The Root TV screenshot
The Root TV screenshot

The video below was published in partnership with Peabody Spotlight, a digital series produced by the Peabody Media Center at the University of Georgia in commemoration of Black History Month.

Each part of the series draws from the vast Peabody Awards archives, the third-largest repository of audiovisual materials in the United States. Peabody Spotlight will focus on significant societal issues as represented through the storytelling of Peabody winners and finalists, as well as more than 70 years of broadcasting’s best programming.


This installment, “Storytellers: Black History,” shines a spotlight on the noted historian, author and filmmaker and The Root’s founder and chairman, Henry Louis Gates Jr., and his love and talent for telling the stories of our ancestors. “I’ve always wanted to tell their history, five centuries in the making. It’s a living history,” Gates says of his various works of art that allow him to do just that.

Faces of America, Finding Your Roots, African American Lives and The African Americans: Many Rivers to Cross ( a Peabody Award winner in 2013) are all masterful in their discoveries of our complex and rich history. Gates has explored our history from the time when the first slave arrived in Florida in 1513 to the election of President Barack Obama. That’s what makes Gates a celebrated storyteller.

Watch here:

Pretty. Witty. Girly. Worldly. One who likes to party, but comes home early. I got stories to tell. Prince (yes, that Prince) called me excellence. Achievement unlocked.

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