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New PBS Series Spans 500 Years Of African-American History

Anisfield-Wolf jury chair Henry Louise Gates Jr. has been busy the past few months, filming episodes of his new PBS series, “The African-Americans: Many Rivers to Cross.” The six-part documentary will cover more than four centuries of African-American history, starting with the origins of slavery in Africa and moving to the present day. 

Gates (left) interviewed Gen. Colin Powell and other influential African-Americans for his new PBS series

Leading up to the series premiere, Gates has written a weekly column for TheRoot.com, “100 Amazing Facts About the Negro,” in which he uncovers little-known tidbits about African-American history. 

“Over the past 500 years, our ancestors in this country have been as stubborn, determined, idiosyncratic, individualistic, argumentative and complex as the 42 million African Americans living today are,” Gates wrote in the inaugural column. 

“Many Rivers To Cross” will premiere Tuesday, October 22 at 8:00 p.m. EST. A new hour-long episode will air each Tuesday until the finale on November 26. 

Follow Gates on Twitter and Facebook, as he has been giving occasional behind-the-scenes peeks at filming locations and subjects.   

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