Frederick Douglass, social reformer, abolitionist, orator, writer, and statesman lived in Rochester.

Frederick Douglass, Harriet Tubman are focus of latest PBS movies

Stanley Nelson, the acclaimed filmmaker whose “Attica” documentary was an Oscar finalist final yr, is returning to American historical past that once more consists of western New York — the lives of Frederick Douglass and Harriet Tubman.

Over two weeks, two hourlong documentaries from Nelson will premiere on PBS: “Harriett Tubman: Visions of Freedom” will air on Oct. 4 and “Changing into Frederick Douglass” will air Oct. 11. The documentaries might be seen domestically on WXXI-TV.

“These are two of our nation’s superheroes and the possibility to delve into their lives and be taught extra about them and attempt to translate that onto movie was an ideal alternative,” Nelson stated in a phone interview.

Douglass has his important Rochester connections — it was his dwelling and the positioning of The North Star, his abolitionist newspaper. Tubman lived a lot of her life 60 miles east in Auburn. Each have been born in Maryland, and Maryland Public Tv sought out potential filmmakers for the documentaries. Nelson was chosen.

“We do not actually take into consideration Maryland as a slave state and enslavement within the higher South,” Nelson stated.

Harriet Tubman, who guided dozens of slaves to freedom, had been free for a decade when in 1859 she bought a parcel of land on the outskirts of Auburn.

The historic figures in fact have their abolitionist similarities of their push in opposition to the degradations of slavery, however, as might be evident throughout the 2 applications, they’re additionally tremendously dissimilar — Douglass recognized for his phrases and Tubman for her actions.

“They have been on the other ends of the spectrum, each preventing for equality,” Nelson stated.

Extra:Here is how one can have a good time Harriet Tubman’s bicentennial beginning March 10

2020:Frederick Douglass’ grave, like Susan B. Anthony’s, attracts Election Day guests

Douglass was the discovered orator whose phrases lay naked the horrors of enslavement; Tubman was illiterate and suffered a traumatic head damage from a slave overseer. She was a spy and scout for the Union Military, and her stealthy incursions into Accomplice territories freed dozens of slaves.

Stanley Nelson

The legacies of each have been within the public highlight in recent times: Douglass was the topic of an expansive Pulitzer-winning biography from David Blight and Tubman the main focus of a Hollywood movie. Their heroism is unquestioned, but, Nelson stated, there’s a lot nonetheless to disclose about Tubman and Douglass.

“Each Harriett Tubman and Frederick Douglass are mythologized and in some most of the people doesn’t know rather a lot about their lives,” he stated. “There’s all the time extra to be taught. There’s nonetheless extra to be taught even after our movies.”

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