Culture

Finding Your Roots

For more than a decade, renowned Harvard scholar Henry Louis Gates, Jr. has helped to expand America’s sense of itself, stimulating a national conversation about identity with humor, wisdom, and compassion. Professor Gates has explored the ancestry of dozens of influential people from diverse backgrounds, taking millions of viewers deep into the past to reveal the connections that bind us all.

Where Did We Come From?

52m 16s

Henry Louis Gates, Jr. journeys with Erin Burnett, Amy Carlson and André Leon Talley, three guests from diverse backgrounds, as they meet the ancestors who laid the groundwork for their success.

Episodes

  • Where Did We Come From?: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Where Did We Come From?

    S8 E10 - 52m 16s

    Henry Louis Gates, Jr. journeys with Erin Burnett, Amy Carlson and André Leon Talley, three guests from diverse backgrounds, as they meet the ancestors who laid the groundwork for their success.

  • Songs of the Past: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Songs of the Past

    S8 E8 - 52m 11s

    Henry Louis Gates, Jr. accompanies Broadway stars Leslie Odom, Jr. and Nathan Lane as they meet a cast of inspiring ancestors hidden in the branches of their family trees.

  • Watchmen: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Watchmen

    S8 E9 - 52m 11s

    Henry Louis Gates, Jr. guides Regina King and Damon Lindelof, the creative forces behind a visionary television series, as they discover that they have more in common than meets the eye.

  • Fighters: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Fighters

    S8 E6 - 52m 11s

    Henry Louis Gates, Jr. sits down with Terry Crews and Tony Danza, both guests who overcame adversity, to discover they aren’t the first in their families to beat the odds through sheer force of will.

  • Mexican Roots: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Mexican Roots

    S8 E5 - 52m 16s

    Henry Louis Gates, Jr. explores the deep Mexican roots of talk show host Mario Lopez and comedian Melissa Villaseñor, uncovering ancestors stretching back to the 1500s. Weaving together stories of migratory farmers, Spanish Conquistadors and Native Americans, Gates conjures up personal histories of diverse, sometimes conflicting, elements.

  • Things We Don't Discuss: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Things We Don't Discuss

    S8 E4 - 52m 11s

    Henry Louis Gates, Jr. works with Pamela Adlon and Kathryn Hahn, two guests whose family trees were obscured by scandals, to discover the truth about their ancestors.

  • Activist Roots: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Activist Roots

    S8 E2 - 52m 11s

    Henry Louis Gates, Jr. welcomes Brittany Packnett Cunningham and Anita Hill, two guests who made profound sacrifices for social justice, and helps them discover the ancestors who made sacrifices for them.

  • Children of Exile: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Children of Exile

    S8 E3 - 52m 11s

    Henry Louis Gates, Jr. retraces the ancestral journeys of David Chang and Raúl Esparza, whose families fled their homelands, leading them to find lost parts of themselves along the way.

  • Hidden in the Genes: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Hidden in the Genes

    S8 E1 - 52m 11s

    Henry Louis Gates, Jr. helps Rebecca Hall and Lee Daniels solve family mysteries through DNA detective work, illuminating both history and their own identities.

  • Forgotten Journeys: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Forgotten Journeys

    S8 E7 - 52m 11s

    Henry Louis Gates, Jr. helps John Leguizamo and Lena Waithe retrace the paths of their ancestors, uncovering crucial pieces of their own identities that were lost on the journey to America.

Extras + Features

  • Amy Carlson Admires Her Sixth-Great Grandmother’s Stoicism: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Amy Carlson Admires Her Sixth-Great Grandmother’s Stoicism

    S8 E10 - 36s

    When Amy Carlson's sixth great-grandfather died in battle after 26 years in the Swedish military, one of his son's replaced him in service. Here, Amy admires the stoicism it must have taken for her sixth-great-grandmother to accept her son's decision.

  • Where Did We Come From? Preview: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Where Did We Come From? Preview

    S8 E10 - 32s

    Henry Louis Gates, Jr. journeys with Erin Burnett, Amy Carlson and André Leon Talley, three guests from diverse backgrounds, as they meet the ancestors who laid the groundwork for their success.

