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“Faces Of America” How 12 Extraordinary People Discovered Their Pasts

990 words - 4 pages

The author, Henry Louis Gates, revealed some very startling facts about these 12 extraordinary people. The people Mr. Gates chose to interview and write about, had the privilege of learning about whom they were and from which land their ancestry came. These famous entertainers came from different backgrounds of life. One could recognize from Henry Louis Gates’ Introduction that he developed a desire to know about his roots at an early age. He wanted to know the origins of his people from the East of the Atlantic, and the West of the Atlantic. Of course, there was a catalyst that sparked an interest from it all; it was Alex Haley’s “Roots”. “Roots” ignited a curiosity in Henry Louis ...view middle of the document...

Chapter 1 gives valuable information about who he is and what his culture meant to him. Mike Nichols knew some things about his mother and father, but only enough to show happier times in their lives. After submitting a sample for testing to assist the genealogical research, Mr. Nichols discovered the true origin of his ancestry, where they were from, and how they lived through such harsh times in the early 20th century. Although he was an influential artist in the United States, he did not know that his family’s ancestry was riddled with scars from the Jewish Holocaust. Like many Jewish families, his family changed their name to escape from a past that had caused his parents so much heart ache. Mr. Nichols had both German and Russian ancestry. Mike Nichols ‘father loved America. He saw America as a chance for a new life for his family. So many families that have been oppressed by the tyranny of their homeland come to America for a better life. America was seen as a place of promise to Mike Nichols’ parents.
I have always had respect for the Jewish race of people. I also share the same sentiments for the African-American race. They are hardworking people, and they have proven to be very intelligent people. Jewish and African-American races share many similarities. Henry Louis Gates Faces of America: How 12 Extraordinary People Discovered Their Pasts highlights these similarities in his book. I have learned from this book that Jews and Blacks have fled from their countries of origin to seek a better life. I have learned that these two races have changed their ancestry names to pursue a better life in a new land of prosperity. As mentioned in chapter 1, families of all different cultures have learned not to talk about the pain of the past. They keep silent about the shame, the hurt,...

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