Search form

Black History Month Programming on WETA World

WETA Celebrates Black History Month

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

 

Mr. Civil Rights: Thurgood Marshall and the NAACP

Mr. Civil Rights: Thurgood Marshall and the NAACP

Monday, February 1 

Rare archival film and interviews chart Justice Thurgood Marshall's life prior to the landmark Brown v. Board of Education Supreme Court ruling.

See all broadcast times →

Stories from the Stage: Growing Up Black

Stories from the Stage Logo

Monday, February 1 

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.

See all broadcast times →

Reel South: Mossville—When Great Trees Fall

Reel South: Mossville

Monday, February 2

A centuries-old Black community in Louisiana is contaminated and uprooted by petrochemical plants. As the community comes to terms with the loss of their ancestral home, one man standing in the way of a plant’s expansion refuses to give up.

See all broadcast times →

America ReFramed: Vision Portraits

America ReFramed: Vision Portraits

Tuesday, February 2

Acclaimed director Rodney Evans 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.

See all broadcast times →

Fannie Lou Hamer: Stand Up

Fannie Lou Hamer

Wednesday, February 3 

The life of Fannie Lou Hamer, an advocate for voting rights and an outspoken leader in the civil rights movement.

See all broadcast times →

Singular

Singular - Cecile McLorin Salvant

Wednesday, February 3 

The life of Fannie Lou Hamer, an advocate for voting rights and an outspoken leader in the civil rights movement.

See all broadcast times →

We Knew What We Had: The Greatest Jazz Story Never Told

We Knew What We Had - Mary Lou Williams

Friday, February 5

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

See all broadcast times →

The Groveland Four

The Groveland Four

Saturday, February 6

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.

See all broadcast times →

The Central Park Five

Central Park Five

Saturday, February 6

The Central Park Five, 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 from the perspective of these five teenagers whose lives were upended by this miscarriage of justice.

See all broadcast times →

Finding Your Roots: The Vanguard

Henry Louis Gates, Jr.

Sunday, February 7

Author Ta-Nehisi Coates, filmmaker Ava DuVernay, and author and activist Janet Mock see their basic assumptions about their families challenged, placing their ancestors — of all colors — into the greater context of black history.

See all broadcast times →

Independent Lens: Hale County This Morning, This Evening

Daniel Collins - INDEPENDENT LENS "Hale County This Morning, This Evening"

Monday, February 8 

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.

See all broadcast times →

Independent Lens: Women in Blue

Independent Lens: Women in Blue

Wednesday, February 10

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.

See all broadcast times →

In Their Own Words: Muhammad Ali

Muhammad Ali

Friday, February 12 

Follow Muhammad Ali’s path from a gym in Louisville to boxing successes, conversion to Islam, opposition to the draft, exile from the ring, comeback fights, Parkinson’s disease and his inspirational re-emergence at the Atlanta Olympics.

See all broadcast times →

American Experience: Goin’ Back to T-Town

American Experience: Goin’ Back to T-Town

Saturday, February 13 

Goin’ Back to T-Town tells the story of Greenwood, an extraordinary 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, and by 1936 boasted the largest concentration of Black-owned businesses in the U.S., known as “Black Wall Street.” Told through the memories of those who lived through the events, the film is a bittersweet celebration of small-town life and the resilience of a community’s spirit.

See all broadcast times →

Beyond Barbados: The Carolina Connection

Beyond Barbados: The Carolina Connection

Monday, February 15 

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.

See all broadcast times →

Reel South: All Skinfolk Ain’t Kinfolk

Reel South Logo

Tuesday, February 16 

After a contentious race, the 2017 runoff for mayor of New Orleans came down to two candidates: Desirée Charbonnet and LaToya Cantrell, two very different black women. Through news footage, campaign advertisements and archival audio and video, All Skinfolk Ain't Kinfolk is the unprecedented story of thi mayoral runoff told through the eyes of black women living in this city.

See all broadcast times →

Reel South: Unmarked

Reel South: Unmarked

Tuesday, February 16 

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.

