Kidada Williams describes her podcast Seizing Freedom as “the show where we dig into archives to bring you stories about how African Americans freed themselves during the Civil War and built new lives during Reconstruction . . .” As one of her interviewees, Crystal Feimster, a professor at Yale, explains: “Once you center a different set of people, it requires asking different kinds of questions. And it actually means we come up with different conclusions.”
In some ways, Seizing Freedom is two podcasts: In one, Williams includes interviews that help us rethink how we “do” history when we put African Americans at the center; the other features dramatic readings about Civil War refugees who built new lives behind Union lines, enslaved people who escaped to search for and reconstruct families, Black men who demanded the right to fight slavery as Union soldiers. The first helps us become better teachers; the second provides wonderful storytelling episodes that will bring buried history to life for students. Seizing Freedom is the perfect title for a podcast about people to whom nothing was given — who fought, and continue to fight, for lives of dignity.