This February, WETA Television recognizes Black History Month with special programming that highlights the African-American experience.

The African Americans: Many Rivers to Cross: TVSS: Iconic

The African Americans: Many Rivers to Cross

Parts 1-3, Wed-Fri, February 1-3 at 4 pm

Parts 4-6, Tue-Thur, February 7-9 at 4pm

A six-hour series presented and written by Harvard scholar Henry Louis Gates, Jr. chronicles the full sweep of African-American history, from the origins of slavery on the African continent up to the present.

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Making Black America: Through the Grapevine

Parts 1 & 2: Friday, February 3 at 9pm

Parts 3 & 4: Friday, February 10 at 9pm

Making Black America: Through the Grapevine is a four-part series hosted by Henry Louis Gates, Jr., that chronicles the vast social networks and organizations created by and for Black people—beyond the reach of the “White gaze.” Professor Gates sits with noted scholars, politicians, cultural leaders, and old friends to discuss this world behind the color line and what it looks like today.

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Freedom Summer: American Experience

Saturday, February 4 at 10pm

In the summer of 1964, more than 700 students join with organizers and local blacks to canvas for voter registration, create Freedom Schools and establish the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party.

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Charley Pride: American Masters

Sunday, February 5 at noon

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.

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How It Feels to Be Free: American Masters

Sunday, February 5 at 1pm

A documentary that tells the inspiring story of how six iconic African American women entertainers – Lena Horne, Abbey Lincoln, Nina Simone, Diahann Carroll, Cicely Tyson and Pam Grier – challenged an entertainment industry deeply complicit in perpetuating racist stereotypes, and transformed themselves and their audiences in the process.

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Jesse Owens: American Experience

Sunday, February 5 at 3pm

The most famous athlete of his time, his stunning triumph at the 1936 Olympic Games captivated the world even as it infuriated the Nazis. Despite the racial slurs he endured, Jesse Owens' grace and athleticism rallied crowds across the globe. But when the four-time Olympic gold medalist returned home, he could not even ride in the front of a bus.

Repeats Mon 2/6, 5pm

Preview: WETA Arts February 2023: Alma Thomas: asset-mezzanine-16x9

WETA Arts February 2023: Alma Thomas

Monday, February 6 at 9:30pm

WETA Arts celebrates Black History Month with a special episode about Alma Thomas, the remarkable Black artist and educator who helped shape the Washington, D.C. arts scene in the 20th century. Thomas’ art provided her nationwide acclaim. Yet even as her national recognition continues, it’s in her hometown where her impact as an educator, pioneer, advocate and role model can be felt daily.

Repeats Mon 2/20, 9:30pm

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Independent Lens: Outta the Muck

Monday, February 6 at 10pm

Wade into the rich soil of Pahokee, Florida, a town on the banks of Lake Okeechobee. Beyond its football legacy, including sending over a dozen players to the NFL (like Anquan Boldin, Fred Taylor, and Rickey Jackson), the fiercely self-determined community tells their stories of Black achievement and resilience in the face of tragic storms and personal trauma.

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Fight the Power: How Hip Hop Changed the World

Tuesdays, February 7-21 at 9pm

Chuck D of Public Enemy explores Hip Hop’s political awakening over the last 50 years. With a host of rap stars and cultural commentators he tracks Hip Hop’s socially conscious roots. From The Message to Fight The Power 2020, he examines how Hip Hop has become "the Black CNN."

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Secrets of the Dead: Woman in the Iron Coffin

Wednesday, February 8 at 10pm

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.

John Lewis -- Get in the Way: TVSS: Iconic

John Lewis: Get in the Way

Friday, February 10 at 4pm

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.

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The Black Church: This Is Our Story, This Is Our Song

Part 1: Saturday, February 11 at 8pm

Part 2: Saturday, February 18 at 8pm

An intimate four-hour series from Henry Louis Gates, Jr., The Black Church: This Is Our Story, This Is Our Song will explore the 400-year-old story of the black church in America, the changing nature of worship spaces, and the men and women who shepherded them from the pulpit, the choir loft, and church pews.

Repeats Sun 2/19, 11:30pm

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The American Diplomat: American Experience

Saturday, February 11 at 10pm

Discover how three Black diplomats broke racial barriers at the US State Department during the Cold War. Asked to represent the best of American ideals abroad while facing discrimination at home, they left a lasting impact on the Foreign Service.

