Treasured Photographs Show Shared History in 'Family Pictures USA'

Rick and Christina Gables
Courtesy of Digital Diaspora Family Reunion LLC

Family Pictures USA, a new three-part PBS series created and hosted by filmmaker and photographer Thomas Allen Harris, explores American cities, towns and rural communities through the lens of the family photo album, unearthing rich personal stories that expand our understanding of our shared history, diversity and common values.

The three-part series premieres Monday, August 12, providing family photos of everyday milestones marriage, childhood, a new car, a growing business.

This is a visual portal through which to examine the roots, surprising connections and provocative parallels that shed light on our collective past and our shared future.

Courtesy of Digital Diaspora Family Reunion LLC

From the streets of Detroit to the shores of Southwest Florida to the farm fields of North Carolina, participants introduce ancestors, parents and old friends — fascinating characters brought to life through a treasure trove of images and stories handed down through generations.

Courtesy of Digital Diaspora Family Reunion LLC

Each episode of Family Pictures USA begins at a community photo-sharing event, where people present images long stored in photo albums or stashed away in dusty boxes. Using these pictures as a starting point, Thomas engages participants in conversation, guiding them through stories of hardship, perseverance and love.

Courtesy of Digital Diaspora Family Reunion LLC

The series then goes on location in their communities to expand these family narratives into a deeply personal people’s history of the region.

Family Pictures USA: North Carolina, Premiere, Monday, August 12, 9/8, PBS (check your local listings)
Family Pictures USA: Detroit, Tuesday, August 13, 8/7c, PBS (check your local listings)
Family Pictures USA: Southwest Florida, Tuesday, August 13, 9/8c, PBS (check your local listings)