On TV & Radio: Black History Month

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Trailblazing country music star Charley Pride in an early RCA promotional photo. (AMERICAN MASTERS: Charley Pride) (Courtesy of Ben De Rienzo)

KQED is proud to celebrate Black History Month in February with a special TV and radio programming lineup. Premiere dates are listed below. Please click on each program for additional airdates and information.

KQED 88.5 FM

Thursday, January 31
8pm Black Fire
Broadcaster and jazz writer Kevin Legendre talks to musicians and artists across generations, including hip hop pioneers The Last Poets, singer Carleen Anderson, jazz vocalist Dee Dee Bridgewater, rapper Jasiri X, percussionist Questlove, Black Power poet Sonia Sanchez and Gil Scott Heron’s writing partner Brian Jackson, and asks: Has black music resumed its status as protest music in America?

Wednesday, February 6

8pm Witness: Black History Month
The BBC World Service presents a special hour-long edition of its Witness program, with incredible, first-person interviews about the African-American experience. Audiences will travel back to an iconic photograph from the civil rights campaign with Gloria Richardson. They'll hear the struggle for fair pay from Doug Williams, the first African American quarterback to play in the Super Bowl. And Congresswoman Barbara Lee reflects on the moral stand she took in 2001 against the open-ended Global War on Terror. Witness presents stories that are inspiring, harrowing, and richly told.

Wednesday, February 13
8pm The Pulse: Black Health in America
Segregation in housing and education has had reverberations on health care and health outcomes for African Americans. In this episode, we explore the legacy of that separation. We meet some of the people who helped integrate hospitals as the civil rights fight was heating up, and hear from a millennial mom who says even in 2018, looking for a black doctor to care for her black little girls is “a thing.” Throughout the episode, we also visit separate, largely black spaces that nourish African American health and well-being.

Thursday, February 14
8pm Gospel Roots of Rock and Soul
Gospel Roots of Rock and Soul is a culmination of WXPN’s interviews with musicians and historians and live gospel music concerts, exploring the history of black gospel music and its influence on rock and soul music. Hosted by GRAMMY award-winning gospel singer CeCe Winans, the four-part documentary brings you in-depth interviews with historians and musicians with a backdrop of gospel, rock and soul music. The series airs: February 14, February 21, February 28 and March 6.


Wednesday, February 27
8pm Humankind: The Freed People
"The Freed People" examines one of the most fascinating chapters of American history, when Congress established The Freedmen’s Bureau as the Civil War drew to a close. Its mission was to assist four million African American slaves in the transition to freedom — the government’s first social welfare agency. A truly absorbing story is told by historians drawing from letters written in this period and performances of African American spirituals sung in that era.


Friday, February 1
8pm Fats Domino: American Masters #2904
Discover how Fats Domino’s brand of New Orleans rhythm and blues became rock ‘n’ roll.

Monday, February 4
9pm Antiques Roadshow #1934: Celebrating Black Americana Highlights include an 1821 U.S. Citizenship Certificate for George Barker, a free man of color, and an African-American beauty book written by Madam C.J. Walker, the first American female millionaire.

A collection of black memorabilia. (INDEPENDENT LENS: Black Memorabilia) (Courtesy of C-Line Films)

10pm Independent Lens #2010: Black Memorabilia (NEW)
From the South to Brooklyn to China, meet the people who reproduce, consume and reclaim black memorabilia — racially-charged objects often wrapped in the protective embrace of antiquity and historical preservation.

Tuesday, February 5

Host Henry Louis Gates, Jr. with actor S. Epatha Merkerson while taping Finding Your Roots. (Courtesy of McGee Media/Ark Media)

8pm Finding Your Roots #505: Freedom Tales (NEW)
Host Henry Louis Gates, Jr. delves deep into the roots of two African American guests, actor S. Epatha Merkerson and athlete and television personality Michael Strahan.

Wednesday, February 6
11pm AfroPoP: The Ultimate Cultural Exchange #1101: Mama Africa: Miriam Makeba! (NEW)
Using archival performance footage and interviews with those who knew her best, and with Makeba herself, the documentary examines the life of the iconic South African singer and activist.

Friday, February 8
8pm Lorraine Hansberry: American Masters #3005
Explore the life and work of the A Raisin in the Sun playwright and activist who played a significant role in the civil rights movement.

Sunday, February 10
6:30pm Articulate with Jim Cotter #415: Black History Month (NEW)
Moe Brooker has stared down adversity but says he's also been lucky. Dindga McCannon, "art quilting" pioneer.

