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Horrors of Slavery; 'New You Revolution'

Aired February 9, 2005 - 13:30   ET


KYRA PHILLIPS, CNN ANCHOR: Now in the news, live pictures of the president of the United States from the U.S. Department of Commerce. He's talking about class-action reform. It's part of a three-pronged effort to reduce litigation and what he calls frivolous lawsuits. We'll monitor it, bring you more as it comes.
An Iraqi journalist was shot dead on the streets of Basra today. Abdul Hussein Khazal worked for Al-Hurra TV, a U.S.-funded Arabic television network. He was shot as he stood by his car outside of his home this morning. Khazal's 3-year-old son was also hit by the gunfire and later died at the hospital.

A dramatic blast, dozens hurt, but no deaths reported. Basque separatists are claiming responsibility for today's powerful car bomb attack in Madrid. It happened just a few hours before Spain's royal couple and Mexico's President Vincente Fox were set to attend a nearby art fair. Police, who had been tipped off about the bomb, were in the process of sweeping the area when that car exploded.

A routine police call turns deadly in Lake City, Florida. Three sheriff deputies were responding to a domestic violence call when a man opened fire on them, killing one of the men and wounding the others. Authorities say 29-year-old Jason Wheeler fled after shooting -- after the shooting, rather, and is still at large. At least one road is closed down in that area, and a nearby school is under lockdown.

Before 1800, more Africans had come to America then any other group of people, most of them in chains. You're about to hear about a PBS special that's airing tonight. It's not only about the struggle to maintain human dignity, it's the story of the founding fathers you have probably never known. We're talking about the horrors of slavery, and heroic battles by slaves to overcome it. The documentary is "Slavery and the Making of America." Professor James Oliver Horton, coauthor of the companion book, is with us now from New York to talk about it.

Jim, great to see you.

JAMES OLIVER HORTON, HISTORIAN: Well, thank you for having me.

PHILLIPS: You've made a very -- I think very straight forward and fantastic statement that slavery was not a sideshow, but a main event in U.S. history. Let's talk about why it's so important to understand slavery before we can even begin to understand discrimination and race relations now. HORTON: Well, I think that it is very important for people to understand that slavery was not solely a Southern institution, that before -- before revolutionary war, it was a major institution in every one of the 13 colonies. In fact, Vermont abolishes slavery as the first colony making its way to state to do so in 1777.

That it was economically, tremendously significant. In the first part of the 19th century, cotton is the cash crop that finances much of the progress of the entire nation. By 1840, cotton is worth more than everything else this nation exports to the world put together. And slavery was at the very heart of the foundation of the economic and the political structure of American society.

PHILLIPS: And you talk a lot about -- I mean, you proved those points very well by so many personal stories in this documentary. You talk about not only the South, but other parts of the country, too. I'm just thinking about that story of Mambut (ph), but -- from Massachusetts. But even more so, you talk about people -- of course, we've all heard about Nat Turner and the rebellion. Let's talk about how this really changed history.

HORTON: Well what -- the story that I think is so fascinating that we spend a lot of time on in the book and in the PBS series is the story of resistance, that these people, these African people who were held against their will in this bondage never gave up. They continued to fight the institution. They protested in every way. They did it in a variety of ways. You have the direct kind of rebellion against slavery, such as Nat Turner, such as the Stone (ph) Rebellion in 1739. I mean, these are rebellions that run the whole length of American history up to the time of the Civil War.

But they do it in subtle ways as well, where they use deception, they use all kinds of innovative techniques, to the extent possible, to control or at least influence the situation. It never made slavery a positive experience, but they made it survivable, and in some ways, that's an important point to make.

PHILLIPS: Absolutely. And we've also -- we talked so much about how that rebellion brought so much brutality, horrific brutality that, as you say in the documentary, became a necessity, which is just -- you can't understand why -- or how people could be that cruel.

But you also point out Abe Lincoln, Emancipation Proclamation, and the destiny of blacks, also, the same destiny of a nation. What happened? Because a lot of people thought when that happened, it was all going to be great.

HORTON: Well, you know, certain things we need to know about the Emancipation Proclamation. First of all, it did not free the slaves, because for example, it only applied to those areas that were, at that moment, as the -- as of the 1st of January, 1863, who were in rebellion against the United States.

