African Americans: Many Rivers to Cross
This series chronicles the full sweep of African American history, from the origins of slavery on the African continent through five centuries of historic events right up to present day -- when America has a black President, yet remains a nation deeply divided by race. It explores the origins of the people from Africa whose enslavement led to the creation of the African American people, as well as the multiplicity of cultural institutions, political strategies, and religious and social perspectives that African Americans have developed against unimaginable odds. All of these elements define black culture and society in its extraordinarily rich and compelling diversity from slavery to freedom, from the plantation to the White House. Hosted by Harvard scholar Henry Louis Gates, Jr., and drawing on some of America's top historians and heretofore untapped primary sources, the series guides viewers on a journey across 500 years and two continents to shed new light on the experience of being an African American.
The Black Atlantic (1500-1800) (#101B) Duration: 1:15:00 STEREO TVPG (Secondary audio: DVI)
The Black Atlantic explores the truly global experiences that created the African American people. Beginning a full century before the first documented '20-and-odd' slaves arrived at Jamestown, Virginia, the episode portrays the earliest Africans, both slave and free, who arrived on these shores. But the Trans-Atlantic slave trade would soon become a vast empire connecting three continents. Through stories of individuals caught in its web, like a ten-year-old girl named Priscilla who was transported from Sierra Leone to South Carolina in the mid-18th century, we trace the emergence of plantation slavery in the American South. The late 18th century saw a global explosion of freedom movements, and The Black Atlantic examines what that Era of Revolutions-American, French and Haitian-would mean for African Americans, and for slavery in America.
The Age of Slavery (1800-1860) (#102) Duration: 56:46 STEREO TVPG-V (Secondary audio: none)
The Age of Slavery illustrates how black lives changed dramatically in the aftermath of the American Revolution. For free black people in places like Philadelphia, these years were a time of tremendous opportunity. But for most African Americans, this era represented a new nadir. King Cotton fueled the rapid expansion of slavery into new territories, and a Second Middle Passage forcibly relocated African Americans from the Upper South into the Deep South. Yet as slavery intensified, so did resistance. From individual acts to mass rebellions, African Americans demonstrated their determination to undermine and ultimately eradicate slavery in every state in the nation. Courageous individuals, such as Harriet Tubman, Richard Allen and Frederick Douglass, played a crucial role in forcing the issue of slavery to the forefront of national politics, helping to create the momentum that would eventually bring the country to war.