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Seizing Freedom

History Podcasts

Epic stories of Black people who fought for their liberty and transformed America after the Civil War. Using first-hand accounts from diaries, newspapers, speeches, and letters, this is a narrated docudrama about the failures and successes of the Reconstruction era, told by those who made it happen.

Epic stories of Black people who fought for their liberty and transformed America after the Civil War. Using first-hand accounts from diaries, newspapers, speeches, and letters, this is a narrated docudrama about the failures and successes of the Reconstruction era, told by those who made it happen.

Location:

United States

Description:

Epic stories of Black people who fought for their liberty and transformed America after the Civil War. Using first-hand accounts from diaries, newspapers, speeches, and letters, this is a narrated docudrama about the failures and successes of the Reconstruction era, told by those who made it happen.

Language:

English


Episodes

Introducing Toxic: The Britney Spears Story

7/7/2021
Comedians Tess Barker and Babs Gray, who you might know from Lady to Lady or the now legendary Britney’s Gram podcast, are here to bring you a brand new investigative series about Britney Spears' conservatorship and the court system that's allowed it to persist. After launching the #FreeBritney movement, they started to dig… And what they found out, you won’t want to miss! Join Tess and Babs as they talk to exclusive sources, examine new sides of the story, and uncover disturbing truths...

Duration:00:05:54

Recommended Listening: 1865

5/20/2021
While we work on the next season of Seizing Freedom, we think you'll enjoy listening to the podcast, 1865. In its new season, Ulysses S. Grant takes the White House, intent on rooting out corruption, crushing the KKK and bringing peace to a troubled nation. He has to contend with a divided people, a dysfunctional congress and a fractured Republican Party. While abolitionists across the country celebrated their hard-fought win in the fight toward equality, the steadily growing Ku Klux Klan...

Duration:00:07:26

A Heritage Unique In The Ages

5/17/2021
Season finale. The "freedom generation" of African Americans who were the first to experience emancipation knew that their fight for freedom was only just beginning. Even as they were earning new rights and privileges, they continued to face pushback that jeopardized all they had fought for and earned. Hear how they planned for the future, even as the present structures around them were being torn down. Support the show:...

Duration:00:55:48

Interview: Kate Masur

5/10/2021
A discussion of the central role African Americans played in securing constitutional change for their civil and political rights during Reconstruction, as well as the long-lasting impacts of their efforts in the first civil rights movement. Support the show: http://donate.vpm.org/site/Donation2?1557.donation=form1&df_id=1557&mfc_pref=T

Duration:00:45:43

The Final Word On Liberty

5/3/2021
The 13th Amendment abolished slavery in 1865, but African Americans knew the “freedom” of emancipation was incomplete without universal citizenship and rights protected by law. Learn how their insistence on having a full stake in American freedom helped transform federal policy and codify the rhetoric of “liberty” into law. Support the show: http://donate.vpm.org/site/Donation2?1557.donation=form1&df_id=1557&mfc_pref=T

Duration:00:51:59

Interview: Kelly Brown Douglas

4/26/2021
The Reverend shares what church has meant to the Black community, both historically and currently, as well as how to find God in times of struggle and injustice. Support the show: http://donate.vpm.org/site/Donation2?1557.donation=form1&df_id=1557&mfc_pref=T

Duration:00:42:25

Equal Children Of God

4/19/2021
How a thirst for soul liberty and the freedom to worship as they saw fit sustained Black Americans through centuries of enslavement. And how the sustenance they found in religious community emboldened them to fight for—and demand—concrete social and political change. Support the show: http://donate.vpm.org/site/Donation2?1557.donation=form1&df_id=1557&mfc_pref=T

Duration:01:03:55

Interview: Hilary Green

4/12/2021
Conversation about family histories and education, how many of the stereotypes that have been associated with Black people in the United States came to be, why they’re simply not true, and what the pursuit of knowledge meant and looked like to African Americans during and after Reconstruction. Support the show: http://donate.vpm.org/site/Donation2?1557.donation=form1&df_id=1557&mfc_pref=T

