Get ready to park yourself on the couch on Tuesday nights this summer (or, set up your Tivo to record), because POV has just announced our 2008 schedule, and as usual, we’ll be presenting a slate of insightful and thought-provoking documentaries.

We’re back on your local PBS stations starting Tuesday, June 24 at 10 PM (always check your local listings) with films that explore election-year issues including war and peace, health care, border issues, and race relations. This year’s POV films also take you on journeys into family burdens of the not-so-distant past, into the weirdly familiar backrooms of Japanese politics, and up one of the world’s most fabled — and fast disappearing — waterways: China’s Yangtze River. Plus, the best Johnny Cash documentary ever.

Check out our full 2008 T.V. Schedule.

Today, we’re previewing the first film on our schedule, which airs on June 24. In Traces of the Trade: A Story From the Deep North, first-time filmmaker Katrina Browne makes a troubling discovery — her New England ancestors were the largest slave-trading family in U.S. history. She and nine fellow descendants set off to retrace the Triangle Trade: from their old hometown in Rhode Island to slave forts in Ghana and sugar plantation ruins in Cuba. Step by step, they uncover the vast extent of Northern complicity in slavery while also stumbling through the minefield of contemporary race relations. In this bicentennial year of the U.S. abolition of the slave trade, Traces of the Trade, an Official Selection of the 2008 Sundance Film Festival, offers powerful new perspectives on the black/white divide.

For more previews of 2008 POV films, check out our TV Schedule.

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Former POVer Ruiyan Xu worked on developing and producing materials for POV's website. Before coming to POV, she worked in the Interactive and Broadband department at Channel Thirteen/WNET. Ruiyan was born in Shanghai and graduated from Brown University with a B.A. in Modern Culture and Media.