Google+

Finding Your Roots

Finding Your Roots

by Henry Louis Gates, Jr.

University of North Carolina Press

                                                                    Hardcover, $30.00                                                      

352 pages

ISBN: 978-1-4696-1800-5

Book Review by Kam Williams

 

“Who are we, and where do we come from? The fundamental drive to answer these questions is at the heart of Finding Your Roots… As Harvard scholar Henry Louis Gates, Jr. shows us, the tools of cutting-edge genomics and deep genealogical research now allow us to learn 51CU290TR6Lmore about our roots, looking further back in time than ever before.

Gates’ investigations take on the personal and genealogical histories of more than twenty luminaries… Interwoven with their moving stories [is] practical information for amateur genealogists just beginning archival research on their own families’ roots. And details [about] the advances in genetic research now available to the public.

The result is an illuminating exploration of who we are, how we lost track of our roots, and how we can find them again.”

Excerpted from the Book Jacket

 

Most black people hit a dead end when trying to trace their lineage, because their ancestors were considered fungible goods during slavery, meaning they were merely personal property to be bought and sold, and whipped and shipped at the will of their owners. While in bondage, they couldn’t marry, start a family or even raise their own offspring.

For that reason, Henry Louis Gates’ African-American Lives proved to be a hit on TV, since the popular PBS program profiled prominent black figures’ attempt to reconstruct their family trees with his help. Turns out some other ethnicities are just as curious about their heritage. So, Dr. Gates decided to host another show, expanding his focus this time to include a diversity of folks reflecting the full spectrum of the racial rainbow.

“Finding your Roots” is basically a companion book to Season One of that series of the same name. And among Dr. Gates’ over two dozen subjects is style diva Martha Stewart, whose name has come to be synonymous with class and sophistication.

Given her aristocratic bearing and Anglo-Saxon pseudonym, one might easily assume that she’s a WASP whose forbears arrived on the Mayflower. Truth be told, Martha doesn’t trace her roots back to British bluebloods but to a long line of Polish blue-collar craftsmen who toiled as butchers, basket makers, gardeners, shoemakers, seamstresses and iron workers.

By contrast, Korean-American comedienne Margaret Cho appreciated learning that her family’s surname started way back in 1237 with her great-great-great… ancestor In-gyu Cho. “I love this because now I feel like I exist,” she says, regretting how “Your specialness gets lost with your Americanization.”

CNN’s Dr. Sanjay Gupta, who was born and raised in Michigan, was stunned to discover that one of his forefathers, Rameshwar Dass, had been imprisoned in the Thirties and again in the Forties as a freedom fighter in India’s struggle for independence from England. Also profiled are jazz musicians Branford Marsalis and Harry Connick, Jr, politicians John Lewis, Condoleezza Rice and Cory Booker, actors Samuel L. Jackson, Robert Downey, Jr., Kevin Bacon and Kyra Sedgwick, minister Rick Warren, and R&B singer John Legend.

A painstakingly-researched genealogical tapestry weaving a wonderful tribute to America as a very culturally-rich melting pot.

 

To order a copy of Finding Your Roots, visit: http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/1469618001/ref%3dnosim/thslfofire-20

 

Entertainment

Top Ten DVD List for August 22, 2017

  This Week’s DVD Releases by Kam Williams Top Ten DVD List for August 22, 2017                       Nova: Poisoned Water [Flint, Michigan Expose'] https://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B071HG59CK/ref%3dnosim/thslfofire-20 Guardians of the Galaxy, Volume 2 [Marvel Comics Superheroes … [Read More its Good for You...]

Books

Book of Black Heroes

  Book of Black Heroes Political Leaders Past and Present by Gil L. Robertson, IV Foreword by Myrlie Evers-Williams Just Us Books Paperback, $12.95 80 pages ISBN: 978-1-933491-21-9 Book Review by Kam Williams “The first African-American political leaders began to serve following the Civil War...Known as Reconstruction, this period … [Read More its Good For You...]

Art

The Day After the Day Of

  The Day After the Day Of by Paul Ilechko   The sky sheds its tears. This morning is the morning of the day after. The day of mourning, the day after the day of.  I beseech the sky to shed tears in order to wash away the tears on my face.   This is the first day of the time after. This is the beginning of a new time, the … [Read More its Good for You...]

Real Estate

Real Estate: Refinancing Rates on the Rise in 2017

  Real Estate: Refinancing Rates on the Rise in 2017 by Amy Lignor   The term ‘meteoric rise’ usually applies to something fun. Think: A Hollywood actor who has been ‘discovered.’) Unfortunately, when it comes to this article, ‘meteoric rise’ is something that will not bring a smile to one’s face. To put it simply, if you wish to refinance … [Read More its Good for You...]

Lifestyle

Girls Trip! Head to South Louisiana for Food, Fishing, and Culture

  Girls Trip! Head to South Louisiana for Food, Fishing, and Culture By Craig Lamb Ah, the New Orleans French Quarter. The sound of jazz coming from Preservation Hall. The taste of fresh beignets and café au lait at Café du Monde. Art galleries and shopping. French, Creole and Cajun cultures. It all has the makings of a girl’s getaway … [Read More its Good for You...]

Outdoors

“X” Marks the Spot for Deer Hunting in Kansas: Welcome to Xtreme Hunts

  “X” Marks the Spot for Deer Hunting in Kansas: Welcome to Xtreme Hunts   If you are looking to dive into a quality deer hunting experience in the state of Kansas, Xtreme Hunts is the place to go. Trophy whitetail deer hunts is what this company is all about. Being established in 2011, the company first came to be in Kansas because of the … [Read More its Good for You...]

Sports

College Football Arriving Soon!

  College Football Arriving Soon! by Amy Lignor   Ask any college football fan and they will tell you that it seems like an eternity waiting for the season to begin. But, have no fear, the kick-off to the college season is almost here, with Colorado State and Oregon State hitting the field on Saturday, August 26th at 2:30 p.m. ET. On … [Read More its Good for You...]

Business

Book of Black Heroes

  Book of Black Heroes Political Leaders Past and Present by Gil L. Robertson, IV Foreword by Myrlie Evers-Williams Just Us Books Paperback, $12.95 80 pages ISBN: 978-1-933491-21-9 Book Review by Kam Williams “The first African-American political leaders began to serve following the Civil War...Known as Reconstruction, this period … [Read More its Good for You...]

Travel

Going Back in Time on the Ultimate Steamboat Vacation

  Going Back in Time on the Ultimate Steamboat Vacation by Amy Lignor   Many people love taking a cruise. But it is the river cruise on that glorious steamboat that not only offers all the benefits a big ocean liner offers, but also creates a more personalized, intimate vacation experience. It is a unique recipe: being able to witness … [Read More its Good for You...]