Understanding a Divided America

Following the violent clashes between white nationalists and counter-protesters in Charlottesville, Virginia, PBS presents films that take a closer look at the nation's divide. The films below provide insight on many of the events, issues, and perspectives that have shaped views on race in America. You can also visit PBS NewsHour for ongoing coverage of the Charlottesville rally and the continuing political fallout.

POV: Two Towns of Jasper

This 2003 documentary examines the aftermath of the murder of James Byrd, Jr., a black man, who was chained to a pick-up truck and dragged to his death by three white men. Watch the entire film below. Plus, find out why there were segregated film crews and what happened to the subjects of the film.  

American Experience: Klansville U.S.A.

In 1963, North Carolina salesman Bob Jones chartered what would become the largest Klan group in the country, which, under his leadership, grew to some ten thousand members. In the process, the group helped give the Tarheel State a new nickname: "Klansville, U.S.A." American Experience premiered this film in 2015. Watch the full program below. You can also look back at the near massacre in Plymouth, North Carolina and explore the Top 5 Questions about the KKK.  

Slavery By Another Name

Even as chattel slavery came to an end in the South in 1865, thousands of African Americans were pulled back into forced labor with shocking force and brutality. This 90-minute documentary challenges one of Americans' most cherished assumptions: the belief that slavery in this country ended with the Emancipation Proclamation. Explore the map and timeline of slavery in America and learn more from the theme gallery. Watch the entire film below.

American Experience: Oklahoma City - Chapter 1

Trace the events, including the deadly encounters between American citizens and law enforcement at Ruby Ridge and Waco, that led Timothy McVeigh to commit the worst act of domestic terrorism in American history. Profile one of the six children at the day-care center who survived the bombing and take a deeper look at the American antigovernment movement.  Watch the first chapter below.

FRONTLINE: Divided States of America

"Divided States of America" looks back at events during President Barack Obama's years in office that revealed deep divisions in our country. The documentary offers an in-depth view of the partisan gridlock in Washington, the rise of populist anger on both sides of the aisle, and the racial tensions that erupted throughout the country.  Watch the show below. 

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