This website is no longer actively maintained
Some material and features may be unavailable
Share Your Stories
African-American history has played an integral role in the shaping of politics, economics, and culture in the United States. Growing up, how did you learn about the accomplishments and struggles of African Americans? Were you in a classroom? Reading a book? Talking with relatives or friends? How has your understanding or knowledge of African-American history changed and/or developed over time? What do you think is the most effective way to pass along this rich and growing history to future generations?
Connect with Prof. Gates!   

Ramone Smith


I was born and raised in Boston M.A. in the 60's and 70's respectively. I went to college ...


Charles Atkinson


Tuskegee Airmen Were Not Just Pilots Information on JOHN LOYD ATKINSON Submitted by ...


Kalyn Chapman James


I learned about racism from firsthand experiences growing up in Mobile, Alabama. Growing ...

Edward Johnson

As our family historian I am very involved in discovering and writing about my ancestors. ...



Dear Prof. Gates, My understanding and appreciation of African American cultures comes ...

Ruby Wilson


My brother, retired Naval Officer and Chaplain Charles E. Wilson, is the Crawford-Wilson ...

Elaine Burnett


I was raised by Catholic nuns in a children's home, and went to a private Catholic school. ...

Shante Anderson


I only learned the bare minimum in school. My family moved to NC from Maryland when I was ...



I owe my interest in African American History to my 11th grade AP US History teacher. In ...

wilson picture 4



David Wilson, son of a slave, was the 7th of 11 children, born in South Carolina. He ...

Sharon Mitchell

My family's American story begins in North Carolina. All my life I heard about two ...


Growing up in the “enlightened” 1950s-60s of central NJ, I attended integrated schools ...

Denise Morrissette


Regarding "African-American" history, isn't it time to merge the history books? ...

John Sibley Butler


This series is a disgrace to the self-help tradition of Black Americans. Over 100 private ...


Donna Lee


Yes! There are deliberate and malicious blocks and obstacles, including racism, which the ...


Margaret Lewis


Being born in Nashville, TN, and attending college in Arkansas, during those years when ...

Dennis Dickey


I'm glad that we have a half-black person in office. I say this, because, and I ask this ...

Joan McCarty

My first opportunity to take a formal class in African American History was in 1968 at the ...

Tam Nichols


The African Americans Many Rivers To Cross with Henry Louis Gates, Jr. is such a ...

Lonnie DeWitt


My story is chronicled in my published book, "A Ghostly Rein of a Terror - iN tHE cAR", ...

Edward Monroe

George Monroe


Attached is a picture of my great great grandfather Ned. He was born in 1828 to an ...

Eunita Johnson


My 6th, 7th, and 8th grade grammer school teacher, in Chicago, IL, taught Black history to ...

Teresa Mitchell Carter


Mr HL Gates, I am honored to be writing to you. Enjoying 5-part series. My Great G-Ma ...

Mark Griffin


JohnnyPump Tales were inspired by my role as a father. In 2011, I became a single parent ...


charles dey


ARTIST STATEMENT As a child, I used to draw on open spaces: tiny shreds of paper, bedroom ...

bernistine williams


I learned about African American History by living in the time of integration. As ...

Papa Jacob & Gran Ma Kate



Growing up on a one of the sea islands of Charleston SC, every road and family seems a ...

Barbara Woodin


I lived through the Civil Rights struggles of the 50s, 60s and 70s. I'm 72, a white ...

Russell Edwards


I have heard that my great grandfather, William (Runna) Harvey, used to teach reading and ...

Randall Newsom


Growing up in the South (I was born in 1952), I was raised in a middle class home ...

Connect with Prof. Gates!   
© 2013 WNET. All rights reserved.
PBS is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization.
The African Americans: Many Rivers to Cross is a film by Kunhardt McGee Productions, THIRTEEN Productions LLC, Inkwell Films, in assocation with Ark Media.