The Civil War began as a means of preserving the Union. But to nearly four million African Americans, it held a much more personal promise. As Northern armies swept south, self-emancipated slaves sought refuge behind Union lines. Determined to claim basic human rights, former slaves turned soldiers helped defeat their oppressors. But the road to freedom would be a rocky one. Despite continued oppression and violence, African Americans worked tirelessly to rebuild families torn apart by slavery, to educate themselves, and to claim their rightful place as American Citizens. Through in-depth interviews with Civil War scholars, historical reenactments, and moving songs of faith and hope that made life bearable, LOOKING OVER JORDAN: AFRICAN-AMERICANS AND THE WAR highlights the African American experience in Tennessee during and after the war.