Enslaved

Enslaved: Episode 4, New World Cultures

Discover how much of our global culture – from reggae to mathematical fractals — originate in Africa in Epsiode 4 of Enslaved, Nov. 8 at 9 p.m.

Discover how much of our global culture – from reggae to mathematical fractals — originate in Africa

The original dosey doe

3 months agoVideo
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The things that make square-dancing uniquely American actually originate in Africa. 1:30

Much of North American culture was born in the bowels of slave ships, where Africans of different tribal origins interacted with each other and with the Europeans that trafficked in them. Shot on location in Costa Rica, Jamaica, Ethiopia and the United States, this episode explores music, food and science. 

Samuel L. Jackson and Rhiannon Giddens at a Libation ceremony in Mobile, AL, USA. (Sabrina Lantos/Associated Producers/Cornelia Street Productions)

Afua Hirsch travels to Jamaica to find out how Africans who escaped slavery managed to find racial equality in a surprising place: as pirates on the high seas. Simcha Jacobici delves into the African origins of "Southern cooking" in the Gullah country of Georgia. And Samuel Jackson visits Africatown, Alabama. Settled by liberated slaves, this town — now part of the City of Mobile — is the only town established by Africans in America. Here, Jackson meets up with Grammy-winning performer Rhiannon Giddens, who explores the African origins of the banjo. 

The Diving with Purpose divers help youth in Costa Rica discover their African heritage, by diving and identifying a sunken slave ship off that country's coast. Like the Costa Rican youth, viewers will be surprised to discover how much of our global culture – from reggae to mathematical fractals — originate in Africa.


Enslaved contains disturbing depictions of the inhumanity faced by enslaved people from African countries during the transatlantic slave trade, which may be traumatizing to some viewers. If you need support, there are resources available across the country, you can find links to a number of these resources in this post, curated by the Unison Benevolent Fund: https://www.unisonfund.ca/blog/post/mental-health-resources-black-canadians

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