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African American Lives


4 hours, 2 DVDs
Source: PBS Video

For some Americans, the essential question "Where do I come from?" cannot be answered; their history has been lost or stolen. This series profiles some of the most accomplished African-Americans of our time, using genealogy and DNA to trace their roots down through American history and back to Africa. It serves as an example for all Americans of the empowerment derived from knowing their heritage.

Related Content


"Expansion Was Everything"

Read about nineteenth-century Imperialism, the Congress of Berlin, and W. E. B. Du Bois’ analysis of the profound consequences of Europe's colonization of Africa.


The Danger of a Single Story

Nigerian writer Chimamanda Adichie challenges us to consider the power of stories to influence identity, shape stereotypes, and build paths to empathy (Spanish available).

Genocide & Mass Violence

Photograph of an African Girl by Will Okun

A photograph of an African girl by Will Okun, a teacher from Chicago who went on a trip to the Democratic Republic of the Congo with reporter Nicholas Kristof. In an experiment to find out what motivates people to donate money to a cause, psychologists created the story of a small hungry African girl who needs help. Psychologists asked ordinary citizens to contribute $5 to alleviate hunger abroad.

Democracy & Civic Engagement
South Africa

Southern Africa Frontline States

The collapse of apartheid and the implementation of a democratic government in South Africa was regionally supported by a group of southern African states called the Frontline States. (The Democratic Republic of Congo, pictured here, was not supportive of the liberation.)

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Everything you need to get started teaching your students about racism, antisemitism and prejudice.