Past Event

The African Americans: Many Rivers to Cross

Past Event

The African Americans: Many Rivers to Cross

The African Americans: Many Rivers to Cross, a six-hour series, written and presented by Professor Henry Louis Gates, Jr., examines the evolution of the African-American people, as well as the political strategies, and religious and social perspectives they developed — shaping their own history, culture and society against unimaginable odds. The series moves through five centuries of some of history’s most poignant events, beginning with the origins of slavery in Africa and concluding in present day with America being led by a black president, yet deeply divided by race.

On October 15, Brookings hosted a viewing of select clips from The African Americans: Many Rivers to Cross, featuring Henry Louis Gates, Jr., with an introduction by Brookings President Strobe Talbott, followed by a panel discussion to explore the related policy issues featured in the series. The panel was moderated by Glenn Hutchins, chair of the Hutchins Center for African and African American Research at Harvard University and vice chair of the Brookings Institution and included Brookings Senior Fellows Ron Haskins and Isabel Sawhill and Guest Scholar Lois Dickson Rice.

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