Thursday, February 7, 2008

"African American Lives 2" PBS 4 Part Special

The Public Broadcasting System (PBS), has long been on the cusp of not just political issues but racial issues as well. I was unable to see the first year of African American Lives, (I'm looking into finding them), but the concept is wonderful. Henry Louis Gates is in charge of the team of historians, librarians, and researchers that studied legal documents, photos, letters, and diaries, to find evidence left behind that helps us to understand individuals lives, legacies, as well as the stories they told about their lives. The Four-Part Series Explores Roots, Race and Identity Through Ancestry of Remarkable Individuals, Including Maya Angelou, Bliss Broyard, Don Cheadle, Morgan Freeman, Peter Gomes, Kathleen Henderson, Linda Johnson Rice, Tom Joyner, Jackie Joyner-Kersee, Chris Rock and Tina Turner.

Here is a little about the host of the program..... Henry Louis Gates...

Henry Louis Gates, Jr. is the Alphonse Fletcher University Professor at Harvard University, as well as director of the W.E.B. Du Bois Institute for African and African American Research.
Professor Gates is co-editor, with K. Anthony Appiah, of the encyclopedia Encarta Africana (1999), published on CD-ROM by Microsoft and in book form by Basic Civitas Books under the title Africana: The Encyclopedia of the African and African American Experience. He is the author of Wonders of the African World (1999), the companion book to the six-hour PBS television series of the same name.

In addition, Professor Gates is the author of several works of literary criticism, including Figures in Black: Words, Signs and the 'Racial' Self (Oxford University Press, 1987); The Signifying Monkey: A Theory of Afro-American Literary Criticism (Oxford, 1988), winner of the 1989 American Book Award; and Loose Canons: Notes on the Culture Wars (Oxford, 1992). He is the author of Colored People: A Memoir (Knopf, 1994), which traces his childhood experiences in a small West Virginia town in the 1950s and 1960s; The Future of the Race (Knopf, 1996), co-authored with Cornel West; and Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Black Man (Random House, 1997).

An influential cultural critic, Professor Gates's publications include a 1994 cover story for Time magazine on the new black Renaissance in art, as well as numerous articles for The New Yorker. In addition, he has edited several anthologies, including The Norton Anthology of African American Literature (W.W. Norton, 1996), and The Oxford-Schomburg Library of Nineteenth Century Black Women Writers (Oxford, 1991), and is the co-editor of Transition magazine. Previously for PBS, Professor Gates produced and hosted Wonders of the African World (1999), America Beyond the Color Line (2004), African American Lives (2006) and Oprah's Roots (2007). (More Here)

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