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The Black Atlantic - 1500-1800
Part of the Series: The African Americans
PBS
The Black Atlantic explores the truly global experiences that created the African American people. Beginning a full century before the first documented slaves arrived at Jamestown, Virginia, the episode portrays the earliest Africans, both slave and free, who arrived on…
The Age of Slavery - 1780-1860
Part of the Series: The African Americans
PBS
What made cotton so desirable? In the 1790s Americas oldest crops, like tobacco, were depleting farmland and dropping in value. At the same time, the textile industry in Great Britain was exploding, creating enormous international demand for cotton clothing. Eli…
Move on Up
Part of the Series: Black America Since MLK: And Still I Rise
PBS
The second hour dramatizes the diverging paths for African Americans and outbursts of white backlash that emerged in the 1970s and early '80s. Gates explores how African Americans found new sources of hope from the creation of hip-hop.
Into the Fire - 1861-1896
Part of the Series: The African Americans
PBS
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 tragically brief "moment in the sun." From the beginning, African Americans were agents of…
Making a Way Out of No Way - 1897-1940
Part of the Series: The African Americans
PBS
Racist images in the Jim Crow era were used as propaganda to send messages that demeaned African Americans and legitimized violence against them. A visit to the Jim Crow Museum at Ferris State University in Michigan--home to the largest collection…
Keep Your Head Up
Part of the Series: Black America Since MLK: And Still I Rise
PBS
The third hour reveals profound fissures within the country--and within black America--that deepened through the 1980s and '90s, just as African Americans were becoming more visible than ever.
Out of the Shadows
Part of the Series: Black America Since MLK: And Still I Rise
PBS
The series begins at a turning point in American history: the Selma marches and Watts riots that marked a new phase in the black struggle. Gates explores the rising call for Black Power, redefining American culture, politics, and society.
Touch the Sky
Part of the Series: Black America Since MLK: And Still I Rise
PBS
The final hour brings the story up to the present day. Gates celebrates how far African Americans have come toward equality and raises hard questions about the obstacles that remain.
Our American Storytellers
Part of the Series: Finding Your Roots
PBS
Three iconic American storytellers have spent their lives chronicling the lives of others, while knowing almost nothing about their own family history. Ken Burns confronts the reality of his southern ancestors' role in the Civil War, including Confederate soldiers held…
Rise! - 1940-1968
Part of the Series: The African Americans
PBS
Rise! examines the long road to civil rights, when the deep contradictions in American society finally became unsustainable. Beginning in World War II, African Americans who helped fight fascism abroad came home to face the same old racial violence. But…
A More Perfect Union - 1968–2013
Part of the Series: The African Americans
PBS
After 1968, African Americans set out to build a bright new future on the foundation of the civil rights movement's victories, but a growing class disparity threatened to split the black community in two. As hundreds of African Americans won…
Cory Booker/John Lewis
Part of the Series: Finding Your Roots
PBS
Henry Louis Gates, Jr. examines the ancestry pasts of two remarkable politicians, Congressman John Lewis and Newark Mayor, Cory Booker.
Maggie Gyllenhaal/Robert Downey, Jr.
Part of the Series: Finding Your Roots
PBS
A look at the ancestral pasts of actors Robert Downey, Jr. and Maggie Gyllenhaal.
Harry Connick, Jr./Branford Marsalis
Part of the Series: Finding Your Roots
PBS
The family histories of New Orleans musicians Branford Marsalis and Harry Connick Jr.
Finding Your Roots - Decoding Our Past
PBS
Deval Patrick is the first African American Governor of Massachusetts, and Jessica Alba is an actress who proudly embraces her Mexican American heritage. But cutting edge DNA analysis reveals that their family trees in fact contain a far more diverse…
Finding Your Roots - Ancient Roots
PBS
Trace the histories of these three guests. Tina Fey's fifth great-grandfather survived a terrible massacre and became a hero in the Greek War of Independence. David Sedaris' ancestors were also touched by the Greek War of Independence. George Stephanopoulos' family…
In Search of Our Fathers
Part of the Series: Finding Your Roots
PBS
Three guests know almost nothing about their fathers' past. Stephen King's father walked out on the family when Stephen was two years old and never returned; Courtney Vance's father was a foster child and never knew who his biological parents…
Born Champions
Part of the Series: Finding Your Roots
PBS
Three of America's greatest athletes, whose determination and love of sports were deeply shaped by their families, were all cut off from their true origins. Billie Jean King learns the story of her grandmother, who had always kept her orphan…
The British Invasion
Part of the Series: Finding Your Roots
PBS
Three guests whose ancestry demonstrates the extraordinary influence of the British Empire during the 18th and early 19th century: Sally Field discovers that she descends from William Bradford, who arrived on the Mayflower and helped his fellow English Puritans establish…
Samuel L. Jackson/Condoleezza Rice/Ruth Simmons
Part of the Series: Finding Your Roots
PBS
The ancestral pasts of Samuel L. Jackson, Condoleezza Rice, and Ruth Simmons.