The African Americans: Many Rivers to Cross with Henry Louis Gates, Jr.

Featured Interviewees – EPISODE 3

Air date: 10/22/2013

The African Americans: Many Rivers to Cross with Henry Louis Gates, Jr.


Featured Interviewees


Episode Three: Into the Fire (1861-1896)

Tuesday, November 5, 8-9 p.m.


Into the Fire examines the most tumultuous and consequential period in African American history: the Civil War and the end of slavery, and Reconstruction’s thrilling but tragically brief “moment in the sun.” From the beginning, African Americans were agents of their own liberation, forcing the Union to confront the issue of slavery by fleeing the plantations and taking up arms to serve with honor in the United States Colored Troops. After Emancipation, African Americans sought to realize the promise of freedom—rebuilding families shattered by slavery; demanding economic, political and civil rights; even winning elected office. Just a few years later, however, an intransigent South mounted a swift and vicious campaign of terror to restore white supremacy and roll back African American rights. Yet the achievements of Reconstruction would remain very much alive in the collective memory of the African American community.


Vincent Brown, Charles Warren Professor of History at Harvard University

Location: New Orleans, LA


Kendra Field, assistant professor of history, University of California at Riverside

Location: Cambridge, MA

Thavolia Glymph, associate professor of African and African American studies at Duke University

Location: Cambridge, MA


Darryl Johnson, local historian

Location: Mound Bayou, MS

Kennedy Johnson, Mayor of Mount Bayou

Location: Mound Bayou, MS


Hari Jones, assistant director and curator of the African American Civil War Memorial Freedom Foundation and Museum

Location: Washington, DC


Cassandra Newby-Alexander, associate professor at Norfolk State University

Location: Fort Monroe, VA

Eulah Peterson, local historian

Location: Mound Bayou, MS


Keith Plessy, president of the Plessy and Ferguson Foundation and descendent of Homer Plessy

Location: Free People of Color Museum, New Orleans, LA


Bernard Powers, professor of history at College of Charleston

Location: Brown Fellowship Cemetery, Charleston, SC and Avery Research Center, Charleston, SC

John Stauffer, professor of English and professor of African and African American Studies and Chair of the History of American Civilization Program, Harvard University

Location: Cambridge, MA