President John F. Kennedy meets with newly-appointed U.S. Ambassador to Finland, Carl T. Rowan (right). West Wing Colonnade, White House, Washington, D.C. Watch "American Experience: The American Diplomat" on Tuesday, February 15, at 9pm on KQED 9
KQED is proud to celebrate Black History Month starting in February with a special TV programming lineup. Premiere dates are listed below.
Tues, 2/1 9pm In Their Own Words: Chuck Berry Take a riveting ride on the Chuck Berry train, exploring the life of the man behind the music. By blending "hillbilly" music with R&B and writing impactful lyrics, Berry birthed a renaissance in popular music we now call rock and roll.
11pm Alabama Black Belt Blues (NEW) Alabama Black Belt Blues uses slave narratives, archival blues recordings and the recorded music of contemporary African American blues musicians to explore the role this music has played in the region from slavery onward. From cotton fields, to church pews, to prison spaces, to juke joints, the film follows the refrain of the region's blues through the cultural landscapes of Alabama then and now.
Fri, 2/4 8pm 400 Years: Taking The Knee Pt. 1 In 400 Years: Taking the Knee, writer and BBC radio presenter Dotun Adebayo narrates the many stories of black resistance to oppression. From the Jamaican national hero Nanny of the Maroons, to the NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick, the documentary celebrates individuals who fought and struggled against colonialism, slavery, and their legacies.
9pm Muhammad Ali: Round Two: What's My Name? Cassius Clay publicly joins the Nation of Islam and takes the name Muhammad Ali. When he refuses induction into the Army, he is stripped of his title and forced into exile. After three years, he returns to the ring, but he's lost a step.
Mon, 2/7 10pm Independent Lens: Owned: A Tale of Two Americas (NEW)
Is the "American Dream" of home ownership a false promise? Owned: A Tale of Two Americas unravels the complicated history of housing in America from the government’s postwar housing policy to the ramifications of the 2008 housing market collapse
Tues, 2/8 9pm American Masters: Marian Anderson: The Whole World in Her Hands (NEW)
Discover an international singer who captivated royalty in Europe and defied the conscience of 1939 America. Watch rare archival footage and hear audio recordings exploring her life and career from the Metropolitan Opera to the State Department.
Fri, 2/11 8pm 400 Years: Taking The Knee Pt. 2 In 400 Years: Taking The Knee, writer and BBC radio presenter Dotun Adebayo narrates the many stories of black resistance to oppression. From the Jamaican national hero Nanny of the Maroons, to the NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick, the documentary celebrates individuals who fought and struggled against colonialism, slavery, and their legacies.
9pm Muhammad Ali: Round Three: The Rivalry Muhammad Ali battles his fiercest rival, Joe Frazier, and the U.S. government, as he attempts to regain the heavyweight title. He first loses to and then defeats Frazier, but to become champion again, he will have to beat George Foreman.
Sat, 2/12 10pm American Masters: Miles Davis Discover the man behind the legend. With full access to the Miles Davis Estate, the film features never-before-seen footage, including studio outtakes from his recording sessions, rare photos and new interviews.
Sun, 2/13 8am Driving While Black: Race, Space and Mobility in America Discover how the advent of the automobile brought new freedoms and new perils for African Americans on the road in this deep look into the dynamics of race, space and mobility in America over time.
11am The Black Church: The Is Our Story, This Is Our Song Pt 1 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 faith practices from the brutality of slavery to emancipation.
2pm The Black Church: The Is Our Story, This Is Our Song Pt 2 Discover how the Black church expanded its reach to address social inequality and minister to those in need, from the Jim Crow South to the heroic phase of the civil rights movement, and the Black church's role in the present.
Tues, 2/15 8pm Finding Your Roots: Forgotten Journeys (NEW) Henry Louis, Jr. helps John Leguizamo and Lena Waithe retrace the paths of their ancestors, uncovering crucial pieces of their own identities that were lost on the journey to America.
9pm American Experience: The American Diplomat (NEW) The American Diplomat tells the story of three African-American ambassadors — Edward R. Dudley, Terence Todman and Carl Rowan — who pushed past racial barriers to reach high-ranking appointments in the Truman, Eisenhower and Kennedy administrations. Asked to represent the best of American ideals abroad while facing discrimination at home, they left a lasting impact on the Foreign Service.
