Intro to Decoding Our Past (02:14)
Henry Louis Gates Jr. orients viewers to the upcoming program about race and identity.
Jessica Alba's Ancestry Results (02:19)
Gates discovered that more than half of his ancestors were not black. He asks participants how they identify. Alba views herself as a Mexican American.
Story of Daniel Martinez (03:09)
Alba and her father talk about their tight knit Mexican family. Her grandfather worked as a migrant farmer and opened a school.
Patrick's Family History (04:23)
Gates visits Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick, the state's first African American governor. He remembers the day his father left.
Politics of Identity (02:32)
Guests are often surprised to learn about their genetic makeup. Why does American society insist on labeling its citizens as belonging to a single race?
Gates Identifies White Ancestors (03:02)
Race is a relativity new concept. Gates meets with a genetic genealogist to research his European ancestors.
Genetic Results of Slave Rape (01:16)
It is not uncommon for African Americans to be descended from a white ancestor.
Governor Patrick's Genetic Roots (05:03)
DNA reveals that more than a third of Patrick's ancestors were white. Race relations were complicated in his family history. An autosomal DNA test reveals that he is a descendent of a slave owner.
Blurred Race Lines (01:24)
A Harvard geneticist talks about the overlap between races.
Wilmore Mail Family History (03:19)
Gates identifies a white ancestor. Mail publicly declared his mixed race marriage.
Alba learns about the Mexican American side of her family. A DNA analysis reveals her ancestors were Native Americans.
Researching Native Ancestry (02:54)
Most guests are surprised to learn they have no Native American ancestry.
Alba's Native Ancestry (02:39)
A team compiled the largest Mexican genetic data base ever assembled to study indigenous groups.
Mitochondrial DNA (03:04)
A closer look at Alba's DNA reveals her father has a small amount of Jewish ancestry. Carmen Carillo's family had an interesting history.
Unique Genetic Patterns (01:22)
Several guest learn of their Jewish ancestry.
Patrick's Paternal and Maternal Ancestry (02:03)
Patrick's paternal genetic lines lead to Europe. His mother's family grew up in Jim Crow south. His mitochondrial DNA leads back to Africa.
Tracing Specific African Regions (02:24)
Patrick and other guests learn the origins of their African ancestry.
Philippi and Chest Nut Ridge Settlements (04:44)
Gates returns to West Virginia to learn more about how his mixed race family ancestors navigated life in the south.
American Blood (02:15)
Guests talks about what their ancestry means to them.
Credits: Decoding Our Past (00:31)
Credits: Decoding Our Past
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