Publication Date

October 1, 1998

PBS will broadcast October 19-22 a four-part television series entitled Africans in America: America's Journey Through Slavery. (Local timings may vary.) The six-hour series, produced by WGBH Boston with funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities (among other organizations), explores the paradox of an emerging democracy based upon the equality of men benefiting from the enslavement of a people. From Jamestown in 1607 to the eve of the Civil War in 1861, the four programs-entitled Terrible Transformation (1607-1750), Revolution (1750-1805), Brotherly Love (1787-1834), and Judgment Day (1831-1861)-examine the ways in which Africans and Europeans together created a new nation, even as they struggled bitterly over the meaning of freedom. The executive producer for the series is Orlando Bagwell, who earlier produced for PBS Frederick Douglass: When the Lion Wrote History, and Roots of Resistance: A Story of the Underground Railroad.

A collection of related primary source material, classified by periods and themes and linked to core social studies topics is available at the web site A free guide for middle and high school teachers can be obtained from Africans in America, WGBH, 125 Western Ave., Boston, MA 02134. Teacher workshops on the program will be conducted at the National Council of Social Studies annual conference in November 1998. For details about the workshops, teachers may contact Valerie Grabiel at (617) 492-2777, ext. 3827.

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