African American Lives 2 -- Hosted by Henry Louis Gates, Jr.
In Search of Our Roots -- Buy the companion book now from ShopPBS


Series Overview
Building on the widespread acclaim of African American Lives (2006) and Oprah's Roots (2007), AFRICAN AMERICAN LIVES 2 again journeys deep into ancestry of an all-new group of remarkable individuals, offering an in-depth look at the African-American experience and race relations throughout U.S. history. Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates, Jr. returns as series host, guiding genealogical investigations down through the 20th century, Reconstruction, slavery and early U.S. history, and presenting cutting-edge genetic analysis that locates participants' ancestors in Africa, Europe and America. Joining Professor Gates in the new broadcast are poet Maya Angelou, author Bliss Broyard, actor Don Cheadle, actor Morgan Freeman, theologian Peter Gomes, publisher Linda Johnson Rice, athlete Jackie Joyner-Kersee, radio personality Tom Joyner, comedian Chris Rock, music legend Tina Turner, and college administrator Kathleen Henderson, who was selected from more than 2,000 applicants to have her family history researched and DNA tested alongside the series' well-known guests.

Educational Outreach
AFRICAN AMERICAN LIVES 2 will be accompanied by a far-reaching educational outreach component. Working in cooperation with seven public television stations in key markets across the country, Thirteen will provide direct, hands-on training to more than 1,000 K-through-12 educators, guiding them in the use of the broadcast program, Web site, and print materials in standards-based classroom instruction. Each participating public television station will be partnering with a local museum, historical society, or genealogical association to maximize impact of the program in local communities. In addition, Thirteen is developing curriculum materials, lesson plans, a Web-based educational interactivity, as well as a print guide and highlights DVD to promote educational use of the series.

Multimedia Education Package
The Educational Publishing Department will produce an engaging Multimedia Package, including a guide and DVD, exploring the themes and ideas presented in AFRICAN AMERICAN LIVES 2. The guide will be interactive, with information on how to build a family tree, profiles of the 11 individuals featured in the series, and a list of informative resources. Users of the package will learn how to uncover details of their own past, and witness the revelatory moments others have experienced through this process of looking back. The AFRICAN AMERICAN LIVES 2 Multimedia Package will place the circumstances of one's history within reach.

Web Site
Launching the week of January 28, the companion Web site for AFRICAN AMERICAN LIVES 2 ( will provide resources for visitors to pursue their own family genealogy; further information on the series' research, scholarship and science; interactive scrapbooks for each series participant; a social media application that allows users to upload and tag their own family stories; lesson plans and media-rich classroom activities for teachers, and more.

AFRICAN AMERICAN LIVES 2 is available on DVD through PBS Home Video:

African American Lives 2 DVD

African American Lives 1 & 2 DVD 2PK Combo (Save $5)

African American Lives 1 DVD

African American Lives 1 VHS 2PK

A book by Professor Gates, In Search of Our Roots: How 19 Extraordinary African Americans Reclaimed Their Past, will be published by Crown, a division of Random House, in spring 2008 as well. Incorporating the family histories of all the participants from African American Lives, Oprah's Roots, and AFRICAN AMERICAN LIVES 2, the book presents further discoveries not included in the broadcasts while weaving the narratives together into an unprecedented tapestry of the African-American experience.

In Search of Our Roots Hardcover Book is available to purchase at ShopPBS:

In Search of Our Roots: How 19 Extraordinary African Americans Reclaimed Their Past - Book (Hardcover)

In Search of Our Roots Book & African American Lives 2 DVD - Save $5

Production Credits
AFRICAN AMERICAN LIVES 2 is co-production of Thirteen/WNET New York, Kunhardt Productions and Inkwell Films. Producers are Leslie Asako Gladsjø, Jesse Sweet, and Jack Youngelson. Directors are Graham Judd, Gladsjø, Sweet, and Youngelson. It is written by Henry Louis Gates, Jr. Judd is senior producer; Gates, William R. Grant, Peter Kunhardt, and Dyllan McGee are executive producers.

Funding Credits
Major corporate funding for this new production and its outreach initiatives is provided by The Coca-Cola Company and Johnson & Johnson. Additional corporate funding is provided by Buick. Funding is also provided by public television viewers and PBS.

Press Contacts:
Donna Williams
Gloria Park
Thirteen/WNET New York Thirteen/WNET New York

Major corporate funding for African American Lives 2 and its outreach initiatives is provided by The Coca-Cola Company and Johnson & Johnson. Additional corporate funding is provided by Buick.
The Coca-Cola Company Johnson & Johnson Buick
KUNHARDT Thirteen/WNET New York