Radicals. Agitators. Troublemakers. Liberators. Called by many names, the abolitionists tore the nation apart in order to make a more perfect union. Men and women, black and white, Northerners and Southerners, poor and wealthy, these passionate anti-slavery activists fought body and soul in the most important civil rights crusade in American history. What began as a pacifist movement fueled by persuasion and prayer became a fiery and furious struggle that forever changed the nation.
Bringing to life the intertwined stories of Frederick Douglass, William Lloyd Garrison, Angelina Grimké, Harriet Beecher Stowe and John Brown, The Abolitionists takes place during some of the most violent and contentious decades in American history, amid white-hot religious passions that set souls on fire, and bitter debates over the meaning of the Constitution and the nature of race. The documentary reveals how the movement shaped history by exposing the fatal flaw of a republic founded on liberty for some and bondage for others, setting the nation on a collision course. In the face of personal risks -- beatings, imprisonment, even death -- abolitionists held fast to their cause, laying the civil rights groundwork for the future and raising weighty constitutional and moral questions that are with us still.
PART 1 – January 8th at 9pm on CET and ThinkTV16
PART 2 – January 15th at 9pm on CET and ThinkTV16
PART 3 – January 22nd at 9pm on CET and ThinkTV16
The National Underground Railroad Freedom Center in Cincinnati also will be celebrating the Emancipation Proclamation with this year with a new special installation called “Emancipation and its Legacies” beginning Jan. 18th. This exhibit will examine the events leading up to and immediately following the Proclamation and the impact they made on the course of our nation. The center also has a variety of exhibits looking at the slavery situation today and the efforts to free all people. For more information, visit www.freedomcenter.org.
Check out an interactive Abolitionists map, extended preview, bonus videos and teacher resources here: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/americanexperience/films/abolitionists/player/