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Arts & Culture

FINDING YOUR ROOTS WITH HENRY LOUIS GATES, JR. - Season 2: Ancient Roots

Tina Fey and Henry Louis Gates, Jr. during the filming of FINDING YOUR ROOTS – Season Two.
Courtesy of ©2014 WNET/ Joseph Sinnott
Tina Fey and Henry Louis Gates, Jr. during the filming of FINDING YOUR ROOTS – Season Two.

Airs Tuesday, November 18, 2014 at 8 p.m. on KPBS TV

From AFRICAN AMERICAN LIVES (2006) through the first season of FINDING YOUR ROOTS (2012), Harvard scholar Henry Louis Gates, Jr. has been helping people discover long-lost relatives hidden for generations within the branches of their family trees. Professor Gates utilizes a team of genealogists to reconstruct the paper trail left behind by our ancestors and the world’s leading geneticists to decode our DNA and help us travel thousands of years into the past to discover the origins of our earliest forebears.

Share Your Story

Every family has a unique genealogical journey, just waiting to be unlocked. Henry Louis Gates, Jr. asks you to share your own story!

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David Sedaris
Courtesy of Hugh Hamrick
David Sedaris
George Stephanopolous
Courtesy of ABC/ HEIDI GUTMAN
George Stephanopolous

Joining Gates in this new season of FINDING YOUR ROOTS will be a diverse group of guests, including Oscar winner Ben Affleck, award winning journalist Anderson Cooper, tennis great Billie Jean King, legendary author Stephen King, multi-platinum selling rapper Nas, and many more. With these guests and others, Gates continues his quest to understand our collective American identity, bringing to life the family histories of African American, Asian, Chinese, Greek, Indian, Irish, Italian, Jewish, and Latin American guests alike.

Over 10 episodes (Tuesdays, September 23 - November 26, 2014), the series will reveal rich family stories, tracing back to the subjects’ ancestors arrival on America’s shores, and beyond: deep into the history of their countries of origin. Each hour will highlight three guests bound together by an intimate, sometimes hidden link, as Gates treks through layers of ancestral history, uncovers secrets and surprises of their family trees and shares life-altering discoveries.

Episode Nine: "Ancient Roots" airs Tuesday, November 18 at 8 p.m. - This episode traces the family histories of three quintessential voices in American life. All descend from ancestors who were part of the wave of Greek immigrants in the early decades of the 20th century. But along the way, the stories of their Greek ancestors were lost.

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Tina Fey's fifth great-grandfather survived a terrible massacre and became a hero in the Greek War of Independence. David Sedaris' ancestors were also touched by the Greek War of Independence. Their home village was raided by the Ottoman military and David's great-grand-aunt was taken captive - never to see her family again. George Stephanopoulos' family was willing to sacrifice themselves in the struggle against the Nazi occupation of Greece during World War I.

NEXT WEEK:

Episode Ten "Decoding Our Past Through DNA" features Governor Deval Patrick, Jessica Alba, Anderson Cooper and Valerie Jarrett.

Past episodes are available for online viewing. FINDING YOUR ROOTS is on Facebook, and you can follow @HenryLouisGates on Twitter.

Tracing Tina Fey's Paternal Line

"Professor Gates introduces Tina Fey to her 5th Great-Grandfather

David Sedaris' Patriot Ancestor

"Professor Gates introduces David Sedaris to his his maternal 4th Great-Grandfather

George Stephanopoulos' Heroic Ancestors

George Stephanopoulos learns that his Great-Grandfather heroically resisted Nazi occupation during WW2 and was imprisoned for his acts of bravery.

Share Your Story Prompt

"Henry Louis Gates