Posted by Suwitda Boontawee on

Available Prior to the Start of Black History Month

 Previews of “The African Americans: Many Rivers to Cross
and “
Black in Latin America” are Available to View


Arlington, Va. – January 9, 2015 – PBS Distribution announced today it is releasing a new set on DVD called “THE AFRICAN AMERICANS & BLACK IN LATIN AMERICA WITH HENRY LOUIS GATES, JR.” This set features two captivating documentaries from Henry Louis Gates, Jr., the Alphonse Fletcher University Professor and Director of the Hutchins Center for African and African American Research at Harvard University. “The African Americans: Many Rivers to Cross” takes viewers across five hundred years and two continents to shed light on the experience of being an African American, and in “Black in Latin America,” Professor Gates introduces viewers to the faces and voices of the descendants of the Africans in six Latin American countries – Brazil, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Haiti, Mexico and Peru.


THE AFRICAN AMERICANS & BLACK IN LATIN AMERICA WITH HENRY LOUIS GATES, JR.” will be available on DVD January 20, 2015. Itsrun time is approximately 600 minutes on 4 discs and the set SRP is $39.99. A brief description of each of the outstanding films included in the set is below.


“The African Americans: Many Rivers to Cross” explores the evolution of the African-American people, as well as the multiplicity of cultural institutions, political strategies, and religious and social perspectives they developed – forging their own history, culture and society against unimaginable odds. Commencing with the origins of slavery in Africa, the series moves through five centuries of remarkable historic events right up to the present, when America is led by a black president, yet remains a nation deeply divided by race. Throughout the course of the series, viewers will see that the road to freedom for black people in America has not been linear, but more like the course of a river, full of loops and eddies, slowing, and occasionally reversing the current of progress. “The African Americans: Many Rivers to Cross” won an Emmy Award for Outstanding Historical Programming – Long Form, as well as a Peabody Award, an Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Award, and NAACP Image Award.


“Black in Latin America” is about the African influence on Latin America. The series examines how indigenous, African, and European people came together to create the rich cultures of Latin America and the Caribbean. Latin America is often associated with music, monuments, and sun, but each of the six countries featured in “Black in Latin America” – Haiti, Dominican Republic, Cuba, Brazil, Mexico, and Peru – has a secret history. On his journey, Professor Gates discovers that behind a shared legacy of colonialism and slavery are vivid stories and people marked by African roots.




“The African Americans: Many Rivers to Cross” is a joint production of Kunhardt McGee Productions, THIRTEEN Productions LLC, and Inkwell Films in association with Ark Media. Henry Louis Gates, Jr., Peter Kunhardt, Dyllan McGee and Julie Anderson are executive producers. Stephen Segaller is executive in charge for WNET.  Rachel Dretzin is senior producer. Leslie Asako Gladsjo is senior story producer.


Major corporate support for “The African Americans: Many Rives to Cross” is provided by Bank of America. Additional corporate funding is provided by The Coca-Cola Company and McDonald’s.  Leadership support is generously provided by the Abby and Howard Milstein Foundation, in partnership with HooverMilstein and Emigrant Bank.  Major funding is also provided by the Ford Foundation, Dr. Georgette Bennett and Dr. Leonard Polonsky in Memory of Rabbi Marc H. Tanenbaum, Richard Gilder, the Hutchins Family Foundation, the W.K. Kellogg Foundation and the National Endowment for the Humanities. Support is also provided by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and PBS.


“Black in Latin America” is a production of Inkwell Films, Wall to Wall Media Limited and THIRTEEN in association with WNET.  Written and presented by Henry Louis Gates, Jr.  Executive producers are Henry Louis Gates, Jr., Jonathan Hewes and William R. Grant.  Series producer is Ricardo Pollack.  Directors are Ricardo Pollack (Haiti & the Dominican Republic: An Island Divided and Brazil: A Racial Paradise?), Diene Petterle (Cuba: The Next Revolution) and Ilana Trachtman (Mexico & Peru: The Black Grandma in the Closet).


Funding for “Black in Latin America” is provided by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, Public Television Stations and Viewers Like You. Additional funding is provided by the Ford Foundation, Richard Gilder and Alphonse Fletcher. 


About WNET
As New York’s flagship public media provider and the parent company of THIRTEEN and WLIW21 and operator of NJTV, WNET brings quality arts, education and public affairs programming to more than 5 million viewers each week. WNET produces and presents such acclaimed PBS series as Nature, Great Performances, American Masters, PBS NewsHour Weekend, Charlie Rose and a range of documentaries, children’s programs, and local news and cultural offerings available on air and online. Pioneers in educational programming, WNET has created such groundbreaking series as Get the Math, Oh Noah! and Cyberchase and provides tools for educators that bring compelling content to life in the classroom and at home. WNET highlights the tri-state’s unique culture and diverse communities through NYC-ARTS, Reel 13, NJTV News with Mary Alice Williams and MetroFocus, the multi-platform news magazine focusing on the New York region. WNET is also a leader in connecting with viewers on emerging platforms, including the THIRTEEN Explore App where users can stream PBS content for free.


About PBS Distribution

PBS Distribution is the leading media distributor for the public television community, both domestically and internationally, extending the reach of these programs beyond broadcast while generating revenue for the public television system and our production partners.


PBS Distribution offers a diverse range of programming to our customers, including Ken Burns’s films, documentaries from award-winning series such as NOVA, FRONTLINE, AMERICAN MASTERS, NATURE, and AMERICAN EXPERIENCE, dramas from MASTERPIECE, as well as films from independent producers and popular children’s programming. As a multi-channel distributor, PBS Distribution offers consumers high-quality content in multiple formats including DVD, Blu-ray, digital download, and digital streaming. PBS Distribution is also a leading source for factual content for international broadcast, cable and satellite services.



Street Date: January 20, 2015

Genre: Documentary

Run Time: Approximately 600 Minutes on 4 Discs

SRP: $39.99