Finding Your Roots

Decoding Our Past

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Deval Patrick is the first African-American governor of Massachusetts and Jessica Alba is an actress who proudly embraces her Mexican-American heritage. But cutting-edge DNA analysis reveals that the family trees contain a far more diverse range of cultures and races. Alba descends from Jewish and Mayan ancestors and the official cartographer of France's King Louis XIV. Deval Patrick's roots lead to a black homesteader in Colorado and a white master who gave his former slave land after the Civil War. DNA is used to delve deeper into the families of other guests in the series, including Valerie Jarrett and Anderson Cooper, and to overcome dead ends on host Henry Louis Gates, Jr.'s own tree. The secrets encoded in their genomes challenge these guests' ideas about their families' histories and their identities today.


  • Martha Stewart, Margaret Cho, and Sanjay Gupta


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