Whilst we’re used to seeing Samuel L Jackson on the silver screen, we’re now getting to know him as a humble and warm presenter. In Enslaved with Samuel Jackson, the star discusses his own experiences and ancestry, and is joined by journalists Afua Hirsch and Simcha Jacobovici, hoping to discover more about the impact of the slave trade.
Whilst there are many documentaries on this subject, the series sets itself apart in that it looks further into the slave ships’ journeys across the Atlantic, and in particular those that didn’t survive the crossing. During the 400 years in which the transatlantic slave trade operated, 12 million people were trafficked across the ocean, and two million of these died en route. Teaming up with the underwater archaeologists, they explore the wrecks of the ships which tragically became graves, hoping to uncover new evidence.
Anita Singh in The Telegraph called the series “sobering,” and praised Jackson’s presenting skills, saying “this excellent series on the slave trade is no vanity project.” The Guardian’s Joseph Harker comments that the journalistic investigation into the west African trading posts was “interesting and informative.” In The Times, Carol Midgley comments that the show “flitted about, sometimes a little disjointedly, between Africa, the Americas and England,” but was nonetheless incredibly moved, saying she “can’t stop thinking about” the horrors discussed.
First shown September 2020.