Search form

Black History Month Programming on WETA Television

WETA Celebrates Black History Month

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


All programs air on both WETA TV 26 and WETA HD. 

Independent Lens: The Trials of Muhammad Ali

Wednesday, February 1 at 4:00 pm

A film spotlights Muhammad Ali’s toughest bout: his battle to overturn the five-year prison sentence he received for refusing U.S. military service. It explores Ali’s exile years when he was banned from boxing and found himself in the crosshairs of conflicts concerning race, religion, and wartime dissent. Repeats Sun 2/26, 3pm

See all broadcast times →

Independent Lens: The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution

Independent Lens: The Black Panthers

Thursday, February 2 at 4:00 pm

A film revisits the turbulent 1960s, when a new revolutionary culture emerged with the Black Panther Party at the vanguard. Stanley Nelson tells the story of a pivotal movement, timely, once again.

See all broadcast times →

P.O.V.: Homegoings

POV Homegoings

Saturday, February 4 at 10:40pm

Through the eyes of Harlem funeral director Isaiah Owens, this documentary takes an up-close look at the rarely seen world of undertaking in the black community, drawing on a rich palette of tradition, history and celebration.

See all broadcast times →

Deep City: The Birth of the Miami Sound

Deep City

Saturday, February 4 at 11:30 pm

Deep city Records, the first black-owned record label in Florida, hoped to be Miami’s own Motown in the early 1960s. Though distribution problems plagued the small company, it laid the blueprint for the true Miami sound.

See all broadcast times →

An Evening with Eric Holder

An Evening with Eric Holder

Sunday, February 5 at 12:30 am

In the fall, Washington Post writer Jonathan Capehart interviewed former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder in Washing-ton before a live audience, exploring his life, 30-year career in government and commitment to public ser-vice, civil and human rights, and racial justice. Repeats Fri 2/17, 10pm

See all broadcast times →

American Masters: Alice Walker: Beauty in Truth

Alice Walker

Sunday, February 5 at 1:30 pm

The documentary series profiles writer/activist Alice Walker, author of The Color Purple. Her early experiences with poverty and the civil rights movement informed her writing and she continues to shine a light on global human rights issues today. Repeats Tue 2/28, 2:30pm

See all broadcast times →

American Masters: August Wilson: The Ground on Which I Stand

American Masters: August Wilson

Sunday, February 5 at 3:00 pm

A biographical film captures the legacy of the man some call America’s Shakespeare from his roots as an activist and poet to his indelible mark on Broadway. It includes interviews with film and stage luminaries and his family, scenes from his award-winning plays, and more. Repeats Wed 2/22, 4:30pm

See all broadcast times →

Independent Lens: Birth of a Movement

Birth of a Movement

Monday, February 6 at 10:00 pm

D.W. Griffith’s 1915 film The Birth of a Nation unleashed a battle still raging today about race relations, repre-sentation, and the power and influence of Hollywood. Spike Lee, Reginald Hudlin, Henry Louis Gates, Jr., and others are featured in the program.

See all broadcast times →

Bridging the Divide: Tom Bradley and the Politics of Race

Bridging the Divide

Tuesday, February 7 at 4:00 pm

Learn how Los Angeles mayor Tom Bradley, the first black mayor elected in a major U.S. city with a white majority, united a divided city through a unique multi-racial coalition, ushered in police reform and transformed American politics.

See all broadcast times →

The March

The March

Tuesday, February 7 at 5:00 pm

The documentary spotlights the August 1963 March on Washington, where Dr. Martin Luther King gave his stirring “I Have a Dream” speech. Repeats Sun 2/12, 11pm

See all broadcast times →

B.B. King: American Masters

B.B. King: American Masters

Wednesday, February 8 at 5:00 pm

The biography ­series explores the musical artist’s challenging life and career through candid interviews with the “King of the Blues,” filmed shortly before his death, and fellow music stars, including Bono, Bonnie Raitt, Carlos Santana, Eric Clapton, John Mayer, and Ringo Starr.

See all broadcast times →

Slavery by Another Name

Slavery by Another Name

Thursday, February 9 at 4:00 pm

The film explores the little-known story of the post-Emancipation-era labor practices and laws that effectively created a new form of slavery in the South, persisting into the 20th century.

