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This Far by Faith

Journeys

Timeline

People

About the Series
Discussions

1526-1775: from AFRICA to AMERICA1776-1865: from BONDAGE to HOLY WAR1866-1945: from EMANCIPATION to JIM CROW1946-1966: from CIVIL RIGHTS to BLACK POWER1967-TODAY: from CRISIS, A SEARCH FOR MEANINGTODAY: The Journey Continues
1526-1775: from AFRICA to AMERICA1776-1865: from BONDAGE to HOLY WAR1866-1945: from EMANCIPATION to JIM CROW1946-1966: from CIVIL RIGHTS to BLACK POWER1967-TODAY: from CRISIS, A SEARCH FOR MEANING
1526-1775: from AFRICA to AMERICA1776-1865: from BONDAGE to HOLY WAR1866-1945: from EMANCIPATION to JIM CROW1946-1966: from CIVIL RIGHTS to BLACK POWER1967-TODAY: from CRISIS, A SEARCH FOR MEANING
TODAY: The Journey Continues
Share Your Thoughts


Discussions
Share Your Thoughts









The Journey Continues
Discussions


Introduction



Brooklyn, NY

Watching "The Far by Faith," I learned that the journey of African-Americans has been one of tremendous challenges, but also of faith and perseverance. The story that particularly moved me was that of Imam Wallace D. Mohammed, because he had the faith and courage to follow his true beliefs, even when it meant turning his back on his family. And in the end he built a spiritual community that has meaning for thousands of people. I actually never knew that most African-American Muslims are not part of the Nation of Islam.

Being a "PK" (pastor's kid), I grew up with certain expectations of "faith," "spirituality," and "religion." In my twenties, I left my little bubble of protection (my parent's home) and was faced with the bigger realities of life. While there is obviously no comparison to the stories of oppression and discrimination depicted in the "Faith" series, I experienced racism and sexism and I often felt lost. I began to question God, I abandoned my religion and tuned my back on spirituality.

Now, in my thirties, I've learned that with the help of my spiritual community family, friends and others who share my faith, I can better face the daily challenges of being a Latina woman. The "This Far by Faith" series reminded me how important that community is in order to overcome obstacles. Unfortunately, I think a lot of people in the US don't want to talk about faith in this way because it forces them to confront the fact that there is still racism in this country, and we still need our faith to overcome it.



This documentary acknowledges the same Spirit of Freedom that we plan to share this weekend at the National Underground Railroad Reunion Festival in Philadelphia (www.undergroundrr.com) Everyone needs to see this documentary in order to search our past for the answers of issues today.



Reading, Pa

This particular program is of great quality and clarity for me. I appreciate this program to the upmost. The message affirms my ideals about our destiny in the 21st century as a people. I do pray that our leaders of this country will understand and appreciate the value of the African people. As a classroom teacher I would like to see our schools utilize this documentary for classroom instruction, discussion, and writing assignments. Great Job PBS!!



Fort McCoy, FLA

Most people outside the culture and many inside don't realize that our story is as rich as it is. Passing on this information to our children, all children yields some interesting results.It is important that children know about slavery, that they get a sense of what it was like for children their own age to be faced with the reality of being property. The struggle to be free is a classic example of what children need to see at close range so that they can live their lives knowing that freedom has never been nor will it ever be free.



What surprised me about the people you mention who were influential in the evolution of religion for blacks in America was the failure to mention one real muslim. W. D. Muhammad is NOT a good representation of Islam and that he is the only "muslim" you listed is quite shameful.



Cleveland, OH

I believe the PBS programming is excellent in its attempt to inform and educate. I watched the opening program about faith in Black American history and believe that references to Allah and muslim religions by majority blacks are inaccurate and a distortion.The muslim ideology and christianity are alien and different as love and hate . Please dont allow a lie to sound like the truth. I have watched the violent nature of muslims and how they intimidate dissenters.Muslims dont believe in democracy and dont know how to treat others other than in hostility. Jesus believed in love and forgiveness. These concepts are a sign of weakness for Muslims.I know this to be a fact.



Bronx, NY

Watching, "This Far By Faith," actually made me realize that my ancestors were powerful, spiritual, and that we didn't forget. That G-d was a huge part of our lives from the moment we stepped off the boat. How a strong and tremendous people we are. I want my future children to know that their ancestors didn't just become slaves but the became kindred spirits that fused a dynamic force of what we have become today- free.



Richmond, Va

Whenever I go the North Carolina I pass the rock where my great grandmother was sold. I am always moved when I pass that spot and wonder what she was thinking, how was she feeling at that moment. I also wonder if I am living the life she envisioned for her decendents; making the most of the freedoms that we have been granted. Something had to sustain her. She had to find some sort of legacy to leave for her children. That legacy was her faith. My mother passed that legacy down to me and my siblings. What else but faith kept men and women alive in the bottom of the ships as they crossed the Atlantic?



Hollywood, Fla

I would like to thank the makers of this wonderfull piece of work. I am a black women, born in Aruba Netherlands Antilles, raised in Curacao, out of parents born in Suriname and currently living in the USA for two years. The program reflected the same experiences people of color had in Suriname and the Netherlands Antilles. I got goosebumps when I heard the prayer of Isabella "Sojourner Truth" who spoke her prayer in Dutch, I had no idea that the majority of slaves in New York spoke Dutch due to their Dutch slave masters. So I would like to thank the makers of this program and the sponsors who made this program possible. I would also like to ask if there is any body out there who knows more about Sojourner Truth and her descendents to contact me at donatep@hotmail.com Thank you!



Kansas City, Mo

I think america is too complacent and does not realize the sorrows and trials of others and as so many today will have to wake up sadly when it is too late for change.



Raleigh, NC

I watched on PBS 6/24/03.

I never realized that there was freedom of slaves to worship ( even though it was called secret meetings).

I'm sorry if this comes out to seem offensive to ANYONE, but if America is about freedom, this informed me that there was a straight point trying to be made to white people in slave times that they were the true Christians and their faith was to be recognized as the only way.

Isn't 'OUR' God everyone's God? Countries have fought for years over such things.

I am a woman who has challenges everyday to try and fit into a world of men( black, white, pink, blue,?) But I am free to worship my Lord!!!!! And He will provide . I would like to see a series on how Africa was constructed and why people who beleive in the true teachings of African faith are staying where they have to struggle in this country and not desiring/are they allowed?/and why not going to the place that gives them comfort. I want to just see us all be equal. I quess my whole point is...why continue to stir up what should be old news? To get rid of prejudice, I believe you must get rid of reports from groups that stress color, but only report human conditions. I know my spelling is bad! LOL



Houston, TX

This series has been extremely helpful to add historical background to my genealogical reserch for my husband's ancestors. In our family tree we have a minister named Christopher Columbus Ligon who founded a chapel in Nigton, (formerly Niggertown), Texas in the 1870's. The discussion of the role of the church adds life to his name. Thank You, Pat Ligon



Le Grange, NC

It is very difficult for some christian to understand all of Gods people are striving for the same goal.(Repentance)Denominations are of this world. He that is in me,is greater than he that is in the world.



Yeadeon, Pa

Why is this 3 part series only available for educational use? Why is it not available for purchase by the general public? How are Black people going to raise the level of their individual and collective conscience if the materials and resources to do so are only available to school teachers?



San Antonio

Unfortunately, there is still racism in this country. We need to fix this sitituation in this country. I see it in the Churches, Schools, wherever I go. It is very sad, to call this country "One Nation Under God" and not living by it.



CO

I was a bit surprised that the first two episodes (which were wonderful!) missed the story of the Rev. Lemuel Haynes, likely the first African-American ordained by a mainline church (the Congregational Church in CT in 1785). You can find more on him at http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/aia/part2/2p29.html He was a clear advocate for African-Americans, though he served mostly white congregations in NY and VT. I read Andrew Young's autobiography a few years back, and was also amazed to learn that more than 500 schools and colleges were started in the post-bellum South by the American Missionary Association (also Congregationalist), which drew on white and black supporters in the north. Colleges like Talladega, Tougaloo, Fisk, and others were started by the AMA.



Dallas, TX

What I noticed most is that God starts a movement through a chosen person. Then we organize and try to run it and eventually it is ruined. So God has to start another movement. Will we ever learn?



Athens, TX

In my opinion, the struggle for identity continues. Much of our current struggle is within our own race. Many Blacks have lost focus. No longer do we strive for the ultimate goal of salvation. We have become side tracted by our own selfish motives to please our own super egos. The desire to become rich and powerful has taken priority over the immediate needs of our fellow brothers and sisters. To do the right thing in our religious community has taken a back seat to celebrating our leaders with large banquets in there honor. Our black communities have taken ten steps backwards, simply because we never really adopted the true concept of the American dream.Certainly we can vote, eat out, go to schools and colleges of choice etc., but what is the Black man or woman's American Dream? The church has always been a meeting place for blacks, but today many black churches are absent of black men and women. When churches do meet in conferences, the main focus is to raise money. There is no true measureable, proactive or intervention programs greared to teaching,encouraging,training, or developing the minds of young black men or women.

My personal goal is to plant seeds by sharing my skills with other Americans of all races in an effort to bridge gaps. Racism have caused black men and white men to miss out on the beauty of what it truly means to be an American. Black and White churches need to work together to bridges many gaps in our community.



Pittsburg, Pa

I watched this series with my mother. She is 69 and have seen and witnessed a lot of heartache in her life. She has rejected religion as a falsehood. I wish to thank you for giving her the understanding that without religion, man may not ever overcome its inherant negative actions, to see that if one is down then we all are down.



Queens, NY

I can certainly identify with Bishop Turner, even today. The Black Church continues to be passive and rejects the pre-civil war zeal that Turner and others attempted to restore.



Pasadena, CA

I was very enlighted to the power of faith. Especially the statement by one of the historians that faith was the reason the African-Americans survived to this day. And in my on opiniion God let Africans be stolen to this Country! We were suppose to be here!



Trenton, NJ

Dr.King said "Let Freedom Ring", and Freedom has rung, cause there is no longer "whites only", "blacks only" signs "physically" displayed now in the 20th century, intergration replaced segregation, etc. Dr.King talked the talk and walked the walk. Now, in the 20th century, I feel blacks must continue to follow the same plan, if not a "greater plan" keeping God first. Complacency, sex, drugs, alcohol, violence,materialism, money, power and wealth has matched the ringing of freedom that it has put invisible ear plugs in the ears of a majority of blacks in 2003. Time is overdue for the removal of these invisible ear plugs, and to turn the volume back up to "Let Freedom Ring".



Plantsville, CT

"This Far by Faith" is an exciting and informative program. I do have a few problems. For example, Henry Ward Beecher was not a Methodist minister. I also seriously doubt the anti-Black quote attributed to him. Among other things, he raised money from his pulpit to buy 'Beecher Bibles' - rifles - to arm anti-slavery people in Kansas, etc. His sister, of course, was Harriet Beecher Stowe. He was an avid abolitionist. There seems to be a tendency in some African-American circles to want to paint friends as enemies. Why is that? It merits a serious psychological study. I also felt some serious omissions - e.g., the establishment of most original Black colleges in the south by northern churches.

A few of the commentators show evidence of reverse racism, understandable and perhaps forgiveable, but unfortunate and a bit alienating. Other things might have been noted, such as the schism between southern and northern Methodists over slavery. The countless northern whites who gave up their lives in battle as they sang 'John Brown's body', including ancestors of mine. Many Union soldiers were fired up by the issue of slavery as much as there seems to be an effort to minimize that reality in recent years. My great-grandfather volunteered at age 41, leaving his wife and six children on their Vermont farm, because of that. He named one of his sons, Sumner, after Congressman Sumner of MA, a major and early abolitionist. And I could go on and on and on.

