Seizing Freedom

By VPM & Witness Docs

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Category: History

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Description

Epic stories of Black people who fought for their liberty and transformed America after the Civil War. Using first-hand accounts from diaries, newspapers, speeches, and letters, this is a narrated docu-drama about the failures and successes of the Reconstruction era, told by those who made it happen.


Episode Date
The Final Word On Liberty
3120
The 13th Amendment abolished slavery in 1865, but African Americans knew the “freedom” of emancipation was incomplete without universal citizenship and rights protected by law. Learn how their insistence on having a full stake in American freedom helped transform federal policy and codify the rhetoric of “liberty” into law. Support the show: https://www.pledgecart.org/pledgeCart3/?campaign=9D88F97A-621A-46C0-98FA-3BC3199AE799&source=#/home See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
May 03, 2021
Interview: Kelly Brown Douglas
2412
The Reverend shares what church has meant to the Black community, both historically and currently, as well as how to find God in times of struggle and injustice. Support the show: https://www.pledgecart.org/pledgeCart3/?campaign=9D88F97A-621A-46C0-98FA-3BC3199AE799&source=#/home See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Apr 26, 2021
Equal Children Of God
3795
How a thirst for soul liberty and the freedom to worship as they saw fit sustained Black Americans through centuries of enslavement. And how the sustenance they found in religious community emboldened them to fight for—and demand—concrete social and political change.  Support the show: https://www.pledgecart.org/pledgeCart3/?campaign=9D88F97A-621A-46C0-98FA-3BC3199AE799&source=#/home See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Apr 19, 2021
Interview: Hilary Green
2890
Conversation about family histories and education, how many of the stereotypes that have been associated with Black people in the United States came to be, why they’re simply not true, and what the pursuit of knowledge meant and looked like to African Americans during and after Reconstruction. Support the show: https://www.pledgecart.org/pledgeCart3/?campaign=9D88F97A-621A-46C0-98FA-3BC3199AE799&source=#/home See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Apr 12, 2021
Truth Makes The Free Man
3622
Education was regarded as the "real liberation" by many African Americans following emancipation from slavery, and they were willing to go to extreme lengths to secure literacy for themselves and their kin. Support the show: https://www.pledgecart.org/pledgeCart3/?campaign=9D88F97A-621A-46C0-98FA-3BC3199AE799&source=#/home See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Apr 05, 2021
Interview: Tera Hunter
2083
Kidada speaks with Princeton Historian Tera Hunter about how Black workers wanted to shape their working lives after the Civil War, what communal labor looked like, and what activities they found joy in. Support the show: https://www.pledgecart.org/pledgeCart3/?campaign=9D88F97A-621A-46C0-98FA-3BC3199AE799&source=#/home See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Mar 29, 2021
They Can't Keep Me Out
3356
Further exploring the stakes of making a living as a Black person following emancipation and how, despite violent retaliation in light of their successes, African Americans never lost sight of what made Black life worth living.  Support the show: https://www.pledgecart.org/pledgeCart3/?campaign=9D88F97A-621A-46C0-98FA-3BC3199AE799&source=#/home See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Mar 22, 2021
Interview: Rhiannon Giddens
2392
The Grammy-winning musician discusses her connection to the banjo, its historical ties to Africa, and how she draws inspiration from the historical archives to create her songs. Support the show: https://www.pledgecart.org/pledgeCart3/?campaign=9D88F97A-621A-46C0-98FA-3BC3199AE799&source=#/home See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Mar 15, 2021
A New Joy Awaiting Me
3328
How newly emancipated African Americans established communities and expanded their labor on their own terms to build livelihoods for themselves and their families, and how they were met with extreme repercussions from whites through the introduction of Black Codes. Support the show: https://www.pledgecart.org/pledgeCart3/?campaign=9D88F97A-621A-46C0-98FA-3BC3199AE799&source=#/home See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Mar 08, 2021
Interview: Deborah Willis
1780
