Thursday, January 24, 2008

African American Lives 2

African American Lives 2, produced by PBS station WNET (New York City, NY) and presented in Georgia by Georgia Public Broadcasting, builds on the original African American Lives to bring your students a broader, deeper perspective on the lives and contributions of a broad spectrum of African Americans.

Like the original series, African American Lives 2 will profile some of the nation’s most intriguing and well-known African Americans in a fascinating and revealing way. Combining personal interviews, historical research, and cutting-edge technology, host Dr. Henry Louis Gates, Jr. (pictured) and a team of genealogical experts will set out to tell the unique and powerful histories of the celebrity guests. Utilizing family lore, historic records, and a DNA sample from each guest, the series will explore the mysteries and surprises of the guests’ origin and heritage. The powerhouse guest list for African American Lives 2 includes Tina Turner, Morgan Freeman, Chris Rock, Jackie Joyner Kersee, Don Cheadle, Bliss Broyard, Tom Joyner, Linda Johnson Rice, Peter Gomes, and Maya Angelou. Also featured in the series is Kathleen Henderson, an “ordinary citizen” selected from over 2,000 nationwide applicants for genealogical examination.

Lesson plans and related educational materials designed to support use of the broadcast program, Web site, and print materials in standards-based classroom instruction have been developed by WNET. To enable the successful use of these materials in Georgia classrooms, Georgia Public Broadcasting is having all African American Lives 2 instructional materials correlated to the new Georgia Performance Standards for social studies.

Additionally, GPB, with a grant from WNET, is producing a training webcast, to be available to all teachers on demand via the Internet. The webcast will include representatives from WNET demonstrating one of three instructional modules prepared to accompany the African American Lives 2 broadcast. It will also include lesson plans and reproducible related educational materials that may be downloaded from the webcast and copied in quantity for classroom use. The webcast should be available online and on demand by February 22. Please check the education section of GPB’s website ( for an announcement of availability.

African American Lives 2 will be presented on Georgia Public Broadcasting from 9:00 PM until 11:00 PM on February 6 and February 13. There will be multiple repeats.

Major corporate funding for this new production and its outreach initiatives is provided by The Coca-Cola Company and Johnson & Johnson. Additional funding is provided by Buick. Funding is also provided by public television viewers and PBS. Additional resources and materials for the teacher training workshops are provided by