Fri, 2/18 9pm Muhammad Ali: Round Four: The Spell Remains
Muhammad Ali shocks the world by defeating George Foreman, winning back the heavyweight title and becoming the most famous man on earth. After retiring in 1981, he travels the world spreading his Islamic faith, and becomes a symbol of peace and hope.
Sun, 2/20 9am African Americans: Many Rivers to Cross: The Black Atlantic
The Black Atlantic explores the truly global experiences that created the African American people. 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, 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.
10:06am African Americans: Many Rivers to Cross: The Age of Slavery
The Age of Slavery illustrates how black lives changed dramatically in the aftermath of the American Revolution. 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.
11:17am African Americans: Many Rivers to Cross: Into the Fire
Explore 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." After Emancipation, African Americans sought to realize the promise of freedom-rebuilding families shattered by slavery; demanding economic, political and civil rights; even winning elected office. Just a few years later, however, an intransigent South mounted a swift and vicious campaign of terror to restore white supremacy and roll back African American rights. Yet the achievements of Reconstruction would remain very much alive in the collective memory of the African American community.
12:29pm African Americans: Many Rivers to Cross: Making a Way Out of No Way
During the Jim Crow era, African Americans struggled to build their own worlds within the harsh confines of segregation. At the turn of the 20th century, a steady stream of African Americans left the South, fleeing racial violence and searching for better opportunities in the North and the West. At the same time, there was an ascendance of black arts and culture, such as The Harlem Renaissance.
1:53pm African Americans: Many Rivers to Cross: Rise!
In December 1955, Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat to a white man on a city bus in Montgomery, Alabama, heralding the dawn of a new movement of quiet resistance, with the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. as its public face. Before long, masses of African Americans practiced this nonviolent approach at great personal risk to integrate public schools, lunch counters and more. As the civil rights movement scored one historic victory after another, non-violence was still all too often met with violence-until finally, enough was enough. By 1968, Dr. King, the apostle of non-violence, would be assassinated, unleashing a new call for "Black Power '' across the country.
3:16pm African Americans: Many Rivers to Cross: A More Perfect Union
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. 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?
Tues, 2/22 8pm Finding Your Roots: Songs of the Past (NEW)
Henry Louis Gates, Jr. accompanies Broadway stars Leslie Odom, Jr. and Nathan Lane as they meet a cast of inspiring ancestors hidden in the branches of their family trees.
9pm Fannie Lou Hamer's America: An America ReFramed Special (NEW) Explore and celebrate the life of a fearless Mississippi sharecropper-turned-human-rights-activist and the injustices in America that made her work essential.
Thurs, 2/24 11pm The Groveland Four In 1949, when a white farm-wife alleged she was assaulted by four black men on the rural roads of Lake County, Florida, town Sheriff Willis McCall identified four suspects: Samuel Shepherd, Walter Irvin, Earnest Thomas and Charles Greenlee. The documentary The Groveland Four chronicles the injustices faced by these defendants at the hands of the Jim Crow-era U.S. criminal justice and court systems, employing historical re-enactments, witness accounts, and narration by actor Courtney B. Vance.
Tues, 2/1 4pm AfroPoP: The Ultimate Cultural Exchange: Finding Sally Finding Sally tells the incredible story of a 23-year-old woman from an upper-class family who became a communist rebel with the Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Party. Idealistic and in love, Sally got caught up in her country's revolutionary fervor and landed on the military government's Most Wanted List. She went underground and her family never saw her again. Four decades after Sally's disappearance, filmmaker Tamara Dawit pieces together the mysterious life of her Aunt Sally.
Fri, 2/4 10:45pm 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.
Sat, 2/5 8am Finding Fellowship (NEW) Finding Fellowship captures how the seeds for potential reconciliation were planted in the same fields where slave masters once terrorized. This film shares how one community came together in the wake of Martin Luther King Jr.'s assassination and offers an example of how communities can lean on their shared heritage to progress.
