As a PBS cameraman recorded the scene, 23andMe scientist Mike Macpherson drew lines connecting photographs of about two dozen celebrities to one another while Henry Louis Gates Jr. riffed on what those links all mean.Finding Your Roots, in which Gates delves into the family histories of his guests tracing their stories back in time. When the paper records run out he turns to DNA tests.After Macpherson sketched a seemingly unlikely link between one of the guests with European Jewish ancestry and another, a Muslim of Pakistani descent, Gates remarked:“It reaffirms that we truly are all the sons of Abraham.”“Indeed,” Macpherson said.
Harvard’s W.E.B. Du Bois Institute for African and African American Research, the point is that racial and ethnic dividing lines are not as sharp as many assume. This is particularly true in the United States.“It’s a tribute to the true triumph of American democracy,” Gates said at one point during the shoot with Macpherson and Mountain. “The diversity of our people, which we can measure through genealogy and genetics.”