I guess I have some resentment of efforts to forget such brave and devoted people, seemingly only because they were white. A great-uncle all but starved to death in a southern POW camp, a member of the 1st VT Cav who was captured in MD while chasing Lee after Gettysburg. Their sacrifices should not be ignored or minimized.

But, back to my first point. It's an exciting and informative series and I look forward to the next four hours.



Atlanta, Georgia

I respect Min. Louis Farrakhan for continuing the Nation Of Islam. He used this vehicle as an instrument of liberation for African Americans and not just follow someone else's interpretation, which becomes only a ritual. The minister has taken a lot of heat for this. Folks saying it is not the real Islam but the real anything is what empowers you and not make you a helpless victim.



Modesto, CA

There's a poem written by someone called "What Makes You So Strong Black People?" After watching just the 1st segment of "This Far By Faith," it's obvious that the strength of the Lord is our strength and it is this strength that enables us to come through obstacles that would have smothered some races into extinction. Although that is evil's intention, we as christians of the black community know that victory is ours and God's plan continually reveals that he is leading us to greater things, better life in this life and the one to come. It is faith and the works of faithful men that have made, as well as, make positive influence and change today. This action of movement will spear forth greater works in the future. Thank you for sharing the faith!



Milwaukee, WI

ajob well done iam looking forward to the rest of it .so much i was not aware of. you do educate.



Milwaukee, WI

ajob well done iam looking forward to the rest of it .so much i was not aware of. you do educate.



Desplaines, IL

Thank you for "This Far by Faith". Throughout my youth and adult life I have wondered why African Americans jump and shout in church, why many regard the church building as sacred ground, and why large numbers of African American women emotionally attach to male preachers. The first two hours of the series provided insight into the origin of these expressions and mindsets and helped me relate to church experiences for which I previously had no affinity.



Dallas, TX

Capt.Joseph Vesey was a relative of mine. Having been raised in Viginia during the '40s and 50s, I developed a sincere and strong belief as to the beauty and strength of soul possessed by Afro-Americans. In fact, Elizath Murray, affectionately known to me as E-beth, basically raised me and, even today, I miss her as well as remember her sage advice. Thus, I am delighted that PBS discussed Denmark Vesey. I knew of his existence precedent to your program and have read two books on his life. It is truly unfortunate that it has taken so long for his efforts to have been noticed in this country. Unfortunately, we continue to treat Africa as a distant mystery(see articles on the Congo war today)



Atlanta, Georgia

From my viewpoint, I see .This Far by Faith. as an introduction to the spirituality of black America and the laying of the foundation of these United States. For me, the .Negro Spirituals. represent the pivotal point of the Faith of black America, and to some degree, of all America.

My fore-parents, the Children of Captivity and Slavery, were not allowed to bring anything with them from Africa beside their body, soul and spirit. Their bodies were enslaved and abused in the interest of free labour, while with their souls and spirits they lamented to God. Within the lyrics of the Negro Spirituals, may be found the identity, history, culture and spirituality of the slaves. Accompanied by a rhythmic dance, along with the clapping of hands and the tapping or stomping of feet, the slaves made their plight known and offered up their testimony against their oppressor.

At a time when the Supreme Court seems to recognize that the issue of .racism. is still a factor in our society, and that there is a need for racial tolerance and reconciliation, this PBS series could be very helpful. It is common knowledge that black people are very spiritual. By this I mean that there seems to be a greater sense of spiritual awareness (strength) among individuals possessing a high concentration of melanin. It is important to note that this .blackness. is everywhere throughout our universe, and is necessary for its harmony and efficiency.

To some of us, the physical world is but a shadow of the spiritual; yet it is a high honour to possess the ability to communicate between the two worlds with ease. Music and dance represent the language of an efficient creation, meaning that special ability of the creature to communicate with his/her Creator. And because it is such a high level communion, ordinary words cannot be used, indeed sometimes no words at all. This is the strength of the Chosen People, realized by the power of our Covenant, even enduring the affliction of our captivity. It is important to note that full appreciation of the Negro Spirituals is a very subjective matter. It is not an academic exercise, but it requires that the individual be in one accord with the same spiritual format in which the Negro Spirituals were expressed.This is true of any spiritual expression. However, these Spirituals are not only for black people. They represent an extremely significant source of early American history and culture for ALL people. In fact, the Negro Spirituals should be a required study in all schools, where American history and culture is taught. There is no other way that a full and accurate appreciation of all that is America may be realized.

Dr. Michael Hinds HEALING A NATION THE ISRAELITE HERITAGE CENTER ATLANTA, GA israel@mindspring.com



Queens, NY

This is an important contribution to the documenting of our history and experience in this Esther country. This is a great accomplishment. I look forward to the remaining programs. As a beginning video documentarian I am encouraged by your grant funding resources. Congratulations ! What surprised me, though it probably should not have, was that the white Christians attacked and destroyed all efforts in the beginning for African Americans to have their own church home. I do not understand how religious people justify these acts against humanity and still call themselves children of God. What hit home for me was the fact that Faith confirms for you that you have value and you have been created equal. You can claim the victory because the debt has already been paid. Faith is tested constantly. I hold on to my faith in my dealings with people who often present themselves as trustworthy and honest but are in fact destructive and deceptive. When you hear and see what has gone before you it is a humbling acknowledgemen t of how strong we are as a people. I am proud of my ancestors. Thank you for this opportunity to acknowledge their role and contribution to our progress. Sadly in many cases it was their lives.



Cahokia, Illinois

Faith and religion have always been part of my life. It was only within the last five years that I have realized their true significance. I never knew that I was searching for my spiritual center. I found this center when I joined a small AME church. I worship regularly. I teach. I witness. I praise GOD with my life. I am looking forward to verifying for myself that I look just like GOD.



Detroit, MA

I'm twenty four years old and I have learned alot in these years of being in my twentys. I can say I have experience racial conflicts dealing with work and school. I 'am learning to overcome racial discrimination myself.



Rockville, Va

I would hope after this series, the public school system would wise up to the facts behind Americas envolvement as "sympathetic" antagonist in this history of a very creative/distructive people. The socialogical development of the species depends on all people recognizing the cause and effect nature of the universe. Slavery is a by-product of necessity and greed, we are human but "the soul of strength" demonstrated by the millions of African/Americans tortured/nutured in the Americas is truly the seed of their genius.



Seattle, Va

I watched last nights episode and was amazed. I love knowing the history of my people. I felt a sense of strength in knowing that African americans have came so far and that we are not just the descendents of slaves, but of great men and women who by the glory of god are now free. I also liked what I heard: Its not a curse to be born black but a gift from god.



Wilmington, D.E

I am a pilgrim that participated in the Interfaith Pilgrimage of the Middle Passage inhe USA, the Caribbean, West Africa and South Africa. I look forward to seeing how our journey will be featured. However, in the mean time, I am gaining great insight from the stories of other's spiritual journeys.

Our ancestors created a great foundation for us, and I am thankful for the gifts they gave and the sacrifices they made.



Indianapolis, In

Every person of color should read Leviticus 26:14-46, Deuteronomy 28:15-68, and Deuteronomy chapters 29,30,31:14-30,and 32. You will find that the hardships you endured as African-Americans in this country are similar to the prophecies that Moses warned the children of Israel about.



North Charleston, SC

FIRST I WANT TO THANK PBS FOR HAVING THIS PROGRAM. THE HISTORY OF THE STRUGGLE AND THE PEOPLE WHO PLACED THEIR LIVES ON THE LINE FOR NOT JUST BLACK AMERICANS, BUT FOR ALL AMERICANS NEEDS TO BE TOLD. I AM ONE OF THE MANY WHO PROTESTED THE INJUSTICE OF MY RACE. WHAT ROLE DID MY FAITH PLAY? I KNEW THAT THE MOVEMENTS LEADERSHIP CAME OUT OF THE BLACK CHURCH, BUT THE MARCHERS MANY OF WHOM WHERE ORDINARY PEOPLE WHERE BOUND BY ONE FAITH, THE FAITH IN ONE ANOTHER. THIS I FOUND TO BE TRUE THAT THERE WAS NO CHRISTIAN OR JEW, MUSLIM OR AGNOSTIC, ONLY HUMAN BEINGS STEPPING OUT AND WITNESSING IN THEIR HUMANITY.



Plum Branch, SC

have enjoyed "This Far by Faith." I am fortunate to have had parents and grandparents who told me the stories, showed me the pictures, and described how difficult and dangerous life was for African Americans then and still now. Now, I am a teacher in a predominantly black area and it saddens me that our children, our future, do not know of the struggles of African Americans. Where does this lead our future? It seems that we live in a country that tries to ignore its ugly past, erase these shameful years from the media and textbooks. When will our nation finally face the ugly truth of what was done to African Americans? When will our children, black AND white, know the ugly truth? Paraphrased, "A people who don't know their history are more apt to repeat it." But, I am grateful for shows like these and encourage people to continue telling the past to save our future.



Tampa, Florida

I came to Glide Church in 1983, as a survivor of abuse and a person who did not feel she had a right to exist on this planet. Though I am not a person of color, I needed the empowerment and the liberation that the community of Glide Church gave to me. The Glide Community showed me that God's love was real and tangible. I left San Francisco in 1987, and am now in Florida, where my husband and I have built a church in the midst of the prostitutes, the homeless and the drug addicts, and where we provide a place of refuge and hope for them. In a small way, I have carried on what Glide and Cecil gave to me.



Forestville, MD

The series is very interesting and thought provoking. To watch it its like going back there, in time, being there as these historic events took place. Surely God has played a hand in this beautiful and tragic tale.



Micanopy, FL

I have enjoyed each night. I have felt a little guilty seeing what so many went through for my generation. I felt I should be working even more to reap the benefits of the strugle and the faith that has been passed on to me by my parents.

When I was born in Birmingham AL (1965) the greater part of the benefits of the strugle were just around the corner and in my hands by the time I needed them. I rushed to vote as fast as I rushed to get my driver's licence.

I hope those born in the 80's will come to realize the faith and struggle others used and endured so that they could have the power that a vote can bring. There is power in a song of faith. I saw that power tonight helping my people to face clubs and guns with love.

Thanks PBS I'm really surprised you are treating this subject of faith and black people the way you are. Not just faith but Jesus. Not Jesus a historical man but Jesus as God. He has long been both to us as you have obviously found out.



Washington DC

I am writing because I was so happy to see Rev. Charles Sherrod's face. You identified him by SNCC, but you did not identify his church today. Could you please tell me where I could write to him? I have such a wonderful memory of meeting him in 1962 and of our small group staying at his mother's house on the way to Atlanta. He taught me things I still remember, especially as I am a much deeper Christian now than I was then.



Columbus, OH

Please show this program again, Soon. This should be release to High Schools everywhere as a testament to African American history.



Houston, TX

I think this is a wonderful program and hope to be able to see it. However, I haven't the schedule for when it appears on PBS in Houston. Can anyone get me that information? Again, I'm very excited about this program and hope to watch it.



Producer, This Far By Faith

Dear Mr. Roy, You are right, Henry Ward Beecher was no Methodist, but a Presbyterian. Mea Culpa.

You are also right that he raised money before the war to arm anti-slavery advocates in Kansas.

However, after the Civil War, Beecher began a long slippery slide towards belief in the inferiority of black americans. Abolitionism and a belief in equality did not always go hand in hand. Eric Foner, a professor of History at Columbia University, describes Beecher's evolution in his book Reconstruction: the Unfinished Revolution. Henry McNeal Turner read it and wrote an editorial about it in the AME Christian Recorder Recorder of April 27, 1882. Beecher's quote was taken from the St. Louis Globe Democrat earlier that month.

