From 13WHAM-TV (of Rochester, N. Y.), posted Jan. 30, 2005:
Oprah Winfrey, Chris Tucker Trace Roots on PBSI don't know... I kind of enjoy "dusty ol’ research in dusty ol’ archives."
If ever there was a time to tape American Idol and watch something else, this Wednesday is it.
On second thought, maybe it’s best that the PBS two-part series African American Lives (airing 9 to 11 p.m. Feb. 1 and 8) is stored on your TiVo as a permanent reference guide, as host Dr. Henry Louis Gates meticulously explains the process of tracing one’s family heritage back to its roots in Africa using as examples eight prominent black Americans, including Oprah Winfrey and Bishop T.D. Jakes.
“It’s one thing to hear a lecture about the double helix and Watson and Crick. It’s another thing learning that if you swab yourself 20 times on each cheek, in three weeks, somebody will send you back a card saying, ‘Your ancestor came from Nigeria, and more specifically from the Ebo people,’” says Gates of a new program offering buyers of a DNA kit a chance to mail in their swabs and pinpoint their origin.
“Who wants dusty ol’ research in dusty ol’ archives? If you could produce your lineage back to slavery, back to the American Revolution, wouldn’t that be more compelling? I think that that’s what we’ve been able to achieve.”
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