KQED is proud to celebrate Black History Month starting in February with a special TV programming lineup. Premiere dates are listed below.
ONLINE Dishes of the Diaspora (NEW)
Premiering February 3, KQED presents Dishes of the Diaspora, a new online series featuring African restaurants around the Bay Area. Restaurant owners invite us into their kitchens to share personal experiences, signature dishes, and how they are persevering through the unprecedented challenges brought on by the pandemic. These short videos explore the vulnerability of opening a restaurant as an immigrant as well as the risks and rewards of introducing unique flavors into a Western community. In episode one, meet Oumar Diouf, chef/owner of restaurant and food truck The Damel in Oakland, whose journey from Senegal to Brazil and then Oakland sparked a mission to share the tastes of his home with the world. Click here to learn more and watch a preview.
Tues, 2/2 9pm 400 Years: Taking The Knee Pt. 1 (NEW)
From Harriet Tubman to Colin Kaepernick, the documentary 400 Years: Taking the Knee celebrates many stories of black resistance, oppression and slavery. Narrated by BBC radio presenter Dotun Adebayo, the two-part program covers five centuries of American and British history and the icons who stood up to colonialism and its troubling legacy.
Fri, 2/5 11pm Gennett Suite
One hundred years ago, many of the greatest jazz pioneers made their first recordings at a little studio in Richmond, Indiana – the Gennett Studios. Today, Indiana University Jacobs School of Music Associate Professor Brent Wallarab conducts the IU Student Jazz Ensemble in an original production of The Gennett Suite, a tribute to those early jazz recording artists, recorded at the WTIU studios.
Sat, 2/6 6:30pm Baba Wain: A Musical Note in the Key of Beauty (NEW)
Jazz drummer E.W. Wainwright uses music as a starting point to stress the values of discipline, hard work and self-respect for underserved kids through his African Roots of Jazz Performing Arts Academy. His well-rehearsed student drill and drum teams perform at school and in public, and his contemporary adult jazz ensemble plays at respected venues around the area. Known to students affectionately as "Baba Wain," the documentary recounts his harrowing journey through the civil rights movement and long career as a jazz musician
Mon, 2/8 9pm American Experience: Goin’ Back to T-Town
The story of Greenwood, a Black community in Tulsa, Oklahoma, that prospered during the 1920s and 30s despite rampant and hostile segregation. Torn apart in 1921 by one of the worst racially-motivated massacres in the nation’s history, the neighborhood rose from the ashes.
10pm Independent Lens: Women in Blue (NEW)
With the national conversation around police reform still resonating loudly around the country, Women in Blue shines a spotlight on the women within the Minneapolis Police Department working to reform it from the inside by fighting for gender equity.
Tues, 2/9 9pm 400 Years: Taking The Knee Pt. 2 (NEW)
Part two of 400 Years: Taking The Knee deals with very different sorts of struggles: the legacies of slavery and colonialism and how they have been patterned out and resisted up to the present day. It turns again to literary composers, political organizers and to especially resonant symbolic moments, reminding us of the importance of remembering those who have pioneered, resisted, spoken out and paved the way.
Fri, 2/12 10pm Dave Chappelle: The Mark Twain Prize
This dynamic, newly-reimagined PBS program honors comedian, actor, writer and producer Dave Chappelle, chronicling his extraordinary life and career.
Sat, 2/13 11pm Korla
Korla is a documentary about a television pioneer, a spiritual seeker, and the godfather of exotica music, organist Korla Pandit. The film covers the arc of Korla's career, from having his own music show on television in the 1950's to years later where he developed a cult following playing tiki bars and lounges.
Sun, 2/14 9:30am Africa’s Great Civilizations #101
In his 6-hour series, Henry Louis Gates, Jr. takes a look at the history of Africa, from the birth of humankind to the dawn of the 20th century. This is a breathtaking and personal journey through two hundred thousand years of history, from the origins, on the African continent, of art, writing, and civilization itself.
10:34am Africa’s Great Civilizations #102
Henry Louis Gates, Jr. charts the ancient rise of Christianity & Islam, whose economic & cultural influence stretched from Egypt to Ethiopia. Learn of African religious figures like King Lalibela, an Ethiopian saint, and Menelik, bringer of the Ark of the Covenant.
11:47am Africa’s Great Civilizations #103
Henry Louis Gates, Jr. uncovers the complex trade networks and advanced educational institutions that transformed early north and west Africa from deserted lands into the continent’s wealthiest kingdoms and learning epicentres.
1pm Africa’s Great Civilizations #104
Gates explores the power of Africa’s greatest ancient cities, including Kilwa, Great Zimbabwe and Benin City, whose wealth, art and industrious successes attracted new European interest and interaction along the continent’s east and west coasts.
2:20pm Africa’s Great Civilizations #105
Henry Louis Gates, Jr. explores the impact of the Atlantic trading world, giving rise to powerful new kingdoms, but also the transatlantic slave trade. Learn of the revolutionary movements of the 18th & early 19th centuries, including the advent of the Sokoto Caliphate.
3:40pm Africa’s Great Civilizations #106
Henry Louis Gates, Jr. explores the dynamism of 19th century Africa, the “Scramble” by European powers for its riches, and the defiant and successful stand of uncolonized Ethiopia.