Sun, 2/6 4:30pm Kindred Spirits: Artists Hilda Wilkinson Brown and Lilian Thomas Burwell Kindred Spirits explores the unique relationship between an African American aunt and niece who became accomplished artists and educators despite the hardships of the Great Depression and the inequities of racial segregation.
6pm Beyond the Baton: A Conductor's Journey (NEW) Born to a single mother on welfare, Thomas Wilkins grew up to become one of the few remarkable African American conductors leading a major orchestra - the celebrated Omaha Symphony. Beyond the Baton: A Conductor’s Journey is an hour-long film that documents Wilkins' experience as a Black conductor and his larger impact on the musical world.
7pm 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.
9pm Stand: How One Gesture Shoot the World
Through intimate interviews with the participants and witnesses, this documentary is a revealing exploration into the circumstances that led runners Tommie Smith and John Carlos to that historic moment at the 1968 Olympics.
10:30pm Irma: My Life in Music (NEW) Chronicling her life and 50 year career, the program includes an extensive interview with Irma Thomas, as well as commentary from many of her colleagues. Included will be archival performance and interview footage culled from decades of performances filmed by Michael Murphy Productions.
Mon, 2/7 3:30pm Bridge to Justice: The Life of Franklin H. Williams
Franklin Hall Williams was a visionary and trailblazer who devoted his life to the pursuit of civil rights - not through acrimony and violence and hatred, but through reason and example.
Tues, 2/8 4pm AfroPoP: The Ultimate Cultural Exchange: Professional Black Girl
Covering everyday topics like hairstyles and hair care, personal fashion and style, Professional Black Girl (PBG) features a curated selection of episodes from the popular web series. Every story is like a conversation with a woman you know, whether it is your homegirl, your sister, your auntie, or your mama. Each PBG shares her Black girl cultural experience, sharing personal stories and reflection. Entertaining yet engaging, the series reminds us that 'Black Girl Magic' isn't just reserved for those with unprecedented achievement, but that it applies to all of us.
Thurs, 2/10 11pm Jubilee Singers: Sacrifice and Glory: American Experience
The story of a group of former slaves that tried to save its bankrupt school, Fisk University, by performing concerts as the Jubilee Singers. They toured along the path of the Underground Railroad in the United States, as well as England and throughout Europe.
Fri, 2/11 11pm Korla
Korla is the amazing story of John Roland Redd, an African American from Columbia, Missouri who migrated to Hollywood in 1939 and reinvented himself as a musician from India. As one of early television's pioneering musical artists, Korla Pandit's life was one of talent, determination, ingenuity and racial passing, a story not fully realized until after his death in 1998.
Sat, 2/12 8am Marching Forward Marching Forward shares the story of two high school band directors - one black, one white - whose love of music and dedication to their students inspired an atypical collaboration in the segregated south. Their friendship and professional cooperation resulted in the experience of a lifetime for two Orlando-area bands at the 1964 New York World's Fair.
Tues, 2/15 4pm AfroPoP: The Ultimate Cultural Exchange: Film Shorts
This episode of AfroPoP, brings us a short film, Betye Saar: Taking Care of Business. There's no stopping the legendary artist Betye Saar, even at age 93. Pushing boundaries for 70 years, this portrait of artist Betye Saar shows she isn't done fighting inequality in her personal and powerful work. Inside her LA studio, Saar talks about collecting objects, African American history, art as a weapon, and making people think. Even though she is 93, Saar shows no signs of slowing down.
Wed, 2/16 2pm Charley Pride: American Masters Explore the complicated history of the American South and its music through the life of country star Charley Pride. Raised in segregated Mississippi, his journey shows the ways that artistic expression can triumph over prejudice and injustice.
Thurs, 2/17 3:30pm 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.
10pm Jackie Robinson: Part One
Robinson rises from humble origins to integrate Major League Baseball, performing brilliantly despite the threats and abuse he faces on and off the field and, in the process, challenges the prejudiced notions of what a black man can achieve.
Sat, 2/19 11:30pm Gennett Suite
Indiana University Jacobs School of Music associate professor Brent Wallarab conducts the Indiana University student jazz ensemble in an original composition, which pays tribute to the Jazz Age titans whose legendary early recordings were produced at a little studio in Richmond, Indiana called Gennett Records. The performance program The Gennett Suite features music inspired by artists including Louis Armstrong, King Oliver's Creole Jazz Band, Bix Beiderbecke, and Jelly Roll Morton.
