Slavery and the Making of America DVD Set
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SLAVERY AND THE MAKING OF AMERICA is a landmark, four-part series that examines the history of slavery in the United States and the integral role it played in shaping the new country's development.
Breaking with conventional documentary production approaches, the series producers, PBS's Thirteen/WNET New York, have used dramatic re-enactments to take viewers back in time and deep into the slave experience. Much of the story is presented from a unique vantage point - through the eyes of the enslaved.
As factually represented in this series, American slavery evolved from a loosely defined labor system which provided some protection under the law, into the tightly regulated enslavement without recourse, based solely on race.
Underscoring how slavery impacted the growth of this country's Southern and Northern states; the series examines issues still relevant today. The variety of cultures from which the slaves originated provided the budding states with a multitude of skills that had a dramatic effect on the diverse communities. From joining the British in the Revolutionary War, to fleeing to Canada, to joining rebel communities in the U.S., the slaves sought freedom in many ways, ultimately having a far-reaching effect on the new hemisphere they were forced to inhabit.
Acclaimed actor Morgan Freeman narrates the series, which features a score by Michael Whalen.
Programs in this series:
Program 1: The Downward Spiral
Program 2: Liberty in the Air
Program 3: Seeds of Destruction
Program 4: The Challenge of Freedom
English Subtitles for the Hearing Impaired,
This four part series, which aired on PBS earlier this year, belongs in every high school library in the country... --School Library Journal
...the series deftly balances strong personal stories with insights into the horrible symbiotic relationship between Northern growth and Southern slavery.... this is recommended. --Booklist
- Is Discontinued By Manufacturer : No
- MPAA rating : s_medNotRated NR (Not Rated)
- Product Dimensions : 7.5 x 5.25 x 2.5 inches; 13.6 Ounces
- Director : William R. Grant
- Media Format : Multiple Formats, Box set, Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC, Subtitled
- Run time : 4 hours
- Release date : February 8, 2005
- Actors : Morgan Freeman
- Subtitles: : English, Spanish
- Studio : Ambrose Video
- ASIN : B0007IOTJ8
- Number of discs : 4
Best Sellers Rank:
#167,029 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
- #9,388 in Documentary (Movies & TV)
- Customer Reviews:
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As a result I purchased about a dozen DVDs on various subject matter which I am just now getting around to viewing.
This DVD gave me more insight into the slavery aspect during the period before we became a nation.
Each DVD was approx. 55 minutes long I would have liked to have had more because of the price, never less this is fine addition to my collection and I recommend it to others for its educational value.
This four-part PBS series covers all the bases and manages to be both scholarly and enthralling at the same time. Here's what makes this documentary work so well:
 Using Morgan Freeman as the narrator was a stroke of genius. His voice grabs the viewers' attention and doesn't let go. (Hey, he manages to keep my high school sophomores riveted!)
 In addition to Freeman as the narrator, the makers of this documentary utilize numerous historians and scholars to tell the story providing not only facts, but their own perspectives. This variety of sources makes for compelling listening.
 Throughout all four discs, personal slave experiences are told: John Punch, Mum Bett, Harriet Jacobs, Louis Hughes, Solomon Northup, Robert Smalls. Individual stories, but with shared experiences.
I use this in its entirety every year (along with reading Julius Lester's "To Be a Slave") to provide the necessary background before reading "Adventures of Huckleberry Finn." Slavery all too often is trivialized in textbooks, and this documentary goes a long way toward providing students with a basic understanding of the slave experience. VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED
My favorite segments are those on David Walker's call to resistance; a certain Miss Freeman, who successfully sued for her freedom; and Col. Tye's band of 18th century guerilla warriors.
*Such re-enactments, when accurately presented, are essential to helping viewers understand the realities of the era, as there are so few photographs and no moving pictures in existence from this lengthy period in American history. (As the narrator says, "America was a slave-holding society longer than it has been a 'free' society.")