  • Erin Burnett Reads Her Great-Grandmother’s Baptism Record: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Erin Burnett Reads Her Great-Grandmother’s Baptism Record

    S8 E10 - 1m 14s

    “It’s pretty amazing. From another country, another place, and yet tied directly to me." Erin Burnett reads the baptism record of her great-grandmother, who was born shortly after the great potato famine in Ireland.

  • Watchmen Preview: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Watchmen Preview

    S8 E9 - 32s

    Henry Louis Gates, Jr. guides Regina King and Damon Lindelof, the creative forces behind a visionary television series, as they discover that they have more in common than meets the eye.

  • Regina King: “This is Pretty Fantastic”: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Regina King: “This is Pretty Fantastic”

    S8 E9 - 1m 20s

    “Even though he couldn’t read, and he couldn’t write, he could feel.” Regina King sheds tears of joy while reading the voter registration card of her third-great-grandfather, who registered only two years after slavery ended.

  • Damon Lindelof Learns of the Horrific Fate of Relatives: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Damon Lindelof Learns of the Horrific Fate of Relatives

    S8 E9 - 2m 7s

    "It's somewhat an affirmation of survival, in some strange way." Damon Lindelof learns that the World Holocaust Remembrance Center documents the killing of an entire family of his relatives by Nazis in the ghettos of Bialystok, Poland.

Schedule

  • Image
    Finding Your Roots With Henry Louis Gates, Jr.: TVSS: Iconic

    Finding Your Roots

    Hidden in the Genes

    Tuesday
    Sep 27

    1 Hour

    Rebecca Hall and Lee Daniels research their family histories.
  • Image
    Finding Your Roots With Henry Louis Gates, Jr.: TVSS: Iconic

    Finding Your Roots

    Hidden in the Genes

    Tuesday
    Sep 27

    1 Hour

    Rebecca Hall and Lee Daniels research their family histories.
  • Image
    Finding Your Roots With Henry Louis Gates, Jr.: TVSS: Iconic

    Finding Your Roots

    Hidden in the Genes

    Wednesday
    Sep 28

    1 Hour

    Rebecca Hall and Lee Daniels research their family histories.
  • Image
    Finding Your Roots With Henry Louis Gates, Jr.: TVSS: Iconic

    Finding Your Roots

    Hidden in the Genes

    Wednesday
    Sep 28

    1 Hour

    Rebecca Hall and Lee Daniels research their family histories.
  • Image
    Finding Your Roots With Henry Louis Gates, Jr.: TVSS: Iconic

    Finding Your Roots

    Hidden in the Genes

    Saturday
    Oct 1

    1 Hour

    Rebecca Hall and Lee Daniels research their family histories.
  • Image
    Finding Your Roots With Henry Louis Gates, Jr.: TVSS: Iconic

    Finding Your Roots

    Fighters

    Tuesday
    Oct 4

    1 Hour

    Terry Crews and Tony Danza discover they are not the first in their families to overcome adversity.
  • Image
    Finding Your Roots With Henry Louis Gates, Jr.: TVSS: Iconic

    Finding Your Roots

    Fighters

    Tuesday
    Oct 4

    1 Hour

    Terry Crews and Tony Danza discover they are not the first in their families to overcome adversity.
  • Image
    Finding Your Roots With Henry Louis Gates, Jr.: TVSS: Iconic

    Finding Your Roots

    Fighters

    Wednesday
    Oct 5

    1 Hour

    Terry Crews and Tony Danza discover they are not the first in their families to overcome adversity.
  • Image
    Finding Your Roots With Henry Louis Gates, Jr.: TVSS: Iconic

    Finding Your Roots

    Fighters

    Wednesday
    Oct 5

    1 Hour

    Terry Crews and Tony Danza discover they are not the first in their families to overcome adversity.
  • Image
    Finding Your Roots With Henry Louis Gates, Jr.: TVSS: Iconic

    Finding Your Roots

    Fighters

    Saturday
    Oct 8

    1 Hour

    Terry Crews and Tony Danza discover they are not the first in their families to overcome adversity.

WETA Passport

Stream tens of thousands of hours of your PBS and local favorites with WETA Passport whenever and wherever you want. Catch up on a single episode or binge-watch full seasons before they air on TV.