The Rise and Fall of Jim Crow (PBS)
2002 | Quest Productions and Video Line Productions for Thirteen/WNET, New York
This unprecedented four-part series explores segregation from the end of the Civil War to the dawn of the modern Civil Rights movement. It recounts the brave and inspiring achievements of African Americans who fought against a system of brutality known as “Jim Crow.” Within this system, Southern blacks endured a life of crushing subordination maintained by white supremacist social and cultural custom and written into laws securing and perpetuating a grinding pattern of inequality. Nevertheless, large numbers of African Americans and a corps of influential black leaders bravely fought against the status quo, acquiring for African American citizens opportunities in education, business, land ownership and a spirit of rich community life. Episodes explore the Civil War and Reconstruction, the rise of the black middle class, the effects of World Wars I and II, the increases in mob violence, lynchings, and massacres, the legal challenges resulting in Brown vs. Board of Education, and the development of black activism leading to the court battles of the 1950s and ‘60s. Series Producer for The Rise and Fall of Jim Crow is Richard Wormser. Bill Jersey and William R. Grant served as Executive Producers, with Sam Pollard as Producer. Wormser and Jersey also served as writers and directors for the series. Christopher Rife and Michael Bacon coordinated and composed music. Editors include Garrett Levin, Tom Hanake, Max Salomon, Pierre Valette, and Aaron Butler. The series is narrated by Richard Roundtree. A Peabody Award is presented to The Rise and Fall of Jim Crow, a painful, yet necessary history of American racism demonstrating again how far we have come—and how far we have yet to go.