Tues, 2/22 4pm AfroPoP: The Ultimate Cultural Exchange: Bakoso: Afrobeats of Cuba
What does "Esta Rico" by Marc Anthony, Will Smith & Bad Bunny have in common with "Made For Now" by Janet Jackson x Daddy Yankee? They both high-jacked AfroBeats and did not give the genre's origin props. Bakoso is a film that does the opposite, following DJ Jigue to his hometown of Santiago de Cuba to find inspiration from the new sounds. He finds AfroBeats has helped create a new genre called Bakoso, which itself is beautiful proof that the exchange between Cuba and Africa did not end with the Transatlantic slave trade. Through stunning visuals and a score created by the founders of the genre, the film shows the technology, culture and landscape that shape this African-Caribbean fusion.
Thurs, 2/24 3:31pm 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 restaurateurs teaches us how to cook rondon, the Jamaican inspired seafood stew.
10pm Jackie Robinson: Part Two
Robinson uses his fame to speak out against injustice, alienating many who had once lauded him for "turning the other cheek." After baseball, he seeks ways to fight inequality, but as he faces a crippling illness, he struggles to remain relevant.
Fri, 2/25 9pm Slavery By Another Name Slavery by Another Name challenges one of America's most cherished assumptions: the belief that slavery in this country ended with Abraham Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation of 1863. This documentary tells a harrowing story of how in the South, even as chattel slavery came to an end, new forms of involuntary servitude, including convict leasing, debt slavery and peonage, took its place with shocking force -- brutalizing and ultimately circumscribing the lives of hundreds of thousands of African Americans well into the 20th century. The program spans eight decades, from 1865 to 1945, revealing the interlocking forces in both the South and the North that enabled this "neoslavery" to begin and persist.
Tues, Feb 1 5am Muhammad Ali: Round One: The Greatest Boxer Cassius Clay rises up the amateur ranks to win gold at the 1960 Olympics. He turns professional, sharpening his boxing skills and honing his genius for self-promotion. In 1964, he upsets Sonny Liston to become heavyweight champion.
11am Finding Your Roots: Freedom Tales 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. Both discover unexpected stories that challenge assumptions about black history.
5pm America ReFramed: Struggle & Hope Among the wealth of untold stories in American history is the rise and slow disappearance of all-black towns that sprung up in Oklahoma following the end of the Civil War. Founded in an effort to convince the U.S. to create an all-black state, most of these towns have now been swallowed up by nearby counties and cities, or are clinging desperately for their survival. Struggle & Hope mines the stories of the last-remaining residents of these towns, while charting their heroic efforts to ensure their town retains its independence, character, and even hopes for a better future.
6pm Jim Crow of the North The hour-long documentary Jim Crow of the North explores the origins of housing segregation, examining how racist real estate covenants set the stage for loan refusals, or redlining, in the U.S. The film also looks at the University of Minnesota's Mapping Prejudice Project, a research program that creates a visual representation of structural racism, informing current conversations around racial disparities.
Wed, 2/2 11am Finding Your Roots: Write My Name in the Book of Life
Henry Louis Gates, Jr. helps musician Pharrell Williams and filmmaker Kasi Lemmons uncover extraordinarily rare first-person accounts of their enslaved ancestors.
4pm 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. Unmarked not only explores these untold stories of the past but also the efforts underway to preserve them.
6pm Independent Lens: The First Rainbow Coalition
In 1969, the Chicago Black Panther Party began to form alliances across lines of race and ethnicity with other community-based movements in the city, including the Latino group the Young Lords Organization and the southern whites of the Young Patriots organization. Banding together in one of the most segregated cities in postwar America to collectively confront issues such as police brutality and substandard housing, they called themselves the Rainbow Coalition. By 1973, the coalition had collapsed under the weight of relentless harassment by local and federal law enforcement. The First Rainbow Coalition tells the movement's little-known story through rare archival footage and interviews with former coalition members.
