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Black History Month on WGBY

To observe Black History Month, and as part of its commitment to celebrate the diversity of America all year long, PBS and WGBY offer documentaries and specials that explore the richness and complexity of the African American experience through on-air content and online through the PBS Black Culture Connection.


Featured Programming | Now Streaming | Encore Presentations | Educator Resources


Featured Programming

Great Performances: “Nas Live From the Kennedy Center"

Hip hop artist Nas performs at the Kennedy Center on Great Performances, as part of PBS' celebration of Black History Month.
Friday, Feb, 2, 9pm | Additional Broadcasts
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. Watch a preview.

Independent Lens: "Winnie"

Independent Lens profiles anti-apartheid activist Winne Mandela, as part of PBS' celebration of Black History Month.
Monday, Feb. 5, 10pm | Additional Broadcasts
Explore 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.

Independent Lens: “Tell Them We Are Rising"

Independent Lens explores historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) in "Tell Them We Are Rising," as part of  Black History Month on PBS.
Monday, Feb. 19, 9pm | Additional Broadcasts
Explore the pivotal role that historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) have played in shaping American history, culture and national identity.

We'll Meet Again: "Freedom Summer”

Ann Curry's We'll Meet Again reunites veterans of the civil rights movement in "Freedom Summer," part of PBS' celebration of Black History Month.
Tuesday, Feb. 20, 8pm | Additional Broadcasts
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

Condolezza Rice and David Kennedy search for a uniting "American Creed" that's more powerful than the issues that divide. Part of PBS's Black History Month.
Tuesday, Feb. 27, 9pm | Additional Broadcasts
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.

Now Streaming

Independent Lens: “I Am Not Your Negro”

In honor of Black History Month, stream "I Am Not Your Negro" from Independent Lens.
Watch a film that envisions the book James Baldwin never finished, a revolutionary and personal account of the lives and successive assassinations of three of his close friends: Medgar Evers, Malcolm X and Martin Luther King, Jr. Stream the full film online through January 29, 2018.


American Masters: “Lorraine Hansberry: Sighted Eyes/Feeling Heart”

Stream American Masters: "Lorraine Hansberry: Sighted Eyes/Feeling Heart." Part of Black History Month on PBS.

Explore the life and work of the A Raisin in the Sun playwright and activist who played a significant role in the civil rights movement. LaTanya Richardson Jackson narrates. Anika Noni Rose is the voice of Lorraine Hansberry. Stream the full film online.


Encore Presentations

American Masters: “Maya Angelou: And Still I Rise”

Enjoy an encore presentation of American Masters: Maya Angelou: And Still I Rise as PBS celebrates Black History Month.
Friday, Feb. 16, 9pm
| Additional Broadcasts

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.


The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution

In honor of Black Hisory Month, PBS and WGBY present an encore of The Black Panthers: Vangaurd of the Revolution from Independent Lens.
Sunday, Feb. 18, 10pm on
WGBY World | Additional Broadcasts

Revisit the turbulent 1960s, when a revolutionary culture emerged with the Black Panther Party at its vanguard. Stanley Nelson tells the vibrant story of a pivotal movement that feels timely all over again.


Bridging the Divide: Tom Bradley and the Politics of Race

Enjoy an encore of Bridging the Divide: TOme Bradley and the Politics of Race as PBS and WGBY celebrate Black History Month.
Tuesday, Feb. 6, 2pm
on WGBY World | Additional Broadcasts

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.


Deep City: The Birth of the Miami Sound

PBS and WGBY present an encore of "Deep City: The Birth of Miami Sound," in honor of Black History Month.
Saturday, Feb. 3, 8pm on WGBY World | Additional Broadcasts

Learn how two musical geniuses created the first black-owned record label in Florida. Explore the early days of 1960s soul music in Miami, the pioneers of that era and their lasting contributions to the broader American musical landscape.


Independent Lens: Birth of a Movement

Learn how "The Birth of a Nation" effected race relations and representation in Hollywoods on Independent Lens. Part of Black History Month on PBS.
Tuesday, Feb. 20, 2pm on WGBY World | Additional Broadcasts

Learn how D.W. Griffith’s 1915 film The Birth of a Nation unleashed a battle still being waged today over race relations and representation, and the power and influence of Hollywood. Featuring Spike Lee, Reginald Hudlin, Henry Louis Gates, Jr. and others.


John Lewis – Get in the Way

In honor of Black History Month, enjoy an encore of  "John Lewis--Get in the Way," a look at the journey of the civil rights icon and congressman.
Friday, Feb. 2, 6pm & 9pm
on WGBY World | Additional Broadcasts

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.


Classroom Resources Celebrating Black History

PBS Learning Media provides Black History Month educational resources for teachers, parents, and caregivers.

PBS LearningMedia, PBS’ online 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 lesson plans, videos, discussion questions, and digitized primary sources, PBS LearningMedia helps teachers to inspire curiosity in their classrooms and strengthen students’ personal connection to black history and culture. Featured resources illuminate the lives of figures like Harriet Tubman, Jesse Owens, and Rosa Parks and delve into key themes relevant to the Civil Rights Movement. PBS LearningMedia also offers related resources from recent PBS programs like Soundbreaking, Black America Since MLK: And Still I Rise, Mercy Street and Africa's Great Civilizations. The  WGBY Education Blog has more ideas about to bring Black History Month into the classroom.

As a special feature for Black History Month, PBS and ITVS have partnered to deliver a free 3-part film and conversation series for classrooms, “More Than A Month.” Students and teachers that participate in the virtual events will have a chance to hear from a range of notable film producers and directors, preview segments from their latest films, and pose questions in real-time. More information about this series is available on the PBS Teachers’ Blog.