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African Americans: Many Rivers to Cross

A More Perfect Union (1968-2013) (#106)

Class disparity in the black community is examined. Barack Obama's presidential wins are discussed. [56 minutes] TV-PG Closed Captioning

PBS Video

Series Description: 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.

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  • The Black Atlantic (1500-1800) (#101)

    The earliest Africans, both slave and free, who arrived on American shores are explored. [56 minutes]

  • The Age of Slavery (1800-1860) (#102)

    A look at how black lives changed dramatically in the aftermath of the American Revolution. [56 minutes]

  • Into the Fire (1861-1896) (#103)

    The tumultuous Civil War, the end of slavery and achievements of Reconstruction are highlighted. [56 minutes]

  • Making a Way Out of No Way (1897-1940) (#104)

    The narrow confines of segregation during the Jim Crow era and the Harlem Renaissance are explored. [56 minutes]

  • Rise! (1940-1968) (#105)

    The long road to civil rights is examined, from World War II to Martin Luther King, Jr and beyond. [56 minutes]

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