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African American Lives 2 (2008)

Maya Angelou , Don Cheadle , Henry Louis Gates , Jr.  |  PG |  DVD
4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Maya Angelou, Don Cheadle, Morgan Freeman, Henry Louis Gates, Chris Rock
  • Directors: Henry Louis Gates, Jr.
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, Full Screen, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: PBS
  • DVD Release Date: May 6, 2008
  • Run Time: 240 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0012Z36E4
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #163,794 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "African American Lives 2" on IMDb

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Editorial Reviews

The first AFRICAN AMERICAN LIVES revealed the power in discovering one's family history. Now, Henry Louis Gates Jr. will guide a new group to discover their ancestry in AFRICAN AMERICAN LIVES 2. The series will draw on DNA analysis, genealogical research and family oral tradition to trace the lineages of the participants, including Maya Angelou, Morgan Freeman, Jackie Joyner-Kersee, and Tina Turner, down through U.S. history and back to Africa.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
If you have followed the PBS 4 hour mini-series "African American Lives 2" this February, then you will want to purchase the DVD I am certain.This amazingly well documented and directed expose of 12 "black" people, including the likes of Pop Diva Icon Tina Turner,comedian Chris Rock,everybody's favorite narrator Morgan Freeman,actor Don Cheadle as well as historians,preachers and Harvard Professors,whose racial identity is disclosed to them through court documents,wills,ship manifests and the newest advances in DNA technology yielding surprises beyond belief to them as well as myself!!!
Who we are is simply not that easy to say.Where we come from is not as simple as black or white.What is being "black" anyway? What is being "white"? What do you do with information when culture tells you that you are one "race", but DNA tells you either way more or the opposite? These are the complex questions that are answered in great detail for these 12 people,identified as "black" or "African-American." (Frankly, this is so interesting that any "race" will benefit immensely from this documentary film!)

This documentary brilliantly is non-biased and quite moving.See how Don Cheadle reacts when he finds that his family was owned by Native Americans!!!! Tina Turner is one third European and NO Native American blood! Chris Rock is 1/5 "white"! There is even the authoress Briss Bryson who has always been "white" who discovers that she has more African blood than most "negroes"!!!! What do we do with such information? Does it change who we are,or does it complete who we are? Henry Gates,Harvard Professor is 50% Irish, and yet has always identified as "African.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Who are we and is it important? February 15, 2008
By All Red
After 40 years of knowing that I was an American of Scottish descent with the looks and the family tree to substantiate it, my sister unveils that I (we) are one-quarter French! What a shock and also a pleasant surprise.I don't look the least bit French, but suddenly in one minute,I am! How does this change my perspective on myself? Well, can you imagine having been certain all your life that you were African-American and part Indian only to find out that you are actually more white than you are either of the other two strains of humanity? I must say, that PBS has outdone itself this time!
African American Lives,Part One was good, but the ongoing saga/sequel is stupendous.I was captivated for 4 hours (and that is tough for me!) with the indepth look into the racial makeup of such well known people as Olympic Gold Medalist Jackie Joyner-Kersee,The Shawshank Redemption (Two-Disc Special Edition)'s Morgan Freeman, Hotel Rwanda's Don Cheadle and others whose backgrounds are shown to them through the latest technological advances in DNA testing.Not only were the twelve African-Americans involved in this documentary,who have always identified themselves as such, surprised,amazed,moved and aghast at the findings,but they are asked to either reject or embrace what they discover about their lineage.
As I will never see myself as pure Scottish ever again, neither will the likes of Linda Hamilton Rice,Tina Turner,Tom Joyner.Bliss Brysen,Rev.Gomes and Henry Gates ( I have missed someone else-oops!).If this PBS Special fails to win an Award for something, than I will give up on Award Shows altogether!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Historical Eye Opener! September 22, 2010
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
This is another great video to show the history of America that is being omitted from the history books!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
By Sham
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
This is a must-see movie for everyone. It highlights 9 African-American celebrities, who's face we see in movies, television, and hear in music, as well as people who're not in the public eye as much. A revealing look into the past of so many prominent people of our day.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars locating your roots February 18, 2009
By kittt
I decided to have a DNA test after viewing this video, it was very exciting to watch the program's participants discover information about their families...I have been inspired by this video to research my family.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Wow" July 13, 2009
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
What a joy to learn so much about tracing our roots and finding where we have really descended from. How rich a heritage. Greatful for it and you will be too!!!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Book March 30, 2009
I enjoyed watching some of this on TV, so I bought it to see in its intirety. Excellent for all. Great salesmanship. Would do business with again. A+++++++++++
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars awesome! November 28, 2009
Beautifully done! Very Detailed. It inspired some of my family to get their DNA done. We were not surprised at the results. Somehow we knew all along!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Series!
I first saw this series on PBS a few years ago and it was great. I really enjoyed the research and reactions of those profiled in the series. Wonderful job. Read more
Published 8 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Very heart touching
My class of elementary school students have enjoyed this almost as much as the class paraprofessional & myself. Mr. Ramsey & Myself will take it home to watch again.
Published 8 months ago by Shawn S
5.0 out of 5 stars Episode 2 - Civil War and Reconstruction
I've used this episode many times to help my high school students understand the successes and failures of Reconstruction. Read more
Published 8 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best documentarys ever made
I really enjoyed this. So many wonderful stories and history. Actually this contains mind blowing information. Please watch it an pass it on to others. Read more
Published 9 months ago by M. Santos
5.0 out of 5 stars Great American History.
Wonderful true and hidden stories realized for these celebraties' families. This video is packed with our history in this country.
Published 11 months ago by CC
5.0 out of 5 stars My students loved this.
I loved these two movies and my students really got quiet and listened to this. It was very much needed.
Published 16 months ago by C. Robinson
3.0 out of 5 stars good viewing
this was interesting and unbelievable how far back some can go ,i enjoyed watching it,and was glad for the participants to have gone so far back
catherine fletcher
Published 19 months ago by kate
5.0 out of 5 stars Some Of My Favorite People Are Here
I have seen most of the Henry Louis Gates,Jr. DVDs and they are all excellent. This is one of his best.
Morgan Freeman is one of my favorite actors. Read more
Published 21 months ago by Zarathustra
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