There is a series on PBS right now called African American Lives 2. I watched the first of four segments and I was really impressed. A professor at Harvard and his team do the genealogy of several celebrities and then present them with what they find. I was particularly struck by Chris Rock.
He had a grandfather who risked his life to join the Union army during the civil war. He advanced and became an officer. After the war he was elected to the state legislature. Once reconstruction ended he was basically sent back to where he came from with nothing. However, by the time he died, he had become a successful member of the community and actually owned 45 acres of land.
I was really touched by Chris's reaction to this news. If you click on this link you can watch what he says.
You can click on this link to find out when the next segments will air this week in Northern VA (you'll have to look it up on your local PBS station if you live somewhere else).