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Henry Louis Gates Jr. on ‘Finding Your Roots’

Dr. Gates details how the PBS series and the accompanying DNA technology have evolved over the years

2019 Summer TCA Press Tour - Day 7 Photo by Amy Sussman/Getty Images

Larry is joined by professor, historian, and host of the PBS series Finding Your Roots Henry Louis Gates Jr. They begin their conversation by discussing how Henry’s upbringing and the parental influence fueled his passion for storytelling and education. Henry then details how the show and the accompanying DNA technology have evolved over the years from exclusively connecting African-Americans to their pre-slavery tribal roots to the highly revered service it is today that helps people from races and regions all over the world connect to their family trees (13:43). Dr. Gates then shares anecdotes about some of his favorite guests and moments from past episodes of Finding Your Roots, including Oprah Winfrey, Angela Davis, and Morgan Freeman (24:28). Larry and Henry end the podcast by talking about the show’s ability to consistently uncover deep family secrets, Gates’s upcoming appearance on The Simpsons, and how listeners can explore their own genealogies (52:55).

Host: Larry Wilmore
Guest: Henry Louis Gates Jr.
Associate Producer: Chris Sutton

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