Mon, 2/15 9pm American Experience: Voice of Freedom (NEW)
On Easter Sunday, 1939, contralto Marian Anderson stepped up to a microphone in front of the Lincoln Memorial. Inscribed on the walls of the monument behind her were the words “all men are created equal.” Barred from performing in Constitution Hall because of her race, Anderson would sing for the American people in the open air. Hailed as a voice that “comes around once in a hundred years” by maestros in Europe and widely celebrated by both white and black audiences at home, her fame hadn’t been enough to spare her from the indignities and outright violence of racism and segregation. VoiceofFreedom interweaves Anderson’s rich life story with this landmark moment in history, exploring fundamental questions about talent, race, fame, democracy, and the American soul.
Tues, 2/16 8pm Finding Your Roots: Write My Name in the Book of Life (NEW)
Henry Louis Gates, Jr. helps musician Pharrell Williams and filmmaker Kasi Lemmons uncover extraordinarily rare first-person accounts of their enslaved ancestors.
9pm The Black Church: This Is Our Story, This Is Our Song, Pt. 1 (NEW)
Host Henry Louis Gates, Jr. explores the roots of African American religion, beginning with the trans-Atlantic slave trade and the extraordinary ways enslaved Africans preserved and adapted their faith practices under the brutal realities of human bondage. As an awakening of Protestant Christianity spread in the 18th century, Black Americans embraced a vision of a liberating God and Black churches that would become bedrock institutions in the long struggle to dismantle slavery, culminating in the Civil War.
11pm Amen! Music of the Black Church (NEW)
Explore the rich traditions, historical significance, and meaning of Black church music in a new concert film. Recorded before a live audience at the Second Baptist Church in Bloomington, Indiana, Dr. Raymond Wise leads the Indiana University African American Choral Ensemble in a performance of sacred music spanning from African traditions to contemporary praise and worship music.
Fri, 2/19 9pm Maya Angelou: American Masters
Distinctly referred to as “a redwood tree, with deep roots in American culture,” Dr. Maya Angelou led a prolific life. She inspired generations with lyrical modern African-American thought that pushed boundaries. Best known for her autobiography, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, she gave people the freedom to think about their history in a way they never had before.
Sat, 2/20 10:30pm Great Performances: Twilight: Los Angeles
Watch Anna Deavere Smith’s powerful one woman/multi-voiced theater piece about the 1991 Rodney King beating, the violent aftermath of the 1992 verdict and the lasting impact of the Los Angeles riots on America’s conscience.
Mon, 2/22 10pm Independent Lens: Mr. SOUL! (NEW)
In 1968, producer Ellis Haizlip developed a new show aimed at Black audiences, one that used the familiar variety-show format to display and celebrate the breadth of Black culture. For five years, the public television series SOUL! highlighted Black literature, music, and politics, and often paired guests in unexpected juxtapositions that gave them an opportunity to shine in unique ways. Haizlip presided over the show as an unusual, unassuming host who conducted interviews with both an intense interest and laid-back style, attracting notable, eclectic figures to the show, and providing a national platform for previously unheard voices
With intimate interviews and stellar performances in music scene venues, "JAM" puts the spotlight on the makers of some of the best original new music being played right now in Midwest clubs. From The Fey's vintage rock-soul and the soul-gospel R&B of Emily Bass and The Near Miracle to the soulful folk music of solo singer-songwriter Andrea von Kampen, "JAM" explores the artistic journeys and voices of three top emerging artists.
Tues, 2/23 9pm The Black Church: This Is Our Story, This Is Our Song, Pt. 2 (NEW)
The series continues with the Black church expanding its reach to address social inequality and minister to those in need, from the exodus out of the Jim Crow South during the Great Migration to the heroic phase of the civil rights movement in the 1950s and ‘60s. After the violent loss of leaders like the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., many Black churches found themselves at a crossroads — struggling to remain relevant in an era of increasing secularization while reckoning with urgent social and cultural issues within their congregations and broader communities.
11pm Anisfield-Wolf Book Awards 2020 (NEW)
Enjoy this reimagined ceremony turned documentary. It is hosted by Jury Chair Henry Louis Gates Jr. and features a visit to the hometowns of historian Eric Foner, poet Ilya Kaminsky, scholar Charles King and novelist Namwali Serpell.
Mon, 2/1 2pm Evening with Nikki Giovanni
An Evening With Nikki Giovanni provides a rare and unique look inside the life and career of the poet and activist.
5:30pm Graceful Voices
During the land boom of the 1920s, real estate developer George Merrick launched his dream of creating America's first fully planned community, Coral Gables - known as the "Miami Riviera." Behind the grand gates of Coral Gables is the MacFarlane Homestead Historic District, developed as a black residential neighborhood by Merrick, where many Bahamian immigrants built homes that have been in their families for generations.
Tues, 2/2 2pm HistoryMakers: An Evening with Ossie Davis & Ruby Dee
This hour-long, one-on-one interview provides a candid glimpse into the lives of actors and national treasures, Ossie Davis and Ruby Dee. Taped on October 18, 2002 at The Art Institute of Chicago in front of a live audience, the couple was interviewed by activist and scholar Angela Davis.
3pm Editor and the Dragon: Horace Carter Fights The Klan
On a hot July night in 1950, Horace Carter watched as thirty cars filled with armed, robed, and hooded Ku Klux Klansmen made their way through Tabor City, a small town on the North Carolina-South Carolina border. The event marked the beginning of two years of turmoil as Carter, Tabor City, and the surrounding communities witnessed large Klan rallies, gunplay, abductions, assaults, and murders.
4pm American Masters: How It Feels to Be Free
This documentary tells the inspiring story of how six iconic African American female entertainers challenged an entertainment industry deeply complicit in perpetuating racist stereotypes and transformed themselves and their audiences in the process.