Monday, February 11

Willie on a horse from "Hale County This Morning, This Evening." (Courtesy of RaMell Ross)

10pm Independent Lens #2011: Hale County This Morning, This Evening (NEW)
Visit the world of Hale County, Alabama. Composed of intimate and unencumbered moments in the lives of people in the community, the film offers a richly detailed glimpse at life in America's Black Belt.

Wednesday, February 13
11pm AfroPoP: The Ultimate Cultural Exchange #1102: Mama Colonel (NEW)
Set in the Democratic Republic of Congo, the program follows Honorine Munyole, known as Mama Colonel, as she leads a special police force charged with addressing violence against children and women in a country struggling to heal the wounds of war.

Tuesday, February 19

Sammy Davis, Jr. with camera in a scene from the documentary Sammy Davis, Jr.: I've Gotta Be Me." (Courtesy of The Estate of Altovise Davis)

9pm Sammy Davis, Jr.: American Masters #2707 (NEW)
Explore the entertainer's vast talent and journey for identity through the shifting tides of civil rights and racial progress during 20th-century America.

11pm B.B. King: American Masters #2903
Explore B.B. King's challenging life and career through candid interviews with the "King of the Blues," filmed shortly before his death, and fellow musicians, including Bono, Bonnie Raitt, Carlos Santana, Eric Clapton, John Mayer, and Ringo Starr.

Wednesday, February 20
11pm AfroPoP: The Ultimate Cultural Exchange #1103: The Faces We Lost (NEW)
This moving documentary introduces nine Rwandans and chronicles their efforts to use photographs to help keep alive memories of loved ones lost during the 1994 genocide.

Friday, February 22
9pm Charley Pride: American Masters #3007 (NEW)
Explore the complicated history of the American South and its music through the life of country star Charley Pride.

Saturday, February 23
6pm Aretha! Queen of Soul
This program, to mark the passing of Aretha Franklin, includes archival footage from her storied career, and interviews that will evoke the memory of the "Queen of Soul."

Tuesday, February 26
9pm John Lewis: Get in the Way
Follow the journey of civil rights hero, Congressman and human rights champion John Lewis.

Wednesday, February 27
11pm AfroPoP: The Ultimate Cultural Exchange #1104: While I Breathe, I Hope (NEW)
The film follows the against-all-odds 2014 campaign of Bakari Sellers, a young, black Democrat running for Lieutenant Governor of South Carolina.


Saturday, February 2
7pm Dream Land: Little Rock’s West 9th Street
This documentary details the history of this district, the black community in Little Rock, Arkansas and race relations in the city. It also showcases the spirit and hard work of the people who called the neighborhood home, and explores the impact of federal programs such as urban renewal, school desegregation and more.

Friday, February 8
10:30am Reel South #201: Soul City
Learn the story of a group of civil rights activists who attempted to build a multiracial utopia — Soul City — in the heart of North Carolina's Klan Country in the 1970s.

Saturday, February 9

Louis Armstrong and his wife Lucille pose in front of the Sphinx near Cairo, Egypt in 1961. (Jazz Ambassadors) (Courtesy of Louis Armstrong House Museum)

7pm Jazz Ambassadors
Discover how the Cold War and civil rights movement collided when America asked Dizzy Gillespie, Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington and Benny Goodman to travel as cultural ambassadors and combat racially charged Soviet propaganda through their music.

Wednesday, February 13
10am AfroPop: The Ultimate Cultural Exchange #901: An American Ascent
An American Ascent is a feature documentary about the first African American expedition to tackle North America's highest peak, Denali.

Thursday, 2/14
10am Our American Family: The Clarks
This documentary traces the lives of an African-American family with seven children as they employed humor, resourcefulness and respect for all through the Depression, WWII and racial tension.

Wednesday, February 20
10am AfroPop: The Ultimate Cultural Exchange #902: Intore
Intore offers a power and rare look at how Rwanda survived its tragic past by regaining its identity through music, dance and the resilience of a new generation.

Wednesday, February 27
10am AfroPop: The Ultimate Cultural Exchange #903: My Father’s Land
My Father's Land is a feature documentary exploring the life of Papa Jah, a humble Haitian Gardener, who has spent the last forty years in the Bahamas building a life for himself and his children, while living in a marginalized Haitian community nicknamed the Mud.  


Friday, February 1
3pm George Washington Carver: An Uncommon Life (NEW)
This documentary uncovers Carver's complexities and reveals the full impact of his life and work.

Spike Lee discusses his introduction to D.W. Griffith’s The Birth of a Nation when he was an NYU film student. (Courtesy of Birth of a Movement, Northern Light Productions 2016)

4pm Independent Lens #1807: Birth of a Movement
Learn how D.W. Griffith's 1915 film The Birth of a Nation unleashed a battle still waging today about race relations and representation, and the power and influence of Hollywood.

