Wednesday, January 30, 2008

African American Lives 2

Between February 6th and 13th, PBS will air "African American Lives 2," a new four-part series that explores roots, race and identity through the ancestry of a dozen Black celebrities. This is a sequel to the previous series that traced the family lines of such persons as Oprah Winfrey, Chris Tucker, Quincy Jones and Whoopi Goldberg. This time around the celebrities include Chris Rock, Morgan Freeman, Tom Joyner and Tina Turner. It is worth a look.

I must admit to being extremely envious and jealous of this show. I watched some excerpts on and marveled at the extent of the research. The average person does not have the kind of time and money it takes to uncover the manner of documents represented in the show. Henry Louis Gates, Jr., who is also the web page Editor-In-Chief and host of the documentary, was able to acquire grants from several sources which definitely made the research possible.

I know most inquisitive people hire genealogists but I want to be the one to find the data. The hunt is as important to me as the discovery of the trail. The tedium does not bother me and believe me, sometimes looking at all the microfilm and searching through library stacks could be very tedious. But when you find that end of a piece of thread that leads to more and more information and the mystery begins to unravel, there is such a thrill. I guess that's why I am hooked on genealogy research. I just need more money and time to feed my habit.

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