To observe and celebrate Black History Month, and as part of its commitment to celebrate the diversity of America all year long, PBS is offering documentaries and specials that explore the richness and complexity of the African American experience through on-air content on PBS member stations and online through the PBS Black Culture Connection.PBS will commemorate Black History Month with five new programs.
First, a special INDEPENDENT LENS presentation, entitled “Tell Them We Are Rising: The Story of Black Colleges and Universities,” an examination of the role of historically black colleges and universities, premieres on Monday, February 19. This documentary by Stanley Nelson and Marco Williams explores the pivotal role historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) have played over the course of 150 years in American history, culture and identity. Tell Them We Are Rising reveals the rich history of HBCUs and the power of higher education to transform lives and advance civil rights and equality in the face of injustice. Nashville is home to four HCBUs: American Baptist College, Fisk University, Meharry Medical College and Tennessee State University.
INDEPENDENT LENS “Winnie,” a profile of the wife of Nelson Mandela (premiering Monday, February 5), explores the life of Winnie Mandela and her struggle to bring down apartheid, with intimate insights from those closest to her and testimony from the enemies who sought to extinguish her radical capacity to shake up the order of things.
GREAT PERFORMANCES “Nas Live From the Kennedy Center: Classical Hip-Hop” premieres Friday, February 2, 8-9 p.m. Central Time. Witness the groundbreaking hip-hop artist perform a symphonic rendition of his seminal debut album Illmatic with the National Symphony Orchestra. Nas paints a densely textured lyrical portrait of life in a New York City public housing project.
WE’LL MEET AGAIN “Freedom Summer” premieres Tuesday, February 20, 7-8 pm. Join Ann Curry for the dramatic reunions of people who lost touch after the civil rights movement. Fatima hopes to thank Thelma for her courage in the face of racism, and Sherie searches for the friend who inspired her commitment to social justice.
AMERICAN CREED premieres Tuesday, February 27, 8-9 p.m. CT. Join former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, historian David Kennedy and a diverse group of Americans to explore whether a unifying set of beliefs — an American creed — can prove more powerful than the issues that divide us.
Encore presentations include: AMERICAN MASTERS “Maya Angelou: And Still I Rise” Friday, February 16, 8-10 p.m. ET. 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. The program features interviews with Oprah Winfrey, Common, the Clintons and others.
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. Now in his 70s, he is considered the conscience of Congress airs Feb. 26 at 11pm on NPT.
Check listings for repeats airings of each program on NPT and NPT2 on the WNPT website.