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African American History to 1900 Slavery The Civil War and Reconstruction

On My Own: The Traditions of Daisy Turner.

Presents the life of a daughter of a former slave, 102-year-old Daisy Turner. She recalls childhood incidents and her father's Civil War experiences and talks about life in her homestead in Vermont. Folklorist Jane Beck fills in details about traditions preserved in the Turner family. 28 min.
web web sites: Filmakers Library catalog description

Prince Among Slaves

In 1788, a slave ship sailed from the Gambia River with hundreds of men, women and children bound in chains. Eight months later, a handful of survivors were sold in Natchez, Mississippi. One of them made an astonishing claim: he was a prince of an African kingdom larger and more developed than the newly formed United States. The true story of an African prince who endured the humiliation of slavery without losing his dignity or hope of freedom. In 1828, by the order of President John Quincy Adams and Secretary of State Henry Clay, he was freed after spending 40 years in slavery.

Reconstruction: The Second Civil War.

Tells the story of how ordinary Americans struggled to reconstruct their lives in the years immediately following the Civil War. Shows the struggles and triumphs of both African Americans and whites in the North and the South. Originally broadcast on PBS as two episodes of the television program The American experience, Jan. 12-13, 2004. Dist.: PBS. 180 min.

Release Me O' Lord: Black Indian Mardi Gras

It's Mardi Gras morning in New Orleans, Louisiana, and Black Indian tribes are dancing and singing their way through neighborhood streets. The performace features elaborate costumes, dance and verbal battles as the Black Indian tribes of New Orleans perform dances, music and songs to symbolically triumph over oppression, as their Maroon ancestors actually did over the evil institution of slavery. Written and produced by Teri S. Massoth. 1999. 15 min.

Remembering Slavery: African Americans Talk About Their Personal Experiences of Slavery and Emancipation [Sound Recording]

These tapes are published in conjunction with the book Remembering slavery: African Americans talk about their personal experiences of slavery and emancipation. Live recordings and dramatic readings of interviews with former slaves. The original recordings were made by interviewers from the Federal Writers' Project in the early 1930s and placed in the Library of Congress. They have now been re-mastered and made available to the American public. 139 min.

Roots of Resistance: A Story of the Underground Railroad.

Recounts the story of the underground railroad through narratives of escaped slaves. Includes interviews with descendants of slaves and slave holders of Somerset Place, a plantation in North Carolina, who describe the personal danger and terrible risk involved in each slave's departure. Directed by Orlando Bagwell. 2005. 58 min.
See also: Search for Roots :1-2


An adaptation of Alex Haley's Roots, in which a Black American searches for his family roots by tracing his family's history from the mid-18th century when one of his ancestors, Kunta Kinte, was captured and sold into slavery. Film follows the struggle for freedom that began with the boy's abduction to America and continued throughout the generations that followed. 90 min. ea. :1-6
web web sites: Description of series from the Encyclopedia of Television

Shared History

Descendants of slaves and slave owners of Woodlands Plantation, now the remnants of an antebellum estate in South Carolina, have for generations passed down stories about the on-going relationship between their ancestors. While independently researching their families' history, three descendants meet and begin to uncover the mythologies about the old connection through family interviews and archival evidence.

Slave Island: New York's Hidden History

Examines the excavation of an 18th century slave cemetery in downtown Manhattan. Scholars and leading experts conduct archaeological and forensic analyses of the remains of nearly 400 African Americans slaves who were forced to serve either the Dutch West India Company or English masters. Uses dramatic reenactments, early maps, and documents from slave traders to piece together the history of slavery in the city of New York. Dist.: Films Media Group.2004. 49 min.

Slavery and the Making of America

Directed and written by Dante J. James; series producer, Dante J. James. Dist.: PBS. c2004. ca. 60 min. each installment. The Downward Spiral. Episode one opens in the 1620s with the introduction of 11 men of African descent and mixed ethnicity into slavery in New Amsterdam. Working side by side with white indentured servants, these men labored to lay the foundations of the Dutch colony that would later become New York. There were no laws defining the limitations imposed on slaves at this point in time.