Episode Three: Into the Fire

Into the Fire examines the most tumultuous and consequential period in African American history: the Civil War and the end of slavery, and Reconstruction’s thrilling but tragically brief “moment in the sun.” From the beginning, African Americans were agents of their own liberation, forcing the Union to confront the issue of slavery by fleeing the plantations and taking up arms to serve as soldiers in the United States Colored Troops. After Emancipation, African Americans sought to realize the promise of freedom—rebuilding families shattered by slavery; demanding economic, political and civil rights; even winning elected office. Just a few years later, however,  a swift and vicious campaign of terror in the South restored white supremacy and rolled back rights for African Americans. Yet the achievements of Reconstruction would remain very much alive in the collective memory of the African American community.

Into the Fire premieres Tuesday, November 5, 2013, 8-9 pm ET on PBS as episode three of The African Americans: Many Rivers to Cross with Henry Louis Gates, Jr. Check the local listings on the broadcast schedule.

Production Credits | | Restricted to Restricted to U.S. & Territories
  • Christian Walker

    Thank you for all the hard work and dedication you have poured into telling the story of a people that built this country with their blood, sweat, tears, and lives.

  • Elias McClellan

    Fantastic episode. I never heard the story of Robert Smalls or the REAL story of the first African American Congressmen and Senators.

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