She is not of Zulu descent, as she has long believed, but talk-show host Oprah Winfrey still has some pretty remarkable ancestors. And the TV journey she takes with Harvard University professor Henry Louis Gates to trace her past in Oprah's Roots makes for compelling viewing.
The PBS special, which airs at 8 tonight, is a spinoff of African-American Lives, an acclaimed two-night series that aired last February. It featured Gates, an engaging TV personality in his own right, using traditional genealogical methods and the latest DNA research to map the lineage of some notable black Americans, including Winfrey.
On TV Oprah's Roots airs at 8 tonight on MPT (Channels 22 and 67).