Finding Oprah's Roots: Finding Your Own

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9780307382382: Finding Oprah's Roots: Finding Your Own

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.

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About 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.

From Booklist:

Gates follows his PBS documentaries on African American genealogy with a book detailing the search for the family tree of the documentaries' best-known subject, talk show host Oprah Winfrey. He chronicles the process of uncovering Oprah's family history, challenged by the same obstacles that all African Americans face in finding documentation during and after slavery. Gates advises readers to begin by gathering oral histories from living relatives, even as he recalls the process of talking to Oprah's relatives and the arduous task of finding a paper trail. Gates also encourages readers to get beyond the inevitable hurtful and embarrassing memories that inform so much black family history, including slavery, sexual assaults on black women, and relatives who passed for white, all elements that cloud the process of establishing a family tree. As he did in the documentaries, Gates offers DNA testing as a means of locating genealogical ties to particular ethnic groups in Africa. This book is every bit as engaging as the documentaries and offers helpful resources. Vanessa Bush
Copyright American Library Association. All rights reserved

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