The Abolition News Network, publisher of the multi-volume DVD Series "On the Road to the Abolition of Slavery" © is a nonprofit organization dedicated to exploring slavery in 18th- and 19th-century America.
In modern network-news style interviews, a multitude of characters from history explain their experiences, actions and perspectives during this formative period of American history.
In the interviews, the characters discuss topics such as the abolition of slavery, the Underground Railroad, the slave trade and its cruelty, and how slaves escaped their bondage. Volumes 3 through 8 each has a specific theme and each illuminates a different facet of the road to the abolition of slavery.
The author, Steve Edison, has meticulously researched each character using both primary and secondary sources to bring them to life and into the classroom or living room where they can tell their stories in their own words.
Professional actors and historically suggestive sets, some filmed on location, give an authentic atmosphere to each interview. The scripts are taken from the speeches, writings and songs of the period.
Although this is not a taught course, teachers, parents and other instructors will find the supplementary information in the Teacher’s Guide an important resource. It contains additional facts, provocative questions and the series bibliography.
On a trip to the Abraham Lincoln Museum in Springfield, Ill., Steve Edison, founder of the Abolition News Network, saw a five-minute presentation about the 1860s presidential election.
"It occurred to me then, that in just five minutes, you could capture something meaningful about a person or an event on film," said Edison.
When the idea to interview an historic character took shape in his mind he took it to his fellow committee members on the Dred Scott Heritage Foundation Committee.
"I thought this was all I would do, but it turned out to be just the beginning," said Edison.
From there, the project has evolved into an extraordinary collection of interviews that explore the individual and personal experiences of slaves, abolitionists, slave masters and traders, politicians and others, including champions of slavery, in slave-era America.
WARNING: Some scenes may be disturbing to the viewers as either the subject matter, personalities, or their spoken language may be offensive in the 21st century. Teachers be advised.