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


While creating AFRICAN AMERICAN LIVES II, teams of historians, librarians, and researchers examined thousands of photographs, diaries, legal documents, and letters. This evidence of the past--left behind by those who lived it--can be an extremely valuable tool for understanding the lives, legacies, and stories of our ancestors and the worlds in which they lived.

Below is a gallery of photographs and documents that were instrumental in researching the ancestry of the featured guests in AFRICAN AMERICAN LIVES II. By carefully examining these artifacts, skilled researchers can unlock important clues about the past. What can YOU discover by studying the available evidence?

To learn more about how investigators used these documents in genealogical research—and for tips on preserving your own family heritage—select an artifact from the list below to begin your exploration.

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