Join Henry Louis Gates Jr., as he embarks on rather marvelous findings in season 3 of ‘Finding Your Roots’!
‘Finding Your Roots,’ which is hosted and written by Henry Louis Gates Jr., returns on Jan. 5. Julianne Moore, Keenen Ivory Wayans, Sen. John McCain and television producers Norman Lear and Shonda Rhimes are among the 28 new celebrities whose backgrounds are traced.
Gearing up for season 3, we were invited to the New York City premiere at SVA Theatre. Guests included Henry Louis Gates Jr., Harry Carson, Glenn & Debbie Hutchins, Thomas Matthews, Beverly Johnson, Irina Pantaeva, and Eric West. We had the chance to speak with Henry Louis Gates Jr., and here’s what he had to say about the upcoming season.
What can viewers expect from this season of ‘Finding Your Roots‘?
Gates: Well, a lot of amazing surprises. Ty Burrell, discovers that he has an African American recent ancestor. Bill Maher and Bill O’Reily discover that they are cousins, they had no idea! One of the most amazing discoveries is that LL Cool J finds out about ancestors that he didn’t even know he had with a deep boxing background, which he thought he had invented when really it was in his metaphorical DNA. We have a lot of diversity and a lot of good stories and I’m really excited about it!
Irina Pantaeva also had a few words about “finding your roots”.
Pantaeva: Can I ask you a question. Is the tree gonna survive without the roots? If you trace out our ancestral, then we find out in fact that this is the solution to making peace in the world. At the beginning and the end, the sun rises and the sun sets. We’re all brothers and sisters. I’m personally from an indigenous tribe called Buryat. My personal life took me around the world and I’m fascinated by the history and finding my own roots. There’s a group of indigenous people living in Afghanistan called Hazar that came from the Mongolian empire. In fact, they reserve our traditions better than back in my homeland and in Mongolia but they have been persecuted. To find my brothers in the Middle East at this time is a chance for everyone to find out that we’re all related.
Among the many guests were Gates’ childhood friends from 1st grade, in which he jokingly asked us, ‘who still has friends from the 1st grade?’ Another good friend of Gates Jr., Beverly Johnson told us that she’s “proud of Skip and can’t wait for the season premiere!”.
A fun party followed at The McKittrick Hotel.
Season 3 of ‘Finding Your Roots‘ premieres January 5, 2016 on PBS.