Delivering Educational and Informative VHS and DVD's

Slavery and the Making of America

Country Available: Canada

'Slavery and the Making of America'...the most powerful and important television work on the subject since 'Roots'..." - 4 STARS, DAILY NEWS

 "'Slavery and the Making of America' is a groundbreaking four-part series... that presents a new and vivid look at the institution of American slavery. The four hours make it clear that slavery was essential to virtually every aspect of the creation of our nation. As featured scholar Dr. James Horton says ‘Slavery was no sideshow in American history—it was the main event.’" –Black Journalists Association of Southern California

 "A REMARKABLE new PBS series,' Slavery & the Making of America,' begins on February 9. Borrowing heavily from slave narratives and incidents seldom recorded in history books, the series emphasizes the political and economic importance of slavery while giving the viewer a window into the personal pain and courage of the slave. Teachers can find a collection of lesson plans, images, and other materials at a site set up just for them.

The program is an eye opener even for those who think they know American history." -UNDERNEWS (online)

"'Slavery and the Making of America,' the stunning new PBS miniseries, is so good...This is the stuff you didn't learn in school about how and why the first slaves arrived here (yes, Manhattan); how they survived here; how they lived; how they died in massive numbers; and how even the occasional granting of freedom during the era of slavery almost guaranteed impoverishment. More importantly it's also about triumph." - NY Post

Slavery and the Making of America is a landmark, four-part series that examines the history of slavery in the United States and the integral role it played in shaping the new country’s development.

Breaking with conventional documentary production approaches, the series producers, PBS's Thirteen/WNET New York, have used dramatic re-enactments to take viewers back in time and deep into the slave experience. Much of the story is presented from a unique vantage point – through the eyes of the enslaved. 

As factually represented in this series, American slavery evolved from a loosely defined labor system which provided some protection under the law, into the tightly regulated enslavement without recourse, based solely on race. 

Underscoring how slavery impacted the growth of this country’s Southern and Northern states, the series examines issues still relevant today. The variety of cultures from which the slaves originated provided the budding states with a multitude of skills that had a dramatic effect on the diverse communities. From joining the British in the Revolutionary War, to fleeing to Canada, to joining rebel communities in the U.S., the slaves sought freedom in many ways, ultimately having a far-reaching effect on the new hemisphere they were forced to inhabit.

 Acclaimed actor Morgan Freeman narrates the series, which features a score by Michael Whalen.


  • English Subtitled for the Hearing Impaired
  • Spanish Subtitled
  • Downloadable documents (via computer) relevant to the period
View a printer friendly version of this page...Copyright Date: 2005 Closed Captioned Library Audience:
  • Young Adult
  • Adult
  • School Audience:
  • Grades 8 - 12
  • Post-secondary Education
  • Subjects:
  • World History
  • Society / Social Issues
  • Formats Available:
  • DVD
  • Title Availability
     01. The Downward Spiral  Canada
     02. Liberty in the Air  Canada
     03. Seeds of Destruction  Canada
     04. The Challenge of Freedom  Canada