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PBS' second season of 'Finding Your Roots' gets support, original content from Ford

(September 12, 2014) Ford has joined forces with Public Television to bring the second season of Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates, Jr. back this season. The 10-part series finds Henry Louis Gates, Jr. continuing on his quest to -- as he puts it -- "get into the DNA of American culture." By weaving a group of celebrity stories together, each episode takes viewers on a journey through layers of ancestral history, uncovering familial secrets.

"This is one of the most fascinating ways history is uncovered, a true example of the significance our past plays in where we are today," said Shawn Thompson, manager, Ford Multicultural Marketing. "The role Professor Gates is undertaking to show how all Americans are connected is something we -- as a company -- can stand by. Ford is thrilled to be a part of this project."

Each hour-long episode will highlight three celebrity guests bound together by an intimate, sometimes hidden link. With the help of a team of genealogists, Gates travels thousands of years into the past to discover the origins of today's game changers.

In addition, each episode will feature a 30-second spot that looks back at the history of Henry Ford and his visionary, family-owned company. For Gates, one of Henry Ford's lasting contributions was his willingness to pay a fair wage to African American workers employed in his factories, which led Southern sharecroppers to Detroit as part of the early 20th century's great migration.

As part of Ford's support, the Ford brand has created an original digital content series that will launch on YouTube on Tuesday, Sept. 23. The 10-part series will highlight individual user stories as the featured guests share the impact their family history has had on their lives. In addition, Ford and THIRTEEN, the flagship station of PBS, will team up on a live online screening and chat on Sunday, Sept. 21, whereby fans of the program will have the chance to interact and receive behind-the-scenes access to the premier episode in a real-time environment.

As Ford gears up for the airing of the first episode of the show, Gates will join journalist Ed Gordon on the stage for a live Q&A session tied to the program and a book signing at the 9th Biennial Awards for Excellence Legacy Dinner, which takes place at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History in Detroit. Gates will be the featured guest during the program on Saturday, Sept. 20 and will share with attendees a sneak peek of the first episode of the program.

"Our collaboration with THIRTEEN on this program is rooted in our shared commitment to empower, as well as our goals as a company to go further when it comes to not only our products, but our communities," said Thompson. "We are very excited about the airing of the first episode, and the opportunity we have to share a slice of Ford's rich history with the viewers of this award-winning program."

Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates, Jr. kicks off Tuesday, Sept. 23 at 8 p.m. ET and will run until Tuesday, Nov. 25. Viewers can join the social conversation throughout the program by using hashtag #MyFordRoots and #FindingYourRoots.

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