Tuesday, April 20, 2010

"Who Do You Think You Are" - Series on TV

Friday April 30th, was the seventh journey in this series.  Ending with Spike Lee as the researcher.

This series began on March 5th, with Sarah Jessica Parker.  We all watched as she discovered a dark link in her genealogical chain.  Her journey can be seen on Ancestry.com.  Just click on the links and follow her adventure.  The first episode was very interesting, but watching it only reminded me of myself when I first started researching.  Brought back lots of memories of my own discoveries. For example the relative that went west to discover gold and never made it back to his family.

The second journey we followed Emmitt Smith researching his family roots through slave history all the way back to his motherland, Africa.  With the help of archivists and slave historians, he was able to trace his family back through the civil war era, finding out his great-great-great grandfather was a white slave owner.

The third week we watched as Lisa Kudrow learned of the atrocities of the Hitler regime; her great-grandmother among those shot and burned.  Her trip to Germany for her research,  brought together long lost cousins (her father and his cousin) who thought the other one was dead.  
The fourth, we followed Matthew Broderick as his journey revealed relatives who fought in two brutal wars, the Civil War and World War I.   He was able to stand on the battlefield where his grandfather and great-great grandfather fought.  He traveled to France and to Atlanta, GA where he discovered his grandfather had been awarded the Purple Heart and the Distinguished Service Cross.   His great-great grandfather fought at Gettysburg and his burial site had been a mystery for the last 160 years and now was finally revealed.  As Matthew said, "We're all related to the generations that happened before us and what they went through shaped our lives."  It was a joy for him to share it with his sister and his family.  What a wonderful gift this discovery is.

The search for Brooke Shields family tree took her from New York to New Jersey to the aristocrats of Italy and the Kings of France on the fifth journey of this series.  She discovered she is related to King Henry IV and Louis XVI was her first cousin many times removed.  There were many generations between New Jersey and Versailles,

Spike Lee is one of America's best-known film directors. He has done more than anyone in his generation to bring African-American history and experience to the screen. The name of his production company, 40 Acres and a Mule, refers to the broken promise made by the federal government to provide ex-slaves with land and a mule. However, Spike does not know much about his mother's slave ancestry and in this journey he hopes to discover more about his slave roots and the people who owned his ancestors. He traced the roots of his grandmother, who died at age 100, back to the Civil War era.  Finding that his ancestors were born into slavery and quite possibly he was a descendant of a former white slave owner.  He now has a living record of his mother's side of the family

This series continued for seven weeks.   These celebrities  embarked on the journeys of their lives.  The series looked inside the family histories of such stars as Sarah Jessica Parker, (aired on March 5th), Susan Sarandon (aired on April 23rd), Spike Lee (aired on April 30th), Matthew Broderick (aired on March 26), Brooke Shields (aired on April 2), Emmitt Smith, (aired on March 12) and Lisa Kudrow (aired on March 19).    Each week a different celebrity took a journey into their family's past traveling all over the world.  Viewers were given an in-depth look into their favorite stars' family trees, and each episode exposed surprising facts and emotional encounters that unlocked people's emotions -- showing just how connected everyone is not only to the past, but to one another.

To know who you are, you need to know where you came from.

1 comment:

Frank D. Myers said...

Great job on the blog, Lynne. I finally got around to linking, etc., from the Lucas Countyan. Finally! Frank

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