Africans in America (1998) - Rotten Tomatoes

Africans in America (1998)

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Experience the frenzied decades leading up to the Civil War (1831-1865) and the bitter fight over slavery. This fourth and final volume of the Africans in America series revisits the famous lives and writings of Sojourner Truth, Frederick Douglass, Harriet Jacobs, Harriet Tubman, Dred Scott, and John Brown, as well as rediscovering some lost stories and historical figures. Judgment Day tells of the harsh realities of life on one Georgia plantation, Butler Island, through the eyes of a British actress and abolitionist who married the estate's owner and later published her journals condemning the squalid conditions there. The film also describes "the Weeping Time," Pierce Butler's unprecedented two-day auction of all of his "movable property"; the sale ripped apart slave families in order to pay off Butler's gambling debts and finance a trip to Europe. Slave narratives and life on the Underground Railroad are discussed, along with the West's growing identity and appeals for statehood -- events which fanned the flames of conflict between abolitionists, Northern racists, and slavery's apologists in the South. Eventually, of course, this discord broke out into civil war; this final volume of the series ends with an examination of the battles, political maneuvers, and reluctant righteousness that ultimately dealt slavery its fatal blows yet left an enduring legacy of mistrust and inequality. A landmark series; ideal for educational use.

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