Thurs, 2/3 11am AfroPoP: The Ultimate Cultural Exchange: The Twelve Disciples of Nelson Mandela
A classic documentary by award-winning director Thomas Allen Harris, "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. The accompanying experimental short "Spit on the Broom" highlights The United Order of Tents, a secret organization of black women founded during the height of the Underground Railroad.
12:30pm Independent Lens: Hale County This Morning, This Evening
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.
Fri, 2/4 5pm American Experience: Freedom Riders
In 1961, segregation seemed to have an overwhelming grip on American society. Many states violently enforced the policy, while the federal government, under the Kennedy administration, remained indifferent, preoccupied with matters abroad. That is, until an integrated band of college students, many of whom were the first in their families to attend a university, decided en masse, to risk everything and buy a ticket on a Greyhound bus bound for the Deep South. They called themselves the Freedom Riders, and they managed to bring the president and the entire American public face-to-face with the challenge of correcting civil-rights inequities that plagued the nation.
Sat, 2/5 11am American Experience: The Fight
Explore the 1938 world heavyweight championship bout between Joe Louis and German Max Schmeling, who, in the shadow of war, became reluctant symbols of equality and supremacy, democracy and fascism.
12pm Unforgivable Blackness: The Rise and Fall of Jack Johnson Part One This film by Ken Burns chronicles the life and career of boxer Jack Johnson, the first African American heavyweight champion and one of the greatest fighters of the 20th century. Johnson ultimately lost his title in a bout in Cuba in 1915, after fleeing the United States following his federal conviction for allegedly violating the Mann Act, a progressive-era law intended to crackdown on commercialized vice but used against Johnson to create an example against, to quote the prosecutor, "the evils of miscegenation."
5pm Independent Lens: Birth of a Movement Learn how D.W. Griffith's 1915 The Birth of a Nation unleashed a battle still waging today about race relations and representation, and the power and influence of Hollywood. Featuring Spike Lee, Reginald Hudlin, Henry Louis Gates, Jr., and others.
6pm P.O.V,: Homegoings Through the eyes of funeral director Isaiah Owens, the beauty and grace of African American funerals are brought to life. Filmed at Owens Funeral Home in New York City's historic Harlem neighborhood, "Homegoings" takes an up-close look at the rarely seen world of undertaking in the black community, where funeral rites draw on a rich palette of tradition, history and celebration. Combining cinema verite with intimate interviews and archival photographs, the film paints a portrait of the dearly departed, their grieving families and a man who sends loved ones "home."
Sun, 2/6 9:30am 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.
7pm Eyes on the Prize: Awakenings Individual acts of courage inspire black Southerners to fight for their rights: Mose Wright testifies against the white men who murdered young Emmett Till and Rosa Parks refuses to give up her bus seat to a white man in Montgomery, Alabama.
8pm Eyes on the Prize: Fighting Back States' rights loyalists and federal authorities collide in the 1957 battle to integrate Little Rock's Central High School and in James Meredith's 1962 challenge to segregation at the University of Mississippi.
Mon, 2/7 6pm Local, USA: Heaven Can You Hear Me? (NEW) In Philadelphia, gun violence is the leading cause of death for young Black men. Heaven: Can You Hear Me? explores the impact on families through the eyes of mothers, allowing viewers to understand the trauma and resilience of survivors.
6:30pm Stories from the Stage: As Good As It Gets (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, 2/8 4pm Reel South: Rap Squad
An Arkansas community mobilizes around a divisive ballot initiative for a new high school, led by a group of high school writers and performers who seek healing for themselves and justice for their community through hip hop.
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 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 Why This Moment
In Richmond, Virginia, filmmakers Domico Phillips and Metta Bastet captured the outcry in the city as people expressed their anger over repeated acts of police brutality against people of color. Emotions ran high, violence broke out, and relationships developed through several months of marches and peaceful demonstrations. Why This Moment documents unfolding events in Richmond's streets, as seen through the eyes of the protesters, from the first night of civil unrest to the removal of several confederate statues across the city.
Wed, 2/9 11am 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. Sixty years ago, while pursuing their dreams of careers in classical dance, Joan Myers Brown, Delores Browne and Raven Wilkinson (the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo's first black ballerina) confronted racism, exclusion and unequal opportunity in segregated mid-century America. In 2015, three young black women also pursue careers as ballerinas, and find that many of the same obstacles their predecessors faced are still evident in the ballet world today.
