Henry Louis Gates, Jr. Presents The African Americans: Many Rivers to Cross Premiering October 22 at 8 pm on PBS

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henry_louis_gates2x2webNew six-part, six-hour series takes viewers on an unprecedented journey through African-American history—from slavery to freedom, and from the plantation to the White House

This fall, noted Harvard scholar Henry Louis Gates, Jr. recounts the full trajectory of African-American history in his groundbreaking new six-part series  The African Americans: Many Rivers to Cross with Henry Louis Gates, Jr. premiering Tuesdays, October 22, 29 – November 5, 12, 19 and 26, 2013, 8-9 p.m. ET on PBS (check local listings). Written and presented by Professor Gates, the six-hour series explores the evolution of the African-American people, as well as the multiplicity of cultural institutions, political strategies, and religious and social perspectives they developed — forging their own history, culture and society against unimaginable odds.  Commencing with the origins of slavery in Africa, the series moves through five centuries of remarkable historic events right up to the present — when America is led by a black president, yet remains a nation deeply divided by race.

Professor Gates travels throughout the United States, taking viewers on an engaging journey through history.  He visits key historical sites, partakes in lively debates with some of America’s top historians and interviews living eyewitnesses — including school integration pioneers Ruby Bridges and Charlayne Hunter-Gault, former Black Panther Kathleen Neal Cleaver, former Secretary of State Colin Powell, and many more.