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Highlights - From Our President - April 2019

From Our President: Revolution and Resilience

Les Mis Source

In April, Massachusetts celebrates Patriots’ Day, the annual tribute to the Battles of Lexington and Concord, when colonists took on British soldiers in the name of liberty. In that spirit, this month we’re proud to feature two other historic revolutions, retold through documentary and drama programs that highlight human fortitude amid social upheaval.

Reconstruction is one of the most consequential yet least understood chapters in American history. Harvard scholar Henry Louis Gates, Jr. examines this pivotal moment in our history in Reconstruction: America After the Civil War when the nation struggled to rebuild itself in the face of profound loss, massive destruction and revolutionary social change. This two-part documentary makes the case that the failures of the Reconstruction Era to keep its promises of freedom and equality still haunt the country to this day. But through the setbacks came the flowering of African American art, music, literature and culture as tools of resistance.

Then on Masterpiece we present Victor Hugo’s inspirational tale of hope in the years preceding the French Revolution, Les Misérables, with exquisitely produced historical vignettes that bring its compelling characters to life in a six-part television drama. Our presentation of Les Misérables comes at a time when people are making their voices heard in new ways. “Timing is everything,” says Rebecca Eaton, Executive Producer of Masterpiece. “Les Misérables is a beautiful, epic story, full of historical drama and obsession. But most of all it’s a story of redemption,” she says. “I think we all need a bit of that these days.”

These epic stories of perseverance and resilience give us a deeper sense of our shared history. Your ongoing support allows us to share these uplifting stories of our past, which help inform our present and future. Thank you.