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The Challenge of Freedom 

Episode four looks at Civil War and Reconstruction through the experiences of South Carolina slave Robert Smalls. It chronicles Smalls' daring escape to freedom, his military service, and ... See full summary »

Director:

Leslie D. Farrell

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Cast

Episode credited cast:
Joe T. Akin Joe T. Akin ... Reenactor
Mike Allen Mike Allen ... Reenactor
Mazie L. Baltimore Mazie L. Baltimore ... Reenactor
Barbara B. Barksdale Barbara B. Barksdale ... Reenactor
Christopher Barksdale Christopher Barksdale ... Reenactor
Janelle Barksdale Janelle Barksdale ... Reenactor
Sonya Barksdale Sonya Barksdale ... Reenactor
Ezekiel Bey Ezekiel Bey ... Reenactor
Jeffery Bischoff Jeffery Bischoff ... Reenactor
Dominic Bomitatis Dominic Bomitatis ... Reenactor
Cherla Brooks Cherla Brooks ... Reenactor
Leon B. Brooks Leon B. Brooks ... Reenactor
Marques Brooks Marques Brooks ... Reenactor
Caleb Brown Caleb Brown ... Reenactor
Jordan Brown Jordan Brown ... Petitioner
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Storyline

Episode four looks at Civil War and Reconstruction through the experiences of South Carolina slave Robert Smalls. It chronicles Smalls' daring escape to freedom, his military service, and his tenure as a congressman after the war. As the events of Smalls' life unfold, the complexities of this period in American history are revealed. The episode shows the transformation of the war from a struggle for union to a battle over slavery. It examines the black contribution to the war effort and traces the gains and losses of newly freed African Americans during Reconstruction. The 13th amendment abolished slavery in 1865, the 14th and 15th amendments guaranteed black civil rights, and the Freedmen's Bureau offered aid to former slaves throughout the 1870s. Watch a preview Yet simultaneously, the formation of militant groups, such as the Ku Klux Klan threatened the future of racial equality and segregation laws began to appear across the country. Slavery's eradication had not brought an end to... Written by PBS

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Release Date:

2005 (USA) See more »

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