The African Americans: Many Rivers to Cross” with Henry Louis Gates Jr. has won the prestigious Peabody Award. The honor signifies excellence on television, radio and the Internet. Gates is the Alphonse Fletcher, Jr., University Professor and director of the Hutchins Center for African and African American Research.

Written and presented by Gates, the six-hour series 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.

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