American Experience: The Abolitionists
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The abolitionists tore the nation apart in order to create a more perfect union. Men and women, black and white, Northerners and Southerners, poor and wealthythese passionate anti-slavery activists fought body and soul in the most important civil rights crusade in American history. What began as a pacifist movement fueled by persuasion and prayer became a fiery and furious struggle that forever changed the nation.
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Ironically enough the documentary does clearly state the truth most Abolitionists were black...however the documentary shows the stories of only one black Aboitionist..while 4 white people are covered!!!! This is a glaring mistake! Where is Harriet Tubman, Sojourner Truth, the free blacks that provided critical funding for William Llyod Garrison???? We used this in my class and worked on critical thinking. I still recommend this dvd...but it is essential to balance out this documentary with one that has a more truthful balance with more black Abolitionists.... I highly recommend PBS Slavery and the Making of America ( 4 parts) ..this will balance out the error in this dvd. If you teach and work with high school students a comparison and contrast between these two videos would be excellent for critical thinking skills (there are some things that are better in the The American Experience: the Abolitionists and some things that are better in Slavery and the Making of America. I hope people watch both of these!
A stunning level of attention was applied to the set pieces that are used for the acting portions of the program. Everything from the majestic plantation homes of the south to the wardrobes is rendered with great care. The cities of period Boston, Baltimore, and New York are similarly recreated with great success, though they are shown in limited scope (which is understandable, given the presumably small budget). Even the horse and buggies (not to mention the dirt roads they traverse) seems to ring of genuine authenticity. Granted, I'm not an expert on history, but I was sold on everything, and instantly transported to another time. Also of great use is that the acting is top notch, and the HD presentation provides fantastic resolution.
Please be warned that there are some scenes, which while brief in length, are disturbing. Lynch mobs and whippings are depicted, though they are not graphic, nor is the violence in any way gratuitous. Given the serious subject matter, the inclusion of this limited violence is certainly understandable.
I wholeheartedly recommend this program not only to fans of American history, but to all citizens of the U.S., for it does an admirable job of presenting the stories of some of this country's greatest heroes- those who dared to oppose the institution of slavery at the expense of their own safety, and in the face of what seemed insurmountable opposition.
Roland from Ontario Canada
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The real heroes were Garrison, Brown, and Frederick Douglass.Read more