It did not apply, for example, to Delaware, which was a slave- holding state at that time. Yet, it was very important in that it signaled a change of direction of the civil war. It changed the purpose of the civil war. You know, Lincoln had started out saying the civil war is about saving the Union. But by the time we get to '63 and beyond, he moves towards saying, we want to save Union and we want to fulfill the destiny of America in terms of its commitment to freedom, and the Emancipation Proclamation is a very important document from that standpoint.

PHILLIPS: And talking about slavery, we think of America at its racial worst. You say that. You say but also there were many glimmers of America at its racial best. And that's where I think of characters like Robert Smalls who you talk about in this documentary.

HORTON: Sure. There are lots of heroes. I mean, people who -- you think about this, you know, in 1857, the supreme court of the United States said in the Dred Scott decision, black people have never been, are not now and can never be citizens of the United States. Yet 200,000-plus of those noncitizens fought in the Civil War to help to maintain the United States and to bring freedom. One of those, Robert Smalls, a slave from South Carolina who breaks free and takes with him a major -- well, a ship that's going to be used by the U.S. Navy, and is -- it's a wonderful story how he delivers this ship to the U.S. Navy, he takes it out of Charleston Harbor, literally, under the eyes of the Confederacy, and he becomes one of the major heroes of the Civil War and a major politician in South Carolina politics during the Reconstruction period.

PHILLIPS: Almost 10 years.

HORTON: You have tons of stories like that.

PHILLIPS: Well, it's a fantastic documentary. It's so well done. PBS documentary, it's going to air Wednesday, tonight actually, and also Wednesday, February 16th. James Oliver Horton, the name of it "Slavery and the Making of America." Thank you so much for your time today.

HORTON: Well, thank you very much for talking about the movie and the book.

PHILLIPS: It's a pleasure.

Straight ahead, passion and deception can be a dangerous combination, especially on the Internet, as a lonely army sergeant has learned. CNN's Gary Tuchman has the story now of a secret spouse.


GARY TUCHMAN, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Staff Sergeant Mark Hunt had been alone for many years when he met a woman in an Internet chat room.

STAFF SGT. MARK HUNT, MARRIED ACCUSED BIGAMIST: I started falling in love with her pretty much within a week or so after I started talking to her, that's when I said, she's the one.

TUCHMAN: Sergeant Hunt is based in Missouri's Fort Leonard Wood, a 19-year veteran of the U.S. Army, but not a veteran of a truly loving relationship. That's the major reason he was so happy.

HUNT: She had asked me if I wanted to get married. I said, yes, of course, I do.

TUCHMAN: Mark Hunt and Julia Bish (ph) got married in Las Vegas last February. Sergeant Hunt's parents and brothers and sister were witnesses. The sergeant says plans were made for Julia Bish to move from Pennsylvania so the two could be together, but it didn't happen.

Instead, newlywed Mark Hunt received an e-mail from this man who said he has been married to Julia Bish for 15 years and has five children with her.

HUNT: I about had a coronary heart attack. I about died, but I still was in love with her. I didn't want to believe it.

TUCHMAN: But in December, Julia Bish was arrested on charges of bigamy.

HUNT: It basically destroyed me. I didn't know what to do no more. I couldn't sleep. I couldn't really eat. I started losing weight again.

TUCHMAN: Julia Bish admits she lived a secret life, not only marrying Sergeant Hunt, but another man in Las Vegas in 2002. She claims she did it to make herself safer from husband No. 1.

JULIA BISH, ACCUSED BIGAMIST: I left in a very abusive relationship, and I'm sorry that Mr. Bish is using this to control me.

TUCHMAN: Mr. Bish, who turned his wife in, says abuse allegations are untrue and adds...

RANDY BISH, FIRST HUSBAND: My only comment right now is that my only concern is for the children.

TUCHMAN: Julia Bish's attorney says she is not guilty because of a technicality.

LARRY BURNS, JULIA BISH'S ATTORNEY: What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas. Pennsylvania has no jurisdiction over actions of people out in Las Vegas and they never have.

TUCHMAN: Is that true?

