My sister recommended this show to me. Staying home with a baby can make you feel like your brain is rotting and sometimes all you can do is watch TV. But when crappy reality shows make you want to pull out your hair, try renting African American lives from PBS. (I watched this show on Netflix for Wii–season 1 isn’t available on it though).
This show is simply fascinating. Henry Louis Gates, Jr. (yes, that Henry Louis Gates) basically takes 11 famous African Americans (and 1 not famous person) and traces their roots back through slavery and into Africa, looking at individual stories. Some if the stories are uplifting–Chris Rock finds out his ancestor, Julius Caesar Tingman, fought in the Civil War–while others are heartbreaking–Maya Angelou discovers an ancestor who was 17 years old when she conceived a child with her 50 year old former slave owner. Using these diverse family stories, Gates teaches American history in a uniquely compelling way.
I can’t recommend this show enough! You have to see it! (And I might just have to rent season one)
PS this show is waayy better than Who Do You Think You Are? which is too repetitive and doesn’t have enough content.