12pm We Knew What We Had: The Greatest Jazz Story Never Told
This film chronicles the unrecognized history of jazz in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The hour-long documentary features the talents of international jazz legends George Benson, Ahmad Jamal, Stanley Turrentine, Billy Eckstine, Kenny Clarke, Art Blakey, Billy Strayhorn and Mary Lou Williams-all Pittsburghers. Using archival footage and photos, it also sheds light on the social conditions and historical events that conspired to make Pittsburgh one of the world's leading contributors to the legacy of jazz music.
1pm Fat Boy: The Billy Stewart Story Explore the life and career of Billy Stewart, one of the most popular rhythm and blues singers of the 1960s. From his journey as a young piano player to a famous R&B balladeer. Fat Boy: The Billy Stewart Story is narrated by former radio and television announcer Charlie Neal and features a rich collection of archival stills and footage, including never-before-seen 8mm film of Stewart relaxing with his family and performing in various night clubs.
4pm 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.
6pm Our New Normal: How Teens Are Redefining School (NEW) This unique program produced with students across the country will take stock of the last two years of school in a pandemic through the eyes of teens and explore the ways in which school is being altered in real time. From vaccination mandates to book bans, social media policies to teaching history and race, responding to school shootings to addressing the surging mental health crisis, school districts across the country are becoming battlegrounds in some of today's biggest civic debates.
Thurs, 2/10 11am AfroPoP: The Ultimate Cultural Exchange: While I Breathe, I Hope The film follows the against-all-odds 2014 campaign of Bakari Sellers, a young, black Democrat running for Lieutenant Governor of South Carolina.
Fri, 2/11 5pm American Experience: Freedom Summer Revisit the hot and deadly summer of 1964, when student volunteers and local Black citizens faced racial violence in Mississippi while registering voters in an attempt to break the hold of segregation.
6:30pm Stories from the Stage: Love Hurts
Why can't it just be easy to find the right person? No one knows, but with every misstep, we learn. Tonight's tellers share stories of their search for forever love. Nimisha Ladva breaks her parents' rules and dates outside her Indian culture. Max Garcia Conover learns to interpret the secret language of love. Lauren Wojtkun's broken heart is held together by one hundred women in rural Colorado.
Tues, 2/15 11am 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."
4pm Gullah Roots Gullah Roots follows leaders of the South Carolina and Georgia Gullah/Geechee communities as they experience a homecoming to Sierra Leone in December 2019. This is the fourth time Gullah/Geechee people have traveled to Sierra Leone to explore their roots. The film examines the challenges many in the Gullah/Geechee community face today, and explores the progress they have made since the first journey to Sierra Leone 30 years ago.
5pm America ReFramed: The Falconer One of only a handful of African American falconers in the country, Rodney Stotts is on a mission to build a bird sanctuary and provide access to nature for his stressed community. This is a story of second chances: for injured birds of prey, for an abandoned plot of land, for a group of teenagers who have dropped out of high school, and for Rodney himself.
6pm The Stone of Hope: Moving the Dream Forward (NEW) This documentary documents the first decade of the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial on the National Mall in Washington D.C. Now the fifth most visited Memorial averaging 3-5 million visitors a year, the King Memorial uniquely serves the country as the only Memorial on the National Mall honoring an activist, a preacher, and a man of peace.
Wed, 2/16 11am 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. The documentary Dream Land: Little Rock’s West 9th Street details the history of this district, the black community in Little Rock 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, the Housing Act of 1949, and the Eisenhower Interstate Program.
12pm American Masters: Sammy Davis, Jr. Explore the entertainer's vast talent and journey for identity through the shifting tides of civil rights and racial progress during 20th-century America. Features Billy Crystal, Whoopi Goldberg, and clips from his TV, film and concert performances.
4pm Reel South: Flat Town In rural Louisiana, an annual high school football game unites a historically segregated town and allows sport to act as a form of inter-generational, anti-racist reconciliation.
