Historian Margaret Washington in PBS film Feb. 19

Margaret Washington

Margaret Washington, professor of history, is featured in the new PBS documentary film, “‘Tell Them We Are Rising’: The Story of Black Colleges and Universities,” directed by MacArthur Award-winning filmmaker Stanley Nelson.

The film documents the story of black colleges and universities, which began before the Civil War. Washington was called on for her expertise in 18th-- and 19th-century African-American social and cultural history.

“The film dramatically sheds light on African-Americans’ journey to literacy and education as they sought to rise above the historical baggage of slavery, segregation and racism,” explains Washington. “Nelson’s documentary uncovers the often-unacknowledged black struggle for educational advancement and recognition. The intellectual, cultural and pedagogical value of these institutions represent a truly significant historical and contemporary page from American life.”

“Tell Them We Are Rising” is the second in a three-part series, “America Revisited,” that includes “The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution” and the forthcoming “The Slave Trade: Creating A New World.” The 90-minute film is scheduled to air nationally on the PBS series “Independent Lens” on Monday, Feb. 19, at 9 p.m. EST.

- Linda B. Glaser

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Jeff Tyson