Southwest Florida via PBS!

Tune in to WGCU HD on August 13 at 9 p.m. and watch with pride what the rest of the country will be watching with envy – Family Pictures USA – Southwest Florida!  WGCU is the co-presenting station and Southwest Floridians are featured prominently in the upcoming national three-part series, Family Pictures USA, created and hosted by filmmaker and photographer Thomas Allen Harris. Joining WGCU in presenting this PBS series is UNC-TV Public Media North Carolina.

The series 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. Family photos of everyday milestones — marriage, childhood, a new car, a growing business — provide 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.

In the Southwest Florida episode, airing Aug. 13 at 9 p.m., the national crew meets Native Americans, cattle ranchers, members of fishing communities and restaurateurs who recount their family stories with pride. In Immokalee, viewers learn that Florida is still cattle country and meet former migrant workers who now own the companies that harvest produce. Descendants of Seminole leader Osceola preserve their tribal way of life and pass down centuries-old traditions to their children. An African American family confronts the divisions of the past and moves forward as they uncover the story of their pioneering biracial ancestor and meet their white relatives. 

In Family Pictures Local Southwest Florida, airing Aug. 13 at 10 p.m. – following the national episode that night at 9 p.m. – three Southwest Floridians from very different walks of life discover that they are related when they all recognize the same common person in a photograph from decades ago. Family photos did indeed provide that visual portal that revealed surprising connections in Southwest Florida’s collective past.

North Carolina and Detroit are the other two regions featured along with Southwest Florida, in the first national Family Pictures USA episode, North Carolina, on Aug. 12 at 9 p.m. and Detroit on Aug. 13 at 8 p.m.