Thurs, 2/17 11am Independent Lens: Ferguson Rises Michael Brown Sr.'s son was killed in 2014 by white police officer Darren Wilson, an event that fueled the global Black Lives Matter movement. But his personal story seeking justice and healing has not been told until now.
12:30pm Independent Lens: Down a Dark Stairwell A Chinese American cop shoots and kills an innocent Black man in the dark stairwell of a Brooklyn housing project. Suddenly, two marginalized communities must navigate an uneven criminal justice system together.
Fri, 2/18 4pm American Experience: Goin' Back to T-Town Revisit Greenwood, a Black community in Tulsa. Torn apart in 1921 by a racially- motivated massacre, the neighborhood rose again but could not survive integration and urban renewal. A bittersweet portrait of small-town life told by those who lived it.
Sat, 2/19 5pm Independent Lens: Through a Lens Darkly This is the story of the pioneering African-American photographers - men and women, celebrated and anonymous - who have recorded the lives and aspirations of generations, from slavery to the present. By Thomas Allen Harris.
6:30pm P.O.V. Shorts: The Changing Same In the Florida Panhandle lies the town of Marianna, Florida, where one native resident runs a local marathon to commemorate the lynching of Claude Neal. More than 80 years after his violent murder, this film lifts the veil of racial terror buried in this town's history.
Sun, 2/20 9:30 am Invisible History: Middle Florida's Hidden Roots Invisible History: Middle Florida’s Hidden Roots sheds light on the little-known history of plantations and the enslaved in North Florida. The film seeks to advance a sense of place and identity for hundreds of thousands of African Americans by exploring the invisible history of slavery in Leon County.
4pm Through the Banks of the Red Cedar In 1963 Michigan State Head Coach Duffy Daugherty gave 23 African American young men the opportunity of a lifetime. The daughter of Minnesota Vikings football legend Gene Washington deepens her connection to her father as she uncovers how the first fully integrated college football team in America changed the game forever.
7pm Eyes on the Prize: Mississippi: Is This America? Mississippi's civil rights movement becomes an American concern when students travel south to help register black voters and three of them are murdered. The Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party challenges the regular delegation at the convention.
8pm Eyes on the Prize: Bridge to Freedom A decade of lessons is applied in the climactic and bloody march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama. A major victory is won when the federal Voting Rights Bill passes, but civil rights leaders know they have new challenges ahead.
Mon, 2/21 11am AfroPoP: The Ultimate Cultural Exchange: Mama Africa: Miriam Makeba 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.
1pm Bird: Not Out of Nowhere As the world celebrates the centennial of Charlie "Bird" Parker's birth, this film looks back at the twenty-one years Charlie spent at home in Kansas City and on his long-lasting impression on Kansas City Jazz.
6:30pm Stories from the Stage: Growing Up Black, Pt. 1 What does it mean to grow up black in America, a country too often divided by race? It might mean strangers looking at you with suspicion, being pulled over by the police for no reason and/or being afraid to walk outside because of who you are. Bullied by a group of kids, Ben Cunningham finds out he is not alone; Sue Schmidt shares the realities of raising kids of a different race; and Angie Chatman 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, 2/22 4pm NOVA: Forgotten Genius
Dr. Percy Julian -- not only one of the great African-American scientists of the 20th century, but an industrialist, self-made millionaire, humanitarian and civil rights pioneer. The grandson of Alabama slaves, Julian won worldwide acclaim for his research in chemistry and broke the color barrier in American science more than a decade before Jackie Robinson did so in baseball. He discovered a way to turn soybeans into synthetic steroids on an industrial scale, enabling drugs like cortisone to be widely available to millions.
6pm Secrets of the Dead: The Woman in the Iron Coffin
Follow a team of forensic experts as they investigate the preserved remains of a young African American woman from 19th century New York and reveal the little-known story of early America's free black communities.
Wed, 2/23 11am Prince Among Slaves
This special tells the forgotten true story of an African prince who was enslaved in Mississippi for 40 years before finally achieving freedom and becoming one of the most famous men in America. Mos Def narrates.
