliss Brysen,Rev.Gomes and Henry Gates ( I have missed someone else-oops!).If this PBS Special fails to win an Award for something, than I will give up on Award Shows altogether!