From Reconstruction to the Civil Rights Movement, African Americans fought the status quo, acquiring education and land, and building businesses, churches and communities, despite laws designed to segregate, terrorize, and disenfranchise them. White supremacy prevailed, but did not destroy, the spirit of the black community.
Richard Wormser has been working on this important documentary for seven years. Worse Than Slavery will incorporate historical commentary and oral history along with more than 100 images, bringing the brutality and courage of the African American struggle for equality to life. Beginning with the period from 1865 to 1896, the book covers the end of the Civil War and Reconstruction, periods that held so much promise for black men and women. What followed was the dramatic rise of a successful black middle class and the determination of white supremacists to destroy this fledgling black political power. The years between World Wars I and II (1951 to1954) produced a period of black activism that ultimately resulted in the Brown vs. Board of Education decision which desegregated public schools.
The book not only tells the stories of leaders like W.E.B. Du Bois and Booker T. Washington, but also portrays ordinary people who accomplished extraordinary things, bearing witness to the determination and strength of their forebears.