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‘The History of White People in America’ Premieres July 6th on WORLD’s YouTube Channel

As Americans prepare to celebrate the nation’s birth this Independence Day in the midst of historic uproar about racial disparities and injustices, WORLD Channel — the public media channel that helps us understand conflicts, movements and cultures that may be distinct from our own — presents a new animated musical series, The History of White People in America.

In partnership with WORLD Channel and PBS’s Independent Lens, The History of White People in America looks at the history of race in the United States, in particular how the crafting of the idea of the White race — of whiteness — helped shape the nation’s history, designating other groups for subjugation and having wide-ranging ramifications on social class and life experience that exist to this day. The series of digital short films will premiere on Monday, July 6, at 3 p.m. ET on WORLD’s YouTube channel.

Comprised of three short episodes with musical/spoken word narration and animated dramatizations, The History of White People in America takes the audience on a journey through American history, starting in the 17th century.

The story begins in Jamestown, Virginia, where an uprising of poor indentured Europeans and enslaved Africans against rich landowners leads to new laws designed to undermine unity between the poor of all backgrounds, and how “skin became color, color became race and race became power.”

Each episode explores a critical juncture in race in the United States, from the Virginia Slave Codes which made marriage between Whites and non-Whites illegal to the complicated truths of Sally Hemmings, who was both enslaved by, and mothered the children of, American forefather Thomas Jefferson.

“At this crucial period in American culture, when many longstanding racial inequities are being discussed and hopefully addressed, WORLD Channel is proud to present this series which traces the origins of our race-based society,” said Chris Hastings, executive producer and editorial manager for WORLD Channel at WGBH Boston. “This series offers a starting point for open and honest conversations on race and privilege so that we can all work toward creating a more equal and just nation and global community.”

The History of White People in America is created by a collaborative of filmmakers, musicians and animators including: animation producer Leslie Arvio, animator Ed Bell, producer Clementine Briand, writer-singer-composer Pierce Freelon, producer-writer Jon Halperin, composer Aaron Keane and animator-editor Drew Takahshi.

“When Independent Lens began developing The History of White People in America in 2016, we saw an incredible opportunity to work with this very talented, on-point filmmaking team and knew they’d make something truly special,” said Independent LensExecutive Producer Lois Vossen. “Their voices are vital to helping us understand how we got here, and how we move our country forward.”

The History of White People in America will be available for streaming on the WORLD’s YouTube Channel beginning July 6, at 3 p.m. ET with the premiere of episode one. Episodes two and three will launch at 3 p.m. on July 7 and 8, respectively. The series joins other original content presented on the platform including Stanley Nelson’s Two Dollars and a Dream, on the life of Madam C.J. Walker; and Pulling the Thread: Unraveling Conspiracy Thinking, a series examining the proliferation of conspiracy theories in America. Viewers can stay up to date on new releases to WORLD’s YouTube by subscribing at

The History of White People in America is a co-production of Room 608, Inc. and Independent Television Service (ITVS), with funding provided by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB).

About the Author

New York Trend is a weekly news publication that focuses on issues and lifestyles of the African & Caribbean American communities throughout the New York metropolitan area and Nassau and Suffolk Counties of Long Island. It is a respected and well recognized news publication that has been in existence since 1989. Owner, Publisher and Executive Director, Dr. Teresa Taylor Williams has been at the helm of this award-winning publication since its inception. New York Trend continues to be the only black woman-owned, metropolitan newspaper in New York and Long island. New York Trend is the largest black-owned newspaper throughout Nassau and Suffolk counties.

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