4pm Reel South: All Skinfolk Ain't Kinfolk
After a contentious race, the 2017 runoff for mayor of New Orleans came down to two candidates: Desiree Charbonnet and LaToya Cantrell, two very different black women. The winner of this election would take office as the first female mayor of New Orleans and the city's fourth black mayor. Through news footage, campaign advertisements and archival audio and video, All Skinfolk Ain't Kinfolk is the unprecedented story of this mayoral runoff told through the eyes of black women living in this city. LOCAL ANGLES: Trailblazing women, women in politics, 2020 elections, New Orleans / Louisiana stations, Tulane professor, Black Public Media funding, New Orleans-based director, woman director.
Thurs, 2/24 11am P.O.V.: Unapologetic
Meet Janae and Bella, two fierce abolitionists whose upbringing and experiences shape their activism and views on Black liberation. Told through their lens, Unapologetic offers an inside look into the movement and ongoing work that transformed Chicago, from the police murder of Rekia Boyd to the election of mayor Lori Lightfoot.
12:30pm Independent Lens: Coded Bias
When MIT Media Lab researcher Joy Buolamwini discovers most facial recognition does not see dark-skinned faces or women with accuracy, she joins the fight to expose the threats to civil liberties posed by an increasingly data-driven, automated world.
4pm Reel South: You Asked for the Facts
Four years after the historic enrollment of James Meredith, student activists at Ole Miss devise a plan to defy the campus' speaker-ban in 1966 by inviting Robert F. Kennedy, who reveals the truth about back-room politics, the belief-systems of those holding the highest power, and how campus-activism shapes the future of civil rights and all those who bear witness.
6:30pm 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. Graceful Voices captures the stories and experiences of the Bahamian and African American women who were born there, forged lifelong friendships, and developed a passion for their community. Their powerful and sentimental memories shed a light on the history that is still being built.
Fri, 2/25 4pm Just a Mortal Man: The Jerry Lawson Story (NEW)
A documentary about the founder and original lead singer of the legendary a cappella group, The Persuasions.
Sat, 2/26 5pm The Central Park Five
This new film from award-winning filmmaker Ken Burns 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 the five young men whose lives were upended by this miscarriage of justice.
Sun, 2/27 9:30am Facing North: Jefferson Street, Nashville
Jefferson Street, once the northern boundary of Nashville, was a beacon for African Americans from the early 1800s through the 1950s. It offered sanctuary for runaway slaves after the Civil War; the promise of education with the establishment of three iconic HBCUs; spiritual support at some of the oldest black churches in Tennessee; a flourishing entertainment scene drawing world-renowned stars; and a model for student sit-ins during the Civil Rights Movement. This beloved community was forever changed by the construction of Interstate 40, causing economic and social decline of its neighborhoods, businesses and cultural fabric. Some determined residents with deep family roots in the community are trying to steer Jefferson Street to a future that revitalizes its blight while preserving its heritage.
7pm Eyes on the Prize: The Time Has Come
After a decade-long cry for justice, a new sound is heard in the civil rights movement: the insistent call for power. "BlackPower!" replaces "Freedom Now!" as the fabric of the traditional movement changes.
8pm Eyes on the Prize: Two Societies
King and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference help Chicago's civil rights leaders in the struggle against segregated housing. The Kerner Commission finds that America is becoming "two societies, one black, one white, separate and unequal."
Mon, 2/28 11am 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.
12pm The Talk: Race in America
This documentary, made up of six stories filmed by six different producers, focuses on the troubled relationship between people of color and law enforcement in America. The film chronicles how families of color protect their children's lives with "The Talk" -- about what to do and how to behave if you are stopped by the police.
4pm American Experience: The Blinding of Isaac Woodard
Discover the 1946 incident of racial violence by police that led to the racial awakening of President Harry Truman and set the stage for the landmark 1954 Supreme Court Brown v. Board of Education decision, jump-starting the civil rights movement.
6:30pm Stories from the Stage: Growing Up Black, Pt. 2
In America, growing up Black means so many things: cultural bonds, a struggle for visibility, and all too often, unearned judgement. Tonight, storytellers share their experiences of growing up black in the US. Valerie Tutson teaches her students about Africa's greatest explorer Abubakari II; U-Meleni Mhlaba-Adebo takes her son to a protest of George Floyd's death; and Harold Cox shows how fear of the police affects his everyday life. Hosted by Theresa Okokon.