Wed, 2/3 2pm Evening with Quincy Jones
Get an inside look into the life and career of the music impresario.
Thus, 2/4 2pm Evening with Andrew Young An Evening With Andrew Young provides an inside look into the life and career of Civil Rights Leader and former UN Ambassador Andrew Young
4pm East Lake Meadows: A Public Housing Story
Learn the history of East Lake Meadows, a former public housing community in Atlanta. Stories from residents reveal hardship and resilience, and raise critical questions about race, poverty, and who is deserving of public assistance.
9pm Swing: Pure Pleasure 1935-1937
As the Great Depression drags on, jazz comes as close as it has ever come to being America's popular music. It has a new name, Swing, and for millions of young fans, it will be the defining music of their generation.
10:30pm The Jazz Ambassadors
The Cold War and civil rights collide in this remarkable story of music, diplomacy and race. Beginning in 1955, when America asked its greatest jazz artists to travel the world as cultural ambassadors, Louis Armstrong, Dizzy Gillespie, Duke Ellington and their racially diverse band members faced a painful dilemma: How could they represent a country that still practiced Jim Crow segregation?
11:30pm Historic Attucks Theatre: Apollo of the South
One of Hampton Roads' greatest treasures, the Attucks Theatre, turns 100 years old. Musicians of the greatest caliber have performed at the Attucks, legends like Duke Ellington, Cab Calloway, Ella Fitzgerald and Nat King Cole just to name a few. The 600 seat venue was an instant source of pride to Norfolk’s Black Community.
Fri, 2/5 2pm An Evening with Richard Parsons An Evening With Richard Parsons showcases the life and career of the corporate giant.
3pm Thomas Sowell: Common Sense in a Senseless World (NEW)
The film traces Thomas Sowell’s journey from humble beginnings to the Hoover Institution, becoming one of our era’s most controversial economists, political philosophers, and prolific authors. Hosted by Jason Riley, a member of The Wall Street Journal editorial board, the one-hour program features insights from Sowell and interviews with his close friends and associates, revealing why the intensely private Thomas Sowell is considered by many to be “one of the greatest minds of the past half-century” and “the smartest person in the room.”
Sat, 2/6 7:30am Power to Heal: Medicare and the Civil Rights Revolution
Watch an hour-long documentary chronicling the historic struggle to secure equal and adequate access to healthcare for all Americans.
8:30am Fannie Lou Hamer: Stand Up
Civil rights legend Fannie Lou Hamer is remembered by those how worked side by side with her in the struggle for voting rights. An African-American sharecropper from the Mississippi Delta, Hamer’s difficulty registering to vote in 1962 led to her career as an outspoken activist, congressional candidate, and fierce fighter for the rights of all.
9am Leah Chase - The Queen of Creole Cuisine
Narrated by journalist Michelle Miller, Leah Chase - The Queen of Creole Cuisine chronicles the humble beginnings of a young girl from Madisonville, Louisiana and how she became one of the top, multi-award-winning chefs in the nation.
10am Hollywood’s Architect: The Paul R. Williams Story
Nicknamed “Architect to the Stars,” African American architect Paul R. Williams was one of the most successful architects of his time. But at the height of his career he wasn’t always welcome in the buildings he designed because of his race. Hollywood’s Architect will tell the story of how he used talent, determination and even charm to defy the odds and create a celebrated body of work.
Sun, 2/7 9am Driving While Black: Race, Space and Mobility in America
Discover how the advent of the automobile brought new mobility and freedom for African Americans but also exposed them to discrimination and deadly violence, and how that history resonates today.
10am African Americans: Many Rivers to Cross — "The Black Atlantic (1500-1800)
“The Black Atlantic” explores the truly global experiences that created the African American people. Beginning a full century before the first documented '20-and-odd' slaves arrived at Jamestown, Virginia, the episode portrays the earliest Africans, both slave and free, who arrived on these shores. But the Trans-Atlantic slave trade would soon become a vast empire connecting three continents. Through stories of individuals caught in its web, like a ten-year-old girl named Priscilla who was transported from Sierra Leone to South Carolina in the mid-18th century, we trace the emergence of plantation slavery in the American South. The late 18th century saw a global explosion of freedom movements, and The Black Atlantic examines what that Era of Revolutions-American, French and Haitian-would mean for African Americans, and for slavery in America.
11:06am African Americans: Many Rivers to Cross — "The Age of Slavery (1800-1860)"
"The Age of Slavery" illustrates how black lives changed dramatically in the aftermath of the American Revolution. For free black people in places like Philadelphia, these years were a time of tremendous opportunity. But for most African Americans, this era represented a new nadir. King Cotton fueled the rapid expansion of slavery into new territories, and a Second Middle Passage forcibly relocated African Americans from the Upper South into the Deep South. Yet as slavery intensified, so did resistance. From individual acts to mass rebellions, African Americans demonstrated their determination to undermine and ultimately eradicate slavery in every state in the nation. Courageous individuals, such as Harriet Tubman, Richard Allen and Frederick Douglass, played a crucial role in forcing the issue of slavery to the forefront of national politics, helping to create the momentum that would eventually bring the country to war.
12:17pm African Americans: Many Rivers to Cross — "Into the Fire (1861-1896)
"Into the Fire" examines the most tumultuous and consequential period in African American history: the Civil War and the end of slavery, and Reconstruction's thrilling but tragically brief "moment in the sun."