Saturday, February 2
4pm Finding Your Roots #303: In Search of Freedom
Learn how the ancestors of Maya Rudolph, Shonda Rhimes and Keenen Ivory Wayans struggled for freedom, and how each of these cultural trailblazers gains a new understanding of how they fit into this proud trajectory.

6pm We Knew What We Had: The Greatest Jazz Story Never Told
This documentary chronicles the unrecognized history of jazz in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

8:30pm Grooming a Generation
A reading program run by a small group of African-American barbers near Detroit in Ypsilanti, Michigan encourages their young customers to read to them during a haircut.

Sunday, February 3
7pm Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution — Independent Lens
Revisit the turbulent 1960s, when a new revolutionary culture emerged with the Black Panther Party at the vanguard.

Monday, February 4
4pm Reel South #212: Shake ‘Em on Down — The Blues According to Fred McDowell
Delight in the story of Mississippi sharecropper of Fred McDowell, the godfather of the North Mississippi style of blues.

Tuesday, February 5

L-R: Reverend Catherine Brown, Georgia Brown, Pastor Kevin Jones, Treasure Brown. (The Talk - Race in America) (Courtesy of © 2016 THIRTEEN Productions LLC)

3pm The Talk: Race in America
In the wake of recent tragic and fatal events between men of color and law enforcement, learn how black and Hispanic families counsel their kids to stay safe if they are stopped by the police.

5pm America ReFramed #502: 70 Acres in Chicago
Twenty-years in the making, 70 Acres in Chicago tells the story of the Cabrini Green public housing development located on the most hotly contested 70 acres of land in Chicago.

6pm Independent Lens #1709: A Ballerina’s Tale
Explore the rise of Misty Copeland, who made history as the first African-American female principal dancer with the prestigious American Ballet Theater.

Wednesday, February 6
7am Colored Frames
Colored Frames reflects on the last 50 years in African-American art by exploring the influences, inspirations and experiences of black artists.

3pm The Education of Harvey Gantt
This documentary tells the story of a young black man from Charleston named Harvey Gantt who enrolled at Clemson College, making him the first African American accepted to a white school in South Carolina.

3:30pm Independent Lens #1911: Tell Them We Are Rising — The Story of Black Colleges and Universities
Tell Them We Are Rising: The Story of Black Colleges and Universities is a documentary and interactive project that explores the pivotal role historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) have played in American history, culture, and national identity.

Thursday, February 7
3pm Black Women in Medicine
This program honors black female doctors around the country who work diligently in all facets of medicine.

Friday, February 8
3pm Backs Against the Wall: The Howard Thurman Story (NEW)
This documentary chronicles the extraordinary life of Theologian Howard Thurman, a poet and "mystic" who used religious expression to help ignite sweeping social change.

4pm Mr. Civil Rights: Thurgood Marshall and the NAACP
This program incorporates rare archival film and extraordinary interviews to explore Marshall's life in the years leading up to the landmark Brown v. Board of Education ruling.

5pm Redeeming Uncle Tom: The Josiah Henson Story (NEW)
This documentary tells the story of Josiah Henson (voiced by actor Danny Glover), the real-life inspiration for Uncle Tom in Harriet Beecher Stowe's classic 1852 novel, which has been recognized as one of the sparks that ignited the Civil War.

Saturday, February 9
4pm Finding Your Roots #307: Family Reunions
Uncover family mysteries about two legends of hip hop, Sean Combs and LL Cool J, through the use of DNA technology that reveals information that shakes their very foundations.

5pm Deep City: The Birth of the Miami Sound
Learn how two musical geniuses created the first black-owned record label in Florida.

7pm America ReFramed #406: Baddddd Sonia Sanchez
Meet 80-year-old Sonia Sanchez, for whom writing is both a personal and political act. She emerged as a seminal figure in the 1960s Black Arts Movement, raising her voice in the name of black culture, civil rights, women's liberation and peace as a poet, playwright, teacher, activist and early champion of the spoken word.

Sunday, February 10
7pm P.O.V. #3108: Whose Streets?
Take an unflinching look at the Ferguson uprising, where citizens assert their right to live.

8:30pm Graceful Voices
This documentary captures the stories and experiences of the Bahamian and African American women who were born in the MacFarlane Homestead Historic District, forged lifelong friendships, and developed a passion for their community.

Monday, February 11
4pm Take on America with OZY #101: Black Men in Baltimore
100 Black men discuss and debate the justice system, President Trump, Colin Kaepernick and the NFL protests, Black Lives Matter, opportunity, racism and love.

