The African Americans: Many Rivers to Cross, Part 1

The African Americans: Many Rivers to Cross, Part 1

Tuesday, October 22 at 8:00 p.m.

Survey the full sweep of African-American history in a new six-part series with Henry Louis Gates, Jr.

Hour One: The Black Atlantic (1500-1800)

 “The Black Atlantic” explores the global experiences that created the African-American people. Beginning a century before the first documented “20-and-odd” slaves who arrived at Jamestown, Virginia, the episode portrays the earliest Africans, slave and free, who arrived on these shores.

The transatlantic slave trade soon became a vast empire connecting three continents. Through stories of individuals caught in its web, the episode traces the emergence of plantation slavery in the American South and examines what the late 18th-century era of revolutions — American, French and Haitian — would mean for African Americans and slavery in America.