1:29pm African Americans: Many Rivers to Cross —"Making A Way Out of No Way (1897-1940)"
Something from Nothing portrays the Jim Crow era, when African Americans struggled to build their own worlds within the harsh, narrow confines of segregation. At the turn of the 20th century, a steady stream of African Americans left the South, fleeing the threat of racial violence, and searching for better opportunities in the North and the West. Leaders like Ida B. Wells, W.E.B. Du Bois, Booker T. Washington and Marcus Garvey organized, offering vastly different strategies to further black empowerment and equality. Yet successful black institutions and individuals were always at risk. At the same time, the ascendance of black arts and culture showed that a community with a strong identity and sense of pride was taking hold in spite of Jim Crow. "The Harlem Renaissance" would not only redefine how America saw African Americans, but how African Americans saw themselves.
2:53pm African Americans: Many Rivers to Cross —"Rise! (1940-1968)
“Rise!” examines the long road to civil rights, when the deep contradictions in American society finally became unsustainable. African Americans who fought fascism in World War II came home to face the same old racial violence. But mass media — from print to radio and TV — broadcast that injustice, planting seeds of resistance.
4:15pm African Americans: Many Rivers to Cross —"A More Perfect Union (1968-2013)"
After 1968, African Americans set out to build a bright new future on the foundation of the civil rights movement's victories, but a growing class disparity threatened to split the black community in two. As hundreds of African Americans won political office across the country and the black middle class made unprecedented progress, larger economic and political forces isolated the black urban poor in the inner cities, vulnerable to new social ills and an epidemic of incarceration. Yet African Americans of all backgrounds came together to support Illinois Senator Barack Obama in his historic campaign for the presidency of the United States. When he won in 2008, many hoped that America had finally transcended race and racism. By the time of his second victory, it was clear that many issues, including true racial equality, remain to be resolved. Now we ask: How will African Americans help redefine the United States in the years to come?
Mon, 2/8 2pm Evening with Earl Graves An Evening With Earl Graves provides a historical look into the life of the groundbreaking publisher and business mogul.
4pm Independent Lens: Hale County This Morning, This Evening
RaMell Ross’s Oscar-nominated Hale County This Morning, This Evening, one of the year’s most critically acclaimed films, is a dreamy and intimate journey through the world of Hale County, Alabama, a richly detailed glimpse into life in America’s Black Belt. Full of sublime moments, the film immerses the viewer in the southern black American experience in a place where Walker Evans and James Agee once chronicled the lives of poor white sharecropping families in Let Us Now Praise Famous Men in the 1930s, but today is an oft-misunderstood African American community.
5:30pm Reel South: Unmarked
Much of America's rich history is being lost to time. In the South, vast amounts of African-American gravesites and burial grounds for enslaved persons have been disappearing over the years. In Virginia alone, stories of thousands at rest could vanish from history altogether if these locations are not restored. Those with personal connections to these burial sites have recently begun to uncover and maintain locations across the state. However, there is much work to be done in order to preserve this part of America's history.
Tues, 2/9 2pm Evening with Harry Belafonte An Evening With Harry Belafonte is a one-on-one interview program that provides a rare look into the life and times of the legendary entertainer and humanitarian.
3pm John Lewis: Get in the Way
Follow the journey of civil rights hero, congressman, and human rights champion John Lewis. At the Selma March, Lewis came face-to-face with club-wielding troopers and exemplified non-violence.
4pm American Experience: Freedom Riders
The story behind a courageous band of civil rights activists called Freedom Riders who in 1961 challenged segregation in the American South.
Wed, 2/10 2pm Evening with Dionne Warwick An Evening With Dionne Warwick is a one-on-one interview program that provides a rare look into the life and times of the artist who bridged the gap and climbed to the top of the charts more than any other female entertainer of her time.
3pm Marching Forward (NEW)
In the segregated South, music inspires two marching band directors to cross color lines and give their students the opportunity of a lifetime.
4pm Central Park Five TheCentralParkFive tells the story of the five black and Latino teenagers from Harlem who were wrongly convicted of raping a white woman in New York City’s Central Park in 1989. The film chronicles The Central Park Jogger case, for the first time from the perspective of these five teenagers whose lives were upended by this miscarriage of justice.
Thurs, 2/11 2pm Evening with B.B. King An Evening With B.B. King is a must-see interview that provides a rare look into the life and times of the King of the Blues.
3pm Liberty & Slavery: The Paradox of America's Founding Fathers
This documentary explores the ultimate paradox of Revolutionary America: slavery. Delving into the hypocrisies of the Founding Fathers’ position as slaveholders, Liberty & Slavery: The Paradox of America’s Founding Fathers attempts to better understand how the authors of the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution could have owned slaves, and why those who didn’t failed to insist on the abolishment of slavery.
5pm Independent Lens: Cooked—Survival by Zip Code Cooked: SurvivalbyZipCode tells the story of the tragic 1995 Chicago heatwave, the most traumatic in U.S. history, in which 739 citizens died over the course of just a single week, most of them poor, elderly, and African American. Cooked is a story about life, death, and the politics of crisis in an American city that asks the question: Was this a one-time tragedy, or an appalling trend?
9pm Swing: The Velocity of Celebration
As the 1930's come to a close, Swing-mania is still going strong, but some fans are saying success has made the music too predictable. Their ears are tuned to a new sound - pulsing, stomping, suffused with the blues.