Photography professor Deborah Willis speaks with Kidada about the power of photography during the Civil War era, and the stories images can reveal to us about the lives Black people led and wanted future generations to understand. Support the show: https://www.pledgecart.org/pledgeCart3/?campaign=9D88F97A-621A-46C0-98FA-3BC3199AE799&source=#/home See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Mar 01, 2021
Reconstructing Family
3190
How freed people sought out their kin following emancipation, and how they worked to establish new lives with their families, pushing for recognition in the eyes of the law. Support the show: https://www.pledgecart.org/pledgeCart3/?campaign=9D88F97A-621A-46C0-98FA-3BC3199AE799&source=#/home See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Feb 22, 2021
Interview: Abigail Cooper
1730
Conversation with Abigail Cooper about the communities that Black people established in Civil War refugee camps, how they celebrated their African traditions and how they had to adapt to survive in the American patriarchy. Support the show: https://www.pledgecart.org/pledgeCart3/?campaign=9D88F97A-621A-46C0-98FA-3BC3199AE799&source=#/home See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Feb 15, 2021
A Bedrock For Freedom
2888
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. Support the show: https://www.pledgecart.org/pledgeCart3/?campaign=9D88F97A-621A-46C0-98FA-3BC3199AE799&source=#/home See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Feb 08, 2021
Interview: Crystal Feimster
1515
Interview with historian Crystal Feimster about the importance of digging into archives and disrupting the myth that the Civil War and Reconstruction are histories that belong to white men. Support the show: https://www.pledgecart.org/pledgeCart3/?campaign=9D88F97A-621A-46C0-98FA-3BC3199AE799&source=#/home See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Feb 04, 2021
A Powerful Black Hand
3374
How Black men and women fought to participate in the war against slavery, and how the Union’s decision to allow them to enlist shifted the tide of the Civil War. Support the show: https://www.pledgecart.org/pledgeCart3/?campaign=9D88F97A-621A-46C0-98FA-3BC3199AE799&source=#/home See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Feb 01, 2021
Intro: Time For A New Story
430
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. Support the show: https://www.pledgecart.org/pledgeCart3/?campaign=9D88F97A-621A-46C0-98FA-3BC3199AE799&source=#/home See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Feb 01, 2021
Spotlight: Susie King Taylor
666
A deeper look into the life of Susie King Taylor, who pursued her vision of freedom for herself, her family and for future generations. Support the show: https://www.pledgecart.org/pledgeCart3/?campaign=9D88F97A-621A-46C0-98FA-3BC3199AE799&source=#/home See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Feb 01, 2021
Spotlight: Cyntha Nickols
584
African Americans had to go to extraordinary lengths in order to be reunited with their families after emancipation, including this grandmother’s struggle to gain custody of her grandson. Support the show: https://www.pledgecart.org/pledgeCart3/?campaign=9D88F97A-621A-46C0-98FA-3BC3199AE799&source=#/home See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Feb 01, 2021
Spotlight: Ambrose Headen
451
Follow the incredible journey of Ambrose Headen, a man born into slavery who eventually played a pivotal role in founding one of the nation’s first Black colleges. Support the show: https://www.pledgecart.org/pledgeCart3/?campaign=9D88F97A-621A-46C0-98FA-3BC3199AE799&source=#/home See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Feb 01, 2021
Seizing Freedom: Official Trailer
155
Launching February 1, 2021. In most history classes, you learn that the Emancipation Proclamation and Union victories “freed the slaves.” But ending slavery in America required so much more than battlefield victories or even official declarations.  Black people battled for their own freedom, taking incredible risks for a country that had actively denied their right to it. After the Civil War, they made freedom real by organizing for equality and justice during Reconstruction.  On Seizing Freedom, you’ll hear stories of freedom taking and freedom making directly from the people who did both. Using stories selected from diaries, newspapers, letters, and speeches, we’ll take you straight to the sources of lived experience. Through them, you’ll hear voices from American history that have been muted time and time again.  Support the show: https://www.pledgecart.org/pledgeCart3/?campaign=9D88F97A-621A-46C0-98FA-3BC3199AE799&source=#/home See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Jan 18, 2021