With cameras on our phones, photo apps and social media, pictures have become quick and forgettable. Last year alone humans took more than 1.2 trillion photos. Today, everyone is the Herb Ritts of selfies or the Annie Leibovitz of whatever they ate for dinner. But, it’s those old photos, creased and sepia toned, that really tell the story of who we were and who we still are. That’s the subject of a new three-part series, Family Pictures USA.
Family Pictures USA premieres 8 p.m., Monday, Aug. 12 with “North Carolina.” This episode follows the history of a rural state with an economy founded on tobacco and textiles. Through family photos, this episode traces the rise of a thriving African American middle class, Native Americans repurchasing ancestral lands and families once separated by race and class finding healing by recognizing common ancestors.
The second episode, titled “Detroit” airs at 7 p.m., Tuesday, Aug. 13. This episode introduces descendants of both Native Americans and slaves whose ancestors helped build the city. Detroit’s rise, fall and rise again is revealed through personal photos and stories of the city’s inhabitants.
And, the third and final episode of Family Pictures USA, “Southwest Florida” airs at 8 p.m., Tuesday, Aug. 13. This episode delves into a tropical region where Native Americans, cattle ranchers, members of fishing communities and restaurateurs recount their family stories with pride.
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