Modern Software Experience

2010-03-04

television show

Faces of America is a four-part PBS television series hosted by Henry Louis Gates Jr, originally aired in 2010 February and March. The series is available on DVD, but all four full-length episodes were posted for free online viewing the day after their first airing on PBS.

format

family history

Faces of America isn't a genealogy show, but a family history show; it does not show the genealogical research process at all, but merely uses the already finished family histories.

The show uses the family histories of poet Elizabeth Alexander, chef Mario Batali, comedian Stephen Colbert, novelist Louise Erdrich, journalist Malcolm Gladwell, actress Eva Longoria, cellist Yo-Yo Ma, her majesty Queen Noor, director Mike Nichols, heart surgeon dr Mehmet Oz, actress Meryl Streep and figure skater Kristi Yamaguchi.

The show does not tell each family history to move on to the next one, but instead uses fragments of each to tell the overall story of American immigration and colonisation.
The Faces of America web sited contains profiles for the participating celebrities, but does not contain their genealogy or family history.

education

Faces of America was conceived as educational series. The web site has lesson plans for each episode. Each lesson plan consists of an overview, lesson activities and video segments to use in class. The thematic approach of these lesson plans explains the format of the series.

links

episodes

lesson plans

profiles