The point about the establishment of Black colleges was, I felt, covered in the idea of a million dollars raised for educational institutions by a people who five years earlier had had nothing. Television is a chincy medium. We can't include everything - it is the unfortunate tyranny of trying to pack 400 years of history into six hours.

Many of your concerns are addressed in greater detail on the website for the series. I do hope you will take the time to read it.

Thank you for your comments. We are having some technical difficulties posting comments on the site but expect they will be cleared up by Thursday. Please bear with us. June Cross The Faith Project 145 East 125th Street New York, NY 10035



LA, CA

The powerful historical events and stories of African Americans presented in this series has forced me to search myself. Would I have been as courageous and bold as those who were before me? I hope so. The character, strength, and conviction they showed through an extremely horrific time is astounding to me. This series makes me feel proud and very appreciative to those who risked so much.

My life is enriched and blessed because of their suffering. I am convinced that I must do more to make a positive difference, and I will. Thank you for this series. Sincerely, A. Sims



Austin, TX

it truly a blessing to see a series on faith .with faith anything is possible , alot of informaition really brought back memories as when i grew up in church attending all day services "Good old country church" I just wnat to thank all those partipants and gernerations of belivers of God to share how deep rooted a people we are and for us all.God bless you all who read this message and may he keep us. Thank you.



Lakewood, ON

During the time I was looking at The Far by Faith I flet that I wont to be a part of the Scnn and the Civil Right. I have a feeling that I can help and that one friend of my can really help. P S I hope that whomever read this can undrestand my point.



Burnside, MO

We the people of Africa descendants have come through rough mountains with our strong convictions in our faith.No matter what part of the state we were in, a very large percentage of us had the one very important common thread to push us toward courage and accepting ourselves for who we were. This common thread was Our strong faith in our God. This faith produced a people who were just as capable of achieving as the next person if given fair and I mean fair opportunities. Also what is so amazing is that when the opportunities were not there, we continued to achieve reguardless of the unbalanced playing field. Our faith not only was taken seriously at our churches but it also was a very important part of our Black schools;therfore, our children also grew up with much pride and lots of determination. Think about this situation now; is this possible today in our schools? Particually urban schools?



Jacksonville, FL

I have seen other films on the civil rights struggle, each telling of the importance of the church to the movement, this film however, is a revelation. Faith as the guiding force. A depth of faith it seems most of us will never know in our lives. An abiding faith forged in unspeakable suffering and yet in spite of that suffering, so deep that hate could be tempered from it, forced out of the soul by sheer will. A faith that became one with the church, and one with the movement. I did not know how profoundly spiritual the Movement was. True epiphanies are described as the participents come to understand the depth and power of non-violence. I thought that I had gained some insight into the Civil Rights Movement from "Eyes on the Prize" and "Africans in America" and other excellant documentaries on the subject. I had not seen however, how important the movement and its participents are to our understanding of faith, religion, and the strength of the human spirit. The fact that this isn't immediately obvio s to, and taught by, all Americans is another example of our pervasive racism staring us in the face



Washington D.C

This was an inspiring and informative presentation of the untold story about the significance of faith in the lives of our ancestors. I cannot begin to tell you how much of this information is still left out of the our teaching and learning experiences. This episode ought to be required for seminary and bible training for faith leader's. It is truly a "Sankofa" experience for everyone. I especially appreciated the in depth research about the influence of traditional denominations on the religious development of slaves. This series is truly a gift to my faith journey. May God continue to bless the hearts and minds of the creative people who committed to bring this to the pubic. Peace.



NYC, NY

Rev. Terry, Thank you for your comments. If you go to www.faithintoaction.org, you will find some additonal inspiriational and educational materials linked to the site. -June Cross



Atlanta, GA

As I watched "This Far By Faith", I was filled with so much pride and respect for my forefathers and mothers. I was listening to the old negro spirituals and I heard a voice that reminded me so much of my Grandmother Leola. It brought back so many loving and spiritual memories. I also felt my own spirit being renewed. I have more respect and pride for the past and hope that I can instill these same feelings in my 13 year old daughter.

PBS keep up the awesome work and I look forward to future series of this nature. Thank You for keeping spirituality and history alive.



Memphis, TN

The struggle for religious freedom is still a deciding factor in becoming a US immigrant today. People from Africa are still being fed religious preferences in order to "fit in" the American Culture today. I have the impression that if you study Christianity, you are treated special in this country. Although I am a Christian, I feel within me the urge to explore how my ancestors expressed their rituals of trying to understand the unexplainable. But when I speak of this, I am quickly silenced by the training the Europeans gave my ancestors which is passed on to my African brothers and sisters today. Thank you for the series. I have enjoyed watching and will purchase as soon as I am able.



NY, NY

Is there a music CD with songs that are used in the program? I would love to find out where I could get some of this music !



Charlotte, NC

Watching the program last night drove home the point home to me even more strongly what I've known for a while-namely, that I thank God that he chose capable black men and women to desegregate the South . By capable, I mean, people aware of the potent Gandhian tactic of satyagraha, people who took most seriously Jesus' command to love others. They took the "high moral ground" and were thus successful; they were successful because they were faithful. I shudder to think what would have happened if , for example, those unaware of "the ways of Jesus" had tried to de- segregate society. It would have been like pouring fire on gasoline, and playing into the hands of segregationism.

Thanks also for the acknowledgement that Gandhi's reading of Jesus' Sermon on the Mount was crucial to his understanding and using of satyagraha.



Silver Spring, MD

I just want to thank PBS for showing such a thought-provoking and enlightening series. I hope that all who remember those days of separation, by law, will teach their children how far we have come and how far we still have to go to reach totally equality.



Laurel, MD

THE DOCUMENTARY WE HAVE COME THIS FAR BY FAITH HAS BEEN AWE INSPIRING. IT REMINDS OF WERE I AS AN AFRICAN AMERICAN CAME FROM . IT ALSO PUT THE QUESTION OF HOW DO I KNOW I EXIST INTTO PERSPECTIVE



Kent, WA

I watched "We come this far by Faith". I could not turn it off! It truly touched my heart I am very much an activist I try not to let the past affect my belief but sometimes it is so hard to separate the past from the present. This show will touch the hearts of everyone who watches it.



Albuquerque, NM

It's hard to say about faith these days I for one don't have much if any in or about people it just seems that if and when given the chance people can and will burn you...But about the first show when it aired I found myself learning a lot about the church that I grew up in A.M.E.I grew up outside of Philly in Pottstown and went to Bethel A.M.E I didn't know all of that stuff it just seemed that we were not good enough compared to the Second Baptist Church.We were a poor church but we were there just like the guy said all day long it seemed like can anyone identify with your mom grabbing you up by the shirt and takeing you?



ft Leonard Wood,MO

Please email me when this airs again). I began my religious involvement as a junior usher in my church in Phila., PA. I saw the church leadership and preachers were all male and the worker bees were female.

In 1979, working at the YWCA in a Teen "Mothers" project I discovered books which confirmed what I had suspected all along, that the bible and religion was a form of social control written by men to control the passage of property ownership and to control the masses to look to the hereafter for their rewards and not expect them in this life. "When God Was a Woman" by Merlin Stone and "The Christ Conspiracy: The greatest Story Ever Sold" was just two of the books which confirmed this for me. I'm posting this to see if it is shared as the others were or whether it will not be allowed. Not all blacks have "Blind Faith" in what the bible says, but are out here as "Free-Thinkers if you are open enough to hear what they have to say without being a bible thumper!



Roosevelt, NY

"This far by Faith" so far is a good series to promote thought about Africentric culture. The program is good because the perspective of television alone tends to narrow the scope of history. This is the reason I like the website better.

Unfortunately, there is no such thing as a complete history. Somethings are always inadvertently omited. For example, there was no mention of the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church or the roles its ministers played in the abolishonist, emancipation, and Civil Rights Movements.

One excellent feature of the series is that it provokes more questions than answers it provides. For example, Did our African ancestors have a word for religion? Many African societies did not have a word for God.

Did you know that the first sit-in occured on September 26, 1925 at Union Station in Washington, D.C. The act was performed by Bishop W. J. Walls of the A.M.E. Zion Church. He insisted on being served in an area not designated for colored. He and his companion were ser ved after three hours.



Gaithesburg, MD

I consider myself to be a spiritual but not religious person. However, It was heart warming to see such a high quality production that spoke volumns about the struggles and strengths of our forefathers in the ongoing fight for freedom. We need more programs of this quality that can convey to the rest of America, that we have a rich and full history that they are completely unaware of. That we were not faceless people standing by and contributing little as this became a great nation. Most Americans either have a very short memory, or very little historical knowledge of the plight of Africans in America. Excellent program!



Baltimore, MD

The personal accounts of the historical events brought it home. This is something you cannot derive from a book. It seems that if it weren't for the religious aspect, we would not have had the civil rights movement. There was a focus in those people I doubt we will ever see again.



Washinton, DC

I was so happy to see the face of Rev. Charles Sherrod. You identified him by SNCC but did not give the name of his church today. Could you please tell me how to reach him? I first met him in 1962. Our small group stayed at his mother's house on the way to Atlanta. Rev. Sherrod taught me some things that I still remember -- especially as I am a much deeper Christian now than I was then. Thank you.



New Orleans, LA

I just want to clarify that it was nearly TWO MILLION MEN that attended the Million Man March, and not nearly one million.



Brooklyn, NY

First of all thank you PBS.I'm a African-Hispanic descend, nevertheless we all faced the same struggle when it comes to personal achievement, this series is for me a confirmation that with unity as God's people (moved by faith)nothing shall be restrained from us.



Atlanta, GE

iknow that islam is that oldtime religion that my ancester was singing about iknow islam is not a religion it,s away of life that slavay strip away from the gods and goddess of Egypt.that,s our faces on and inside the pyramid.



Tacoma, WA

I would like to thank PBS and all those who contributed to this program. This is the first time I seen a program on TV that gave such a broad historical perspective of African American (Religious) History and the many diverse areas of faith. So often especially after 911 the only ones interviewed represnting Al-Islam were the imigrant Muslims. Leaving out the Muslims who were born here and have a better American (African) perspective. It's about time that African Americans step forward and give account of our history instead of people from other races speaking for us. This documentary shoud be shown in all schools across America and the world. And by the way Imam Warith Deen Mohmmed and Minister Louis Farrakahn were the best to interview for the historical aspect of Islam in America. The Best. For those who say Imam WD Mohmmed is not a good representation of Muslims, then they don't know much about Islam and Muslims. Thank you all. Good Job PBS and those who spoke. Peace Be Upon You All



NYC, NY

I have just completed a course called African American literature. My assisgned research paper was to research and write about Negro Spirituals. I wrote about many aspects in the series. I was a little disappointed that this series aired after a wrote my paper(I received an A). The series was informative and well reseached. I am so glad that it was aired.



Detroit, MI

I found the series very interesting. I found it refreshing being a person who belongs to a AME Church. Some of the history was familiar to me, but I also learned a great deal. Thank you to everyone who helped put this program together. Excellent Job!



OK

I approached this program with much speculation and some hope. But I came away highly disappointed. What I saw merely perpetuated what people want to think about blacks here in the United States. What I mean is the reference to muslims and Islam in relation to W.D Mohammed and the black "moslems". Though it was mentioned in the beginning that many slaves were indeed muslim, the later references to Islam in the United States was limited to just those who were followers of W.D Mohammed. As a true muslim, I am offended by that reference. If you were to truly delve into the religions of a people, I think you should have also considered the many, many black people who are muslim and do not consider W.D. Mohammed credible in his assertion of Islam. I think that misperception, or oversight, needs to be corrected and your program did nothing in the way of correcting it. This assumption also perpetuates the ideology that black "moslems" are racist and intolerant and hate whites, etc. It also perpetuates the idea tha blacks who are muslim are poor, etc. Obviously, those are false and need to be corrected. You had an opportunity to do so, and yet did not.

