Making Black America: Through the Grapevine is a four-part series from executive producer, host and writer Professor Henry Louis Gates, Jr., which premiered on October 4th on PBS stations nationwide. Professor Gates, with directors Stacey L. Holman and Shayla Harris, chronicle the vast social networks and organizations created by and for Black people beyond the reach of the “White gaze.”
The series recounts the establishment of the Prince Hall Masons in 1775 through the formation of all-Black towns and business districts, Historically Black Colleges and Universities, destinations for leisure and the social media phenomenon of Black Twitter.
Professor Gates sits with noted scholars, politicians, cultural leaders and old friends to discuss this world behind the color line and what it looks like today. Making Black America takes viewers into an extraordinary world that showcased Black people’s ability to collectively prosper, defy white supremacy and define Blackness in ways that transformed America itself.
Struggle and resistance are hallmarks of the African American experience, but they are not the only story. Beyond the reach of the “White gaze,” Black people worked and played, laughed and loved, hoped and dreamed, started families, built schools and businesses, formed communities, and created vast social networks that, borrowing from the motto of the National Association of Colored Women’s Clubs, lifted as they climbed. In this new four-hour documentary series, Professor Henry Louis Gates, Jr. takes us “behind the Veil” of racial segregation in Jim Crow America to tell their story.
Making Black America: Through the Grapevine is currently playing on PBS stations in the U.S. Even though some episodes have already aired, PBS stations usually re-broadcast major series again and again. Check your local TV listings to see where past and future episodes are being broadcast near you. You can learn more at: https://www.pbs.org/show/making-black-america/ .
You can also watch a promotional video on YouTube at https://youtu.be/DVrm1vMCENM. Some past episodes, in their entirety, are available at https://www.pbs.org/show/making-black-america/.