Fall's return coincides with the return to public television of my genealogy series, Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates, Jr., airing each Tuesday at 8pm ET on PBS now through November 25 (check local listings). Finding Your Roots makes researching family trees -- and weaving their diverse branches into powerful narratives -- not only fascinating and fun but a communal quest that is core to the American story. In discovering our own personal roots, we rediscover the history we were taught in ways that make it more meaningful, relevant, and alive. Suddenly, leaves that seemed dried up burst into vivid colors, with census records, birth, marriage, and death certificates, old newspaper articles, and strands of human DNA sprouting clues to stories with the potential to alter how we see ourselves in the future and how we see our families in the dense forests of the past.
Season 2 of Finding Your Roots features 10 one-hour episodes and 30 high-profile guests as varied as Jessica Alba, Ben Affleck, Derek Jeter, Tina Fey, Billie Jean King, and Alan Dershowitz. It is our most diverse cast yet.