This month, PBS television presents African American Lives 2, a journey into the African American experience.

Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates, Jr., who hosted PBS’s African American Lives in 2006 and Oprah’s Roots in 2007, returns to lead celebrities and everyday people through a genealogical hunt as they retrace their roots. In four inspiring episodes, American icons such as Maya Angelou, Don Cheadle, Morgan Freeman, Jackie Joyner-Kersee, Tom Joyner and Chris Rock trace their lineages and uncover surprising revelations.

Says Gates of the series, “All of the stories in African American Lives 2 share a common thread—they show the value of knowing who you are and where you come from.” African American Lives 2 premieres Wednesdays, February 6 and 13 at 9 p.m. (ET) on PBS. (Check your local listings for airtimes.)