PROF. MICHAEL BROYDE, EMORY UNIV. SCHOOL OF LAW: If you are validly married to a person in Pennsylvania and then you validly marry another in Las Vegas, you have violated the bigamy statute. No question about it.

TUCHMAN (on camera): Sergeant Hunt says he hopes to get an annulment by the end of the month. And when he gets married again, not surprisingly, he is adamant that he'll know a lot more about the bride-to-be beforehand.

(voice-over): But despite everything that has happened, he hasn't ruled out that bride could be Julia Bish again, who tells CNN she loves Mark Hunt and wants him back.

Gary Tuchman, CNN, St. Robert, Missouri.


PHILLIPS: Anderson cooper has another story of spousal deceit tonight: a woman married for 15 years, mother of two, describes herself as a loyal wife. Oh, and she's been having an affair for four years. The secret lives of suburban wives on "ANDERSON COOPER 360." That's tonight, 7:00 p.m. Eastern.

Well, LIVE FROM shifts to a different kind of lifestyle change, the "New You Revolution." She's losing pounds and inches. How? Dr. Sanjay Gupta helps her, and you can help, too.


PHILLIPS: Well, it's week four of our "New You Revolution," where we're helping five people break their bad habit and start healthy new ones. Dr. Sanjay Gupta tell us how things are going for our participants now that they've reached the halfway point of the eight-week program.


SANJAY GUPTA, CNN MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT (on camera): It's been about a month now, and most Americans, I'll point out, have already given up their resolutions. But our "New You Revolution" bunch is doing well, especially our grandmother, Sandra Garth.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We were at 200, and this time we are at 193. So that is awesome!


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You are you are at 33.6, and last time you were at 37.4.

GUPTA (voice over): Sandra has been eating less.

GARTH: I can think back now to what I used to eat, and I was eating a ton of food.

GUPTA: And better. Instead of cheese eggs, French toast and bacon, her breakfast now looks like this: egg whites, whole wheat toast with one carefully measured tablespoon of peanut butter, and a banana. But is she hungry?

GARTH: Not at all.

GUPTA: Two weeks into the "New You Revolution," Sandra told us that it wasn't just her bad habits that contributed to her initial weight gain. She also suffers from depression.

GARTH: I was diagnosed with it in 2002.

GUPTA: She went to see a psychiatrist.

GARTH: And immediately, he started writing out the prescriptions. And he told me one of the side effects is that you're going to gain weight.

GUPTA: Dissatisfied with the drugs, she stopped taking them. But since she's been exercising more, she has been feeling better. Studies have shown that for some people, moderately intense workouts can be as effective as antidepressants. And Sandra has been exercising a lot.

Sandra's success has even led to a wardrobe malfunction, of sorts.

GARTH: This is cool. And that's just been since two weeks. The swimming suit is a little big here, so another excuse to shop. I love it!

GUPTA (on camera): And our other participants are making progress, too, with the help of some experts. Here's their weekly checkup.

(voice over): Harald is definitely getting more exercise and eating healthier. But as far as sleep, he's not there yet. Remarkably, less sleep actually causes weight gain. So to figure it out, his doctor recommended a sleep test.

HARALD FRICKER, "NEW YOU" PARTICIPANT: So, according to Dr. Warner, I failed that miserably.

GUPTA: He's been diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea, which can contribute to heart disease. Weight loss is the simplest way to reduce apnea. So, Harald has yet another incentive to keep the weight coming off. In the meantime, he's going to wear this mask to help him breathe better and sleep longer.


GUPTA: Nutritionist Sara Cowlan barged in on Thekla's busy workday to remind her why she has to break that bad habit.

COWLAN: No matter what your intentions are as far as, you know, not wanting to each too much, your body needs the food. And before you might know that you're pregnant, it's important to have enough folic acid in your diet.

GUPTA: And just to be sure, taking a daily prenatal vitamin every day is essential to getting all of the nutrients she needs. But Thekla can check this item off of her pre-pregnancy list.

THEKLA FISCHER, "NEW YOU" PARTICIPANT: I made an appointment with my dentist and got a checkup, which I'm very proud of, because I hadn't done it in a long time. And that was one of the things that they told me was very important for prenatal.

LEIGH ANN RAYNOR, "NEW YOU" PARTICIPANT: I haven't had any fast food since the program began.