"The faith of the human spirit" that knows no creed or color as your program said, can be found in Islam. It was never a religion intolerant of others, but always taught tolerance and kindness. Many assume that muslims are all middle eastern, from Saudi Arabia, etc. But what a lot of people don' know is that there are so many Africans who are muslim, maybe even more than in the middle east. Why do you think Malcolm X became a true muslim and changed his belief about racism. He saw a religion that truly accepted people of all colors and nationalities. For those people who were offended when they found that their ancestors might have been muslim, you should consider how that makes you look; intolerant,



Charlotte, NC

This documentary was a powerful vehicle to awaken within all of us a sense of urgency to open our hearts and minds and embrace and celebrate the human spirit. We can't be afraid to show the world who we are and how we are all connected.



St. Louis, MO

Thoughtful, provocative, and rejuvenating. Thank you for your dedication to this enormous project, and I too live in faith everyday. Sheer inspiration, and a job well done.



Atlanta, GA

Tonight I learned that faith is a beacon for Life not just a religious exercise. My depression at the end of the series comes from the overwhelming feeling of the different lives Black people and White people have lived in America. Do we now deserve our separate lives? Or do we continue to reach between the races with all the bumbling and misunderstanding that comes with it? I know the answer but tonight it seems almost impossible. But tomorrow?, may be that is why I need to develop my faith.



Columbus, OH

A very thought provoking and interesting series. I enjoy it very much. At the conclusion of this series, my thought was..." and the spiritual journey continues." Our lives are a spiritual journey and all of our roads lead us back to the Creator. I could not help but to think that I choose to live at a time like this and I wonder what it the lession that those of us on this sojourn have come here at this time to learn. What did our ancestors learn for their time and did we learn well from them. As I look around I wonder. Thanks again. God bless all



Baltimore, MD

"This Far By Faith" was an outstanding series. I was quite moved during the segment on Sojourner Truth. I felt her pain as well as "the revelation" that took place in her. Faith gives you the courage, wisdom, strength and drive to overcome anything.

I agree that this entire series should be available to everyone. It was educational, thought provoking, and soul stirring. I do regret that it was not possible to market this program more extensively. Please, please air this series again!!Being a "PK" (pastor's kid), I grew up

It would be wonderful if some of the organizations that funded this series would donate copies of it to libraries so that this valuable and important information could be available to many as a source of encouragement in these troubled times in which we STILL live. "Thank You PBS" and Thank You to all who were connected to its production--this was long overdue!! WELL DONE.



Breckenridge, CO

I am a United Methodist pastor in a wealthy, predominately white ski resort community. Groups of lay people and I make annual pilgrimages/mission trips to Glide Church in San Francisco. The spirit of Glide informs our ministry here.

I celebrate the recognition of Cecil Williams' groundbreaking work on behalf of all people - while he is still with us. Thank you! Being a "PK" (pastor's kid), I grew up with certain expectations of "faith," "spirituality," and "religion." In my twenties, I left my little bubble of protection (my parent's home) and was faced with the bigger realities of life. While there is obviously no comparison to the stories of oppression and discrimination depicted in the "Faith" series, I experienced racism and sexism and I often felt lost. I began to question God, I abandoned my religion and tuned my back on spirituality.



Coobs Creek, Va

This was an excellent series! This program points out that many African Americans that found spiritual refuge within White (mainline denomenations) often expressed a discontent with their history and culture. Can African American Catholics and Episcopalians really bring the genious of their identity into these faith traditions? All too often, the majoirty culture of these mainline denomenations demand total asimulation into the mores and piety of that group. Can African Americans really be force of change?



Denver, CO

I'm inspired anew by the faith of my people. Every story I hear lets me know that I come from a long line of majestic & proud Africans, Cherokees & Creeks.

I was raised in a Christian household, and taught to explore what God means to me personally, since anything other than an intimate relationship with Spirit is useless.

In spite of that liberal view, there was no room in my religious upbringing for even the concept of the Divine Feminine - which was a serious lack that led me away from Christianity. The faith of my ForeMothers has led me to Goddess, and away from the idea that I need salvation having been born 'in sin.' What a glorious release! The 'something' that was always missing in my experience of Christianity, regardless of denomination, is now a living, breathing Presence in my life that sustains me through all the joy and sorrow. Blessed Be! Azul



Montreal, Qe, CA

Friends, I watched the segment on Faith tonight, June 26, and sobbed. The beauty, authenticity and poignancy of what the participants shared and how the journey was recorded and presented touched me beyond words. And I thank you, for in my resonance with the unspeakable pain of the black history I was made a better human being.

I do understand, but I regret nevertheless that at the end of the Jo urney there were only black participants left, for it seems that the 'gap' between the black and white people was not bridged, or healed. I am white yet I must tell you that I am totally on the side of black people when there is any injustice in how they are treated. I always side with what is good and just and for the highest good of all concerned.... and I am sure that there must be many other white people who feel that way. Though slavery is certainly one of the worst crimes that one can commit against another human being, along with physical harm, murder, rape, racism and other forms of abuse we humans engage in, IT IS A MANIFESTATION OF A DEPRAVED HUMAN MIND AND HEART. I am white woman born in Croatia during the communist rule, who's lived much of her adult life outside of my native country (U.S., Australia, Italy and Canada). Upon seeing the program, I would like to express two regrets. One, that the Pilgrimage had not been more widely publicized and comprised many more people of all races, for the slavery of blacks is a deep wound that all humanity needs to heal, for aspects of it are still being perpetuated today throughout the world. The 'oppressor' has as much, if not more to heal than the 'oppressed', though the buried pain of the black people is immenseBeing a "PK" (pastor's kid), I grew up

It is clear that the one whose wound is the deepest will seek healing first, but I feel that hundreds of thousands of people in the U.S. need to heal the issues that gave rise to slavery and that still sustain some degree of racism. It is my hope and desire that the next time such a noble healing journey is undertaken, you wil l invite many descendants of slave owners to join you, so they can weep over their ancestors horrendous wrongdoing, and through our collective and joint tears, may we all be healed. I send blessings of Love and Peace to all.....



Rialto, CA

I WANT TO THANK PBS. I GOT CHILLS ALL OVER MY BODY AS I SAT AND WATCHED. AS A CHICANA, I HAVE LEARNED SO MUCH ABOUT MY BROTHERS AND SISTERS AFRICAN ROOTS. PLEASE AIR THIS PROGRAM AGAIN, SO THAT I CAN TAPE IT AND CALL MY FRIENDS TO WATCH. PEACE AND LOVE



Having just finished being glued to the TV watching the last episode of 'This Far By Faith', I am almost beyond words. It was amazing and excellent both in content and quality ... celebratory and inclusive while also allowing for critiques - not an easy balance. To everyone that worked on it, THANK YOU! I am a Caribbean citizen who has lived mostly in the US for about a decade now, and I feel that every person of African descent should have the opportunity to be enriched intellectually and spiritually this engaging documentary. It is such a splendid antidote to the amount of soul-damaging negativity that gets served up as black programming by some of our brothers nad sisters.

I do have one complaint. I want to buy it and the series seems to not be avialable for individual purchase. Might this change at some point? Thanks you again and may God bless you all.



Providence, RI

PBS you have done it again! I am completely amazed. Education is the key to our future as the human race. The history is dark and painful but it is the history that has made the world how it is today. What we do with these facts will shape the world that we hand down to our children. I pray that the future will be one of love, peace and unity.



Los Angeles

I would like to thank PBS for airing "This Far by Faith" but most importantly I would like to thank Blackside for producing this documentary. I was educated by this program in more ways than one because I was enlightened by how strong my ancestor's faith was and how although many of us have different view points on religion we still believe in a higher being. This documentary made me think about my own life and the choices that I have made, good and bad. I wish that African American drug addicts, gang bangers, and people who try to change their natural African features could see this wonderful piece so that they could gain a sense of what our ancestors went through. This piece should also be seen by other races and minorities so that they can understand why African Americans go to church on Sunday and why at every awards show singers & rappers thank God and their Mama! Again Blackside did a great job on this documentary because although I didn't totally agree with some of it's content I would recommend it a a learning tool.


Jamaica, NY

Well done. Ithoroughly enjoyed the series.I would have liked to have seen a little bit more in the first episode about how the hush harbors were used to send messages about planned escapes, such as detailed in Wyatt T walkers book "hush somebodys Calling My Name"



Bon Terre,Mo

I have always wanted the White Supremacy movement racist to hang me from a tree instead of blowing me up like Johnny Carson like David Frost!



Suffolk, Va

I knew their was a god, but did'nt really want to change my life style to honor him. But one day all that changed. I truly met him in his word . And he has changed my life . And to him I'm thinkful. Jesus truly saves and is the saviour of the world. It is so so true



Peoria, IL

I was not fortunate enough to see the first episodes of this series, but I was able to view the final series about the pilgrammage.

Exploration of the different faiths and religions among African Americans provided insight into how faith has transformed lives of many. Faith, regardless of its roots, can provide a renewed strength and determination to accomplish anything even traveling thousands of miles by foot and overcoming self-doubt and external adversity. My ancestors have not only provided me with a strength that cannot be described, but that strength has been felt by many who have the courage to explore the journey from Africa to America. Being a "PK" (pastor's kid), I grew up



Producer, This Far By Faith

We hope to make the series available as soon as we can raise more money to clear the additional rights needed. Thank you for your interest.


Freeport, NY

I adore channel 13!!!!! None else reps like this!! I was so moved by the pilgramage that these people endured. I can only say that I wish soo badly that I could have been a part of that AWESOME experiance.Does anyone have any info on the lady who founded the interfaith religion?? or where they can be found!!If So please write me back Thank You and Peace My Brother and Sisters!!!!!josephhut@aol.com


Stockbridge, ga

As a former member of the Nation of Islam, I've been waiting a long time for people who were involved with that movement to set the record straight about Elijah Muhammad's teachings. Especially how what he taught was not Islam or even close to it. Now the challenge is for someone to tell the truth about the inner working of the Nation, the brutality, disrespect, and intolerance it had for its own members. One question needs to asked how many people did the Nation of Islam educate past the high school level? Since it was all about 'advancing' black people.


Freemont, California/div>

I watched the program last night and it was the first I heard about it. I was before the movement of civil rights and I am now apart of the after civil rights. I see some improvement. I would like to have more of the journey by faith. My feeling are not expainable at this moment.


Cleveland, OH

Pbs, thank you for opening the door to initiate the learning of other religious beliefs. However, individuals need to read more and search more because you can not get the real truth from a hour television show. The need for more reading and searching is crucial because of the judging of other religious beliefs (which should not be done) shows ignorance especially if you rely on the media to totally inform you of the different beliefs.

When a muslim does something improper, Islam is being attack and the word is spread that muslims teach hate. When christians or catholics do something improper, they are not accused of being taught hate. People need to realize that the action of a couple bad individuals does not constitute the whole and if you really want to know that Islam teaches peace, love and the righteousness of all ALLAH prophets, including Jesus, I dare you to read the Holy Quran and I promise that you will change your mind.


Bonita Springs, FL

Enlightening, inspiring and ambitious in its scope, This Far By Faith is an extraordinary commentary on the tenacity of the human spirit. How people of any group, whether Africans or Jews, have been able to live through and rise above the unspeakable horrors perpetrated upon them is beyond worldly comprehension. The one question I have, however, is that the numerous excellent programs about black slavery that I have seen, there is never any discussion of the Africans who sold their own people to the Europeans. I would think this historical fact would be of importance to a people who are searching for the full meaning of their ancestral history. At least it would be for me.


