American

AMERICAN EXPERIENCE
The Chinese Exclusion Act

AMERICAN EXPERIENCE: The Chinese Exclusion Act

 

Examine the origin, history and impact of the 1882 law that made it illegal for Chinese workers to come to America and for Chinese nationals already here to ever become U.S. citizens. The law remained in force for more than 60 years.

 

Preview

 

 

 

AMERICAN MASTERS
Margaret Mitchell: American Rebel

 

Margaret Mitchell: American Rebel engages leading historians, biographers and personal friends to reveal a complex woman who experienced profound identity shifts during her life and struggled with the two great issues of her day: the changing role of women and the liberation of African Americans. A charismatic force until a tragic accident lead to her death at age 48, Mitchell rebelled against the stifling social restrictions placed on women: as an unconventional tomboy, a defiant debutante, a brazen flapper, one of Georgia’s first female newspaper reporters, and, later, as a philanthropist who risked her life to fund African American education. Emmy®-winning executive producer/writer Pamela Roberts uses reenactments based on Mitchell’s personal letters and journals to show how her upbringing and romantic relationships influenced the creation of Gone With the Wind. The film also explores Scarlett and Rhett’s place as two of the world’s greatest lovers and the public’s initial reception to the book and David O. Selznick’s 1939 epic film – from racial lightning rod to model for survival. 2012 marks the 75th anniversary of Mitchell’s Pulitzer Prize win for the only book published during her lifetime and Gone With the Wind’s lasting popularity seems permanently etched in the American cultural landscape.

 

 

IN THEIR OWN WORDS
Jim Henson

 

This biographical profile uses Jim Henson’s most memorable quotes to frame his life story. Follow Henson’s career, from his early television work with the Muppets in the 1950s to his commercial work, his breakthroughs with Sesame Street and The Muppet Show, his fantasy films of the 1980s to his sudden death in 1990.

 

THE ITALIAN AMERICANS
La Famiglia/Becoming Americans

 

This series chronicles the evolution of Italian Americans from the late 19th century to today. Once “outsiders” viewed with suspicion and mistrust, Italian Americans are today some of the most prominent leaders of U.S. business, politics and the arts. The series peels away myths and stereotypes to reveal a world uniquely Italian and uniquely American. Among those interviewed are Tony Bennett, David Chase, John Turturro, Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi, Gay Talese and many others. Stanley Tucci narrates.

 

 

La Famiglia

By the late 19th century, Italians begin to put down roots and “Little Italys” spring up in urban areas throughout the U.S. But the first generation, holding onto language and culture, is branded “outsiders” and mistrusted by non-Italians. In New Orleans, this mistrust explodes into violence and 11 Italian Americans are murdered by an armed mob. Meanwhile, in San Francisco, a second-generation Italian American saves his community from disaster while creating one of the greatest financial institutions in America.

 

 

Becoming Americans

At the turn of the 20th century, more than four million Italians immigrate to America. Leonard Covello is forced to give up his “old world” ways and adopt American mores, including changing his name; Arturo Giovannitti, a new immigrant, leads the largest labor strike of 1912, when Italian Americans push for better working conditions and wages. Italian Americans are forced to worship in the basement of churches controlled by the Irish archdiocese; anarchists Sacco and Vanzetti are executed, reinforcing stereotypes that follow Italian Americans today.