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Africans In America; Judgment Day (1831-1861); Interview with Margaret Washington, 1997

Part of Africans in America.


Margaret Washington is interviewed about Harriet Jacobs and the lives of slave women, gender conventions and racism, resentment of slave women by mistresses, Butler Island and religious life, the roles of women in the slave community, literacy and education among slaves, justifications by whites for slavery, minstrel shows, northern racism, Dred Scott decision, Kansas and Nebraska Act, John Brown, moral suasion, the legacy of slavery.

License Clip
Africans In America
Judgment Day (1831-1861)
Program Number



Interview with Margaret Washington, 1997

Series Description

Broadcast: October 1998 This series explores the central paradox that is at the heart of the American story: a democracy that declared all men equal but enslaved and oppressed one people to provide independence and prosperity to another. The series opens in the 16th century on Africa's Gold Coast with the European and African trade, and ends on the eve of the American Civil War in 1861. Africans in America examines the economic and intellectual foundations of slavery in America and the global economy that prospered from it. The series reveals how the presence of African people and their struggle for freedom transformed America. Series release date: 10/1998

Program Description

104 Judgment Day (1831-1861)--The nation expands westward; slavery becomes the most divisive issue in American life. Abolitionists struggle to bring the institution down, and the nation is tested as never before. As tensions over slavery erupt into violence, Americans are forced to consider how long the country can continue as a democracy built on the profits of bondage. Producer: Llewellyn Smith.



Asset Type

Raw video

Media Type


Race and Ethnicity
Smith, Llewellyn (Series Producer)
Washington, Margaret (Interviewee)
Publication Information
WGBH Educational Foundation
Rights Summary

Rights Holder: WGBH Educational Foundation

Chicago: “Africans In America; Judgment Day (1831-1861); Interview with Margaret Washington, 1997,” 03/06/1997, GBH Archives, accessed June 30, 2022,
MLA: “Africans In America; Judgment Day (1831-1861); Interview with Margaret Washington, 1997.” 03/06/1997. GBH Archives. Web. June 30, 2022. <>.
APA: Africans In America; Judgment Day (1831-1861); Interview with Margaret Washington, 1997. Boston, MA: GBH Archives. Retrieved from
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