The critically acclaimed PBS broadcasts African American Lives (2006) and Oprah's Roots(2007) shone a national spotlight on the powerful process of discovering one's family history. Now, Harvard scholar Henry Louis Gates Jr. guides an all-new group — poet Maya Angelou, author Bliss Broyard, actor Don Cheadle, actor Morgan Freeman, theologian Peter Gomes, college administrator Kathleen Henderson, publisher Linda Johnson Rice, radio host Tom Joyner, athlete Jackie Joyner-Kersee, comedian Chris Rock and rock ’n’ roll legend Tina Turner — on a journey to discover their ancestry in African American Lives 2. The four-part series draws on DNA analysis, genealogical research and family oral tradition to trace the lineages of the participants down through U.S. history and back to Africa.
GPB, with a grant from Thirteen/WNET, produced a training webcast that is now available to all teachers on demand via the Internet. The webcast features a representative from Thirteen/WNET demonstrating one of three instructional modules prepared to accompany the African American Lives 2 broadcast. It also includes lesson plans and reproducible related educational materials that may be downloaded from the webcast and copied in quantity for classroom use.
The training webcast also links to the African American Lives 2 website, where there are more educational materials and two additional lesson plans. Building on the program's theme of searching for lost history, the website for African American Lives 2 also provides information about the series, background on the research and science behind it, and resources for people to learn more about their own family history and genealogy.