Segments in this Video

Introduction: The Road Home (02:18)


Chris Rock, Jackie Joyner-Kersee, and Tina Turner are some of the people who will discover more about their family histories and how they became part of the collective narrative of African American lives

The Meaning of Home (02:32)

Leaving their homes would become the defining moment for so many of the African American people in the first quarter of the twentieth century.

The Great Migration (02:44)

For most African Americans at the turn of the century, home was still the South. In the "Great Migration" African Americans began moving north to cities. They were fleeing racism and searching for economic opportunity.

Education in Alabama (03:44)

After the end of slavery, opportunities for Blacks in Alabama remained limited. Since the state would not educate black children in the, Presbyterian Churches started mission schools. Tom Joyner learns about his great grandfathers contribution.

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (03:22)

For well over a century, segregation and its effects dictated how and where African Americans could live, work, and even what they could dream. In the 1970s Maya Angelou turned her remarkable family story into art.

Black in Brooklyn (02:27)

For so many African Americans the chasm between white and black was too wide to cross. Chris Rock shares his experiences with racism growing up in Brooklyn in the 1970s.

Northern Urban Ghetto Life (02:58)

For so many African Americans, the promise of the "Great Migration" gave way to the stark reality of northern urban ghetto life. Jackie Joyner-Kercee discusses growing up in East St. Louis in the 1970s.

Uplifting the Youth (02:16)

Encouragement from the Black Community, especially family could save children from seeing themselves as inferior in segregated America.

Family Ties (03:53)

Chris Rock and Jackie Joyner-Kercee both share stories form their childhoods, which were deeply entwined with their grandparents.

Fleeing Home (03:21)

Tom Joiner learns for the first time why his family left South Carolina in the early 1900s giving up their land and their roots. They were forced to sell their acres to pay an attorney because Tom's uncles were accused of killing a white man.

Falsely Accused (03:11)

There is evidence to support that Tom Joiner's uncles were innocent of the crime that they were executed for. An all White jury deliberated for less than two hours before handing down a death sentence to four Black men.

A Painful Family Story (04:03)

Tom Joyner assembled his family so he could tell them about the case involving the false accusations of murder against his great uncles that were put to deaths for the crime.

Deciding to "Pass" (04:00)

Bliss Broyard's father Anatole Broyard, worked as a literary critic for The New York Times. It was a historic achievement for an African American writer but most people at The New York Times and even his children didn't know that he was black.

Neither Black or White (02:32)

Race isn't always a matter of Black and White. Because of centuries of mixing among African slaves, the Portuguese, and their mulatto off spring, many Cape Verdeans traditionally have seen themselves as something other than White or Black.

Choosing a Race (02:03)

For Bliss Broyard, Anatole Broyard's daughter, there are many questions that remain unanswered about her father's choice to live as a white man even though he was actually African American.

People Who "Passed" (02:15)

"Passing" is an uncomfortable and very complicated aspect of African American family history.

King of the Black Hill (01:57)

After becoming a successful business man, Jack H. Johnson chose to serve the Black community because he wanted them to realize how important, beautiful, and intelligent they were.

Stability in the World (01:59)

Knowledge of self forms the foundation that each person can build upon to succeed even, against impossible odds.

For additional digital leasing and purchase options contact a media consultant at 800-257-5126
(press option 3) or

African-American Lives 2: The Road Home

Part of the Series : African-American Lives 2
3-Year Streaming Price: $169.95



From travesties of justice to the pursuit of the most intimate truths, this program focuses on participants’ ancestors in the early 20th century. Stories include the account of Tom Joyner’s great-uncles who, in 1915, were convicted by an all-white jury and executed for a crime that new evidence suggests they did not commit. Meanwhile, Bliss Broyard learns more about her father, renowned New York Times critic Anatole Broyard—a light-skinned black man who chose to pass as white. Ms. Broyard learned of her African-American roots upon her father’s death in 1990. Distributed by PBS Distribution. Part of the series African-American Lives 2. (54 minutes)

Length: 56 minutes

Item#: BVL40956

Copyright date: ©2008

Closed Captioned

Performance Rights

Prices include public performance rights.

Not available to Home Video, Dealer and Publisher customers.

Only available in USA and Canada.