SEASON ONE: From the Wild West to Washington
Eight stories of the men and women of African descent who tamed the West, reinvented popular music, reached new athletic heights, and walked the halls of power.
Stage Coach Mary Fields and Deputy Marshall Bass Reeves were both frontier legends, born into slavery only to become central figures in the social history of the Wild West. In the 20th Century, black musicians reinvented popular music, laying down the beat that would become rock ‘n roll. Sister Rosetta Tharp and Disco King Mario are but two of the visionaries whose work influenced a generation of musical stars. Moses Fleetwood Walker and Simone Manuel represent athletic achievement, being respectively the first man of African descent to play major league baseball and the first black athlete to win Olympic gold in an individual swimming event. Rounding out the season are the stories of prolific inventor Frederick McKinley Jones and Shirley Chisolm, the first black woman elected to the U.S. Congress.