Time For A New Story
If you’ve heard stories about Reconstruction, you’ve probably heard that it failed. And sure, some parts of Reconstruction did fail—but not because Black people didn’t claim their freedom.
A Bedrock For Freedom
How freedom wasn’t as clear-cut as wartime refugees from slavery expected, and how—despite terrible conditions in many camps—Black people’s desire for self-determination kept them going.
Interview: Abigail Cooper
How Black people established communities in Civil War refugee camps, celebrating their African traditions and adapting to survive in the American patriarchy.
A New Joy Awaiting Me
How newly emancipated African Americans expanded their labor on their own terms to build livelihoods for themselves, and how they were met with extreme repercussions.
Interview: Rhiannon Giddens
Tracing Black history through music and acting as a vessel for the voices of ancestors found in the archives.
They Can’t Keep Me Out
How African Americans pushed to secure their rights to make a free living in the face of extreme violence, and how they never lost sight of what made Black life worth living.
Interview: Tera Hunter
How Black workers wanted to shape their working lives after the Civil War and what activities they found joy in.
Truth Makes The Free Man
How literacy was a pathway to freedom, joy, and citizenship, and how African Americans were willing to go to any length to acquire it.
Interview: Hilary Green
What family histories can tell us about African Americans’ quest for knowledge and their stereotype-defying vision for education.
Equal Children Of God
How the ability to worship as they saw fit sustained Black Americans through centuries of enslavement and into freedom.
Interview: Kelly Brown Douglas
How the Black church in America evolved out of a plethora of African religious traditions, and how the Black community can find God in times of injustice.
The Final Word On Liberty
How African Americans’ insistence on having a full stake in freedom helped transform federal policy and codify the rhetoric of “liberty” into law.
Interview: Kate Masur
How African Americans persevered in their quest for civil and political rights during Reconstruction, and the impact of those efforts up to the present.
A Heritage Unique In The Ages
How gaining the right to vote opened doors to new lives for African Americans, and the ceaseless threats they faced as they sought to be treated as equals.
Extended insight into the lives of some of the people whose stories we couldn’t fit into our episodes.