READING FOR ROOTS
A Movement to Reconnect Modern Families with Ancestral Roots.
HISTORY reimaged the landmark series ROOTS, telling the powerful story of an enslaved African family’s struggle to preserve their name and identity.
To honor this story, our goal was to reconnect modern African American families with their ancestors. Partnering with the Freedman’s Bureau Project, we launched Reading for ROOTS, a multi-platform campaign that crowd-sourced the transcription of thousands of aging Civil War-era documents, thereby saving the names and histories of enslaved people from disappearing forever.
As participants found names, dates, and other information in these hand-written records, they were indexed in a searchable digital database. Our campaign helped the Freedmen’s Bureau Project reach its goal in just three weeks by transcribing over 14,000 names. Those names give a potential 22 million African Americans a chance to trace their roots.
One Show Merit Award
Shorty Award Gold
22+ Million potential roots discovered
Most watched mini-series premiere since 2013