• Wood engraving illustrating Benjamin Phipps's capture of Nat Turner on October 30, 1831.

    Did African-American Slaves Rebel?

    One of the most pernicious allegations made against the African-American people was that our slave ancestors were either exceptionally “docile” or “content and loyal,” thus explaining their purported failure to rebel extensively. Some even compare enslaved Americans to their brothers and sisters in Brazil, Cuba, Suriname and Haiti, the last of whom defeated the most powerful army in the world, Napoleon’s army, becoming the first slaves in history to successfully strike a blow for their own freedom. Continue reading

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  • Fort Mose Historic State Park in Florida.

    What Was America’s First Black Town?

    Sometime between March and November of 1738, Spanish settlers in Florida formed a town named Gracia Real de Santa Teresa de Mose, two miles to the north of St. Augustine. Initially, it consisted of 38 men, all fugitive slaves, “most of them married,” who had fled to Florida for sanctuary and freedom from enslavement in the Carolinas and Georgia. It came to be known as Fort Mose. Continue reading

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  • Paul Cuffee

    Who Led the First Back-to-Africa Effort?

    The person who spearheaded “the first, black initiated ‘back to Africa’ effort in U.S. history,” according to the historian Donald R. Wright, was also the first free African American to visit the White House and have an audience with a sitting president. He was Paul Cuffee, a sea captain and an entrepreneur who was perhaps the wealthiest black American of his time. Continue reading

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  • Portrait of George Washington by Gilbert Stuart.

    George Washington’s Runaway Slave, Harry

    Of our first five presidents, four owned slaves. Thomas Jefferson’s slave-owning legacy has been covered in the news lately; however, the biggest slave owner among the four men was the father of our country, George Washington. Continue reading

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The African Americans: Many Rivers to Cross is a film by Kunhardt McGee Productions, THIRTEEN Productions LLC, Inkwell Films, in assocation with Ark Media.