Columbia, SC

I am always humbled when I see how African Americans, my people, struggled but maintained a strong faith on their arduous journey. This series showed how the indelible path was made for us to trod and there is no use in turning back or even considering the thought. This series was a lesson in time and one on time for the challenges we face today. Phyllis Sanders, Ph.D


Gahannas, OH

I was not able to see the entire documentary (only last night), and truly hope PBS will broadcast this again. As many others mentioned, this should be shown in schools, and I would like to have it as a part of my personal library. Thank you and I looking forward to an encore presentation.


Oakland, CA

I thought what little bit of the program I saw was great. But just one question did't R>F>K> get shot in June of '68. that would make it just 2 months after M.L.K.JR. Iremember them both.What a horrible time for the country that was!!!!


buck countrypa, PA

Thank you PBS for this wonderful series. As a member of the African American Museum in Philadelphia, and WHYY, I was honored to attend the premiere of this powerful series held at the Museum on June 14, 2003. The issue of religion has always been a challenging aspect of my relationship with GOD as I feel religious society uses "denomination tenents" to exclude people with views and beliefs different from their own. Is it really so that only one group knows the true path to GOD? Can we consider that the virtues expressed in faith principles of Christian, Muslim, Buddist, and other faiths are more likely to be achieved when we honor difference in others? Thank you Ms. Cross for the comments you shared during the Museum event. I was encouraged to know that the story of African peoples in America is still being pondered and embraced in ways that offer enlightenment to "all who are willing." Tools such as this program, which enable us to better understand our collective need, searc h, and struggle for p ace , joy, and a measure of success which is the same goal my neighbor has can go a long way (I believe) to healing this Nation.


Glastonbury, CT

Excellent program!! PBS has outdone itself again, by doing such an indepth study of the African American faith. As an African who immigrated to North American almost a decade ago, I found this series very educational and enlightening. It has undoubtedly increased my empathy towards the plight of African Americans in this country. In the past I often found myself being a little judgement when rap artist and entertainers thank God everytime they receive awards. Now I can totally understand why they do that. I am still in complete AWE of how resilient the human spirit can be in the midst of such intense suffering. The next time I find myself complaining about something quite silly I hope I can remember the real struggles that people have overcome. We still have a long way to go but I hope that documentaries such as this will bring us a little closer to promised land. May God bless you all.


Shootsbury, MA

Thank you to all those who made this program possible. I was moved to tears as I watched the journey of The Interfaith Pilgrimage of the Middle Passage. I was blessed with the opportunity to be a volunteer for the pilgrimage. I was unable to make the physical journey and as I watched and participated in the pilgrimage walks I knew that I could be connected to this important journey. I knew that this was an important journey in my history and the history of my ancestors. As a volunteer it was truly an emotional and spiritual journey. When I witnessed the pilgrims re-entering the Door of No Return I sobbed again. I am sobbing now. Thank you pilgrims for going the distance. My life continues to heal because of your commitment.


Cambridge, MA

Although I enjoyed the series, I was a little disappointed with the lack of discussion about African Americans who are neither Muslim nor Christian. What about Black Jews? About a quarter million African Americans practice Judaism. I guess because I am a member of this community, its absence in this series was more disturbing to me than it might be to others. There was one line in the second episode about a group of Black Hebrews in Harlem, but that was it! I suppose I had hoped for a little more discussion of our religious and spiritual diversity in general. What about atheists? Communities which practice vodun and santeria? Spirit possession in some Black churches? There was so much left undiscussed, in my opinion.



Silver Spring, MD

The series was beautifully rich in penetrating the essence of individual journeys. However there could always be more pepper in the pot...I am an African American Jew and I belong to a Sephardic (Middle Eastern-Mediterranean) Orthodox congregation, I also teach Hebrew school there and another shul or synagogue. There is a growing volume of Black Jews...where were we? We are Black Hebrews, Black converts, Blacks who are born Jewish, Blacks who have been Jewish since the beginning of Jewish civilization and we've contributed to and been a part of the American spiritual landscape...Also, given my connections to the Yoruba and Akan communities, where was the discussion about their affect on empowering the mentalities and raising the consciousness of Black America?

There are 5 million followers of TAR--Traditional African Religions in the U.S. Five minutes wasn't enough to explore how Yoruba--which was called "lost to enslavement and then recovered" along with Vodun/Sevi Lwa, Lukumi, Palo, Akan, and honoring the Sengambian Raab have revolutionized how African-Americans have truly sought roots. In my case, as someone who draws on his Afro-Christian childhood, learns from and prays with followers of Traditional African religions, had Muslim mentors and follows the path of Sephardic Judaism and Kabbalah--I needed to see how different African-Americans were bridging gaps of faith with each other, healing universal riffs, coming to terms with identity, faith, and self and group "location." I needed to see how the largely un-Christian formerly enslaved community assumed a Christian identity meanwhile covering older ancestral practices that were hidden from the "mainstream" world.

Where was the commentary on the rise in Black humanism as a response to spiritual dissolution? I came to the series not hoping or anticipating "everything", but that the series would as the Yoruba say, wa si wara--search continually and ceaselessly, that it would as you say in Hebrew, make "hiddush," make a new idea about people of Africa descent in the New World and spirituality? Its not enough to talk about African-American faith, it is more to the point to talk about doing G-d's work and finding ways in which we embody the benefit of that work. Amen.



Cleveland, OH

An extremely informative program, I'm sure it will be useful to many people.

I understand the identification that has been made by the Africans in bondage with the struggle of the 'Israelites' in biblical literature. However, I must ask whether the 'Africans' were a so-called blank slate to be written on by their masters, or did they 'the Africans' come to the West with their own established religious and cultural traditions.

In fact, wasn't that a large part of the 'middle passage' to strip the Africans of their own unique belief system. And in that light wasn't so-called Christianity used by the powers-that-be to instill acceptance of 'slave-making' process. This point was not dealt with at all in the program, yet it's a very important consideration.

And isn't the differences in let's say North American Christianity and South American Cathloism that kept some of the traditional African pratices in tact, even today.



Lafayetta, LA

As an Afro-American male teacher. I find that faith is the one thing that keeps me going. But, faith must be active in one's life. I find that I cannot talk about faith an live in fear. It does not work. After seeing your show on PBS, it restored my faith. Therefore, I must say, faith is "Forsake all I trust Him" my God and savior!!!!!



KS

As I watched this program, I saw a connection to the struggle that people with disabilities face today. The common tie is the inherent knowing in our hearts that all people by virtue of being human are equal. The program said it well and I quote, "Ordinary people risk their lives to challenge the sin of racism in American culture and strive to fulfill the nation's promise of 'liberty and justice for all.' For many, the belief that God intended all people to be equal and free sustains them in the struggle." Insert "people with disabilities" for racism. Discrimination occurs today for people with disabilities due to the laws in this country that segregate and deny access to education, buildings, and ability to earn wages. Only when we not judge others by the strength of our muscles, color of skim, or gender and provide equal access to everyone will we all be free. Thank you for documenting this story and I ask that you show the program again soon.



Somerset, NJ

What a wonderful series! All who were involved are to be commended for their excellence. I would have liked to have seen more emphasis placed on the original worship practices of enslaved Africans. Often, one can see African retentions in Christian worship services. Inclusion of a more thorough discussion of these practices and beliefs would have helped to broaden the understanding of the original source of this incredible, sustaining, indestructible faith. I look forward to additional programming of this nature. Thank you, PBS for making the commitment to include this series in your program offerings. You are also to be commended.



Omaha, NE

Kudos to PBS!!! There are no words to explain how moved I was by watching "This Far by Faith". It was difficult to wait each night for next series. I have always had empathy for African Americans, but this series really opened my eyes as to their spirituality. I admire them more than I did prior to seeing this special. This series should be shown to every 5th grader in America - the story needs to be told!



Richmond, VA

Despite the complexity of this issue, I felt that the show gave an excellent overview of our 400+ year faith journey in America. It is important to recognise that Black people were enslaved and not slaves. We survived and developed despite being stripped of our names, language and culture.

When people challenge themselves to look beyond the temporal distractions of the world, like skin color, social status, or wealth, then realise that we are all human. Many times we only recognise this during a crisis when we are forced put all distractions aside. When 9/11 in new york happened, I saw a man being interviewed, he said that he was amazed that people of various backgrounds were risking their lives to help strangers. Then he said, he wished people could do this every day. Love your neighbor as yourself, easy to say, but so hard to do.

The contradiction of America has always been and continues to be racism. The truth of racism and its effects must be recognised and accepted by all people. Then we get a new attitude and progress. Truth and reconciliation, where have I heard that before? Thanks PBS!



Decatur, GA

I was born and raised in Nigeria,West-Africa. I've been in the States for about 14 years and I have never seen a group of "BLACKS" so intouch with African roots. I'm not sure if I am making any sence but, what i mean is that I was so touched and proud of these brothers and sisters. I realized that there were other ethnic groups there also and that shows how much time is changing.

I was very happy that they made it to Africa and did not give up when things got hard. I was very proud that you found a way to make it to your destination even though you ran out of money. While I was watching, I so wished that I could have been there with you all. May God,Alah,Budah,Jah the creatur of all bless and be with you all.



New York, NY

I can oly imagine what trials and tribulations the creative team had to endure just to see a project like this to its completion. But as difficult as it had to have been, this was a story that had to be told in this way in order that many people could see these images and hear these stories.

I am a lover of the documentary as a medium for getting relevant information of substance to people as an educational tool. I was greatly moved by the stories and by the different spiritual journeys that were represented. While I missed the first 3 hours, I did see the second three. I eagerly await a rebroadcast so that I can experience fully the vision of this project. I applaud the PBS, the Faith Project, and Blackside Productions for having the vision, courage and faith themselves to see this project through to its completion. With the state that our world is in, we need to understand how fundamental our faith is to our survival as a people now more than ever.

I want to share that one of my greatest joys was di scovering and hearing the Rev. Prathia Hall talk about her journey. There was a presence with this woman that made me feel that I have known her for for a long time. My sadness was learning that she had passed before I could ever meet her. Her words of benediction from her pulpit and as she closes the final sigment still rings in my ears and resonanates on my heart. Oh what a brilliant light we have lost.

Thank you June Cross, for this wonderful experience. I pray that God will continue to use you and your gifts and graces to touch so many people, in ways that even you may not have thought possible. May God continue to bless you for what you have done, and for what you will do.



NYC, NY

Thank you, but I cannot take all the credit. Dante J. James developed and nurtured the series through its most critical period; and both of us worked with a marvelous and talented team of producers, associate producers, researchers, and academic advisers who helped make this possible. -June Cross The Faith Project



Maplewood, NJ

Dear PBS What a wonderful and sorely needed slice of African American Spiritual History that you shared with us. I was so glad to finally see the acknowleged contributions of Islam and the Muslim African Americans to the struggle for freedom and justice by way of faith and trust in G-d. I was especially delighted to finally see Imam Warith Deen Mohammed finally get his richly deserved accolades for his major contribution to Al-Islam in America. From perusing some of the commentary of some of the earlier contributors, there is still a stubborn resistance brought on by pride, ignorance and bigotry,sprinkled heavily with the psycological and emotional impact of our colloctive slave experience with regards to Al-Islam and Muslims in general and African American Muslims in particular. For the Love of Almighty G-d can we for once learn to accept All of who we are?

PBS you deserve to be warmly congratulated for a long overdue historical review. Much more needs to be done but this was indeed a very noble and couragious start.

Peace and Best Wishes, Al Hajj Abdul Alim



Overland Park, KS

As I watched this program, I saw a connection to the struggle that people with disabilities face today. The common tie is the inherent knowing in our hearts that all people by virtue of being human are equal.