See all broadcast times →

Black Ballerina

Delores Brown - Black Ballerina

Friday, February 19 

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.

See all broadcast times →

American Experience: Voice of Freedom

American Experience: Voice of Freedom - Marian Anderson

Friday, February 19 

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, Marian Anderson's fame hadn’t been enough to spare her from the indignities and outright violence of racism and segregation. Voice of Freedom tells her rich life story, exploring fundamental questions about talent, race, fame, democracy, and the American soul.

See all broadcast times →

Fat Boy: The Billy Stewart Story

Chess Records Building

Saturday, February 20 

Fat Boy: The Billy Stewart Story chronicles the life and career of one of the most popular rhythm and blues singers of the 1960s, tracing his journey from a young piano player to a famous R&B balladeer. 

See all broadcast times →

The Black Church: This Is Our Story, This Is Our Song, Pt. 1

Dr. Henry Louis Gates

Saturday, February 20 

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 from the brutality of slavery to emancipation.

See all broadcast times →

Finding Your Roots: Freedom Tales

Finding Your Roots: Freedom Tales

Sunday, February 21

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.

See all broadcast times →

Finding Your Roots: Write My Name in the Book of Life

Pharrell Williams - Finding Your Roots

Saturday, February 20 

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 from the brutality of slavery to emancipation.

See all broadcast times →

Ghosts of Amistad: In the Footsteps of the Rebels

Ghosts of Amistad: In the Footsteps of the Rebels

Monday, February 22 

Based on Marcus Rediker’s 2012 book The Amistad Rebellion: An Atlantic Odyssey of Slavery and Freedom, Ghosts of Amistad 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. 

See all broadcast times →

America ReFramed: Where the Pavement Ends

America Reframed Logo

Tuesday, February 23 

Transporting viewers to Missouri towns - then all-Black Kinloch and the all-white community of Ferguson, examining the shared histories and deep racial divides affecting both. Through recordings, photographs and recollections, Where the Pavement Ends draws parallels between a 1960s dispute over a physical barricade erected between the towns and the 2014 shooting death by police of Michael Brown.

See all broadcast times →

Justice in Chester

Justice in Chester

Tuesday, February 23 

Justice in Chester chronicles the decades-long history of increasing pollution and grievances, and the grassroots struggle to halt the city of Chester, Pennsylvania's clustering of commercial and hazardous waste facilities. 

See all broadcast times →

Heard

Monte Crosby - Heard

Wednesday, February 24 

The documentary film HEARD captures 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.

See all broadcast times →

Independent Lens: Mr. SOUL!

Independent Lens: Mr. SOUL!

Wednesday, February 24 

Celebrate SOUL!, the public television variety show that shared Black culture with the nation. Ellis Haizlip developed SOUL! in 1968 as one of the first platforms to promote the vibrancy of the Black Arts Movement. Its impact continues to this day.

See all broadcast times →

Queen of Swing

Queen of Swing

Friday, February 26 

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."

See all broadcast times →

Dream Land: Little Rock’s West 9th Street

Dream Land: Little Rock’s West 9th Street

Friday, February 26 

Dream Land: Little Rock’s West 9th Street details the history of Little Rock, Arkansas' West 9th Street, a once vibrant African-American business and entertainment district. It also explores the black community in Little Rock and race relations in the city.

See all broadcast times →

Marching Forward

Marching Forward

Saturday, February 27 

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.

See all broadcast times →

Finding Your Roots: Homecomings

Sasheer Zamata - Finding Your Roots: Homecomings

Sunday, February 28 

Henry Louis Gates, Jr. helps actor Sterling K. Brown, comedian Sasheer Zamata and musician Jon Batiste discover the unexpected places their ancestors called home, providing new insight into the people and places that made them who they are today.

See all broadcast times →

Finding Your Roots: This Land Is My Land

Queen Latifah - Finding Your Roots

Sunday, February 28 

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.

See all broadcast times →

Connect with WETA

  • Facebook
  • YouTube
  • Twitter
  • Pinterest