DiscoverSeizing Freedom
Seizing Freedom

Seizing Freedom

Author: VPM & Witness Docs

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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.
11 Episodes
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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
A Powerful Black Hand

A Powerful Black Hand

2021-02-0156:492

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.
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.
A Bedrock For Freedom

A Bedrock For Freedom

2021-02-0849:34

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.
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.
Reconstructing Family

Reconstructing Family

2021-02-2255:081

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.
Interview with photography professor Deborah Willis 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.
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Feb 17th
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Feb 1st
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