11pm Charley Pride: American Masters Charley Pride: I’mJustMe traces the improbable journey of Charley Pride, from his humble beginnings as a sharecropper’s son on a cotton farm in segregated Sledge, Mississippi to his career as a Negro American League baseball player and his meteoric rise as a trailblazing country music superstar. The new documentary reveals how Pride’s love for music led him from the Delta to a larger, grander world. In
Fri, 2/12 2pm Evening with Diahann Carroll An Evening With Diahann Carroll provides a rare and insightful look into the life and career of the legendary entertainer.
3pm Codeswitching: Race and Identity in the Suburban Schoolhouse CodeSwitching: Race and Identity in the Suburban Schoolhouse is a mashup of personal stories from African-American students, spanning two generations, who signed up for voluntary busing to attend better-resourced suburban schools. It explores shifting race relations in the suburban-urban axis, teen self-perception, and the role gender plays in fitting-in.
Sat, 2/13 4pm Independent Lens: Tell Them We Are Rising—The Story of Black Colleges and Universities
The rich history of America’s Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) began before the end of slavery, flourished in the 20th century, and profoundly influenced the course of the nation for over 150 years — yet remains largely unknown. WithTellThemWeAreRising: TheStoryofBlackCollegesandUniversities, the latest documentary from Stanley Nelson (Black Panthers, Freedom Riders) and Marco Williams, the powerful story of the rise, influence, and evolution of HBCUs comes to life.
8pm Reconstruction: America After The Civil War Pt. 1
The aftermath of the Civil War was bewildering, exhilarating . . . and terrifying. African Americans had played a crucial role in saving the Union and now, as the country grappled with the terms and implications of Reconstruction, they struggled to breathe life into their hard-won freedom. The result was a second American Revolution.
Sun, 2/14 3:30pm 70s Soul Superstars (My Music)
Join Patti LaBelle for an all-star reunion of the legends of 1970s Motown, R&B and soul, including the Commodores, original lead Eugene Record reuniting with the Chi-Lites, the Stylistics, Yvonne Elliman, Heatwave, the Trammps and the Emotions.
8pm Reconstruction: America After The Civil War Pt. 2
Part two examines the years 1877-1896, a transitional period that saw visions of a “New South” set the stage for the rise of Jim Crow and the undermining of Reconstruction’s legal and political legacy. While some African Americans attempted to migrate, the vast majority remained in the South, where sharecropping, convict leasing, disfranchisement, and lynchings drew a “color line”.
Mon, 2/15 2pm Evening with Della Reese An Evening With Della Reese is a must see one-on-one interview that gives a closer look at the life of the celebrated actress, singer, and minister.
4pm Independent Lens: Recorder: The Marion Stokes Project
A fiercely intelligent, radical activist who became a fabulously wealthy recluse in her later years, Marion Stokes was dedicated to furthering and protecting the truth — so much so that she recorded American television 24 hours a day for over 30 years.
Tues, 2/16 2pm Evening with Denyce Graves An Evening With Denyce Graves provides a rare and unique look inside the life and career of legendary mezzo-soprano.
4pm American Experience: The Murder of Emmett Till
In August 1955, a 14-year-old black boy whistled at a white woman in a grocery store in Money, Mississippi. Emmett Till, a teen from Chicago, didn't understand that he had broken the unwritten laws of the Jim Crow South until three days later, when two white men dragged him from his bed in the dead of night, beat him brutally and then shot him in the head. Although his killers were arrested and charged with murder, they were both acquitted quickly by an all-white, all-male jury. Shortly afterwards, the defendants sold their story, including a detailed account of how they murdered Till, to a journalist. The murder and the trial horrified the nation and the world. Till's death was a spark that helped mobilize the Civil Rights movement. Three months after his body was pulled from the Tallahatchie River, the Montgomery bus boycott began.
5pm Jubilee Singers: Sacrifice and Glory: American Experience
It was 1871, and the young singers - all but two of them former slaves - were performing before far-off audiences to save their struggling new school. The Jubilee Singers' first concert, in Oberlin, Ohio, raised hopes but little else. Still, they refused to quit, and as word of their talent spread along the route of the old Underground Railway, both crowds and collections grew. The youths from Nashville, Tennessee, made history by saving Fisk University, introducing the world to the power of spirituals, and challenging racial stereotypes. See - and hear - this profound and moving story of students who battled prejudice and oppression to sing their way into a nation's heart.
Wed, 2/17 2pm Evening with Berry Gordy An Evening With Berry Gordy is a must see, live-to-tape one-on-one interview with the founder of Motown Records, beginning the story in Detroit where Gordy founded Motown Records in 1959 and grew the company into the most successful African American-owned enterprise in the United States, and detailing his life as an entrepreneur, songwriter, record producer, movie director and producer.
3pm Dream Land: Little Rock’s West 9th Street
Little Rock, Arkansas' West 9th Street was once a vibrant, African-American business and entertainment district. Placed on the National Register of Historic Places by the United States Department of the Interior, Taborian Hall is the only remaining historic structure on West 9th Street and stands as a living witness to the street's former glory days, which featured performers such as Duke Ellington, Ella Fitzgerald, Cab Calloway, Etta James, and many more.
Thurs, 2/18 2pm Evening with Smokey Robinson An Evening With Smokey Robinson provides an inside look into the life and career of the iconic Motown singer.
3pm Dreams of Hope DreamsofHope tells the story of a historic concert at the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama, more than 50 years after a hate crime there killed four African American girls. Conducted by Dr. Henry Panion III, the concert performance features musical instruments that serve as symbols of hope - violins restored from Holocaust concentration camps. The documentary incorporates behind-the-scenes interviews reflecting on the purpose of the event: to celebrate the resilience of those who have faced hate, discrimination and racism.
