Skip to Main Content

Finding Oprah's Roots

Finding Your Own

Prominent African American scholar Henry Louis Gates, Jr., traced Oprah’s roots and shares the lessons of her ancestors—the legacy one generation bequeaths another, how who we are is influenced by the paths our ancestor have trod, and the extraordinary impact that even the most humble among us can have on future generations through the simple process of building a life for our loved ones.

In Finding Oprah’s Roots, Henry Louis Gates, Jr., shines a searchlight into the shadows that have enveloped African American ancestry. By assembling an elite team of historians and geneticists in coordination with his well-received PBS documentary and using Oprah and her forebears as his chief example, Gates unveils a process akin to resurrection.

Literally, those who were denied identity—nameless slaves who died believing their ancestors would never know them—have their identities restored here through a dazzling array of search methods. Acting as a roadmap through the intricacies of public documents and online databases, this book also highlights genetic testing resources that can make it possible to know one’s distant tribal roots in Africa.

Oprah’s path back to the past was profoundly illuminating, connecting the narrative of her family to the larger American narrative and “anchoring” her in a way not previously possible. For the reader, Finding Oprah’s Roots offers the possibility of an equally rewarding experience.

“This book is every bit as engaging as the documentaries and offers helpful resources.” —Booklist

“This book is every bit as engaging as the documentaries and offers helpful resources.” —Booklist

More books from this author: Henry Louis Gates Jr.