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    For good and valuable consideration, receipt and sufficiency of which is hereby acknowledged, You hereby grant to THIRTEEN Productions LLC ("THIRTEEN") the irrevocable right to incorporate your submission (the "Work"), in whole or in part, into The African Americans: Many Rivers to Cross including companion materials and ancillary platforms (collectively, the "Project"). THIRTEEN may use and license others to use any version of the Project and excerpts and outtakes therefrom in all manner and media, now known or hereafter devised, worldwide without limitation as to time. The foregoing rights shall include the right to use the Work and details or excerpts therefrom for Project packaging and for outreach, Project and institutional promotion, and publicity purposes.

    You represent and warrant that you are 13 years of age or older and, if you are under the age of 18, you either are an emancipated minor, or have obtained the legal consent of your parent or legal guardian to enter into this Release and fulfill the obligations set forth herein, which forms a binding contract between you and THIRTEEN. You further represent that you possess or have obtained the rights in the Work necessary for the grant of this license to THIRTEEN.

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Jana Laiz

A Jewish girl, I grew up in White Plains, NY, in a very multiracial neighborhood. I had many African American friends and classmates. My parents encouraged all of my friendships, and for that I will always be very grateful. Our house was full of life and culture, which included Colombians, Japanese, Scots, Koreans, Germans, Vietnamese and African Americans to name a few. In 4th grade (1969) I had the only (perhaps the first) African American teacher in our elementary school; Miss Harris. She introduced us to many inspiring African American heroes including Harriet Tubman, Sojourner Truth, Frederick Douglass, Rosa Parks and Langston Hughes, all of whom influenced me tremendously. Miss Harris inspired me too, so much so, that I became a teacher and later, a writer. After moving to the Berkshires, Massachusetts, I became intrigued with the story of a local enslaved African woman called Mumbet, who, in 1781, sued for her freedom based on the newly ratified Massachusetts Constitution and the premise that “All men are created equal.” I was so inspired by her story, that I co-authored a juvenile biography about her entitled, “A Free Woman On God’s Earth” The True Story of Elizabeth “Mumbet” Freeman. My co-author, Ann-Elizabeth Barnes and I feel truly blessed to have written this work. We hope it will inspire and educate children and adults alike. As a writer, I like to think that books are the most effective way to pass along this rich and growing history to future generations. And television programs like this one.