Documenting The Struggle

(Above: ‘Freedom Summer’ image, courtesy World Channel)

“Documenting The Struggle,” a 90-minute live conversation with documentary filmmaker Stanley Nelson, streams free today, October 21, at 6 pm ET on American Experience’s YouTube channel and Facebook page.

The documentarian will discuss three of his films, The Murder of Emmett Till, Freedom Riders and Freedom Summer, all of which are included in “Race in America,” a six-month series over public TV’s World Channel, a free over-the-air network and on-demand streamer.

You can also watch today’s discussion right here:

The “Race in America” films, airing Saturdays at 8pm ET/9pm PT through March on the broadcast channel, and streaming at, include:

The Murder of Emmett Till (2003), Nelson’s film about the 1955 brutal slaying in rural Mississippi of 14-year-old Till, visiting from Chicago, who whistled at a white woman, not knowing that such an action was taboo for Blacks in the Jim Crow South. Now streaming.

Freedom Riders (2011), Nelson’s film about the 400 Americans, both white and Black, who traveled together on buses and trains through the Deep South for six months in 1961, risking their lives to test and challenge the then-segregated interstate travel system. Now streaming.

Freedom Riders, World Channel

Freedom Summer (2014), Nelson’s film about 10 weeks in Mississippi during the summer of 1964 when white students from the North joined with local Civil Rights activists in a push for Black voter registration. Airs October 24.    

John Lewis – Get in the Way (2017), documenting the journey of the late Civil Rights icon from his role as one of the original Freedom Riders to his position as a U.S. Congressman.  Airs October 31.

The African Americans:  Many Rivers to Cross (2013), a six-episode series with Harvard’s Henry Louis Gates, Jr., recounting the history of Blacks in America over five centuries. Airs November 7 through November 21.

Miles Davis: Birth of the Cool (2020), offering a deep dive into the world of the jazz legend. Airs November 28.

Reconstruction:  America After the Civil War (2019), a four-episode series with Harvard’s Henry Louis Gates, Jr., exploring the 12 years following the Civil War when millions of former slaves and free Blacks sought their place under the law as equal American citizens. Airs December 5 to December 12.

Maya Angelou: And Still I Rise (2017), a biography of the poet from her upbringing in the Depression-era South and early performing career to her work with Malcolm X and her many writing successes. Airs December 19.

Twilight: Los Angeles (2001), a filmed version of Anna Deavere Smith’s play about the fallout from the 1992 Los Angeles riots following the Rodney King trial verdict. Airs December 26.

To find out if World Channel is available over the air in your area, and channel numbers, visit To stream, visit

About Les Luchter

Les Luchter is a former managing editor of Multichannel News, editor-in-chief of Cable Marketing, and news editor of Broadcast Week.

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