The Abolitionists

The Abolitionists

DVD - 2013
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"Radicals. Agitators. Troublemakers. Liberators. Called many names, the abolitionists tore the nation apart in order to create a more perfect union. Men and women, black and white, Northerners and Southerners, poor and wealthy, these passionate anti-slavery activists fought body and soul in the most important civil rights crusade in American history"--Container.
Publisher: Boston : WGBH Educational Foundation ; Arlington, Va. : PBS Distribution, c2013.
ISBN: 9781608838332
Branch Call Number: 326.80922
Characteristics: 1 videodisc (ca. 180 min.) : sd., col. with b&w sequences ; 4 3/4 in.


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Feb 27, 2018

Excellent documentary (historical reconstruction with actors) by WBGH which is part of their American Experience series. This DVD is on the Abolitionists – those who wanted to abolish slavery in the early 19th century. It focuses on five people: William Lloyd Garrison (white) who started the newspaper The Liberator in Boston. He believed in nonviolent activity with a morale conscience. Angelina Grimke a white aristocratic woman from Charlestown, SC who believed slavery was a sin. Harriet Beecher Stowe (white), author of Uncle Tom’s Cabin. John Brown (white) an abolitionist who believed in violence to achieve their objective and Frederick Douglass (black), a former slave who became a well-known writer and speaker. This DVD has three one hour episodes and looks at social, cultural, political and religious is sues in the movement. You may know some on the subject, but will learn much more watching the DVD. I really did know much about John Brown and I’ve been to Harper’s Ferry! He wanted to steal weapons from the federal armory located there. Also, interesting was the changing laws prior to the Civil War attempting to preserve slavery- the fugitive slave law (1850), the Dred Scott decision (1857) and Lincoln’s wavering interpretation. Southerners defined slavery as a “peculiar institution” and as the U.S. expanded after the Mexican-American War (1846-1846) there was increasing debate whether the newly acquired states should be free states or slave states. Good DVD to watch if you enjoy history or want to learn more about the Abolitionist movement or would like to watch something educational for Black History month (February).

Aug 13, 2016

I especially like the final episode, which deals with John Brown and the question of meeting violent oppression with violent resistance. We learn a little about the evolution of President Lincoln's opinion on slavery, a subject that deserves deeper study.

aaa5756 May 19, 2013

Very well done and interesting documentary movie. A pleasure to watch. I would recommend this movie for all to see. No fast forwarding no falling asleep on this one. A++ DVD

Apr 28, 2013

This series originally shown on PBS is quite riveting. It explores the struggles against slavery in the U.S. through the eyes and actions of well known abolitionists. For different reason they abhor slavery and dedicate themselves to abolishing it forever. They have to overcome many barriers including at the beginning of the Civil War, Abraham Lincoln. The horrors of slavery seem unbelievable to us now but it still exists. There are many slaves including child slaves in the world today. Child slavery is used in the cocoa plantations in Africa for example. So please buy Fair Traded chocolate-child slave free chocolate- and don't support slavery. By doing this you can do your part in the modern day movement to abolish slavery!

Mar 28, 2013

A blend of documentary and drama from PBS, exploring the abolition of slavery movement in the nineteenth century. The filmmakers use the traditional methods of documentaries, with commentary from historians, photographs and other images, and narration, mixing it with actors playing parts. The key players are five individuals whose lives intersected in different ways, and who had strong influences on the abolitionist movement. Four of them are well known: Frederick Douglass, William Lloyd Garrison, Harriet Beecher Stowe, and John Brown all played pivotal roles in the fight against slavery. Lesser known, perhaps, is Angelina Grimke, a Southern aristocrat who found the institution unacceptable and became a strong advocate for the abolition of slavery until retiring from public life. The mixture of drama and documentary works well, which I didn't expect; the key roles are well cast, mostly with unknown actors. Richard Brooks, who spent time on Law and Order at the beginning of that series, is the best known of the actors, and he's come to the point where he possesses the gravitas needed to play Douglass. The other actors inhabit their roles just as well, and the final result gives insight into the people behind the movement, once considered radicals and troublemakers, and ultimately the driving force behind the American Civil War.


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aaa5756 May 19, 2013

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness, only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.” ― Martin Luther King, Jr

aaa5756 May 17, 2013

“One person can make a difference and every person should try.” –John F Kennedy


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