Incredible stories of Black people’s quest for liberation, progress and joy in America

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Ending slavery in America required so much more than official declarations and battlefield victories.

Freedom gets built up over time—through a billion tiny, everyday acts. It’s there in the chance to enlist and fight for a cause. It’s there in the effort to reunite families torn apart by the cruelty of slave trading. It’s there in the right to learn to read or found a church or decide how you want to make a living. And it’s there in the insistence on the legal recognition of the right to do all these things.

That’s the freedom you’ll hear about on this podcast, and you’ll hear about it directly from the people who seized it. All of the stories on this show are drawn from archives of voices from American history that have been muted time and time again.

Kidada Williams

Seizing Freedom is hosted by Dr. Kidada Williams, a historian, author and professor of U.S. History, with a focus on African Americans.

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Check out the Seizing Freedom interactive location map to see where these events took place, in the context of the nation today.

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Seizing Freedom is a co-production of VPM and Molten Heart