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A Mayoral Proclamation

Tuesday, February 5th, 2008
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Thirteen blogger: Neal Shapiro, President

As strong as our programming is, it isn’t every day that City Hall recognizes it in a special way.

But our African American Lives programming is very special.

Thirteen/WNET’s critically acclaimed African American Lives (2006) and Oprah’s Roots (2007) shined a national spotlight on the powerful process of discovering one’s family history.

Tomorrow night, Thirteen will be premiering African American Lives 2. This latest installment of the African American Lives project draws on DNA analysis, genealogical research and family oral tradition to trace the lineages of Maya Angelou, Morgan Freeman, Chris Rock, Tina Turner, Don Cheadle, and others down through U.S. history and back to Africa.

To recognize the unique value of this program, the City of New York has done something very special. Mayor Mike Bloomberg is proclaiming tomorrow, February 6, 2008, New York Heritage Discovery Day to honor New York City’s diversity and Thirteen’s tradition of multi-cultural programming.

I’ll be unveiling the proclamation tonight at a premiere screening hosted by Jazz at Lincoln Center. Dr. Henry Louis Gates, Jr. – the acclaimed scholar who is host and writer of the series – will join me as we celebrate the power of public television to illuminate all our lives.

This proclamation is a wonderful example of the way that Thirteen makes a difference in our community. I’m really proud of it. And you should be, too. After all, Thirteen is YOUR public television station.

Tomorrow I’ll tell you a little bit more about African American Lives 2. In the meantime, if you have any questions about this series, or anything that goes on here at Thirteen, just hit the “Write Neal” link and send me your question. I’ll try to answer it here on Inside Thirteen soon.