“The African Americans: Many Rivers to Cross” sponsored by Bank of America

Bank of America is a major sponsor of a new six-hour series that takes viewers on a journey through African American history—from slavery to freedom, and from the plantation to the White House.

Harvard scholar Henry Louis Gates, Jr. recounts the path of African American history in the six-part series, “The African Americans: Many Rivers to Cross,” airing Tuesdays at 8 p.m. ET from October 22 to November 26 on PBS. Written and presented by Professor Gates, the series explores the evolution of the African American people, as well as their cultural institutions, political strategies, religious and social perspectives. Starting with the origins of slavery in Africa, the series chronicles the full sweep of African American history across two continents and through five centuries of historic events.  

Professor Gates visits key sites, talks with historians and interviews eyewitnesses — including school integration pioneers Ruby Bridges and Charlayne Hunter-Gault, former Black Panther Kathleen Neal Cleaver, and former Secretary of State Colin Powell. "The story of the African American people is the story of the settlement and growth of America itself, a universal tale that all people should experience," says Gates.

By highlighting the black experience, the series shows that the African American community, described by black abolitionist Martin R. Delany as "a nation within a nation," has never been a uniform entity, and that its members have been actively debating their differences from their first days in this country. Throughout the series, Professor Gates will illuminate the path to freedom, one that has taken many twists and turns, much like the course of a river.

Bank of America is proud to support this important series, one of many we have sponsored with PBS. We feel that “The African Americans: Many Rivers to Cross” shows how connecting to our country’s past helps us all create a better future.

Click here for more information and a description of the six episodes.

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