The program said it well and I quote, "Ordinary people risk their lives to challenge the sin of racism in American culture and strive to fulfill the nation's promise of 'liberty and justice for all.' For many, the belief that God intended all people to be equal and free sustains them in the struggle." Insert "people with disabilities" for racism. Discrimination occurs today for people with disabilities due to the laws in this country that segregate and deny access to education, buildings, and ability to earn wages. Only when we not judge others by the strength of our muscles, color of skim, or gender and provide equal access to everyone will we all be free. Thank you for documenting this story and I ask that you show the program again soon. Unfortunately for some, the struggle has just began



It is sad that so many people are using fear to further their agenda of hate, seperation, and divsion of people by monetary and materialistic levels. But when you really think about it, it is their fear of what the future might be that scares them. they fear that the advantage they now have will be wiped out. I mean how can you say we are fighting for freedom and democracy while at the same time attempt to abolish it here? I did not see the special, but I'll put how I see things in a poem.

"A LINE IN THE SAND"

HORROR, EXPLOSIONS, FLASHES OF LIGHT, NOT IMAGES OF DREAMS BUT VISIONS OF FRIGHT.

BEFORE OUR VERY EYES THESE EVENTS HAVE OCCURED. HELPLESSLY WATCHING WE CANNOT STILL OUR NERVES.

WOMEN AND MEN GASP AS CHILDREN SHIVER, HUDDLED IN OUR THOUGHTS WE KNOW IT'S NOT OVER.

FOR THESE ARE THE TIMES WE LIVE IN I FRET. THESE ACTS OF BARBARISM IS NOTHING NEW I GUESS.

FOR PEOPLE OF COLOR, THESE IMAGES WE'VE KNOWN, NOT FROM FOREIGN INVADERS BUT OUR VERY OWN.

NOW ONCE AGAIN WE.RE EXPECTED TO ANTY UP EN MASSE. TO FIGHT FOR A PRECIOUS FREEDOM WE'VE NEVER QUITE HAD.

WE WILL RALLY AROUND THE FLAG AND SACRAFICE WITH ALL, YET WHEN OUR BLOOD IS SHED WILL THAT OTHER FLAG FALL?

WILL DISCRIMINATION AND RACISM STINK AS AN ABSESSED TOOTH? AS MARTYRS OF TALK RADIO NOURISH ITS VERY ROOT.

DOES ALL THIS HOOPLA OF UNITED WE STAND, KEEP GREEDY CEO'S FROM PILLAGING THE LAND?<

WHERE EMPLOYEE LOYALTIES ARE SWEPT OUT THE DOOR, TO FEED THE CALLOUS STOCKHOLDER.S GREED FOR MORE.

THERE ARE MANY EVIL FORCES WE NOW MUST FACE, SHIRTS AND TIES HAVE REPLACED THE SHEETS ONCE EMBRACED.

FOR IF YOU REALLY MEAN WE FACE THE FUTURE TOGETHER, WHEN THE VOTES ARE COUNTED ARE YOU SURE OURS MATTER?

WE HAVE THE TECHNOLOGY TO CHANGE THE HISTORY OF BOOKS, TO SHOW THE CONTRIBUTIONS OF ALL IS HOW IT SHOULD LOOK.

SWITCH THE CLOUT OF OLD MONEY AND THE IDEALS OF NEW FOOLS, SO THEY.LL KNOW MONEY IS NOT A RELIGION BUT MERELY A TOOL.

FOR YOU SEE FAITH IS CELEBRATED IN MANY FORMS, SOLIDIFY THE FOUNDATION FROM WHICH IT WAS BORN.

T

HERE ARE MANY MORE REASONS TO TAKE A STAND. WHERE WILL YOU DRAW YOUR LINE IN THE SAND?



Carol Stream, IL

Yet, new information to learn about my heritage! It is great to see such in-depth research and a broad view of religion and African Americans inclusive of all the religions that have been an influence on our culture. I missed all but the first two of the series. Hope it will be rebroadcasted soon. As a believer in Christ I am particularly interested in the early roots of African American Christianity. Though the movie "Amistad" was full of fiction, it was based on facts, I don't believe it was mentioned in your works. Is there a reason for that omission? There was a thread of Christianity in it. Also, I have often wondered, if D.L. Moody, one of the well known evangelists of the 19th century, related to African Americans or spoke out against racial injustice. Thank you, so much for such sharing the fruits of your labor and resources of your research. Winnie



Honolulu, Hi

Once again PBS has the courage to discuss subjects that the rest of the media won't approach. We have a long way to go in mending the wounds of the past.Teaching tolerance to the young is essential and our spiritual centers should make that a priority.In Hawaii we call it the Aloha spirit...just try to be da kine, and the rest will take care of itself.



San Diego, CA

I sat rooted for six hours. What a fantastic program. I hope that eventually I can purchase a copy. It stirred my soul. Thank you



Baltimore, MD

I prepared myself early each day to see "TFBF".The title itself has cosmic proportions,I felt I was in for a treat and PBS did not disappoint me.For a TV program in 2003,it was a "mountaintop experience."I will absorb it again!I learned from a preacher that if I was to survive this century,I had to find what he called a "though faith".I am still on that journey.It is a continuos one.You surprised me when you did not include my ancestor,Brother Richard Allen.Years ago,historians told me MrAllen started the AME church in Philly because white folks ran him and others out.So he got his own.And I expected more on Harriet Tubman,Bethune,Attucks and others like that.Nevertheless,my biggest challenge as an individual and a member of the human race is accepting mediocrity.I am restless yet relentless in my struggle.I grapple with it everyday.

Finally,I thank God for Mrs Lydia Jane McNeill,my maternal grandmother,born out of slavery circa 1898.Arrived in Baltimore,Md from Robeson County,NC after s elling 300 acres and Model T to come north to the Promised Land.She showed me,first hand,how to make a way out of noway.She would help family and strangers.Faith is a powerful tool.Other resources include Bennie McGee,Minnie Washington,MrPurnell,DrsCharlesDSanders,GossieHHudson,SamuelLBanks,BenjaminQuarles,AdaMoody,LeonHolsey,and my mother,MrsCoraleeBostick.I so love them and many more.Faith is not talked about because it offers freedom and independence,something Coan talked about.It allows God to operate in the human heart.And then it demands ACTION.America is not ready for prime time,not yet.

In closing, as I viewed "TFBF" I remembered my sojourns to Yuroba village in Buford,SC and when I touched down in Dakar,Senegal to visit Goree Island.I stood at "The Door of No Return" myself.It is an awesome feeling.It requires you to pay homage to your ancestors.I must believe there is some good in the worst because of my confidence in God.Thanks again.



Maplewood, NJ

What an excellent historical contribution. Thank you PBS for a journey to our spiritual past. A special thank you for your long overdue contribution to the history of Muslim African Americans. We are you and you are we Black America. We are your sons, daughters, mothers,fathers, cousins, uncles,aunts and foreparents. Get to know us better and we'll all be richer in the process. G-d Bless. HajjiAbdul



Chicago, Il

PBS, thank you for such a wonderful program. I truly believe that this is a program for people of all races to see. Not only to see the hardships of the African American people, but that people of all nationalities had to suffer some form of racial bigotry in America. We all have one thing in common, God have gotten us through some of the hardest of times and today we are still here!!!!! Keep up the good work.



Hemet, CA

Hello Everyone...Thank you for tuning in to this most amazing documentary...and Thank you to the creators! I too am a fellow Interfaith Pilgrim Walker. I helped to organize in the beginning and then I was fortunate enough to walk with the grims in Louisianna, and the Caribbean. And continue to help once I returned home. I am blessed to still be in contact with some of the most amazing and Faith filled human spirits out there. They have and continue to teach me everyday, simply by existing in this world and living in the unconditional love, light, exuberance and truth that they are, that they have come from and that they are continuing in their expansion of our human existence. They are guided truth seekers by their ancestors and have taught me to learn from mine and continue the path of human justice, love, honesty, and rights that are unconditionally equal to all of us. Hello my fellow brothers and sisters..."seeing" you all again was so fullfilling to my heart and I'm grateful for all the emotions th s documentary has stired within my being. I miss the presence of you all and I thank you for contributing in this every lasting journey of healing, faith and expansion. In much love and blessings, Amy E. Norman



East Orange, NJ

I am 12 years old. I watch the documentary with my mother and told my classmates, teachers and friends to watch it too. It was excellent and definitely informative or as me and my friends would say "This Far By Faith" really dropped some science-knowledge. Mr. Hampton did a great job my he r.i.p. knowing that he did a job well done. Peace, J. Che'-Amir



Pittsburgh, PA

First, let me state that I only watched the last two episodes of "This Far by Faith" and read the transcripts of the other episodes. The quality effort put into this series is evident.

I am disappointed with the lack of diversity of the faith organizations (religions) featured. When I heard about this program, I was excited that Wicca, Paganism, and Yoruba (ATR) would be featured alongside Christianity and Islam. Those of us who follow "non-traditional" religions have faith, as well, so imagine my disappointment when only a small segment was dedicated to Yoruba and none to Wicca or Buddhism.

I was encouraged to see that Barbara Barret, representing the Yoruba Religion, was featured, even though her segment deserved more airtime and non-mainstream faith organizations deserved some airtime.

All in all, I was very happy with the quality of this program and would like to see more indepth coverage of non-traditional religions in the African American community.



Memphis, TN

Thank you PBS for giving a well good presentation of the history of African-American spiritual journal. Especially the part on the history and the evolution of the Nation of Islam. Thank you for a look at the history of the NOI that many in the American community ( black and white)known little about.



Brooklyn, NY

Thank you PBS for airing this series. As a Jamaican immirgrant living in the U.S. this series has not only enlightened me about the religous experience of African Americans but it has also helped me to have a deeper appreciation for my own background and cultural experience. Thanks again to the producers of this most monumental series.



Nyack, NY

I'm one of many who honestly believes that 'America' - an by extension, the whole wide world, will not come together and\or love oe another; until s/he 'America' acknowledges the enormity|impact of slavery on its culture, economy and heritage.

However, I do believe that shoe(s) such as this et al like the LayWatch http://groups.msn.com/laywatch/_whatsnew.msnw web-page concept (originated after Rio's '92 Earth Summit & subsequent 10-day 'cabal driven' TO ON Cda Expo-forum 3:'93); will help enlighten the open minded few to illuminate the sensibilities of others. Marci Many Times over and keep doing good work(s)



Bronx, NY

How does one get in touch with Ingrid Askew? I would like to have her come on as a guest on my radio program, "Topically Yours," to discuss her journey by faith, as is depicted in "This Far By Faith: An African American Spiritual Journey."

The listeners of my station are in 143 countries and are nationwide across the United States.

It is a black owned station whose contents have featured a variety of mainstream and non mainstream topics.

I applaud the determination and accomplishment of those involved in the journey to confront racism, retrace the trail of slavery, embrace the African tradions and enlighten people all across this nation. Your journey was soul wrenching and absolutely beautiful.

I would like more people to become aware of this film and the journey. If, someone can get me in contact with Ms. Askew, through this particular medium, I would appreciate it.

I can be contacted, via my email above.



Everett, WA

What I found to be both attractive and moving was the music. The music as a reflection of life and especially spirituality carried people through the trials and the joys of being human. Also so many little facts that are not still a part of our U.S. History books as taught in our Elementary and Secondary schools. When will the true stories of all the people be told?