Reconstruction: America After the Civil War: TVSS: Banner-L1

Reconstruction: America After the Civil War

Sunday, February 12, 12n-4pm

Reconstruction: America After the Civil War explores the transformative years following the American Civil War, when the nation struggled to rebuild itself in the face of profound loss, massive destruction, and revolutionary social change. The twelve years that composed the post-war Reconstruction era (1865-77) witnessed a seismic shift in the meaning and makeup of our democracy.

Underground Railroad: The William Still Story: TVSS: Iconic

Underground Railroad: The William Still Story

Saturday, February 18 at 10pm

Underground Railroad: The Williams Still Story is the story of a humble Philadelphia clerk who risked his life shepherding runaway slaves to freedom in the tumultuous years leading up to America's Civil War. William Still was the director of a complex network of abolitionists, sympathizers and safe houses that stretched from Philadelphia to what is now Southern Ontario.

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Fannie Lou Hamer’s America

Sunday, February 19 at noon

Fannie Lou Hamer's America is a portrait of a civil rights activist and the injustices in America that made her work essential. Through public speeches, personal interviews, and powerful songs of the fearless Mississippi sharecropper-turned-human-rights-activist, Fannie Lou Hamer's America explores and celebrates the lesser-known life of one of the Civil Rights Movement’s greatest leaders.

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Kindred Spirits: Artists Hilda Wilkinson Brown & Lilian Thomas Burwell

Sunday, February 19 at 1:30pm

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.

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In Their Own Words: Chuck Berry

Sunday, February 19 at 2pm

Take a riveting ride on the Chuck Berry train exploring the life, the legend, the music, and the man who is regularly credited as the father of rock and roll. We will meet the family who loved him, the players who were there for the rise, and the stars who bow to his inspiration and credit him for their own success.

Tulsa: The Fire and the Forgotten: TVSS: Iconic

Tulsa: The Fire and the Forgotten

Sunday, February 19 at 3pm

Learn about the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre, on the one hundredth anniversary of the crime, and how the community of Tulsa is coming to terms with its past, present, and future.

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Slavery By Another Name

Sunday, February 19 at 10pm

Slavery By Another Name is a 90-minute documentary that challenges one of Americans' most cherished assumptions: the belief that slavery in this country ended with the Emancipation Proclamation. The film tells how even as chattel slavery came to an end in 1865, thousands of African Americans were pulled back into forced labor with shocking force and brutality.

Finding Your Roots With Henry Louis Gates, Jr.: TVSS: Iconic

Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates, Jr.: And Still I Rise

Tuesday, February 21 at 8pm

Henry Louis Gates, Jr. reveals the unexpected family trees of activist Angela Y. Davis and statesman Jeh Johnson, using DNA and long-lost records to redefine notions of the black experience—and challenge preconceptions of America’s past.

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Great Performances: The Magic of Spirituals

Friday, February 24 at 9pm

Glimpse behind the curtain at opera legends Kathleen Battle and Jessye Norman’s famed concert at Carnegie Hall on March 18, 1990, featuring performance clips and new interviews with opera star Angel Blue, Met Opera General Manager Peter Gelb and more.

Black Broadway: A Proud History, A Limitless Future

Tuesday, February 28 at 8pm

Celebrate the rich history of Black roles and voices on Broadway with an all-star cast including Stephanie Mills, Nova Payton, Corbin Bleu, Norm Lewis, Tiffany Mann, John Manzari, Amber Iman, Peppermint, Nikki Renée Daniels, Leah Flynn and Sydney James Harcourt. Selections include songs from The Wiz, The Color Purple, Company, Porgy & Bess, Ain’t Misbehavin’ and more.

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The Chavis Chronicles

Sundays at 5pm

Hosted by civil rights icon Dr. Benjamin F. Chavis, Jr., a thought-provoking half-hour weekly talk show with an urban American flair featuring interviews with famous leaders and politicians, doctors and scientists, cultural leaders and influencers from around the globe.

A Seat at the Table: TVSS: Iconic

A Seat at the Table

Sundays at 5:30pm

Black women share their experiences, perspectives and challenges.