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

Print Resources | Online Resources



Black Roots: A Beginner's Guide to Tracing the African American Family Tree
Tony Burroughs (Simon & Schuster, 2001)

A Genealogist's Guide to Discovering Your African-American Ancestors: How to find and record your unique heritage
Franklin Carter Smith and Emily Anne Croom (Betterway Books, 2003)

Finding a Place Called Home: A Guide to African-American Genealogy and Historical Identity.
Dee Parmer Woodtor (Random House, 1999)

The Source: a Guidebook of American Genealogy
Loretto Dennis Szucs and Sandra Hargreaves Luebking, editors (, 1996)

Professional Genealogy: A Manual for Researchers, Writers, Editors, Lecturers, and Librarians
Elizabeth Shown Mills, editor (Genealogical Publishing Company, 2001)

The Researcher's Guide to American Genealogy, Third Edition
Val D. Greenwood (Genealogical Publishing Company, 1999)

Ancestry's Guide to Research: Case Studies in American Genealogy
Johni Cerny and Arlene Eakle (, 1998)


Trace Your Roots with DNA : Using Genetic Tests to Explore Your Family Tree
Megan Smolenyak and Ann Turner (Rodale, 2004)

The Journey of Man : A Genetic Odyssey
Spencer Wells (Random House, 2004)

The Seven Daughters of Eve: The Science that Reveals our Genetic Ancestry
Bryan Sykes (W.W. Norton & Co., 2002)

Mapping Human History : Genes, Race, and Our Common Origins
Steve Olson (Mariner Books, 2003)

DNA : The Secret of Life
James D. Watson (Knopf, 2003)


African American Lives
Henry Louis Gates Jr. and Evelyn Brooks Higginbotham, editors (Oxford University Press, 2004)

Africana : The Encyclopedia of the African and African-American Experience
Henry Louis Gates Jr., Kwame Anthony Appiah (Oxford University Press, 2nd edition, 2005)

Colored People
Henry Louis Gates Jr. (Vintage Books, 1995)

Balm in Gilead: Journey of a Healer
Sara Lawrence-Lightfoot (Penguin, 1995)

Africa and Africans in the Making of the Atlantic World, 1400-1800
John K. Thornton (Cambridge University Press, 1998)

Central Africans and Cultural Transformations in the American Diaspora
Linda Heywood (Cambridge University Press, 2001)

Many Thousands Gone: The First Two Centuries of Slavery in North America
Ira Berlin (Belknap Press, 2000)

The Rise of African Slavery in the Americas
David Eltis (Cambridge University Press, 1999)


The leading online web community for genealogical research; includes both free and paid-subscriber-only resources for beginner and veteran genealogical resarchers.
A site with specialized resources, links, and message boards dedicated to the particular challenges of researching African-American ancestors.

National Archives, Genealogists and Family Historians
Links to the National Archives' genealogical resources available online, along with guidelines and information about accessing and getting copies of records in the Archives' physical collections.
The official website of the Family History Library of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in Salt Lake City, Utah, this site provides accesss to the world's largest collection of freely-accessible genealogical records.

Designed to get researchers in touch with one another, this site hosts a range of free genealogical resources along with its popular discussion groups and message boards, as well as linking to a variety of not-for-profit online genealogy projects and providing hosting for users' family tree sites.

A collection of forums for genealogical researchers, both professional and amateur. A good place to pose questions in order to take advantage of the collective knowledge of the online genealogical community. The AFRICAN AMERICAN LIVES team found genealogist Jane Ailes via a question posted on a forum here.

Cyndi's List
A plain-text site that brings together links to a huge number of resources online for genealogists. Includes an extensive section of links for those researching African-American ancestry.

My Slave Ancestors
A site operated by Johni Cerny, who was the primary researcher into the ancestries of Henry Louis Gates and his guests during the production of AFRICAN AMERICAN LIVES. Cerny offers resources for those interested in beginning their own research projects into their African American ancestry, ranging from sample pages of important records to a useful set of downloadable forms.

Research Consultants
The homepage of genealogist Jane Ailes, who did extensive research into Henry Louis Gates' ancestry during the making of AFRICAN AMERICAN LIVES. She specializes in difficult-to-locate records of western Virginia, eastern West Virginia, and western Maryland

The website for Dr. Rick Kittles' firm; provides y- and mitochondrial-DNA based lineage testing services and offers resources for learning more about the tests themselves and the science behind them.
The website of DNAPrint Genomics, the company that designed the admixture testing process used in AFRICAN AMERICAN LIVES (Dr. Mark Shriver is a consultant with DNAPrint). Their site includes background information on the procedures used in admixture testing.

Roots For Real
The website of Dr. Peter Forster's company, whose testing services draw on his database of 30,000 individuals worldwide (Forster's data was used to track the geographical origins of the ancestors of Henry Louis Gates, Jr. and his guests during the making of AFRICAN AMERICAN LIVES). The site also provides a useful slideshow tracing human migrations via the evolution of mitochondrial DNA.
The official website of the US Department of Energy's genomics and systems biology, including information on the original Human Genome Project.

National Human Genome Research Institute
The online home of the the NHGRI, which collects information from a number of US government genome research projects, including information on the original Human Genome Project.

International HapMap Project
An international initiative to catalog genetic similarities and differences among and between human beings around the world. The site's resources are aimed mainly at scientists, but includes good primers on the science involved for the layperson.

The Genographic Project
The companion site for the National Geographic series, hosted by Dr. Spencer Wells, tracing the history of human migrations via testing for genetic markers. Includes useful interactive maps of the changes over time in the genetic signatures of human populations worldwide.

RACE - the Power of an Illusion
Companion site for the PBS series exploring the cultural construction of race, both in historical terms and in light of recent discoveries in the science of population genomics.

NOVA: Cracking the Code of Life
The site accompanying NOVA's special on the Human Genome Project and related science; several interactive introductions to gene expression, sequencing, and the structure of DNA itself.

Jefferson's Blood
A companion site for the PBS special on the scientific effort (including the most well-known use of y-chromosome based lineage testing) that uncovered the truth behind the rumors that Thomas Jefferson was indeed the father of his slave Sally Hemings' children.


The Rise and Fall of Jim Crow
The companion site for the PBS series exploring politics, racism, and the continuing struggle for civil rights in the United States since emancipation. Features include a number of interactive maps and timelines.

Reconstruction: The Second Civil War
The website for the PBS/American Experience program exploring the aftermath of slavery.

African American World
From WNET/Thirteen and NPR, an online encyclopedia of African American history and culture, timelines, profiles of influential African Americans, and discussions on social and political issues.

Slavery and the Making of America
Documenting the history of American slavery from its beginnings in the British colonies to its end in the Southern states and the years of post-Civil War Reconstruction, this companion website to the four-part television series offers an interactive timeline, slave memories, and an extensive educational section.

Freedom: A History of Us
From the producers of AFRICAN AMERICAN LIVES, this comprehensive companion site to the sixteen-part series documenting the history of America through its struggles for human liberty contains numerous multimedia webisodes that chronologically document important eras in the history of freedom in the United States through video, photographs, documents, audio clips, interactive games, and more.

Children's Books for Parents and Teachers
Find out about more great books for children and students on Africans in America.

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