Thursday, May 23, 2024

‘Dark Passages’: The Story of the Atlantic Slave Trade

*(Los Angeles)  – The complex story of American slavery is now at the forefront once again with Hollywood airing movies on slavery, such as WGN-TV’s series “Underground”, the remake of “Roots” miniseries aired on History Channel, A&E and Lifetime simultaneously, Colson Whitehead’s novel “Underground Railroad” is a New York Times bestseller and coming to the big screen,  “The Birth Of A Nation” on October 7, 2016.


Tanya and Philip Hart, educators and media content creators have been at the forefront in informing, entertaining and educating audiences for nearly four decades.  Now with the thirst for factual information on the history of American slavery the Harts are offering their documentary film “Dark Passages.”

Originally broadcast on BET and available from PBS Video, this 60 minute documentary film hosted and narrated by Tanya Hart tells the story of the Atlantic slave trade beginning at “The Door Of No Return” on Gorée Island in Dakar, Senegal, and concluding with a visit to Alex Haley’s (‘Roots’) ancestral home in The Gambia.

Play Preview Link Here:

Academy Award winner Louis Gossett Jr. and Academy Award nominee Margaret Avery  provide dramatic readings of slave narratives which along with a host of historians provide factual information on the slave trade and its historic impact.

“The story of the Atlantic slave trade is an American story and deserves telling and retelling so we all fully understand how Africans helped build America.” says Tanya & Philip Hart.

About Dark Passages
For over 250 years millions of Africans were captured and purchased in West African ports by European merchants looking to expand the New World workforce.   The slave ships carried these African captives on a dangerous and slow journey across the Atlantic Ocean.  Disease and starvation were common in the confined compartments and many died on the voyage.  After arriving in the U.S., Caribbean Islands and South America, slaves were forced to participate in the labor-intensive harvesting of sugar, tobacco, coffee and cotton items that would be sold in Europe.  The triangular Atlantic trading route – or Middle Passage – became an important and profitable exchange of goods.  Through interviews, slave narratives, and dramatizations, “Dark Passages” travels from West African to Virginia to chronicle the historical effects of the Atlantic slave trade.  “Dark Passages” was produced by Tanya Hart and Valerie Whitmore-Guscott.

About Tanya & Philip Hart
Tanya Hart has a long relationship with both PBS and BET which began during her years on the air in the Boston television market.  Tanya Hart has won four Emmy Awards, a Peabody Award, and other recognition for her television, radio, and film content over the years. Philip Hart has been recognized with a Notable Non-Fiction Children’s Trade Book Award, and other awards for his films, books, and urban development projects

Together the Harts have several films, books, CDs, and radio documentaries available for purchase from PBS Video, Lerner Publishing Group, CDBaby, Amazon and several streaming services such as iTunes and Spotify.

Whether through films, books, music or documentaries the Harts continue to spotlight African American achievements..  The Harts are recipients of the Diversity in Media Award from The Caucus for Producers, Writers & Directors.

For more info:, and
Dark Passages can be purchased at:




Edna Sims, ESP Public Relations
 [email protected]


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