African In America Documentary Analysis

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“Africans in America” part IV “Judgment Day” is a PBS documentary that uses quotes, journal entries and photographs along with commentary from historians to discuss slavery in America. This documentary does a good job of relaying the anger and pain that slavery brought to America. “White people want slaves, they want us for slaves, but they will rue the day they were born.” This quote from David Walker helps set the mood and the emotions festering in the black people of America.
The use of different mediums within the documentary gave it real emotion and depth. The pictures and paintings used help expand the viewers feelings. Putting faces to the men, women, and children of slavery tugs on the heartstrings. Many of the photos of slave families looked like any regular family; there are photos of children playing, mothers nursing their babies, and adults sitting and chatting. However, the reminder of the horrors behind the camera make this documentary an excellent resource for a peek into life in the South during this time.
This documentary also conveys the economic backing of slavery and
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Jacobs was able to escape her slave master, however out of fear of being caught and sent back she hid out in a confined space in a shed for over seven years. When she knew her children were no longer slaves and they had found safety, she too was able to fully escape and earn her freedom. This harrowing story was told in pieces, and by the time the viewer learns of Harriet’s happy ending there is a little glimmer of hope for those who were able to escape slavery. The slaves who were able to gain freedom for themselves and their families should be regarded as heroes. This documentary does a great job of honoring their bravery and sacrifice. If they were caught trying to escape, their punishment would be brutal and would most likely lead to their
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