Episode Three: Into the Fire
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 as soldiers 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, a swift and vicious campaign of terror in the South restored white supremacy and rolled back rights for African Americans. Yet the achievements of Reconstruction would remain very much alive in the collective memory of the African American community.
Into the Fire premieres Tuesday, November 5, 2013, 7 pm on KTTZ-TV Channel 5 as episode three of The African Americans: Many Rivers to Cross with Henry Louis Gates, Jr.