'Lives' Makes a Present of Black Americans' Past
By Chip Crews
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, February 1, 2006
The [PBS documentary "African American Lives"] was the subject of a spirited question-and-answer session at last month's Television Critics Association news conference in Pasadena, Calif., that featured appearances by the host of the program, Harvard scholar Henry Louis Gates Jr.; T.D. Jakes, pastor and chief executive of the Potter's House, a 30,000-member Texas church; astronaut Mae Jemison; and executive producer William R. Grant.
Gates said at the TV critics' session that he had little trouble assembling his eight subjects; only one person turned him down. Despite aggressive appeals from the audience, he refused to say who it was, offering only, "I have his two e-mails, one at 7:22 in the evening on a Friday night, and he said, 'I would be delighted.' Then at 7:28 he wrote back and said: 'I thought about it. I changed my mind. I don't want to know where I am from in Africa. I have too many cousins already.'"
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