In honor of Black History Month, PBS has released its programming lineup and online content offerings that will enrich viewers’ understanding of African-American history and culture. As part of its commitment to provide diverse programming and resources for all Americans year-round, PBS will offer special new episodes from popular titles, along with encore programming—all of which will stream online after broadcast on the PBS Black Culture Connection at pbs.org/bcc.
The full Black History Month programming lineup is listed below and will also be available for online streaming on the BCC after premiere:
New Orleans – Board of Trade
Tuesday, February 3, 2015 at 8pm
A team of genealogists uncovers fascinating family stories at the New Orleans Board of Trade. A local man seeks to recover essential history washed away in Hurricane Katrina; a woman discovers she has links to both sides of the Civil War; another unravels the mystery behind her grandfather’s adoption; and one man explores a link to the famous New Orleans Voodoo Queen, Marie Laveau.
St. Louis – Union Station
Tuesday, February 10, 2015 at 8pm
At St. Louis’ historic Union Station, a team of genealogists uncovers fascinating family stories from across Missouri. A musician hopes to find connections to a famous St. Louis jazz composer; two sisters explore links to a survivor of the legendary Donner Party; an Italian-American woman finds out if she is related to Italian royalty; and a schoolteacher who has all the answers for her students has very few about her own past.
Philadelphia – Historical Society of Pennsylvania
Tuesday, February 17, 2015 at 8pm
A team of genealogists uncovers fascinating family histories at the Historical Society of Pennsylvania. One woman’s ancestor may have sparked historic labor laws; a pastor may have an outlaw in her family tree; a woman learns about slave genealogy and, with the help of DNA testing, gets the answer she has waited for; and another woman learns her ancestor may have helped others escape the Holocaust.
The Taming of the Shrew With Morgan Freeman
Friday, February 6, 2015 at 9pm
In 1990, Morgan Freeman famously starred in a Wild West version of The Taming of the Shrew for Shakespeare in the Park in New York. Here he sets out to understand how and why the play, one of the Bard’s first works, was written. Interviewees include Tracey Ullman, Sinead Cusack and Julia Stiles.
Othello With David Harewood
Friday, February 6, 2015 at 10pm
In 1997, David Harewood was the first black actor to play Othello on stage at the National Theatre in London. In this episode, he unravels the complex issues of prejudice and jealousy that are threaded throughout the play, and returns to the National to meet Adrian Lester, the most recent actor to take on the role at the theatre. Interviewees include Simon Russell Beale, Ian McKellen, Julia Stiles and Patrick Stewart.
ANTIQUES ROADSHOW “Celebrating Black Americana”
Thursday, February 12, 2015, 10pm
ANTIQUES ROADSHOW honors Black History Month with this new special that features items seen together for the first time. Highlights include an 1821 U.S. citizenship certificate for George Barker, a free man of color; an African-American beauty book written by Madame C.J. Walker, the first American female millionaire; and a trip with host Mark L. Walberg and appraiser Leila Dunbar to the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum in Kansas City, Missouri.
AMERICAN MASTERS “August Wilson: The Ground on Which I Stand”
Friday, February 20, 2015 at 9pm
Explore the life and legacy of playwright August Wilson (April 27, 1945 – October 2, 2005), the man some call America's Shakespeare, from his roots as an activist and poet to his indelible mark on Broadway. Film and theater luminaries including Viola Davis, Charles Dutton, Laurence Fishburne, James Earl Jones, Suzan-Lori Parks and Phylicia Rashadshare their stories of the career- and life-changing experience of bringing Wilson's rich theatrical voice to the stage. Unprecedented access to Wilson’s theatrical archives, rarely seen interviews and new dramatic readings bring to life his seminal 10-play cycle chronicling each decade of the 20th-century African-American experience, including the Tony- and Pulitzer-winning Fences and Pulitzer-winning The Piano Lesson. Family, friends, colleagues and scholars trace Wilson’s influences, creative evolution, triumphs, struggles, and quest for cultural determinism before his untimely death from liver cancer. Directed by Emmy-winner Sam Pollard (If God Is Willing and Da Creek Don't Rise; When the Levees Broke; Slavery by Another Name).
Classroom Resources on PBS LearningMedia
PBS LearningMedia - PBS’ destination for educators and students - offers a range of curriculum-targeted resources that support lessons on black history and spotlight the leaders, thinkers, and innovators that helped shape our nation’s history. Through discussion questions, worksheets, videos, and digitized primary sources, PBS LearningMedia helps teachers to promote inquiry in their classrooms and strengthen students’ personal connection to black history and culture. For more information on the latest digital resources for classroom instruction, please visit pbslearningmedia.org.
Free Streaming on the BCC
The following is a sample of the more than 30 programs available for online streaming on the BCC in February.
- The African Americans: Many Rivers to Cross with Henry Louis Gates, Jr.
- Memories of the March
- Bill T. Jones: A Good Man (American Masters)
- Cab Calloway: Sketches (American Masters)
- Dreams of Obama (Frontline)
- Endgame: AIDS in Black America (Frontline)
- Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates, Jr.
- Freedom Riders (American Experience)
- Interrupters (Frontline)
- Jimi Hendrix—Hear My Train A-Comin’ (American Masters)
- Jesse Owens (American Experience)
- “Roots” Special (Pioneers of TV “Miniseries”)
- Not in Our Town: Class Actions
- Slavery by Another Name
- Too Important to Fail (Tavis Smiley)
- Sister Rosetta Tharpe: The Godmother of Rock & Roll (American Masters)
- Alice Walker: Beauty in Truth (American Masters)
- POV – Black Male Achievement documentary special series: Teaching Fatherhood, The Jazz Ticket, The Algebra Ceiling
- The Powerbroker: Whitney Young’s Fight for Civil Rights (Independent Lens)
- Spies of Mississippi (Independent Lens)
- The Trials of Muhammad Ali (Independent Lens)
- American Promise (POV)
- Underground Railroad: The William Still Story
- The March
- Unforgivable Blackness: The Rise and Fall of Jack Johnson
- Daisy Bates, Black Power Mixtape, Soul Food Junkies (Independent Lens)