The documentary, Slavery and the making of America,was a very interesting and eye-opening.

I personally learned a lot from thisfilm, never really knowing the true story of African American’s until seeingthis documentary. I believe the Slavery and the making of America film hasaffected me in many different ways, making me feel proud, happy, sad, respectful,and expanded my knowledge. African American slaves built this wonderful countryto allow us and others to have the opportunities that we do and endure the benefitsit has to offer. Some African Americans today still feel the need to earn therespect of other fellow citizens, I believe that should not be the case. Aftereverything these African American’s that were victims of slave trade have doneand been put through, they still had it in their hearts to forgive theatrocities that were committed against them.

These slaves deserve our respectfor their contribution to the existence of our country, their ability toforgive, and the love and devotion that was given for this world. That beingsaid, why do they still at times not feel respected around our country today? Ibelieve that’s the least they deserve! The two parts of the four-part documentarywe watched where “Liberty in the Air” and “The Challenge of Freedom”. Libertyin the air was between the 1740s-1830s and taught us about the expansion ofslavery in the colonies and the evolution of African American culture. Duringthis part of the film, land owners became less dependent on slave trade, allowingnew generations of slaves to develop unique culture qualities of the African Americanlife.

I thought it was interesting learning about Thomas Jefferson’s slave, Jupiter,and how they grew up together as best friends playing together every day andhow he would grow up to work for the boy he grew up playing with. Something elseI found surprising was how many slaves Thomas Jefferson had when he waspresident, even though he was for appealing slavery. Finally, part four, TheChallenge of Freedom which shows us the transformation of the Civil War from astruggle for union to a battle about slavery and the Reconstruction throughslave Robert Smalls, who is from South Carolina. In this episode we see RobertSmalls escape for freedom, serve in the military, and spend some time as acongressman after the civil war. Throughout this episode and learning aboutRobert Smalls life events, we also see the rise of the KKK, the end ofreconstruction and the new oppression that replaced it, as well as the problemsof this period in time in American history were uncovered. African Americansbegan to read, write, and tell their stories and began to feel a little bit offreedom.

I thought Robert Smalls was a very brave and courageous man as henever seemed afraid. Robert Smalls showed us not only do we hold our life inour hands, but we hold our death in our hands also.


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