Africans in America: America’s Journey Through Slavery (PBS)
1998 | WGBH-TV
Two centuries of enslavement and oppression can never be undone, but WGBH-TV has masterfully illuminated the struggle for freedom in its four-part, six-hour documentary, Africans in America. Filmed on location across 12 states and three continents, this is the first documentary series to examine fully the history of slavery in America. The programs blend a combination of vivid first-person narratives and compelling interviews with historians, descendants of slaves and slave-owners, and stellar research and production. In addition to the PBS broadcast, other resources were implemented to extend the usefulness of the series in classrooms, homes, and communities across the country, including a comprehensive web site, a youth activity guide, a teacher’s guide, and a series soundtrack produced by historian Bernice Johnson Reagon. This epic saga blossomed under the direction of executive-in-charge Marita Rivero and executive producer Orlando Bagwell, no stranger to Peabody recognition as a member of the superb team assembled by the late Henry Hampton for Eyes on the Prize. Producers/directors Susan Bellows, Noland Walker, Jacquie Jones, and Llewellyn Smith, combined with the superb script of Steve Fayer and narration of acclaimed actress Angela Bassett, to eloquently recreate the landmark struggle. The program also features the voices of Andre Braugher, Avery Brooks, William Hurt, Brent Jennings, and Carl Lumbly, among others. For its continuing prowess in turning out brilliant and important documentaries, a Peabody to WGBH-TV in Boston for Africans in America: America’s Journey Through Slavery.