One of my favorite shows on television right now is "Who Do You Think You Are?" To watch individuals look deep into their family history unsure of what will be revealed has been both enjoyable and inspirational. Each episode tells the story of a celebrity who has a particular question about their ancestors. What I love most is the celebrity's emotional reaction and surprise when secrets from the past give him or her a new perspective on their present. Here are some of my favorite moments:
In season 1, Emmitt Smith looks into his family's roots and finds links to white ancestors deep in the south. What he also finds are his family's slavery registry in a book numbered 22 which is the number he wore on his football jersey.
In season 2, Rashida Jones - Having already been made aware of her father's family history, Rashida explores her mother's Jewish family history which included family loss during World War II. What moved me so much about this episode was Rashida's own realization that she is incredibly blessed and lucky to be alive. Both family histories include great sadness and stories of survival. Her families (on either side) could have been among those who had been killed either because of the color of their skin or their religious beliefs.
In season 3, Chelsea Handler bravely searches for her the stories about her German grandparents. Raised Jewish, Chelsea wondered if her grandfather had ties to the Nazi party. I admire Chelsea's bravery to do this search in such a public way. To stand up and admit that your family can be part of one of the darkest times in modern history showed great courage and I applaud and thank her for letting us share her journey.
Thank you Lisa Kudrow and Dan Bucatinsky for such a wonderful show. I learn something from each story and I look forward to what comes next. Keep up the great work.