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.