South Carolina ETV


"The African Americans: Many Rivers to Cross" Features Story Set In Lowcountry

For Immediate Release
January 16, 2014

High resolution images are below

THE AFRICAN AMERICANS: MANY RIVERS TO CROSS, presented and written by Harvard scholar Henry Louis Gates, Jr., offers stories on many of America's earliest African Americans, including "Priscilla," a young girl who was brought to Charleston when she was just 10 years old.

ETV is rebroadcasting Gates' entire six-hour series, with two episodes airing back-to-back Thursdays beginning at 8:00 p.m., February 20 March 6.

The first episode in the series, "The Black Atlantic (1500 – 1800)," includes Priscilla's story. Priscilla was carried across the Atlantic and sold in Charleston in 1756. 

At the time Priscilla was enslaved, a third of South Carolina’s slaves died within a year of their arrival; nearly two-thirds of all children were dead before they turned 16. Priscilla beat the odds and grew up, married, had children, and lived out most of her life on the Comingtee Plantation in Berkeley County.

Gates speaks to one of Priscilla's relatives: her fifth great granddaughter, Thomalind Martin Polite, who learned about Priscilla with the help of Edward Ball, the fifth great grandson of Priscilla's owner.

"I was nineteen years old when I first found out. It really hit me this was my grandmother…she had to be tough!" said Polite.

The five subsequent episodes in the series and their air dates are: "The Age of Slavery (1800 – 1860)" airs February 20 at 9:00 p.m. on ETV; "Into the Fire (1861 – 1896)" and "Making a Way Out of No Way (1897 – 1940)" air February 27 starting at 8:00 p.m.; and "Rise! (1940 – 1968)" and "A More Perfect Union (1968 – 2013)" air March 6 starting at 8:00 p.m.

South Carolina ETV is the state's public educational broadcasting network with 11 television and eight radio transmitters, and a multi-media educational system in more than 2,500 schools, colleges, businesses and government agencies. Using television, radio and the web, SCETV's mission is to enrich lives by educating children, informing and connecting citizens, celebrating our culture and environment and instilling the joy of learning.

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Photos may be downloaded for the sole purpose of publicizing this program. To download an image, click on the picture below. A new Web page will open containing the hi-res version. Right click on the hi-res image, and select "Save As" or "Save Picture As."
“The African Americans: Many Rivers to Cross” Features Story Set In Lowcountry
Henry Louis Gates Jr. Photo Credit Courtesy of Rahoul Ghose PBS


Photos may be downloaded for the sole purpose of publicizing this program. To download an image, click on the picture below. A new Web page will open containing the hi-res version. Right click on the hi-res image, and select "Save As" or "Save Picture As."
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