American Experience (1988– )

New York: Part V - Cosmopolis 

Episode five tells the African-American experience and the birth of the new media industries.


Lisa Ades (co-director)


Ronald Blumer


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Episode credited cast:
David Ogden Stiers ... Himself - Narrator (voice)
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Ruth Abram Ruth Abram ... (voice)
Joan Allen ... (voice)
Thomas Bender Thomas Bender ... Himself
Carol Berkin Carol Berkin ... Herself
Marshall Berman Marshall Berman ... Himself
Philip Bosco ... (voice)
Calvin O. Butts III Calvin O. Butts III ... Himself (as Rev. Calvin O. Butts III)
Robert A. Caro ... (voice)
Caleb Carr Caleb Carr ... Himself
Andrei Codrescu ... (voice)
Daniel Czitrom Daniel Czitrom ... Himself
Keith David ... (voice)
E.L. Doctorow ... Himself
Ann Douglas Ann Douglas ... Herself


World War 1 had ended and when the troops came back to a victorious parade through the streets of New York city they were quickly disheartened to discover that New York was a "no beer" town due to the prohibition laws. The roaring 1920's also introduced commercial advertising through the new radio broadcasts financed by their advertisers with huge success thus creating a new huge market for consumer products such as washing machines, vacuums and clothes irons. Music and jazz were synonymous with Harlem, New York, and African Americans found a borough to call their own in the 1920's. There was also a rise of vilification against the Governor of New York, a man named Alfred E. Smith who although was once seen as the symbol of New York, the leader of protection for the industrial worker, both men and women, creating new laws to protect workers and provide new safety regulations and fairer wages and hours of work, Al Smith was an Irish Catholic who also created a clear line of choice ... Written by Ed Shullivan

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Release Date:

1999 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

WGBH See more »
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