See all broadcast times →

Smokey Robinson: The Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song

Smokey Robinson Gershwin Prize

Friday, February 10 at 9:00 pm

In the WETA co-production, Samuel L. Jackson hosts a star-studded musical tribute to singer and songwriter Smokey Rob-inson as the artist receives the Library of Congress’ 2016 Gershwin Prize. Taped at DAR Constitution Hall in November, the concert features Robinson and an array of musical artists in performance, with a special appearance by Berry Gordy, founder of Motown. Repeats Sat 2/11, 10:30pm; Sun 2/12,1:30pm; Tue 2/21, 4:30pm

See all broadcast times →

John Lewis: Get in the Way

John Lewis: Get in the Way

Friday, February 10 at 10:30 pm

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. Now 76, he is considered the conscience of Congress.

See all broadcast times →

P.O.V.: American Promise

POV American Promise

Saturday, February 11 at Midnight

A Sundance Film Festival Special Jury Award winner, middle-class African-American parents chronicle the lives of their son and his best friend. Beginning with kindergarten at the prestigious Dalton School in Manhattan and ending with high school graduation, the boys’ divergent paths present complicated truths about race and class in America.

See all broadcast times →

An Evening with Valerie Jarrett

An Evening with Valerie Jarrett

Monday, February 13 at 5:00 pm

This interview explores Valerie Jarrett’s rich life and career from her birth in Iran, to Stanford University and the University of Michigan Law School, to public life in the city of Chicago, to her position and experience as a Senior Advisor the President Barak Obama.

See all broadcast times →

Independent Lens: Accidental Courtesy

Accidental Courtesy

Monday, February 13 at 10:00 pm

African-American musician Daryl Davis has a peculiar passion: meeting and befriending members of the Ku Klux Klan in an attempt to change their minds and forge racial conciliation, one racist at a time.

See all broadcast times →

Black America Since MLK: And Still I Rise – Out of the Shadows/Move on Up

Black America Since MLK Part 1

Tuesday, February 14 at 4:00 pm

In part one of this four-hour program, Harvard scholar and WETA partner Henry Louis Gates, Jr., looks at the last five decades of African American history since the major civil rights victories of the 1960s. His premise is this: If Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. came back and asked what happened in the last half-century since his passing, what would you tell him? Repeats Sun 2/19, 1pm

See all broadcast times →

Black America Since MLK: And Still I Rise – Keep Your Head Up/Touch the Sky

Black America Since MLK Part 2

Wednesday, February 15 at 4:00 pm

In part two of this four-hour series, Henry Louis Gates, Jr. continues to explore the tremendous gains and persistent challenges of the post-civil rights years, examining major events and turning points in American race relations. Repeats Sun 2/26, 3 am

See all broadcast times →

Vel Phillips: Dream Big Dreams

Vel Phillips

Sunday, February 19 at 12:30 am

A documentary chronicles the history and achievements of civil rights leader Vel Phillips. Wisconsin’s first African-American woman elected to the office of Wisconsin Secretary of State.

See all broadcast times →

The Talk: Race in America

The Talk

Monday, February 20 at 9:00 pm

In the wake of recent tragic and fatal events between men of color and law enforcement, learn how black and Hispanic families counsel their kids to stay safe if they are stopped by the police. Repeats Tue 2/21, 2:30pm

See all broadcast times →

Maya Angelou: And Still I Rise: American Masters

American Masters - Maya Angelou

Tuesday, February 21 at 8:00 pm

Journey through the prolific life of the 'I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings' author and activist who inspired generations with lyrical modern African-American thought. Features new interviews with Oprah Winfrey, Common, the Clintons and others. Repeats Wed 2/22, 2:30pm

See all broadcast times →

Freedom Riders: American Experience

Freedom Riders

Friday, February 24 at 10:00 pm

From May until November 1961, over 400 Americans, black and white, travelled together on buses and trains through the Deep South. This documentary tells the harrowing story of those Riders as they risked their lives, facing savage mob violence and imprisonment, to challenge segregation through a simple act of unity.

See all broadcast times →

Africa’s Great Civilizations

Africa’s Great Civilizations

Monday, February 27 at 9:00 pm

This six-hour documentary series in two parts is hosted, executive produced, and written by Henry Louis Gates, Jr. who chronicles the continent’s history from a firmly African perspective. From Zimbabwe to Sudan to Ethiopia to Mali, Gates presents a new and comprehensive narrative about Africa and the history of the extraordinary and diverse peoples who have lived there. Repeats Tues 2/28, 4:00pm, Wed 3/1, 1:30am

See all broadcast times →

Finding Your Roots: Family Reunions

Finding Your Roots

Tuesday, February 28 at 8:00 pm

Two legends of hip hop, Sean Combs and LL Cool J, uncover family mysteries through the use of DNA technology, revealing information that shakes their very foundations.

See all broadcast times →

Connect with WETA

  • Facebook
  • YouTube
  • Twitter
  • Pinterest