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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.
Posted February 16, 2009
I have been studying Oprah Winfrey for over 3 years, and have bought most of her biographies, published since the 1980s.<BR/>The big question was since 1953; according to both the LEE family and the WINFREY family and Oprah herself.<BR/>IS VERNON WINFREY HER BIOLOGICAL FATHER?<BR/>Professor Gates mentions doing DNA research with Oprah's DNA, with results being studied from her maternal line of markers.<BR/>Did they not do a check with Vernon's DNA? to see if she is his daughter, before doing a book about her ancestry.<BR/>Seems necessary in this case; very basic research before doing this book.<BR/>Yet Gates does not mention Vernon at all, neither confirming or denying if he is in fact Oprah's father... very strange!
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Posted January 3, 2011
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