Image

6:25 AM / Tuesday January 28, 2020

2 Aug 2019

TV ancestry series is a salve for divided America, host says

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
August 2, 2019 Category: Entertainment Posted by:

By Lynn Elber

associated press

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif.— The celebrity ancestry show “Finding Your Roots” has a message to counter divisive political rhetoric, said its host, educator Henry Louis Gates Jr.

The PBS series demonstrates that “we’re all descended from immigrants,” whether they came to America willingly or as slaves, and all share a common origin, Gates told a TV critics meeting Monday.

“People want that reassurance that we’re all the same,” he said, especially as some seek to divide the nation and distinguish between who does and doesn’t have the right to be an American and live in America.

It was an apparent reference to President Donald Trump’s call for four Democratic House members of color to “go back” to their countries, although all are U.S. citizens and all but one was born in the United States.

“Guess what, we’re all home. This is our home. And our ancestors came here and fought for the right to make this our home. … and we all have an equal purchase on the rights guaranteed by the Declaration (of Independence) and the Constitution,” Gates said.

“And I’m going to go down swinging against anybody who tries to divide us because of our apparent ethnic differences or gender differences or sexual preference differences,” he said.

“Finding Your Roots,” which is produced by Harvard professor Gates, returns this fall with guests including Melissa McCarthy, Jordan Peele, Issa Rae, Diane von Furstenberg and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

Genealogy research and DNA tests help uncover the celebrities’ ancestral backgrounds.

Image

Asked if he’d consider having Trump as a guest, Gates said PBS rules prevent candidates from appearing. Would he consider the president if that wasn’t the case?

“I don’t pick people by their ideology to be on the show,” Gates said. That’s been shown with previous guests, including Republican Sen. Marco Rubio and the late Sen. John McCain, he said. 

  • Facebook
  • Twitter

Leave a Comment

Recent News

Commentary

Will money rule in this presidential race?

January 24, 2020

Tweet Share Pin Email By Julianne Malveaux TriceEdneyWire.com Democrats started this presidential campaign season with more than...

Travel

Smooth Traveler: Small town tales: Short Pump and Ashland, Virginia

January 23, 2020

Tweet Share Pin Email ABOVE PHOT: Ashland Mural (Photos: Renée S. Gordon) By Renée S. Gordon In...

Seniors

Ways to make the world a better place for seniors

January 23, 2020

Tweet Share Pin Email Family Features By 2050, the senior population (adults age 65 and older) will...

Entertainment

Terry Crews visits Philadelphia to talk life lessons, ‘America’s Got Talent’ and the beauty of creativity

January 23, 2020

Tweet Share Pin Email By Kharisma McIlwaine Terry Crews truly embodies the word multi-hyphenate, having been incredibly...

Color Of Money

Swiping payment cards at the pump could put your card information at risk

January 23, 2020

Tweet Share Pin Email BPT Have you paid for gas recently at the pump where you’ve had...

Horoscopes

SUNscopes for the week of Jan. 26

January 23, 2020

Tweet Share Pin Email All Signs: This week, the Sun and Mercury are in Aquarius; Venus joins...

The Philadelphia Sunday Sun Staff