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Into the Fire (1861 – 1896). Full Episode

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.

Production Credits | Available until 2/28/2014 | Restricted to U.S. & Territories
  • queen of the nile

    Learning so much about my people…so amazed at their courage, drive, and persistence to live in spite of…don’t know that I could have survived slavery.

  • DennisCLatham

    THIS is truly an AMAZING WORK and PROFESSIONAL and QUALIFIED enough PRODUCTION that should be a curriculum in churches, homes, and schools across America and it’s compatible for ALL AGES. THE TRUTH SHOULD BE KNOWN !!!

    • WannaB

      Itotally agree!

  • Billy Wilkins

    Love the entire series, sharing with my friends and family – great series.

  • Penny

    God bless you, Dr. Gates, for taking much of your time to clarify pertinent information of our culture. I am currently in college working toward my BA degree in English, concentrating in writing. My prayer is to soon be used as a vessel, such as yourself, to educate our people so that many others could also appreciate powerful historical knowledge such as that of African and African American heritage.

  • Dee-Bee

    The highest quality of food for the soul!!!

  • Dee-Bee

    This entire video series and book should be a part of every American households personal library. Thank you Mr. Henry Louis Gates Jr. and PBS for a phenomenal series and account of our history in a way it has never been told before.

  • DangerGirl

    how annoying for those of us in Toronto that missed the first few episodes- we cannot access this online. For gawds sake I support WNED & WNET with my dollars. Enough with this BS about ‘Rights” & Restrictions – you can identify Canadian IP addresses and stop blocking them. There is NO Canadian PBS station that will air this. And I will no longer support PBS -

  • Chocolate Velvet

    This is a wonderful series, but I didn’t know about it until yesterday! I’m so glad I found out about it. I am getting caught up with episodes on demand, and I look forward to tonight’s installment.

    Thank you so much Dr Gates — Skip — for all you work documenting the story of America as experienced by African Americans!

  • Jarach Vaughn

    Help…I can’t find the episodes on On Demand. Is it On Demand on TV or only on line??

    • knightc

      I’m sorry at this time I don’t have information about On Demand services for this series; Into the Fire (1861-1896) will be available online through December 9, 2013 for certain.

  • Peter L. Akhonya

    There are things people forget to know or understand. God created Human beings to resemble him and represent him too. It does not matter which Color you may be in whether Black, Blue, White or Red but you are human being.The only important thing to do is How you can know his Laws and how you can Worship him and obey him. Criticism is every where in any Color.But God is one.(SSR).

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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.