Why books don't reveal the secrets of success

2019-03-14 03:20:03

By Jim Giles CAN a study of Oprah Winfrey’s family tree help remedy the poverty that disproportionately affects African Americans? Henry Louis Gates thinks it can. Next April, the prominent Harvard historian will publish In Search of Our Roots: How l9 extraordinary African Americans reclaimed their past. Gates has studied the ancestry of some of the country’s most successful black individuals, including Winfrey, a daytime TV host. He found that 15 had grandparents who owned land, even though just 25 per cent of African Americans had obtained property by 1920. This “astonishing pattern”,