9pm Jazz: Dedicated to Chaos (1940-1945)
When America enters World War II, jazz goes to war, too. Swing becomes a symbol of democracy, and bandleaders like Glenn Miller and Artie Shaw take the music to the men and women of the armed forces overseas. Meanwhile, underground and after hours at home, a small band of gifted young musicians led by trumpet virtuoso Dizzy Gillespie and alto saxophonist Charlie Parker give birth to bebop.
11pm Fat Boy: The Billy Stewart Story (NEW)
Learn about the life and career of the balladeer Billy Stewart, whose music and music style influenced R&B music from the 1960s to today.
Fri, 2/19 2pm Evening with Valerie Simpson in honor of Nick Ashford
Celebrate the life and career of music’s most versatile songwriting duo, Valerie Simpson and Nick Ashford! Journalist Gwen Ifill interviews singer/songwriter Valerie Simpson about her stellar career penning huge hits such as “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough,” “Let’s Go Get Stoned,” and “Solid” with her late husband, Nick Ashford, as the songwriting powerhouse, Ashford & Simpson.
3pm 1964: The Fight for a Right
By the mid twentieth century, Mississippi’s African Americans had suffered from nearly 75 years of slavery by another name - Jim Crow discrimination. In 1964 in Mississippi, people died in an effort to force the state to allow African Americans to exercise their constitutional right to vote. Although, the 50th anniversary of Freedom Summer has passed, the struggle for voting rights is still pertinent. According to the NAACP, states have recently passed the most laws limiting voter participation since Jim Crow. Moreover, these laws also disenfranchise other people of color, the elderly, poor, and disabled. With historical footage and interview with Freedom Summer architects and volunteers, as well as present day activists, 1964: TheFightforaRightuses Mississippi to explain American voting issues in the last 150 years.
Mon, 2/22 2pm Evening with Colin Powell An Evening With Colin Powell provides a rare and insightful look into the life and career of the former National Security Advisor, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and 65th U.S. Secretary of State.
Tues, 2/23 2pm Evening with Eric Holder An Evening With Eric Holder is a one-on-one interview with former U.S. Attorney General Eric H. Holder, Jr. whose career that has been committed to service and racial justice. Join Washington Post blogger and MSNBC contributor, Jonathan Capehart, as he engages in conversation with the third longest-serving Attorney General in U.S. history and the first African American to hold that office.
3pm The Groveland Four
July, 1949: Four young black men are accused of rape by a 17-year-old woman in rural Lake County, Florida. The case of “The Groveland Four” included a race riot, torture, multiple murders, two trials and a Supreme Court reversal. Though widely covered by the national press, the case has been largely forgotten... even though it helped lay a foundation for the Civil Rights Movement.
4pm Heard (NEW)
News coverage offers a steady stream of dramatic stories of violence, gangs and drugs in America's public housing project that obscures the unique, compelling and varied personal stories of the residents living there. The documentary film Heardcaptures the inspiring stories of four people who grew up in "the projects," surviving and thriving in spite of - and often because of - the challenges they've had to overcome.
11pm Afro-Latino Travels with Kim Haas: San Jose
We travel to Costa Rica's capital city, San Jose. In the capital, we meet with one the country's most renowned writers, whose career spans more than 50 years and is responsible for introducing the Afro-Costa Rican experience in Costa Rican literature. We will also meet up with a dancer whose grace, style and elegance will charm viewers as she demonstrates some Afro-Caribbean inspired dance movements. Our journey also includes dinner with two sisters of the country's first black vice president. They were engaging as they shared their family's traditions and legacy of Afro-Costa Rican pride.
11:30pm Afro-Latino Travels with Kim Haas: Limon, Costa Rica
We travel to Limon, Costa Rica, on the Caribbean coast. This sun drenched coastal city is steeped in African Diasporic history including a legacy by Pan Africanist Marcus Garvey. We also learn about the role thousands of Jamaicans, Afro-Costa Ricans and other Caribbean islanders played in the construction of the country's railroad more than a century ago. While on the Caribbean coast, one of the most beloved restauranteurs teaches us how to cook rondon, the Jamaican inspired seafood stew.
Wed, 2/24 2pm Conversation with Henry Louis Gates Jr. A Conversation with Henry Louis Gates, Jr. provides an interesting and rarely seen inside look into the life and career of the well-known Harvard professor and historian.
Thurs, 2/25 2pm Evening with Valerie Jarrett An Evening With Valerie Jarrett provides a unique inside look at civic leader and businesswoman Valerie Jarrett, Senior Advisor to President Barack Obama. Taped at the historic Art Institute of Chicago and hosted by veteran NPR journalist Michele Norris, An Evening With Valerie Jarrett explores Jarrett's fascinatingly rich life and career, as well as the legacy of her storied family.
9pm Jazz: Risk (1945-1955)
Jazz splinters into different camps: white and black, cool and hot, East and West, traditional and modern. Trumpeter Miles Davis becomes the most influential musician of his generation.
Fri, 2/26 2pm Evening with Vernon Jordan An Evening With Vernon Jordan, is a one-on-one interview of Vernon Jordan, one of the most iconic civic and business leaders of today.
Mon, Feb 1 4pm Mr. Civil Rights: Thurgood Marshall and the NAACP Mr. CivilRights: ThurgoodMarshallandtheNAACP incorporates rare archival film and extraordinary interviews to chart Thurgood Marshall's life (1908-1993) in the years leading up to the landmark Brown v. Board of Education Supreme Court ruling.
