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Published:February 1st, 2008 06:08 EST
PBS will air THE BETTER HOUR: The Legacy of William Wilberforce

PBS will air THE BETTER HOUR: The Legacy of William Wilberforce

By SOP newswire

NEW YORK, Feb. 1 /Christian Newswire/ -- In time for Black History Month, an inspiring, new one-hour television documentary, " THE BETTER HOUR: The Legacy of William Wilberforce," will appear nationwide on public television beginning in February, 2008. The film was produced to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the 1807 abolition of British and American slave trade in a 20-year heroic effort led by British Parliamentarian William Wilberforce. (Effective date of U.S. legislation was January, 1808.)

Once, everyone knew the name William Wilberforce. Frederick Douglas said, "Let no man forget the name of William Wilberforce." A quarter century after Wilberforce's death, Abraham Lincoln said, "Every school boy knows the name of William Wilberforce." Yet "few American today understand why, or even know Wilberforce's name," explains THE BETTER HOUR executive producer Cullen Schippe.

Shot in high definition, "THE BETTER HOUR: The Legacy of William Wilberforce" is an engaging documentary, rich with content and commentary, that can inspire people with the remarkable story of William Wilberforce. He used his position as a British parliamentarian to launch 69 organizations for the betterment of society and end the trans-Atlantic slave trade­­­­--a business that was key to the country's economic strength.

The film focuses on a politician who, over time, developed strength of character in the service of high and seemingly unattainable goals. This film highlights William Wilberforce's drive and love for humanity and reveals how he and his colleagues worked tirelessly to end the slave trade, even as it represented a large portion of the British economy. In Wilberforce, we see character and a sense of justice for all join together to bring into the world what the English poet William Cowper described as "the better hour."

"This film does an outstanding job of bringing into sharp focus how the passion, persistence and actions of one man changed the course of history and worked to rid the world of the great evil of trafficking in human life," says Marshall Mitchell, Vice Chancellor of Wilberforce University, the oldest private historic black college in the United States.

Narrated by African-American actor Avery Brooks, the film features interviews with leading authors, historians and public figures from both the U.K. and the United States, including former U.S. Congressman, Rev. Floyd Flake, who is now president of Wilberforce University. The film was funded by the John Templeton Foundation and produced by TWC films.

The Heartland Film Festival selected the film as a featured documentary in October 2007. "THE BETTER HOUR" DVD is available at, and local broadcast information can be found at

Christian Newswire