Finding Oprah's Roots: Finding Your Ownby Henry Louis Gates Jr.
Finding Oprah’s Roots will not only endow readers with a new appreciation for the key contributions made by history’s unsung but also equip them with the tools to connect to pivotal figures in their own past. A roadmap through the intricacies of public documents and online databases, the book also highlights genetic testing resources that can make it
Finding Oprah’s Roots will not only endow readers with a new appreciation for the key contributions made by history’s unsung but also equip them with the tools to connect to pivotal figures in their own past. A roadmap through the intricacies of public documents and online databases, the book also highlights genetic testing resources that can make it possible to know one’s distant tribal roots in Africa.
For Oprah, the path back to the past was emotion-filled and profoundly illuminating, connecting the narrative of her family to the larger American narrative and “anchoring” her in a way not previously possible. For the reader, Finding Oprah’s Roots offers the possibility of an equally rewarding experience.
Professor Gates has created an excellent guide for all would-be genealogists in this companion piece to the PBS documentary Oprah's Roots. From beginning to end, Gates uses clear examples to provide listeners with a solid framework for conducting their own genealogical expedition. This work has special significance for African American researchers as it delves into the challenges of tracing slave ancestors prior to the end of the Civil War and emancipation. The author emphasizes the importance of gathering and confirming as much oral history as one can and cites excellent print and online tools. Gates notes that trips to historical societies and cemeteries can be invaluable, but getting started in genealogical research doesn't have to be expensive. As one of the most popular and influential women in the world today, it is fascinating to learn about Oprah's family, her childhood, and the accomplishments of her forebears. Gates successfully emphasizes the importance of accurate research as he relates how a team of historians and geneticists were able to trace Winfrey's lineage back to Africa. Narrator Dominic Hoffman executes this gem of a book with a comfortable and polished delivery. Highly recommended for all public libraries.
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Meet the Author
HENRY LOUIS GATES, JR., is the Director of the W.E.B. Du Bois Institute for African and African American Research and holder of the distinguished title of the Alphonse Fletcher, Jr. University Professor at
Harvard University. As well as being the author of several award-winning works of literary criticism, he penned the memoir Colored People; The Future of the Race, co-authored with Cornel West; and Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Black Man.
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