Tuesday, February 12
4pm In Tune: The Ben Tucker Story
This is an hour long documentary about Ben Tucker, who changed the face of Savannah.

5pm America ReFramed #606: Milwaukee 53206
This film introduces viewers to a community with the highest rate of incarcerated African American men in the U.S.

Wednesday, February 13
3pm P.O.V. #3102: Quest
Watch an intimate film capturing eight years in the lives of Christopher "Quest" Rainey, and his wife, Christine'a "Ma Quest" Rainey, as they raise a family and nurture a community of hip-hop artists in Philadelphia.

Thursday, February 14
3pm Power to Heal: Medicare and the Civil Rights Revolution
This documentary chronicles the historic struggle to secure equal and adequate access to healthcare for all Americans.

Friday, February 15
3pm 1964: The Fight for a Right
This documentary chronicles the struggles of African-Americans in 1960s Mississippi fighting for the right to vote.

Saturday, February 16
4pm Finding Your Roots #404: The Vanguard
Author Ta-Nehisi Coates, filmmaker Ava DuVernay, and author and activist Janet Mock see their basic assumptions about their families challenged, placing their ancestors  —  of all colors —  into the greater context of black history.

Sunday, February 17

Samantha Montgomery, aka “Princess Shaw,” subject of Ido Haar’s documentary Presenting Princess Shaw. (ourtesy of Ido Haar. Courtesy of Atzmor Productions.)

7pm P.O.V. #3004: Presenting Princess Shaw
View the extraordinary true story of Princess Shaw, an aspiring musician down on her luck, who inspired internationally famous YouTube artist Kutiman to create a magical collaboration that would bring her music to a whole new audience.

Monday, February 18
4pm In Their Own Words #102: Muhammad Ali
Follow Muhammad Ali's path from a gym in Louisville to boxing successes, conversion to Islam, opposition to the draft, exile from the ring, comeback fights, Parkinson's disease and his inspirational re-emergence at the Atlanta Olympics.

5pm AfroPoP: The Ultimate Cultural Exchange #1105: Short Films
This episodes features an eclectic selection of three short programs.

Tuesday, February 19
3:30pm Slavery By Another Name
This documentary challenges one of America's most cherished assumptions: the belief that slavery in this country ended with Abraham Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation of 1863.

5pm America ReFramed #704: Struggle & Hope (NEW)
Learn about the rise and slow disappearance of all-black towns that sprung up in Oklahoma following the end of the Civil War.

Wednesday, February 20
3pm Talking Black in America (NEW)
This documentary follows the unique circumstances of the descendants of American slaves and their incredible impact on American language.

4pm Fannie Lou Hamer: Stand Up
This documentary examines the life of civil rights legend Fannie Lou Hamer, offering first-hand accounts by those who knew her and worked side by side with her in the struggle for voting rights.

Saturday, February 23
4pm Finding Your Roots #406: Black Like Me
Bryant Gumbel, Tonya Lewis-Lee and Suzanne Malveaux discover a tapestry of the unexpected in their ancestry, revealing slaves and free people of color, Civil War legacies and forgotten European origins.

Monday, February 25
3pm Local USA #315: ’63 Boycott (NEW)

Tuesday, February 26
3:30pm Independent Lens #1909: Winnie
Explore the life of Winnie Mandela and her struggle to bring down apartheid, with intimate insights from those closest to her and testimony from the enemies who sought to extinguish her radical capacity to shake up the order of things.

5pm America ReFramed #705: Late Blossom Blues (NEW)
This documentary follows Leo “Bud” Welch and his manager Vencie Varnado, a Gulf War Veteran, as they balance the tight rope between business and geriatrics, between jet lag and sound check.

Wednesday, February 27
6:30am Independent Lens #1919: True Conviction
Meet three exonerated ex-prisoners who start a detective agency to rebuild their lives, help free other wrongly incarcerated persons and fix the criminal justice system.

KQED 9 is available over the air on DT9.1, 54.2 and 25.1 and via most cable systems on Channel 9. It is on XFINITY cable from Comcast (Channels 9 SD and 709 HD) and on Wave (Channels 9 SD and 164 HD). It can also be found on DIRECTV and DISH satellite systems (Channels 9 SD and HD).

KQED Plus is available over the air on Channels 54, DT54.1, 9.2 and 25.2, and via many cable and satellite systems on either channel 10 or 54. It is on XFINITY cable from Comcast (Channels 10 SD, and 710 HD) and on DIRECTV (Channel 54 SD and HD) and DISH (Channel 54, SD only) satellite systems.

This schedule also lists programs airing on KQED World (XFINITY 190, Channel 9.3 & 54.5).