PBS Documentary Airs Again on Jan. 15, 22
"The Abolitionists," which recently premiered on PBS, focuses on the intertwined lives of five abolitionist leaders. These men and women arguably did as much -- maybe even more -- than Lincoln to end slavery, yet few contemporary Americans recognize their names.
The three-part documentary's airing comes as the nation commemorates the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation, the 1863 decree signed by Lincoln that set in motion the freeing of slaves. Lincoln is a Mount Rushmore figure today, but the abolitionists also did something remarkable. They took on the colossal wealth and political power of the slave trade, and won. (Imagine activists today persuading the country to shut down Apple and Google because they deem their business practices immoral.)
The abolitionists "forced the issue of slavery on to the national agenda," says Sharon Grimberg, executive producer for the PBS documentary. "They made it unavoidable."
"The Abolitionists" offers four surprising revelations about how the abolitionists triumphed, and how they pioneered many of the same tactics protest movements use today.