What could be more exciting than finding out exactly where your family came from and just how deep the roots of your family tree run? That’s the idea at the heart of the incredible PBS television series, Finding Your Roots, hosted by the renowned Harvard scholar Henry Louis Gates, Jr.
For more than a decade, Professor Gates has helped to expand America’s sense of itself, stimulating a national conversation about identity with humor, wisdom, and compassion. He’s explored the ancestry of dozens of notable people from very different backgrounds—like Andy Samberg, Marco Rubio, Laura Linney, Sheryl Sandberg, and Anne Curry, whose recent episode made me cry—taking viewers deep into the past through cutting-edge DNA analysis and old-school genealogical detective work.
And now it’s my turn: Tonight’s episode, “Freedom Tale,” featuring actor S. Epatha Merkerson and I, debuts on PBS at 8 p.m. EST. What I find out about where my family roots lie is almost too incredible to believe … but you’ll just have to watch and see for yourself.