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{October 23, 2013}   PBS Documentary “The African Americans: Many Rivers To Cross” Airing Every Tuesday Through Nov. 26

GOOD BLACK NEWS

 

It always seemed pretty straightforward. And horrifying. Early African-American history was the story of thousands of Africans who were captured, shipped like cargo to the New World and sold into slavery, mostly to work and die on Southern plantations.  But Henry Louis Gates Jr. and PBS show us that history’s complexity in a beautifully done six-part, six-hour documentary, The African Americans: Many Rivers to Crosswhich began on Tuesday night and continues weekly through Nov. 26.

Mr. Gates — the Harvard professor, author and critic — is highly visible, interviewing historians, talking to older black Africans who acknowledge that their ancestors became wealthy through the slave trade, chatting with contemporary black Americans over Hoppin’ John and iced tea, standing at seemingly innocuous city intersections where shameful history unfolded.

Everyone (you hope) knows that slavery existed at least as long ago as Ancient Egypt. Many are also aware…

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