Item Details

Our American Storytellers

Phil Bertelsen; John Gleason; Hazel Gurland-Pooler; Muriel Soenens; Sabin Streeter; Jesse Sweet; Bertelsen, Phil; Gleason, John; Gurland-Pooler, Hazel; Soenens, Muriel; Streeter, Sabin; Sweet, Jesse; Kanopy (Firm)
Format
Video; Streaming Video; Online
Summary
Three iconic American storytellers have spent their lives chronicling the lives of others, while knowing almost nothing about their own family history. Ken Burns confronts the reality of his southern ancestors’ role in the Civil War, including Confederate soldiers held captive and a slave-owning Virginian. Anderson Cooper, scion of one of America’s most storied families, the Vanderbilts, longs to know more about his father’s southern roots — including the story of an ancestor murdered by one his slaves. Anna Deavere Smith learns the story of her great-grandfather Basil Biggs, a free black man and former conductor on the Underground Railroad. All three guests’ ancestors intersect at pivotal moments of American history.
Director
Phil Bertelsen; John Gleason; Hazel Gurland-Pooler; Muriel Soenens; Sabin Streeter; Jesse Sweet
Release Date
2014
Language
English
Notes
Title from title frames.
Published
[San Francisco, California, USA] : Kanopy Streaming, 2014.
Recording Info
Originally produced by PBS in 2014.
Publisher no.
1132532 Kanopy
Related Resources
Cover Image
Description
1 online resource (1 video file, approximately 60 min.) : digital, .flv file, sound
Mode of access: World Wide Web.
Technical Details

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    a| Three iconic American storytellers have spent their lives chronicling the lives of others, while knowing almost nothing about their own family history. Ken Burns confronts the reality of his southern ancestors’ role in the Civil War, including Confederate soldiers held captive and a slave-owning Virginian. Anderson Cooper, scion of one of America’s most storied families, the Vanderbilts, longs to know more about his father’s southern roots — including the story of an ancestor murdered by one his slaves. Anna Deavere Smith learns the story of her great-grandfather Basil Biggs, a free black man and former conductor on the Underground Railroad. All three guests’ ancestors intersect at pivotal moments of American history.
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    a| Burns, Ken, d| 1953-.
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