Search form

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. 

The Abolitionists

The Abolitionists

Sunday, February 1 at 2:30pm

The Abolitionists tells the intertwined stories of Frederick Douglass, William Lloyd Garrison, Angelina Grimké, Harriet Beecher Stowe and John Brown. Fighting body and soul, they led the most important civil rights crusade in American history.

See all broadcast times →

An Evening with Ursula Burns — with Gwen Ifill

Ursula Burns

Tuesday, February 3 at 4:00 pm

Gwen Ifill interviews Ursula Burns, the CEO of Xerox, in front of a live audience at the New York Times Center. The program explores the life and career of Burns, the first African-American woman to head a Fortune 500 company.

See all broadcast times →

An Evening with Valerie Simpson in Honor of Nick Ashford — with Gwen Ifill

An Evening with Valerie Simpson

Tuesday, February 3 at 5:00 pm

WETA’s Gwen Ifill interviews Valerie Simpson, who wrote songs for over 40 years with her husband, the late Nick Ashford. Ashford & Simpson’s hits include: “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough,” “Ain’t Nothing Like the Real Thing” and “I’m Every Woman.”

See all broadcast times →

Unforgivable Blackness: The Rise and Fall of Jack Johnson

Jack Johnson

Wednesday, February 4 at 1:00 pm

Parts 1 & 2 of 2. This Ken Burns film, a co-production of WETA and Florentine Films, chronicles the life and career of the first African-American heavyweight champion. Johnson’s dominance over his white opponents spurred race riots and debates in his time. {DVI} Repeats Sat 2/7, 1:30 am

See all broadcast times →

American Masters: Cab Calloway: Sketches

Cab Calloway

Thursday, February 5 at 5:00 pm

American Masters explores the life of the pioneering jazz legend who charmed audiences with his bravado and showmanship. Repeats Tues 2/17, 5:00 pm

See all broadcast times →

Independent Lens: The Black Power Mixtape 1967–1975

The Black Power Mixtape

Saturday, February 7 at midnight

Combining startlingly fresh and candid 16mm footage that had lain undiscovered in the cellar of Swedish Television for the past 30 years, with contemporary audio interviews from leading African-American artists, activists, musicians and scholars, ”Mixtape” looks at the people, society, culture and style that fuelled an era of convulsive change, 1967-1975. Utilizing an innovative format that riffs on the popular 1970s mixtape format, this is a cinematic and musical journey into the black communities of America.

See all broadcast times →

An Evening with Gwen Ifill

An Evening with Gwen Ifill

Sunday, February 8 at 3:30 pm

An Evening With Gwen Ifill, taped in Washington, D.C., features an interview of WETA’s Gwen Ifill by NPR journalist Michele Norris. Ifill speaks about her distinguished career in journalism; she is moderator and managing editor of Washington Week with Gwen Ifill and co-anchor and co-managing editor of PBS NewsHour.

See all broadcast times →

An Evening with Vernon Jordan—with Gwen Ifill

An Evening with Vernon Jordan

Sunday, February 8 at 4:30 pm

Gwen Ifill interviews Vernon Jordan. Included: a photo montage set to music by tenor Rodrick Dixon. Also: Charlayne Hunter-Gault, who integrated the University of Georgia in 1961 with Jordan escorting her; American Express CEO Kenneth Chenault; and Xerox CEO Ursula Burns.

See all broadcast times →

Slavery by Another Name

Slavery by Another Name

Tuesday, February 10 at 3:30 pm

Based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning book by Douglas A. Blackmon, this Sundance Film Festival selection for 2012 explores the little-known story of post-Emancipation labor practices and laws that effectively created a new form of slavery in the South, persisting into the 20th century. Laurence Fishburne narrates. Repeats Sat 2/14, 12:30am

See all broadcast times →

Black in Latin America

Black in Latin America

Wednesday, February 11 at 1 pm

In this series, Henry Louis Gates, Jr. explores the African influence on society in six Latin American countries. Repeats Sat 2/14, 2 am

See all broadcast times →

An Evening with Berry Gordy — with Gwen Ifill

An Evening with Berry Gordy

Thursday, February 12 at 4:00 pm

WETA’s Gwen Ifill interviews Berry Gordy, founder of Motown Records, which became the most successful African American-owned enterprise in the nation.

See all broadcast times →

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

INLE Whitney Young

Sunday, February 15 at 3:30 pm

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

See all broadcast times →

The March

The March

Sunday, February 15 at 4:30 pm

A documentary spotlights the August 1963 March on Washington, where Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. gave his stirring “I Have a Dream” speech. The film reveals the dramatic story behind this watershed event through the memories of key players, historians, journalists and authors. Denzel Washington narrates.

See all broadcast times →

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

Through a Lens Darkly

Monday, February 16 at 10 pm

A documentary spotlights the story of the pioneering African-American photographers — men and women, celebrated and anonymous — who have recorded the lives and aspirations of generations, from slavery to the present. {DVI} Repeats Tue 2/17, 3:30pm; Wed 2/25, 1pm

See all broadcast times →

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

American Masters: August Wilson

Friday, February 20 at 9:30 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, telling of Wilson’s triumphs and struggles along the path to such seminal works as Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom; the Pulitzer Prize-winning Fences; Joe Turner’s Come and Gone; the Pulitzer Prizewinning The Piano Lesson; Two Trains Running and others. Repeats Sat 2/21, 1am; Tue 2/24, 4:30pm

See all broadcast times →

The Black Kungfu Experience

The Black Kungfu Experience

Saturday, February 21 at midnight

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.

See all broadcast times →

Freedom Riders: American Experience

Freedom Riders

Sunday, February 22 at 3 pm

From May until November 1961, over 400 Americans, black and white, travelled together on buses and trains through the Deep South. This documentary tells the harrowing story of those Riders as they risked their lives, facing savage mob violence and imprisonment, to challenge segregation through a simple act of unity. {DVI}

See all broadcast times →

Independent Lens: American Denial

American Denial

Monday, February 23 at 10 pm

A film uses the story of a 1944 investigation of Jim Crow racism as a springboard to explore the power of unconscious biases and how the ideals of liberty, equality and justice still affect notions of race and class today. {DVI}

See all broadcast times →

Motown 25: Yesterday, Today, Forever

Motown 25: Yesterday, Today, Forever

Thursday, February 26 at 8 pm

A 1983 salute to the company on its silver anniversary reunites the Jackson 5, Diana Ross and the Supremes, the Four Tops, Smokey Robinson and the Miracles, and the Temptations.

See all broadcast times →

Connect with WETA

  • Facebook
  • YouTube
  • Twitter
  • Pinterest