‘Who Do You Think You Are?’

Friday evening (2/4/2011) was the start of NBC’s second season of, Who Do You Think You Are?, a series that follows some of today’s high profile celebrities as they embark on a journey of self-discovery while tracing their family trees. According to the producers,  this series,”celebrates the twists and turns of a great nation and the people who made their way here in search of freedom and opportunity.” The eight celebrities featured this season are: Gwyneth Paltrow, Tim McGraw, Vanessa Williams, Rosie O’Donnell, Steve Buscemi, Kim Catrall, Lionel Richie, and Ashley Judd.

Tonight’s premiere centered on the beautiful and talented Vanessa Williams and the journey into her past revealed “… the courage to break barriers — as she did becoming the first black Miss America — runs in her family.”

This was the first time I saw this series and it was GREAT! Just as Vanessa’s journey began in the cemetery where her father was buried in 2004, I also find visiting cemeteries where my ancestors are buried offer great leads in my family’s research. Whenever Vanessa felt her heart racing, felt like crying, experienced joy, surprise, sadness, and pride about the accomplishments of her ancestors, I felt those emotions right along with her —  and they weren’t even my relatives – LOL! I could relate to how she felt because of what it meant for our ancestors to be slaves, or free persons of color prior to the civil rights era in this country. I will never forget the overwhelming emotions that came over me when I held in my hands for the first time a photo of the plantation house where one of my ancestors worked as a cook and caretaker of the plantation owner’s children.

I agree with US Weekly when they refer to Vanessa Williams’ family history, “…worthy of an epic miniseries” and I look forward to all the other celebrity tales that awaits us! So if you checked out tonight’s episode of, Who Do You Think You Are?, share your thoughts. If you watched last season’s series, let me know which celebrity feature was your favorite.