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The African Americans: Many Rivers To Cross

by Michael Shelton October 22, 2013 (Updated: 3:10 PM)
The African Americans: Many Rivers To Cross Image

WNIT Public Television proudly presents THE AFRICAN AMERICANS: MANY RIVERS TO CROSS on Tuesdays, October 22 - November 26, at 8pm on 34.1. Presented and written by Harvard scholar Henry Louis Gates, Jr., this six-hour series chronicles the full sweep of African-American history, from the origins of slavery on the African continent through more than four centuries of remarkable historic events up to the present.

Program Schedule

  • October 22 - "The Black Atlantic (1500-1800)"

    "The Black Atlantic” explores the global experiences that created the African-American people.  The episode traces the emergence of plantation slavery in the American South and examines what the late 18th-century era of revolutions—American, French and Haitian—would mean for African Americans and slavery in America.
  • October 29 - "The Age of Slavery (1800 -1860)"

    "The Age of Slavery" illustrates how black lives changed dramatically in the aftermath of the American Revolution. King Cotton fueled the rapid expansion of slavery into new territories and the forcible relocation of African Americans to the Deep South.
  • November 5 - "Into the Fire (1861-1896)"

    "Into the Fire" examines the most tumultuous and consequential period in African-American history: the Civil War and the end of slavery, and Reconstruction's thrilling but brief "moment in the sun." But a few years later, an intransigent South mounted a swift and vicious campaign of terror to restore white supremacy and roll back African-American rights.
  • November 12 - "Making a Way Out of No Way (1897-1940)"

    "Making a Way Out of No Way" portrays the Jim Crow era, when African Americans struggled to build their own worlds within the harsh, narrow confines of segregation. Leaders like Ida B. Wells, W.E.B. Du Bois, Booker T. Washington and Marcus Garvey organized, offering different strategies to further black empowerment and equality. "The Harlem Renaissance" redefined how America saw African Americans—and how African Americans saw themselves.
  • November 19 - "Rise! (1940-1968)"

    African Americans who fought fascism in World War II came home to face the same old racial violence. In 1955, Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat on a city bus in Montgomery, Alabama, heralding the dawn of a movement of resistance, with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. as its public face. In 1968, Dr. King was assassinated, unleashing a new call for "Black Power" across the country.
  • November 26 - "It's Nation Time (1968-2013)"

    As African Americans won political office across the country and the black middle class made progress, larger economic and political forces isolated the black urban poor. When Barack Obama was elected president in 2008, many hoped that America had finally transcended racism. By the time of his second victory, however, it was clear that many issues, including true racial equality, remain to be resolved.