Trying to detail the Black experience from the slave ships to the White House can be a journey in and of itself. But Henry Louis Gates Jr. is up for the challenge. The Harvard University scholar’s latest project is “The African Americans: Many Rivers to Cross,” a six-part PBS series starting tomorrow, Oct. 22 at 8pm ET. Gates explains his visions for revisiting our past 500 years in this nation.
Why was it so important for you to do this project?
Many young people today do not have access to African-American studies in school. They are not being taught about the civil rights movement. We wanted to make one comprehensive series on African-Ameican history for the post-“Roots” generation so there could be no excuses.
What’s the main takeaway you want viewers to leave with after watching the series?
Since the beginning, our ancestors have been a fundamental part of this country’s narrative. There is no American culture or civilization without the African presence inextricably intertwined with it.
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