GUPTA: That's because Leigh Ann is learning about healthy food with the help of her registered dietitian.

RAYNOR: Okie-doke.

GUPTA: Leigh Ann may like to kid around a lot.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No, put it back. Put it back.

GUPTA: But she really is serious about eating healthier meals.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You can have bread. It's all about portion control.

GUPTA: Her cooking skills may be another story.

RAYNOR: When the smoke alarm goes off, it's probably done.

GUPTA: We'll tell you how that's going next week.

Dr. Sanjay Gupta, CNN, for the "New You Revolution."


PHILLIPS: Next Tuesday at this time, Dr. Gupta will take a closer look at Jonathan Karp.


JONATHAN KARP: You got to try anything, you know? You got to think outside the box sometimes.


PHILLIPS: He's seeking some alternative therapies to help him break his habit of biting his nails, once and for all. You can follow all of our participants' progress by logging on to


PHILLIPS: In 2003, a horrifying shooting was captured by TV crews covering the Robert Blake trial. As part of CNN's anniversary series "Then and Now," we take a look back at the attorney wounded at the scene and how he is today.


ANDERSON COOPER, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It was a shocking sideshow, captured by TV crews gathered at the L.A. County courthouse to cover the Robert Blake hearing in 2003. Attorney Gerald Curry was at the courthouse for an unrelated case when William Stryer approached him, asked his name and opened fire. Stryer then calmly walked away. He was apparently angry that Curry was representing Stryer's sister in a dispute over a trust fund. Curry was shot in the neck, both arms and shoulder and taken from the scene by paramedics. Curry survived, recovered completely and still lives and practices law in Southern California.

GERALD CURRY: When I leave the office, when I go to court, when I go to the parking structure, I tend to keep my eyes open, look around.

COOPER: Curry's shooter, William Stryer, was ruled mentally unfit to stand trial and remains in a state hospital, but Curry says he doesn't harbor any bad feelings for Stryer.

CURRY: The odds of this happening were probably one in a million. And so therefore, I try to not to let it affect my life or not have any bitterness and try to maintain a positive and optimistic outlook.


PHILLIPS: And throughout the year, CNN will take a look back at stories from the last 25 years, as we mark 25 years of broadcasting. We'll revisit the stories that affected our lives and find out what happened to yesterday's newsmakers. LIVE FROM continues in 75 seconds.


PHILLIPS: He's known as Baby 81, the infant who's become a symbol of heartbreak in the tsunami aftermath and the subject of a bitter battle. That's because nine couples in Sri Lanka are claiming the baby as theirs. The mystery may be about to be solved, though. DNA tests were performed today on the baby and the lone couple who has formally pressed their case in court. It could be several days before the results are in.

Well, there's no such thing as a free lunch on most airlines anymore. Now your nap could be in jeopardy, too. Susan Lisovicz joins us live from the New York stock Exchange for some pillow talk. Susan, it's already impossible to sleep on airplanes anyway.

SUSAN LISOVICZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That's right. So maybe this won't be the sweet nothing you were hoping for, Kyra. American Airlines is removing pillows from most of its domestic flights as yet another cost-saving measure. American says it hopes the move will save $375,000 a year. Pillows will still be available on those longer international flights and trips to Hawaii. But you can improvise. The airline will still provide blankets, which it says can be folded and used as a pillow.


PHILLIPS: All right, Susan, thanks so much. Also coming up in our second hour of LIVE FROM, a medical marvel. The little girl who was the world's smallest baby. We'll find out just how small she was and how big her progress has been. LIVE FROM continues right after this.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) PHILLIPS: Iran's nuclear ambitions. Is the U.S. considering a military strike to stop them? President Bush and the secretary of state speak out today.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm not backing up an inch. I owe no one an apology.


PHILLIPS: The professor and his principles, under fire for comparing 9/11 victims to Nazis. He fires back at his critics.

Change of heart. A wounded marine shocked when the military strips him of his medal.


Oh, yes. Hot moves and soulful steps of the Alvin Ailey's American Dance Theater. The woman behind these moves joins us this hour. From the CNN Center in Atlanta, I'm Kyra Phillips. This is LIVE FROM and we're rocking your soul right now.


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