A More Perfect Union (1968 – 2013). Full Episode

Watch the Full Episode, From Black Power to Black President

By 1968, the Civil Rights movement had achieved stunning victories, in the courts and in the Congress. But would African Americans finally be allowed to achieve genuine racial equality? Episode Six, A More Perfect Union (1968 – 2013), looks at the aftermath of the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. and the rise of the Black Panthers and Black Power movement.  The decline of cities that African Americans had settled in since the Great Migration, the growth of a black middle class, the vicious beating of Rodney King in Los Angeles and the ascent of Barack Obama from Illinois senator to president of the United States are all addressed in the final episode of The African Americans: Many Rivers to Cross. Revisit images of the Black is Beautiful movement and hear commentary from former Black Panther Party member Kathleen Cleaver, former Secretary of State Colin H. Powell, musician Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson, and many more.

A More Perfect Union (1968 – 2013) is the final episode of the six-part series, The African Americans: Many Rivers to Cross with Henry Louis Gates, Jr. It premiered on PBS on November 26, 2013, 8-9 pm ET.  Check local listings on the broadcast schedule.

Production Credits | Available until 2/28/2014 | Restricted to U.S. & Territories
  • Anon

    Mr. L. Gates did such wonderful work on this series.
    I do find it disturbing that there is not one comment, maybe just to deep.
    I had thought, naively, that the U.S. had finally turned the page and we had finally moved past the racism.
    But as it soon became apparent, the election of President Obama only ripped the covers off.
    Racism in the U.S. is now out and in your face.
    What a shame.

  • repubcooks

    This documentary series is one of the best I’ve ever seen. Thank You Dr. Gates and Thank You PBS!

  • SallyinChicago

    loved this series. Puts everything in perspective. It’s shameful that our young black kids have no sense of history and what it took to get this far.

  • tnwoman1948

    Kudos and thanks to Dr. Gates, PBS, their team, AND the monetary contributors who made these excellent programs possible! I am 65 y/o, so I lived through much of the last two episodes, but watching the entire series put everything into perspective for me.

    This documentary should be mandatory viewing for EVERY black American, especially those of the post- civil rights generation. I fear many of this generation are too steeped in the materialism AND the general lack of awareness of the “seriousness” of our true situation in America today are woefully ignorant about the awesome STRUGGLES it took to get black people to this point in the American experience. CONTINUING vigilance, hard work AND relying on our Creator is still sorely NEEDED.

  • thefriendraiser

    great series Skip! i just wish this last episode was broke into 2.

  • sistadelphia

    The struggle will never, ever, ever, ever, end until African Americans identify as African an unite with Africans all over the world, especially on the continent. Until we do that, the struggle will never end. The world will end first.

  • Thomas Duval

    African American Ancestral Obligation
    Dr. Gates has clearly demonstrated how incomplete our traditional American history high school curriculum has been. African Americans (AAs) owe a tremendous debt of gratitude to the previous generations hopes and efforts to bring a better day of opportunity to the next generation. All AAs owe the responsibility of researching and learning their culture and history so they can inform the future generations to lead a purposeful , moral
    life of achievement, and give something back to their respective communities. This is the ancestral obligation every AA should accept and pass on to their children.

    AA adults and children must accept, learn, and embrace AA culture, and history to impart ancestral obligation to motivate AA youth to want to learn. At-risk AA youth need
    this information to develop positive self- esteem, to know their place in the world, and to be motivated to finish high school. Middle class high achieving AA youth need this
    knowledge to be inspired to give something back to their AA community. AA history must become an integral accepted part of the authentic history of United States to continue making a more perfect union. At-risk AA targeted educational motivational
    strategies that do not include ancestral obligation are doomed to failure. American history that does not significantly include the contribution of AAs is incomplete and non-authentic.
    Thomas Duval DDS, MPH

  • Opinionated

    This is a rather educational documentary. I’m an adult from the Caribbean and having lived here since the age of 11 years old, I have encountered few opportunities to gain in depth knowledge about the plight of blacks in this country. This piece covers every stages of such plight which is very complex, dehumanizing, and perpetual that it is a miracle that we’ve made it this far. Also, Exploitation of black labor continued on through peonage and sharecropping after the civil war well into the 19th century and I’m surprised that Mr.. Gates did not get into that much. Many people in the community are not very educated about that aspect.

  • Lex PrimeOne

    Spectacular work Dr. Gates. I really appreciate the time and effort that you put into making a documentary covering our experience in America. You did a fantastic job of covering a wide range of perspectives. You also brought to light very clearly that the Blacks in slavery were not content and easily subdued as portrayed in the media and traditional historical documents.

  • chas lewis

    An excellent and brilliant presentation of our people history. It is today, however inconceivable that our total experience from thousands of years ago and even beyond present time was foretold and laid out for us…. Deuteronomy 28: 15-66. Let he who has eyes see and the mystery will finally unfold.

  • chas lewis

    A excellent and though presentation of a people’s history, well documented. It is however inconceivable to many, that our history covering thousands of years and even past present times was laid out and foretold long ago. Deuteronomy 28: 15-66. Let he who has eyes see and the great mystery will unfold before you.

  • Dawn Williamson Hartzog

    Where have I been for 3 months? This is amazing and we just brought our copy to share as an educational tool for everyone we come in connection with….

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