Sunday, March 25, 2012

Review: Finding Your Roots on PBS

Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates Jr. played on PBS this evening at 8 p.m. [EST]. And I have to say I enjoyed it immensely.

Celebrities discovering their ancestry this evening were long time musicians and friends...

...Branford Marsalis and...

...Harry Connick Jr.

I was a bit disappointed that none of the research done to locate these ancestries was shown. Documents appear, as if by magic, in a neat scrap album, and Gates lays the story of each family out for the guest. Great stories by the way. And I was interested.

I can only find one real flaw with the show, and it's simply one that I have had with Mr. Gates when watching other programs he has commented on. It is in regard to the Civil War.

"It all comes down to slavery" he has said.

I think Mr. Gates should do a bit more research on the actual reasons behind the Civil War. Slavery was but a small part of it, an integral part to be sure, but a small part.

I was terribly pleased to see the little wager made about the DNA with the five gentlemen from the barbershop! How often do we hear someone say, white and black, that they have Native American blood in them. That myth ran through my own family's history as well! [Our DNA showed less than 0.1% Asian.]

In closing, let me state that I did enjoy the show. Very much. And I will be watching the next episode. It's a pleasing way to pass a Sunday evening at home.

I give the show...
....Four Stars.


Jim said...

Maybe next week. I know that the discovery of Barbara Walters' original original family surname took an emense amount of effort, and that the researcher was interviewed at length for the show. He appears in the trailer, with Professor Gates, reading the Hebrew on a tombstone. I also thought the first two episodes were great, but I'm biased: I'm they guy reading the tombstone with Gates.

Texicanwife said...

Thanks for your comment. I did enjoy the show. I would really like to see more of the research aspect, and they did show you doing your part! [Which I did no mention in my original post! Sorry about that.] But then, none of the genealogy shows I've seen so far really explains to the public how they too can do this research, and what is involved. I think it would be interesting to see a television show with research shown in detail: say one episode could be "Susie discovers her Aunt In the Census" and then show nothing but Susie digging through the Census records. What to do when one avenue doesn't find what you want, etc. Maybe Bert Finds Grandpa's Birth Certificate; Dave Finds A Death Certificate; etc.