Finding Oprah’s Roots: Finding Your Own

I decided to do something different for my 1.5 hour drive to Houston this time around. I put the iPod away, turned off the radio, and even left my cell phone in purse. Before my trip, I ran into my local library and grabbed about three audiobooks. My choices? Up From Slavery, The Almost Moon, and Finding Oprah’s Roots: Finding Your Own. As you can tell, the choices were limited, but I can’t complain.

While taking a creative writing class last semester, I wrote a poem about my lack of knowledge concerning my family history. It’s an issue that I didn’t realize I was sensitive about until then. Well, when I went home to see my mom for Christmas, I tried to ask her a few questions. She got all emotional and I decided to just end it there. But after listening to two discs (of 5) worth of Gates’ book, I figured there’s no need to simply give up so easily. I’ve begun to consider doing a little historical investigation of my own during spring break. This would require me to journey to Chicago (where most of my relatives reside) and start recording our oral history. I’d love to collect a few photos too.

I just don’t want to pass on this historical nothingness to my own children. I also realize that I might need to act on this before it’s too late. We aren’t getting any younger.

So I wanted to find a YouTube clip from the PBS airing of African-American lives (which inspired Gates book). Instead I found a clip noting that they will be airing a second segment of the show this February. See for yourself and check the website!

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2 thoughts on “Finding Oprah’s Roots: Finding Your Own

  1. Mutupe, he mentioned on the audiobook that his work is inspired by Roots. I only saw the original PBS program in bits and pieces, but fortunately it is available on DVD. I plan on watching it before the new February 2008 airing.

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