SALISBURY, MD---This April, Salisbury University hosts four screenings of the PBS documentary African-American Lives as part of its African-American Cultural Celebration Series. All films are 7 p.m. in Caruthers Hall Auditorium.
The unprecedented four-part series is hosted by Henry Louis Gates Jr., Harvard University’s W.E.B. DuBois Professor of the Humanities and chair of African and African-American Studies. With moving stories about heritage and personal discovery, it takes Alex Haley’s Roots saga to a whole new level.
Using genealogy, oral history, family stories and DNA analysis, Gates traces lineage through American history and back to Africa, providing a life-changing journey for a diverse group of highly accomplished African-Americans: Dr. Ben Carson, Whoopi Goldberg, Bishop T.D. Jakes, Dr. Mae Jemison, Quincy Jones, Dr. Sara Lawrence-Lightfoot, Chris Tucker and Oprah Winfrey.
It begins Monday, April 7, with Listening to Our Past. In the episode, Gates begins to piece together the family histories of participants.
On Monday, April 14, The Promise of Freedom takes viewers back to the end of the Civil War to examine how African-Americans defined their freedom after slavery.
On Monday, April 21, Searching for Our Names illustrates the difficulty of Gates’ research as he continues back through the Colonial period of American history.
The final episode, Beyond the Middle Passage, is Monday, April 28. When the paper trail runs out, Gates visits scientists who are using DNA analysis to trace ancestral roots.
Sponsored by the Office of Cultural Affairs, all films are free and the public is invited. For more information call 410-219-2872 or visit the SU Web site at www.salisbury.edu.