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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. 

An Evening with Sheila Johnson— with Gwen Ifill

An Evening with Sheila Johnson

MONDAY, FEBRUARY 1 AT 3:00 PM

WETA’s Gwen Ifill interviews the renowned entrepreneur and philanthropist, one of America’s most successful businesswomen. Repeats Mon 2/15, 10pm; Tue 2/16, 5pm

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The March

The March

WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 3 AT 2:00 PM

The documentary spotlights the August 1963 March on Washington, where Dr. Martin Luther King gave his stirring “I Have a Dream” speech. Repeats Mon 2/8, 3pm

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Unforgivable Blackness: The Rise and Fall of Jack Johnson

Jack Johnson

WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 3 AT 10:00 PM

A film directed by Ken Burns and co-produced by WETA chronicles the life and career of the first African-American heavyweight boxing champion. Part 1 of 2. Johnson enters the world of professional boxing and in 1908 captures the heavyweight title, setting in motion a worldwide search for a “white hope” to defeat him. {DVI} Repeats Thur 2/4, 4pm; Mon 2/29, 1pm

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An Evening with Berry Gordy — with Gwen Ifill

An Evening with Berry Gordy

THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 4 AT 1:00 PM

WETA’s Gwen Ifill interviews Berry Gordy, founder in 1959 of Motown Records. Repeats Sun 2/7, 2pm; Wed 2/17, 2pm

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Independent Lens: Ballerina’s Tale

Ballerina’s Tale

MONDAY, FEBRUARY 8 AT 10:00 PM

An intimate look at the rise of Misty Copeland, who made history as the first African-American female principal dancer with the prestigious American Ballet Theatre.

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Unforgivable Blackness: The Rise and Fall of Jack Johnson - Part 2

WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 10 AT 10:00 PM

Johnson’s defeat of Ji­m Jeffries leaves him atop the boxing world, but the U.S. government sets out to destroy him in the courts, using his sometimes-troubled relationships with white women as an excuse to prosecute him. {DVI} Repeats Thur 2/11, 4pm; Mon 2/29, 3pm

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B.B. King: American Masters

B.B. King: American Masters

FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 12 AT 9:00 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. Repeats Mon 2/15, 2pm; Sun 2/21, 3:30pm

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Independent Lens: The Trials of Muhammad Ali

FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 12 AT 10:00 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 Wed 2/24, 3:30pm

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Frontline: The Long Walk of Nelson Mandela

SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 14 AT 1:00 AM

Frontline profiles the late South African leader credited with the reversal of apartheid in South Africa.

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Slavery by Another Name

Slavery by Another Name

SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 14 AT 2:00 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.

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Independent Lens: The Powerbroker: Whitney Young’s Fight for Civil Rights

INLE Whitney Young

MONDAY, FEBRUARY 15 AT 11:00 PM

The film profiles Whitney M. Young, Jr., one of the most celebrated and controversial leaders of the civil rights era, following his journey from segregated Kentucky to head of the National Urban League.

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An Evening with Ursula Burns — with Gwen Ifill

Ursula Burns

TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 16 AT 4:00 PM

The film explores the life and career of Ursula Burns, the first African-American woman to head a Fortune 500 Company — Xerox.

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Independent Lens: The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution

Independent Lens: The Black Panthers

TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 16 AT 9:00 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. Repeats Wed 2/17, 3pm; Thur 2/18, 4pm; Fri 2/19, 10pm

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Independent Lens: Through a Lens Darkly: Black Photographers and the Emergence of a People

Through a Lens Darkly

TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 23 AT 3:30 PM

 A documentary spotlights the story of the pioneering African-American photographers who have recorded the lives and aspirations of generations, from slavery to the present.

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

American Masters: August Wilson

WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 24 AT 2:00 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 2/25, 3pm

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American Masters: Alice Walker: Beauty in Truth

Alice Walker

THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 25 AT 4:30 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.

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Smithsonian Salutes Ray Charles: In Performance at the White House

Ray Charles

FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 26 AT 9:00 PM

A WETA co-production features interpretations of the music of Ray Charles, using his own big-band musical arrangements, by renowned as well as up-and-coming artists. Repeats Sat 2/27, midnight

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Fats Domino: American Masters

Fats Domino

FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 26 AT 10:00 PM

The biography series explores how the musical artist’s brand of New Orleans rhythm and blues became rock ’n’ roll. As popular as Elvis Presley, Domino suffered degradations in the pre-civil rights South and aided integration through his music. Repeats Sun 2/28, 1am

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The Black Kungfu Experience

The Black Kungfu Experience

SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 27 AT 11:06 PM

A documentary introduces kungfu’s African-American pioneers, including Ron Van Clief, who earned the nickname “Black Dragon” from Bruce Lee. These men challenged convention by mastering the ancient martial art, which resonated in black communities across the United States.

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Eyes on the Prize

Eyes on the Prize

SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 28 AT 12 NOON - 6 PM

An acclaimed documentary series examines the history of America’s civil rights movement. 

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Independent Lens: Wilhemina’s War

Wilhemina’s War

MONDAY, FEBRUARY 29 AT 10:00 PM

In this film, a Southern grandmother struggles to help her family through the scourge of HIV, but may be unable to save those she loves. AIDS is one of the leading causes of death for black women in the rural south, where living with HIV is a grim reality.

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