African American Lives (part 1)
A series hosted by Henry Louis Gates Jr. where he helps well-known African Americans trace their ancestry, as well as their genetics back to Africa.
I just re-watched this series and gathered some things from this viewing that i hadn’t the first time i watched it. what i really appreciate about this series is how it is a lesson in African American history - in that it speaks and informs about different situations and experiences of African Americans throughout American history - and that it also connects these experiences with people; we aren’t just learning about facts whereby one can easily feel disconnected…you’re learning about the racism that murdered family members, that broke up families, that forced grandparents and great-grandparents to migrate hundreds of miles from their hometowns.
not too long ago, a facebook friend of mine shared an experience she had in which she was in a room, for some academic/work event, wherein there were a number of international students along with 3-4 African Americans. one of their “break the ice” exercises entailed them sharing where their names came from. she said that when she and the other African Americans shared where/how they acquired their last names, there was shock and confusion and she realized that many had not learned the extent to which slavery had effected African Americans. i think this series is definitely a must-see for those who don’t know all the ugly details about our past (and how it effects our present).