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Faces of America

Faces of America

What made America? What makes us? These two questions are at the heart of this series. Harvard scholar Henry Louis Gates Jr. turns to the latest tools of genealogy and genetics to explore the family histories of 11 renowned Americans. Looking beyond the black experience to the wider immigrant experience, Professor Gates unravels the American tapestry, following the threads of his guests' lives back to their earliest origins around the globe. Along the way, the many stories he uncovers -- of displacement and homecoming, of material success and dispossession, of assimilation and discrimination -- illuminate the American experience. Professor Gates' guests include poet Elizabeth Alexander, who composed and read the poem at President Barack Obama's inauguration, chef Mario Batali, comedian Stephen Colbert, novelist Louise Erdrich, writer Malcolm Gladwell, cellist Yo-Yo Ma, director Mike Nichols, Her Royal Highness Queen Noor, actresses Eva Longoria Parker and Meryl Streep, figure skater Kristi Yamaguchi and Martha's Vineyard fisherman William "Buddy" Vanderhoop, who will have his family history researched alongside the series' well-known guests.

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