Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Finding Oprah's Roots: Finding Your Own” as Want to Read:
Finding Oprah's Roots: Finding Your Own
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Finding Oprah's Roots: Finding Your Own

3.65  ·  Rating Details ·  62 Ratings  ·  15 Reviews
Finding Oprah's Roots will not only endow readers with a new appreciation for the key contributions made by history's unsung but also equip them with the tools to connect to pivotal figures in their own past. A roadmap through the intricacies of public documents and online databases, the book also highlights genetic testing resources that can make it possible to know one's ...more
Hardcover, 191 pages
Published January 23rd 2007 by Crown Publishing Group (NY) (first published January 1st 2007)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Finding Oprah's Roots, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Finding Oprah's Roots

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 126)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Sep 13, 2016 Roberta rated it liked it
Shelves: history, biography
The "finding Oprah's roots" part of the book is interesting and informative. This wasn't intended to be a full biography. There are other more in-depth books about Oprah if that is what you are looking for. The "finding your own" parts of the book are most helpful if your ancestors were slaves in the South. It was not as helpful for my research.

For example, the author repeats several times "... starting out by turning to the 1870 U.S. census -- the first U.S census, as we have seen, that listed
Jul 13, 2013 Louise rated it it was amazing
Don't let the size of this book fool you, it is a tremendous book that has needed to be written for a long time. There are many guides and tools for researching roots, but this one, highly specialized to pre and post slavery sources is exceptional.

Why is it exceptional? 1) It documents a search. 2) It provides inspiration. In demonstrating a typical search (while Oprah is not typical, the search for her roots is) it shows the dynamics of the oral history, specific written records and the larger
Mar 07, 2008 Kali rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: anyone interested in genealogy, or the African American experience
I will be honest, I probably would have never made it through this book if I wasn't listening to it on tape because Gates is repetative. However, at only 5 hours it was great/very worthwhile background to household chores and working out. I especially enjoyed it because of my LDS upbringing. It was inspiring to hear about the struggles and work arounds genealogists are finding in tracing slave ancestry. I especially liked the lessons Gates pulled out -- genealogy lets you paint individualized li ...more
Heather Leipart
Oct 15, 2011 Heather Leipart rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Enjoyed this one- Oprah is a phenomenal rags to riches story and so learning of her familiy's meager beginnings and her African heritage shed new light on her very fortunate rise to success. Truly incredible the things her family had to overcome. Not as biographical as I was expecting- mostly family tree focused and, as the title suggests, very heavily about "Oprah's roots." I really did like this book a lot, and even appreciated the author injecting some of his own family history tidbits into t ...more
Dec 02, 2014 James rated it it was amazing
Great Book! Great Book!
Henry gates is an author that goes straight to the point but talks in a eloquent and firm way.
After I finished the book I immediately started investigating on different companies to do DNA tests in myself. Now i am waiting on recieving my results back, i recieve them in a month.
This book also made me want to learn more and more about Oprah, even after I knew so much about her from this book. She is such an admirable person and I just hope that there are more people in th
for the information about Oprah's ancestors -- what they did, how they lived, how they contributed to their communities -- i really liked this book. however, i was a little disappointed in how the steps taken to get the information were briefly discussed or quickly glossed over. i'll need to look to other resources for that. otherwise, this was an entertaining read.
Nancy Mackay
Sep 14, 2007 Nancy Mackay rated it it was ok
This book has great potential but, in fact, is disappointing. Even though the author is a professor at Harvard, he seems to be writing for a 5th grade audience.

The book was recommended to me because I am an oral historian interested in family history. Even with my interest, it couldn't keep my interest.
May 03, 2009 Bart rated it liked it
Good overview of the challenges of researching African-American genealogy. Oprah's genealogy allowed Dr. Gates the opportunity to map out just how they figured out her past. The use of DNA testing is something I haven't done yet but will in the near future.
Joyce Gillis
Apr 11, 2008 Joyce Gillis rated it liked it
This was as close as I could get to a bio on Oprah. It was educational and informative regarding how to do your own geneaology search. It told quite a bit about Oprah's life and family. Amazing how her life began and how it is now.
Jul 24, 2009 Sherece rated it liked it
Nice book that encourages all to take the time and effort to try to learn and know their roots, their family history. Knowing one's history is a great map to guide or shape where you go in the future.
Mar 26, 2009 Sallie marked it as to-read
Shelves: nonfiction
While i might just scan the technical "how-to" info, this seems to be another important, personal way to understand this part of America's history.
Diane Mueller
Jun 26, 2008 Diane Mueller rated it really liked it
Since I love genealogy I liked this book. It was interesting to read about Oprah's family and how information was found out about them.
Anne Powell
Aug 24, 2014 Anne Powell rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fascinating story of tracing an African-American genealogy.
Apr 28, 2013 jane rated it liked it
Interesting. A little short. Good tips for geneologists.
Lee Ellsworth
Feb 01, 2013 Lee Ellsworth rated it liked it
good followup to the tv series
Pretty Boi
Pretty Boi is currently reading it
Oct 05, 2016
BookDB marked it as to-read
Aug 27, 2016
Julie rated it really liked it
Aug 25, 2016
Laura marked it as to-read
Jul 27, 2016
Tisha Smith
Tisha Smith rated it liked it
Jul 12, 2016
Ashley Cartier
Ashley Cartier marked it as to-read
Jun 06, 2016
Cathy rated it it was ok
Jun 02, 2016
Cris rated it really liked it
May 05, 2016
Gian Luigi
Gian Luigi marked it as to-read
Apr 09, 2016
Sam marked it as to-read
Apr 04, 2016
Janie Finerty
Janie Finerty marked it as to-read
Mar 08, 2016
Renae marked it as to-read
Feb 20, 2016
Amy Wong
Amy Wong marked it as to-read
Feb 15, 2016
Judy rated it liked it
Jan 28, 2016
« previous 1 3 4 5 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
Henry Louis Gates Jr. is a Professor of African and African-American Studies at Harvard University and Director of the W. E. B. Du Bois Institute for African and African American Research. He is well-known as a literary critic, an editor of literature, and a proponent of black literature and black cultural studies.
More about Henry Louis Gates Jr....

Share This Book