Duration:00:48:50

Truth Makes The Free Man

4/5/2021
Education was regarded as the "real liberation" by many African Americans following emancipation from slavery, and they were willing to go to extreme lengths to secure literacy for themselves and their kin. Support the show: http://donate.vpm.org/site/Donation2?1557.donation=form1&df_id=1557&mfc_pref=T

Duration:01:01:52

Interview: Tera Hunter

3/29/2021
Kidada speaks with Princeton Historian Tera Hunter about how Black workers wanted to shape their working lives after the Civil War, what communal labor looked like, and what activities they found joy in. Support the show: http://donate.vpm.org/site/Donation2?1557.donation=form1&df_id=1557&mfc_pref=T

Duration:00:34:43

They Can't Keep Me Out

3/22/2021
Further exploring the stakes of making a living as a Black person following emancipation and how, despite violent retaliation in light of their successes, African Americans never lost sight of what made Black life worth living. Support the show: http://donate.vpm.org/site/Donation2?1557.donation=form1&df_id=1557&mfc_pref=T

Duration:00:55:56

Interview: Rhiannon Giddens

3/15/2021
The Grammy-winning musician discusses her connection to the banjo, its historical ties to Africa, and how she draws inspiration from the historical archives to create her songs. Support the show: http://donate.vpm.org/site/Donation2?1557.donation=form1&df_id=1557&mfc_pref=T

Duration:00:43:33

A New Joy Awaiting Me

3/8/2021
How newly emancipated African Americans established communities and expanded their labor on their own terms to build livelihoods for themselves and their families, and how they were met with extreme repercussions from whites through the introduction of Black Codes. Support the show: http://donate.vpm.org/site/Donation2?1557.donation=form1&df_id=1557&mfc_pref=T

Duration:00:59:10

Interview: Deborah Willis

3/1/2021
Photography professor Deborah Willis speaks with Kidada about the power of photography during the Civil War era, and the stories images can reveal to us about the lives Black people led and wanted future generations to understand. Support the show: http://donate.vpm.org/site/Donation2?1557.donation=form1&df_id=1557&mfc_pref=T

Duration:00:31:31

Reconstructing Family

2/22/2021
How freed people sought out their kin following emancipation, and how they worked to establish new lives with their families, pushing for recognition in the eyes of the law. Support the show: http://donate.vpm.org/site/Donation2?1557.donation=form1&df_id=1557&mfc_pref=T

Duration:00:55:02

Interview: Abigail Cooper

2/15/2021
Conversation with Abigail Cooper about the communities that Black people established in Civil War refugee camps, how they celebrated their African traditions and how they had to adapt to survive in the American patriarchy. Support the show: http://donate.vpm.org/site/Donation2?1557.donation=form1&df_id=1557&mfc_pref=T

Duration:00:29:20

A Bedrock For Freedom

2/8/2021
How freedom wasn't as clear-cut as wartime refugees from slavery expected, and how— despite terrible conditions in many camps—Black people's desire for self-determination kept them going. Support the show: http://donate.vpm.org/site/Donation2?1557.donation=form1&df_id=1557&mfc_pref=T

Duration:00:48:07

Interview: Crystal Feimster

2/4/2021
Interview with historian Crystal Feimster about the importance of digging into archives and disrupting the myth that the Civil War and Reconstruction are histories that belong to white men. Support the show: http://donate.vpm.org/site/Donation2?1557.donation=form1&df_id=1557&mfc_pref=T

Duration:00:25:45

A Powerful Black Hand

2/1/2021
How Black men and women fought to participate in the war against slavery, and how the Union’s decision to allow them to enlist shifted the tide of the Civil War. Support the show: http://donate.vpm.org/site/Donation2?1557.donation=form1&df_id=1557&mfc_pref=T

Duration:00:56:40

Intro: Time For A New Story

2/1/2021
If you’ve heard stories about Reconstruction, you’ve probably heard that it failed. And sure, some parts of Reconstruction did fail—but not because Black people didn’t claim their freedom. Support the show: http://donate.vpm.org/site/Donation2?1557.donation=form1&df_id=1557&mfc_pref=T

Duration:00:07:10