6:30pm Stories from the Stage: Growing Up Black
What does it mean to grow up Black in America, a country too often divided by race? Bullied by a group of kids, Ben finds out he is not alone; Sue shares the realities of raising kids of a different race; and Angie learns about how far we have come, and how far we have to go in a chance encounter she will never forget. Three stories, three interpretations of Growing Up Black hosted by Wes Hazard.
Tues, 2/2 4pm Reel South: Mossville—When Great Trees Fall
As a centuries-old black community in Louisiana, contaminated and uprooted by petrochemical plants, comes to terms with the loss of its ancestral home, one man standing in the way of a plant’s expansion refuses to give up.
5pm America ReFramed: Vision Portraits
Acclaimed director Rodney Evans (BrothertoBrother and TheHappySad) takes viewers on a personal journey as he ponders how the deterioration of his vision will impact his life and work as a filmmaker. Interviewing blind and low vision artists - a photographer, a dancer and a writer - Evans embarks on a quest to learn how other artists have continued to create art and how their journeys might serve as inspiration for his own.
Fri, 2/5 4pmSingular Singular tells the story of Cecile McLorin Salvant, a talented jazz singer with a timeless voice, who developed an inimitable vocal style and earned three Grammy Awards before the age of 30. Interviews with fellow jazz musicians Wynton Marsalis and Bill Charlap, along with Cecile, her mother Lena, her sister Aisha and her bandmates, tell the story of Cecile's success in the insular world of jazz.
5pm We Knew What We Had: The Greatest Jazz Story Never Told
The film features the talents of international Jazz Masters George Benson, Ahmad Jamal, Stanley Turrentine, Billy Eckstine, Kenny Clarke, Art Blakey, Billy Strayhorn and Mary Lou Williams – all Pittsburghers – and explores the social conditions and historical events that conspired to make Pittsburgh one of the leading contributors to the legacy of Jazz music in the world.
Sun, 2/7 4pm AfroPoP: The Ultimate Cultural Exchange—While I Breathe, I Hope
What does it mean to be young, Black, and a Democrat in the South? While I Breate, I Hope, unravels this question through the experiences of South Carolina politician Bakari Sellers. The film follows Sellers on his 2014 bid for lieutenant governor, through the Charleston shootings in 2015, and to the present as he takes on a national role on CNN and considers his future in Trump’s America.
7pm Finding Your Roots: The Vanguard
Three guests who have helped to redefine Black America in the last decade find their identities challenged as they learn about their family origins.
Mon, 2/8 5:30pm P.O.V. Shorts: The Changing Same
In the Florida Panhandle lies the provincial town of Marianna, Florida, where one native resident runs a particular marathon in hopes of lifting the veil of racial terror caused by the town’s buried history.
Tues, 2/9 12pm In Their Own Words: Muhammad Ali In Their Own Words is a stylish new biography series that explores an elite few of the 20th century’s greatest figures, illuminating their fascinating personalities and profound cultural and historical impact.
4pm Talking Black in America Talking Black in America reveals the incredible impact that the most controversial and misunderstood language variety in the history of American English has had on American life and language.
5pm America ReFramed: Pahokee (NEW)
Through the lens of independent films, this series tells the many stories of a transforming American culture and its broad diversity. It takes an unfiltered look at relevant domestic topics (healthcare, immigration, the workplace, and politics) with personal storytelling tied to programming social themes.
Wed, 2/10 4pm Kindred Spirits: Artists Hilda Wilkinson Brown and Lilian Thomas Burwell (NEW)
Lilian Thomas Burwell recounts the life story of her aunt, unsung artist and educator Hilda Wilkinson Brown, and the influence she had on Burwell’s own career as an abstract expressionist artist. Their lives, works of art and sources of inspiration are presented against the backdrop of a segregated society where marginalized Black artists created their own venues to exhibit their work.
Sun, 2/14 4pm AfroPoP: The Ultimate Cultural Exchange
Many complicated, opposing and controversial viewpoints are often presented about Africans, African Americans and people of the African Diaspora. AfroPoP: The Ultimate Cultural Exchange is at the forefront in bringing informative and entertaining films about modern life in the African Diaspora to television audiences in the U.S.
7pm Finding Your Roots: Black Like Me
Three African-American guests delve deep into their family trees, discovering unexpected stories that challenge our assumptions about black history.
Mon, 2/15 4pm George Washington Carver: An Uncommon Life
While George Washington Carver's rise from slavery to scientific accomplishment has inspired millions, time has reduced him to the man who did something with peanuts. This documentary uncovers Carver's complexities and reveals the full impact of his life and work.
5pm Beyond Barbados: The Carolina Connection Beyond Barbados: The Carolina Connection traces the historic influence of the small island of Barbados on the wealth and success of a place 2,000 miles away: the Carolinas. Scholars examine the cultural exchange that impacted the development of language, food and architecture, and recount how the economic and governmental systems created, tested and proven by the West Indies sugar industry forged the prosperity and power of the Carolinas — chief among them the institution of slavery.
6:30pm Stories from the Stage: Growing Up Black, Pt. 2 (NEW)
What does it mean to grow up Black in America, a country too often divided by race? Bullied by a group of kids, Ben finds out he is not alone; Sue shares the realities of raising kids of a different race; and Angie learns about how far we have come, and how far we have to go in a chance encounter she will never forget.
Tues, 2/16 4pm Reel South: All Skinfolk Ain’t Kinfolk
Through news footage, campaign advertisements and archival audio and video, All Skinfolk Ain't Kinfolk is the unprecedented story of the 2017 New Orleans mayoral runoff. The winner of this election would take office as the first female mayor of New Orleans and the city’s fourth black mayor.