Wading River, NY

I only caught the last episode and a half of this series, but it simply "blew me away", spiritually and intellectually re-connecting me with the depth and magesty of my spiritual/cultural roots,in a wholesale way that I've not felt in years. Echoing what other here have said this series is a hugely important Gift! It should be, not only in every every African-American household, but in every American household. (And it should be distributed to educational org.s and itnersted groups internationally -- I lived in Europe for many years, and my experience was that even to this day there is often more respect for, appreciation of, and curiousity about the struggles of African Americans found there than here. My soul too rejoices in spiritual connections to the music and wonder, and journeys of these people. I can only join in the chorus with the same viewer who so eloquently wrote: "This series is a faith and spirit renewing experience that will have a lasting impact." BRAVO PBS!!!



Kernersville, NC

I reverted to Al-Islam in 1975. This was during the period when the Nation of Islam was being transitioned towards orthodox Islam by Imam W.Deen Mohammed. Adolescence for me was around 1965. And coming of age thru the mid 70's, I got my dose of black is beautiful, and say it loud, I'm black and proud,from the black pop culture. However, approaching adulthood, I became keenly aware of the social,political and economic status of the black race and how it measured when compared to the other ethnic groups. Though the reason for such disparaged status was widely known by the black populace, the process needed to improve it was not. Hence, the psychology of the Nation of Islam proved to be very useful.

Coupled with Imam Mohammed's ability to debunk the mythologies taught in the Nation of Islam, and with what I'm totally convinced is his sincere desire to guide his community to Allah, the Qur'an, and Prophet Muhammed, a natural muslim community evolution is occuring within the larger black community and wit h universal appeal and support to and for greater America and the world.

The significance of this is that an evolving community with a muslim identity and an Islamic character being cultivated to filter out the ethnic and cultural influence that are many times passed to the world as being part and parcel to Al-Islam, will help defeat the lingering identity problem for the black community once and for all in America.

Without a doubt, there are many African Americans who are muslims, and have never ever been associated with the past or current efforts of Imam W.Deen Mohammed. The inclusion of his story was certainly apropos to what is recorded as the African American Faith Journey.

Usually when faith is discussed in America, Islam is relegated to the pronouncements of Min. Farrakan, or to the nationalistic drivel being advanced by an immigrant who feels there's a bone to be picked with America.

I applaud your honest attempt to outline the Faith Journey of Blacks in America.

Please give us more.



Hello Ms. Cross, Every time I submitted the form, I received a "server not found page". I thought I was doing something incorrectly. Thank you for the update.



PEACE AND BLESSINGS TO ALL THAT IS READING THIS, I FOUND THE SERIES INSPIRATIONAL!! IT REAFFIRMED MY TRUE FEELINGS OF SELF-LOVE, SELF-PURPOSE AND MY ORDAINED RESPONSIBILITY TO MY FAMILY AND MY CULTURE. SO MANY PAID A PRICE FOR US NOT TO BE ABLE TO EMBRACE WHO WE TRULY ARE. THIS SERIES SHOULD BE REQUIRED VIEWING IN ALL INTERCITY SCHOOLS FORM THE ELEMENTARY TO HIGH SCHOOL LEVELS. BUT, MORE IMPORTANTLY IT NEEDS TO BE PART OF EVERY BLACK FAMILIES HOMES!! JUST LIKE YOUR BIBLE OR QURAN IT SHOULD BE ONE OF THE CORNERSTONES ON YOUR FOUNDATION TO TRUE ENLIGHTMENT TO DISCOVER YOUR TRUE SELF. PEACE AND BLESSING!!!! P.S. IF ANYONE ONE WISHES TO CONTACT ME ABOUT MY THOUGHTS, PLEASE FEEL FREE TO DO SO AT FORTHELUVOF@BLACKVOICES.COM, ONCE AGAIN, PEACE AND BLESSINGS TO YOU AND YOUR FAMILIES!!



Carol Stream

Yet more to learn about my ancestors. The in-depth research is very apparent. Thank you so much for sharing the fruits of your labor. I am a believer in Christ and curious about any knowledge you may have about the evangelist, D.L.Moody, and whether he demonstrated any concern for African Americans or racial injustice during his time in the l9th century. Winnie



Detroit, MI

After looking at the series, I am in awe at the courage and "soul-based" faith that our black ancestors have shown. How humbled I feel, and appreciative, of what I have today, because of their faith and courage, in the face of the loss of home, family and even one's life. I think the story of the pilgrimage that retraced our steps to be particularly healing and moving. I think as Blacks we have so many unhealed, unspoken wounds. How good it is to see how our faith can lead us back to a solid place of personal and community empowerment in our lives.

May all of us who seek encouragement to meet today's special brand of racism and oppression find inspiration in these stories of empowerment.



WDC, DC

I was happy this information was sent to me. It was not by accident.Ever since I was eleven, I searched for a religion that I could embrace. Today, I am a agnostic, and this information helps me, to not feel guilty about feeling this way.

Our churches and public leaders do not emphasize enough our history. If they did, we could make an educated choice. I now understand why we as an origin of people feel so strongly about Christ. Acceptance is as powerful as the message you send. Our children must know the history of Africans and their journey to a new land, and why they have adopted christainity. The Bible has been rewritten hundreds of times, denominations created from the divisions of leaders disagreeing and moving forward in thier beliefs. Constantly separating us as a national origin of people. Because we are Americans with a land to identify and the history of those before our ancestors arrival, we desperately need not to forget ours. Instead, we condemn organizations that want to enact our history, en ertainment, such as; Brula, Amos and Andy. There is nothing shameful about our history. To be reminded of where you cameth and how you cameth, to what you've contributed is not shameful. I never heard our ancestors speak ill about seeing the face of a colored person making them laugh or out dancing and teaching one to dance and sing with passion. I participated this year in an educational program where I was invited to share my life experiences with young people from the ages of ten through thirteen. It was referred to as Intergenerational Day.

I live in a self contained community where there is history of distinquished colored soldiers who serve in the civil war, Company E, and were called upon to protected the Capitol from being captured once again, this year was 1865. The community of Fort Lincoln. The school's name was changed to Thurgood Marshall, the cannon that rested in a gated area has been removed without any knowledge of the residents and homeowners. Other than the name Fort Lincoln, we have noth ng to honor the soldiers who had to drag that cannon for miles up the hill overlooking the capitol and to guard the entrance from this sector of the city. My point, the children new nothing of this history. The teachers were receptive and wanted the website for more information. The children did not know we were slaves in this country nor the inventions and contributions of our people. There were moments when I became very emotional because they did not know,and once they were prompted to respond and express their opinions about the pictures of slavery, it was rewarding to me that I made a difference that day. I do not profess to know much myself, but, I do know I made my contributions as a volunteer to intergrate the schools in the city where I was born and raised. I know that my community of educated people have become passive and content with their fine homes and cars. I know that they do not volunteer 10% of their personal time to help their community. What I do know and often hear is how well and clear y one will tell you I am a christain. In my opinion whatever you do to make contributions in a lifetime, you should start at home first, to include the community in which you live. To help preserve it, revitalize it and most importantly keep the history alive. Your history, our history. Fort Lincoln housed the colored soldiers during 1864-1865.

Where is our statue? Where is our Cannon? Where is our Hero's Plaza dedicated to these men of color and honor. My community is 95% African American and beginning to slowly change in a highly political city where votes should carry much leverage, but during election time, primary or not, only 50% vote. This is what I am ashamed to hear and take note when you see the statistics. Maybe, if we were continuously reminded like the jews never let their people forget, we could strengthen and inspire ourselves once again to rebuild the courage and kindness and generousity we shared as a people to one another, one time, long ago when we made our journey from Africa to America.



Chicago, IL

i began watching the program at its end on wednesday. my six year old step-son and i were completely enthralled during the "journey". he asked loads of questions and we discussed why we as african-americans are diffrent complexions what sharecropping is and what it meant to our relatives. friday night i was able to watch the entire second half from W. Deen Muhammed to the "journey"'s conclusion.

several things struck me about the series and the website. first i am profoundly impressed by the delicate balance of how islam and christianity were displayed and the buddist sensibilty that was shown.(side note i was very happy to see DR. Cornell West he is absolutely brilliant)Secondly as a woman whose skin is a pale shade of beige with two african american parents of similar coloring i wished the "color" issue had been taken on more. we forget sometimes one of the "legacy's" of slavery is the "octaroon or quadroon" coloring and myths of "good hair".

i wish there had been a little more explor ation in how such "le acy's" led to intense self-hatred among our people. we still perpetuate these types of catagories on ourselves and each other. but i understand one program will not answer everyone's "issues". The fact that this program was so faith based helped to center the issues. I just want more truly conscious programming about or real issues with race, not just the affirmative action stories. we are multidimensional people not "shananay" or anyother characature. we are a people of faith but not just two faiths we are buddists and some of us freethinkers experiment in many ways of practicing our faith and giving GOD/JEHOVA/ALLAH/UNIVERSAL SPIRIT all praises.

SO THANK YOU for showing several facets of who African American people are.



Toledo, OH

I am doing a study and taking a survey about African-American religious leaders. It is on the website 'www.towesi.org'. Anyone can take the survey starting june 30, 2003.I think today's African-American religious leadership and their members should have viewed your program and took some notes. Many religious people here in Toledo did not see the program (I asked around). The overall African-American religious community has abandoned the A.A. community for the first time in our existence. The "Me GENERATION" is concerned with God giving them 'things' right now. What ever happened to HEAVEN? Your program revealed the original, real Black church and its committment to Blacks and their progression. Thanks. Love, Tom



Leawood, KS

As I watched this program, I saw a connection to the struggle that people with disabilities face today. The common tie is the inherent knowing in our hearts that all people by virtue of being human are equal. The program said it well and I quote, "Ordinary people risk their lives to challenge the sin of racism in American culture and strive to fulfill the nation's promise of 'liberty and justice for all.' For many, the belief that God intended all people to be equal and free sustains them in the struggle." Insert "people with disabilities" for racism. Discrimination occurs today for people with disabilities due to the laws in this country that segregate and deny access to education, buildings, and ability to earn wages. Only when we not judge others by the strength of our muscles, color of skin, or gender and provide equal access to everyone will we all be free. Thank you for documenting this story and I ask that you show the program again soon.



Albany, Ga

I have learn a lot about black history and the church during slavery and after the civil war by watching this program. I didn't know that blacks served in the Georgia House of Representive in 1860's. I enjoyed that special about Henry M. Turner.



Fort Wayne, IN

When ever two or more of you are gathered in My Name..

In Fort Wayne, IN, we arranged for a .community viewing. of THIS FAR BY FAITH. Our local PBS affiliate WFWA, the African American Museum and several faith-based and community-based organizations came together each evening to watch the show as a community. This was especially poignant to me because my own church, Union Baptist Church, was not only the site of the viewing, but is celebrating our 111th anniversary as a congregation. The program brought to life some of the history that we locally have shared. Some of the participants at our viewing are members of Turner Chapel AME, a local church named after Bishop Turner. One of our local native sons, Dr. Quinton Dixie, co-authored the companion book, This Far by Faith, and did a book signing last weekend.

Because we watched the program in .real. time, the lateness of the 9-11 pm showing made it difficult for some folks to come out (funny how it isn.t too late to go to a movie or a concert) so we plan to purchase a set of tapes so that we can view it again.

Watching as a community unified us in a manner that we haven.t had in years.

Devine Intervention at Work Again!



Forest Park, Ga

I enjoyed this program tremendously. I am reminded, once again, about the beauty, the incredible strength and the indomitable faith that we, as black people, possess. My greatest wish is that programs like this will help diminish black self-hatred and give rise to a renewel of black pride. To the creators of "This Far By Faith," Thank you for educating all of us about the power of the human spirit.