5pm America ReFramed: Baddddd Sonia Sanchez
The personal is political. "BaddDDD Sonia Sanchez" is a portrait of the artist, revealing her uncompromising life as she raised her voice in the name of black culture, civil rights, women's liberation, and world peace. The film captures Sanchez's commitment to cultural specificity while connecting history and humanities to the mainstream.
Wed, 2/17 4pm AfroPoP: The Ultimate Cultural Exchange—The Twelve Disciples of Nelson Mandela The Twelve Disciples of Nelson Mandela tells an intimate tale about an African-American family, the anti-apartheid movement, and the quest for reconciliation between a father and son.
Fri, 2/19 4pm Black Ballerina Black Ballerina is a story of passion, opportunity, heartbreak and triumph of the human spirit. Set in the overwhelmingly white world of classical dance, it tells the stories of several black women from different generations who fell in love with ballet.
Sun, 2/21 4pm Prince Among Slaves Prince Among Slaves tells the story of Abdul Rahman, trilingual, a military general and heir to a West African nation the size of Great Britain, who did not return to Africa for 40 years. In that time, he toiled on Foster's plantation. He married a fellow slave, Isabella, and they had nine children. Gradually, he also became the most famous African in America, attracting the support of President John Quincy Adams and Secretary of State Henry Clay.
7pm Finding Your Roots: Freedom Tales
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. Both discover unexpected stories that challenge assumptions about black history.
Mon, 2/22 4pm Ghosts of Amistad: In the Footsteps of the Rebels Ghosts of Amistad: In the Footsteps of the Rebels based on Marcus Rediker’s 2012 book The Amistad Rebellion: An Atlantic Odyssey of Slavery and Freedom. The documentary chronicles a trip made by academics and historians to Sierra Leone in May of 2013 as they retrace the path of the 53 Africans who rebelled against their captors and seized the slave schooner Amistad in 1839, leading to a watershed US Supreme Court decision.
5pm AfroPoP: The Ultimate Cultural Exchange—Gilda Brasileiro: Against Oblivion
Gilda Brasileiro tells the story of one woman’s fight to expose the history of an illegal 19th century slave-trading post in the Brazilian rainforest, where hundreds of thousands of Africans were enslaved.
6:30pm Stories from the Stage: Good Kind of Trouble (NEW)
Explore the art of storytelling through interviews with the storytellers talking about their craft, their on-stage performances, and comments and stories from the audience. Theresa Okokon and Wes Hazard host, introducing each episode's theme.
Tues, 2/23 4pm The Long Shadow
When two daughters of the South, Director Frances Causey and Producer Sally Holst, set out to find causes for the continuing racial divisions in the United States, they discovered that the politics of slavery didn't end after the Civil War. In an astonishingly candid look at the history of anti-black racism in the United States, The Long Shadow traces the imposition of white privilege and its ultimate manifestation: slavery.
5pm America ReFramed: Where the Pavement Ends Where the Pavement Ends transports viewers to Missouri towns Kinloch and Ferguson, examining the shared histories and deep racial divides affecting both. Through archival audio recordings, photographs and the recollections of residents from what was then all-Black Kinloch and the all-white community of Ferguson, director Jane Gillooly, a Ferguson native, draws parallels between a 1960s dispute over a physical barricade erected between the towns and the 2014 shooting death by police of Michael Brown which brought her town national attention.
6:30pm Justice in Chester
During the 1990s, residents in Chester, Pennsylvania, a predominantly poor, African American community, organized a movement to stop the ongoing permitting of waste treatment facilities in their city. Between 1986 and 1996, the PA Department of Environmental Protection issued seven permits for commercial waste facilities in the county, and five of them were in the 4.8 square miles of Chester. Concerned citizen Zulene Mayfield led a group called Chester Residents Concerned With Quality Living (CRCQL) as they stood up for the well-being of their community, becoming a national symbol for the growing environmental justice movement. Justice in Chester chronicles the decades-long history of increasing pollution and grievances, and the grassroots struggle to halt the clustering of commercial and hazardous waste facilities in the city.
Fri, 2/26 4pm Queen of Swing Queen of Swing recounts the true story of a Jazz Age trailblazer — 95-year-old entertainer Norma Miller. The engaging biography highlights the life, career and indomitable spirit of the Harlem-born actress, dancer and choreographer known as "The Queen of Swing."
6pm AfroPoP: The Ultimate Cultural Exchange—Mama Africa: Miriam Makeba
“Mama Africa: Miriam Makeba” traces the life and music of the South African singer and anti-apartheid activist, the voice and the hope of Africa. The first African musician to become a true international star, Makeba’s music - which influenced artists across the globe - always remained anchored in her traditional South African roots and conveyed messages against racism and poverty.
Sun, 2/28 4pm An Evening with Ken Chenault
This special is a one-on-one interview with former American Express CEO Ken Chenault conducted by sportscaster James Brown.
7pm Finding Your Roots: Homecomings
Henry Louis Gates, Jr. helps actor Sterling K. Brown, comedian Sasheer Zamata and musician Jon Batiste discover the unexpected places their ancestors once called home, providing new insight into the people and places that made them who they are today.
8pm Finding Your Roots: This Land Is My Land
Henry Louis Gates, Jr. reveals the unexpected family trees of entertainer Queen Latifah and actor Jeffrey Wright, redefining their sense of the black experience — and challenging preconceptions about America’s past.