Tallahassee, FL

I am grateful for your enlightening portrayal of the Albany Civil Rights Movement. The Civil Rights Movement in Albany and Southwest Georgia was a successful and strategically organized grassroots mobilization- .ordinary people doing extraordinary things.. However, the New York Herald Tribune labeled the Albany Movement as one of the most stunning defeats of (Dr. Martin Luther) King's career. As a descendant of many of the Movement.s leaders and organizers, I spent many years attempting to reconcile the stories of my childhood that recount the victories of the Albany Movement and contradictory historical accounts that label the Albany Movement as an unorganized grassroots failure.

My relatives, the McKendricks, Singletons, Devines, and Paiges, were among the .regular old folks. in Albany- ministers, students at Albany State, school teachers, factory workers, domestics, and business owners who were fueled by self-determination and put their own lives on the line to insure freedom and equality f or others. The eyes of the nation are once again on Albany and the spirit of the courageous and defiant unsung heroes of the Civil Rights Movement. The Albany record must be corrected and .This Far By Faith. has provided an opportunity to revisit and critically reflect on Albany.s pivotal role in the Civil Rights Movement. And, for this I thank you.



DesPlaines, IL

Absolutely wonderful series. This far by faith not only proved to be educational but also thought provoking and challeninging. I was especially intrigued by what James Cone had to say, being a Womanist Theologian and having read quite a bit of his work, especially hearing his view of the Black Church and its role in the Civil Rights Movement - a faith based, grass roots movement that made America stop and take notice is powerful to say the least.

I was particularly empowered as I heard Cone speak about the Church taking the message to the world. This indeed reminded me of the fact that the Church still has the significant and monumental task of bringing its message to all people.

There are issues facing us even today to which the Church in general, the Black Church in particular must be the redeeming change agent who speaks loud and clear where there is injustice and oppresion. Just as the Civil rights Movement as a faith based movement highlighted, the Church must move outside of its four walls and speak in the prophetic voice declaring our God to be a God of righteousness and justice, and where ever these evil forces are present, we the people of god will not remain in our ceiled houses unconcerned but move and speak with the voice of authority. We will speak to any and all issues whether they be social, political, economical, humanitarian, theoloogical, just to name a few.



Ruston, L.A

Was greatful to see such a presentation of the spirituality of black folks. The diversity was absolutely amazing. For someone who was not as familiar with Islam, I found myself intrigued by some of the comments made by some of the persons featured on the presentation which made me realize -- as I felt -- that persons within the Christian and Islamic traditions have much in common if only we would take the time to listen to each other's story.

By the end of the series, I was ecstatic as I realized what faith meant to these various people, how they realized their faith, and when it seemed that all hope was lost, they still had their faith. Even their is not much civil unrest as in the days of my parents and grandparents, I am made aware of the prevailing sense of nihilism and narcissism which exists in our communities and our nation. Yet the presentation was challenging in how people -- in spite of their conditions and circumstances -- dared to believe in what appeared by rational and reasonable stand ards as impossible.

Thanks for including James Cone in your presentation. He indeed is an insightful fellow who is thought provoking and engaging.

I personally want to thank my sister, Melissa, for the e-mail informing me that the program was going to be aired on the Public Broadcasting Station.

Peace!



Orlando, L.A

Thank you PBS et al for such a stirring documentary. May God truly bless the efforts of such dedication and hard labor. It is an important story to tell to rekindle the fires of our faith so that the future generation does not forget the legacy of a great and glorious people.



Fort Lauderdale, FL

I grew up in the church and remember alot of the songs that were on the program. As I grew older I realized that christianity was not helping me to make any sense of the world. I too had to abandon "religion" and look inside for my affirmation of faith, its been a long journey but I'm free. Being of African descent I realized that we have a spiritual heritage deeper than any "religion".



Boca Raton, FL

ITS IS A CONTINUITY THAT BISHOP MC NEAL TURNER SAID GOD IS A NEGRO, FATHER DIVINE SAID HE IS GOD. ELIJAH MUHAMMAD SAID GOD IS A MAN. THE FIVE PERCENTERS GREET EACH OTHER AS GOD. AND MYSELF. NOW IT HAS BEEN SUPPLANTED IN BLACK MALES MIND TO TURN THE WORD GOD AROUND AND CALL EACH OTHER DOG. ALSO BLACK PEOPLE AFTER SLAVERY REQUESTED LAND. THE NATION OF ISLAM, CHURCH OF THE BLACK MADONNA AS IT WAS PREVIOUSLY CALLED. THE NUWAUBIANS, OYOTUNJI VILLAGE AND PERHAPS OTHERS PURCHASED LAND EVEN IN THIS MODERN ERA, NOT TO MENTION THE BLACK HEBREW ISRAELITES WHO MIGRATED TO ISRAEL. SOJOURNER TRUTH AND OTHER MADE THEIR THOUGHTS KNOWN THAT BLACK PEOPLE OF AMERICA MUST HAVE LAND OF THEIR OWN. THE SOLUTION I SEE IS THAT THEIR SHOULD BE ANOTHER MIGRATION OF BLACK PEOPLE, THIS TIME FROM THE NORTH TO THE SOUTH AND OCCUPY SEVEN STATES IN OVERWHELMING NUMBERS, NAMELY FLORIDA, GEORGIA, ALABAMA, MISSISSIPPI, NORTH CAROLINA, SOUTH CAROLINA AND TENNESSEE. THEN WE WILL ELECT 7 GOVERNORS AND 14 SENATORS. WE WILL T HEN CLAIM THAT SPACE S OUR NATION.

AS FAR AS RELIGION GO, ARABS CAN HAVE THEIR ISLAM. EVEN THROUGH THERE IS MUCH GOOD IN THE "HOLY BOOKS OF THE KORAN, AND MUCH KNOWLEDGE STILL UNDER VEIL IN THE CHRISTIAN BIBLE, WHICH IS MISINTERPRETED BY LYING, CONNIVING, POWER MAD BLACK SLAVE PREACHER. WE CAN USE THE BIBLE BY REAL TRUTH TEACHER TO HELP EXPLAIN THE HUMAN CONDITION OF TODAY. HOWEVER THE WORDS IN VERSE OF THE UNIVERSE IS THE GREATEST BOOK TO READ. FOR THAT IS THE TRUE WORDS. THE SUN, OCEAN, EARTH, MAN HIMSELF. LIFE ITSELF IS A BOOK. MAN HAS BEEN AROUND MILLIONS OF YEARS. DO YOU THINK THAT THE TRUE RELIGIONS WAS ONLY REVEALED A FEW THOUSAND YEARS AGO. THERE HAS BEEN WORLDS UNKNOWN. WHAT ELIJAH MUHAMMAD UNVEILS IS MIND BLOWING. TO SAY THAT CAUCASIANS WAS MADE BY US. IN LIGHT OF THE NEW SCIENTIFIC INFORMATION OF CLONING, ARTIFICIAL INSEMINATION AND SO ON. DOGS ARE WORSHIP IN THIS COUNTRY WHICH IS RUN BY THE POWER OF THE DOG. EVEN THE BIBLE SAID TO BEWARE OF DOGS. IT IS COMFORTING TO KNOW THAT WE WERE MENTALLY DEAD AND STILL MANAGE TO HOLD OUR OWN.

JUST THINK WHAT IT WILL BE LIKE IN OUR RESURRECTION OF OUR RIGHT MIND. IT IS ALMOST UNIMAGINABLE. MAKE NO MISTAKE ABOUT IT OUR WORLD IS ON THE HORIZON. OUR RELIGION OF ASAR, AMUN-RA, GEB, NUT, ISIS, HATHOR, HORUS, SETH, NETHY, ANUBIS AND SO ON IS SCIENTIFIC, HOWEVER IT HAS BEEN SUPPLANTED YEARS AGO WITH CRAZINESS SO THAT THE ESTEEMING OF ANIMALS WAS NOT PART OF THE ORIGINAL RELIGION. ALSO THERE IS LOT OF TALK ABOUT BLACK PEOPLE IN AMERICA DESCENDING FROM WEST AFRICA. HOWEVER, THERE WERE MILLIONS OF ORIGINAL "EGYPTIANS IN EGYPT " BEFORE THE INVASIONS OF THE WHITE "ARABS", TURKS, ROMANS, GREEKS AND SO ON. BUT THE POPULATION OF THE ORIGINAL "EGYPTIANS" DWINDLED DOWN TO A FEW MILLIONS AFTER THEIR INVASION. WHERE DID THEY GO. WELL, MANY ENDED UP IN THE AMERICAS.



Overland Park, KS

As I watched this program, I saw a connection to the struggle that people with disabilities face today. The common tie is the inherent knowing in our hearts that all people by virtue of being human are equal.

The program said it well and I quote, "Ordinary people risk their lives to challenge the sin of racism in American culture and strive to fulfill the nation's promise of 'liberty and justice for all.' For many, the belief that God intended all people to be equal and free sustains them in the struggle." Insert "people with disabilities" for racism. Discrimination occurs today for people with disabilities due to the laws in this country that segregate and deny access to education, buildings, and ability to earn wages. Only when we not judge others by the strength of our muscles, color of skin, or gender and provide equal access to everyone will we all be free. Thank you for documenting this story and I ask that you show the program again soon.



Fresno, CA

Thank you so much for this series. Although I grew up in a Christian home, I never felt that christianity was my spiritual path. I could never relate to a "white" god that looked nothing like me. I also saw the religion of my slavemasters as a cruel joke. Although I believed in a higher being I knew I had to find her/him for myself. Thus my spiritual journey. As I watched this program, I saw a connection to the struggle that people with disabilities face today. The common tie is the inherent knowing in our hearts that all people by virtue of being human are equal.



Los Angeles, CA

I thank you for this journey I pray that every black man, woman and child will have a chance to see the wonderful journey. And If our black people would take the time to understand what the black,s had and still have to go though we would not be so quick to jump in the bed with whites. We as a people will never have are as long as we disrespect ourselfs take our riches that we make and give it back to whites. Black men as well as black woman need to see if we don't get it together, we will never be as one. They did not like you then(whites) and they don't like you now.After all our forefathers and mothers went though and all the money we make today we still feel we have the whites appoval in order for blacks to feel a belonging. It seems that we will never get it.BLACK'S YOUR FOREFATHERS HUNG ON TREES just for looking at a so called white and now that you have a little money and a degree it's ok to sleep with the whites. We have also been brainwashed in thinking that we can't help who we fall in love wi h this is the biggest lie we could ever been told. We as Black need to get a grip, Please wake up and share the journey.



Yuma, AZ

I was disappointed that Glide church was used to represent Christianity. I think there are many other black churches that could have been used to be a representative of true biblical Christianity.



San Ramon, CA

I had to watch this series for class so it was not something i saw under my own will. After seeing i felt better informed on the history of slaves. I lkike how you told specific stories of people's lives especially the one where the black man was beat in the phone booth and use non violence instead of fighting. It was worth watching. LAte



Shabazz, Indianapolis, IN

I found the program very informative. As a Muslim-American of Color, what interest me the most was the History of the Nation of Islam and how it evolved into an authentic universal Islamic movement under the Honorable Wallace D. Mohammed. It's about time that someone outside of my Muslim community would set the record straight about Imam Mohammed. For Robin who said that Imam Mohammed does not represent a true Muslim leader, I challenge you to prove to me how he is not a true Muslim and I will prove to you on how he is a true Muslim leader. I have two concerns for the one who narrated the Evolution of the Nation of Islam: your naming of the former Nation of Islam temples in Boston and Philadelphia are totally inacurrate. Boston Mosque was not Mosque # 9 (Mosque # 9 was in Youngstown, OH), it was Mosque # 11 and the Philadelphia Mosque was called Mosque # 12, not Mosque # 11. Other than that, the program was excellent, may Allah reward you.



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