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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. 

WETA Arts

James Reese Europe

Friday, February 1 at 8:30 pm

WETA Arts returns in February, spotlighting visual and performing arts in Greater Washington and celebrating the diverse cultural heritage of the nation’s capital. This month, the program presents four locally focused stories with Black History Month themes. Repeats throughout the month 

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The WETA Movie: A Soldier’s Story

A Soldier’s Story

Saturday, February 2 at 9:35 pm 

In Norman Jewison’s 1984 crime drama, an Army lawyer probes the slaying of a sergeant from an all-black unit in 1944 Louisiana. Howard E. Rollins, Adolph Caesar and Denzel Washington star. Repeats Sun 2/3, noon

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Black America Since MLK: And Still I Rise – Out of the Shadows/Move on Up

Black America Since MLK Part 1

Saturday, February 2 at 11:30 pm

In part one of this four-hour program, Harvard scholar and WETA partner Henry Louis Gates, Jr., looks at the last five decades of African American history since the major civil rights victories of the 1960s. His premise is this: If Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. came back and asked what happened in the last half-century since his passing, what would you tell him? 

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Independent Lens: Tell Them We Are Rising: The Story of Black Colleges and Universities

Independent Lens: HBCUs

Sunday, February 3 at 2:30 pm 

A film explores the pivotal role that historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) have played in shaping American history, culture and national identity. Repeats Wed 2/13, 2:30pm 

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Maya Angelou: And Still I Rise: American Masters

American Masters - Maya Angelou

Sunday, February 3 at 11:00 pm

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. Features new interviews with Oprah Winfrey, Common, the Clintons and others. Repeats Thur 2/14, 1pm; Sun 2/24, 2:30pm

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Independent Lens: Black Memorabilia

Independent Lens: Black Memorabilia

Monday, February 4 at 11:00 pm

From the South to Brooklyn to China, meet the people who reproduce, consume and reclaim black memorabilia, racially charged objects often wrapped in the protective embrace of antiquity and historical preservation.

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Finding Your Roots: Freedom Tales

FINDING YOUR ROOTS Season 5

Tuesday, February 5 at 8:00 pm

Gates delves deep into the roots of two African-American guests, actor S. Epatha Merkerson and athlete and television personality Michael Strahan. Both discover unexpected stories that challenge assumptions about black history.  Repeats Wed 2/6, 5pm; Sun 2/10, 4pm

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Fats Domino: American Masters

Fats Domino

Wednesday, February 6 at 3:00 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 Thur 2/14, 3pm

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B.B. King: American Masters

B.B. King: American Masters

Wednesday, February 6 at 4:00 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 Tue 2/12, 1pm; Fri 2/15, 2pm 

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John Lewis: Get in the Way

John Lewis: Get in the Way

Thursday, February 7 at 3:00 pm

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 77, he is considered the conscience of Congress. Repeats Fri 2/15, 1pm 

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Smokey Robinson: The Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song

Smokey Robinson Gershwin Prize

Friday, February 8 at 1:30 pm

In the WETA co-production, Samuel L. Jackson hosts a star-studded musical tribute to singer and songwriter Smokey Robinson as the artist receives the Library’s 2016 Gershwin Prize. Taped at DAR Constitution Hall, the concert features Robinson and an array of renowned musical artists in performance, with a special appearance by Berry Gordy, founder of Motown.

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Live from Lincoln Center: Pipeline

Live from Lincoln Center: Pipeline

Friday, February 8 at 9:30 pm

Meet Nya, an inner-city teacher desperate to save her son, in Dominique Morisseau’s new play. When her son gets in trouble at school, Nya must confront his rage and her choices, and try to reach him before he gets pulled away forever.

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Black America Since MLK: And Still I Rise – Keep Your Head Up/Touch the Sky

Black America Since MLK Part 2

Saturday, February 9 at 12 midnight

In part two of this four-hour series, Henry Louis Gates, Jr. continues to explore the tremendous gains and persistent challenges of the post-civil rights years, examining major events and turning points in American race relations. 

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

American Masters: August Wilson

Sunday, February 10 at 2:30 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. It includes interviews with film and stage luminaries and his family, scenes from his award-winning plays, and more. Repeats Wed 2/13, 1pm 

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Independent Lens: The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution

Independent Lens: The Black Panthers

Sunday, February 10 at 11:00 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 Tue 2/20, 2:30pm; Wed 2/21, 1pm; Sun 2/25, 3:30pm

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Independent Lens: Hale County This Morning, This Evening

Independent Lens: Hale County This Morning, This Evening

Monday, February 11 at 11:00 pm

Visit the world of Hale County, Alabama. Composed of unencumbered moments in the lives of people in the community, the film offers a richly detailed glimpse of life in America’s Black Belt.

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Antiques Roadshow: Celebrating Black Americana

Antiques Roadshow: Celebrating Black Americana

Tuesday, February 12 at 3:00 pm

Antiques Roadshow honors Black History Month with this special episode. Highlights include an 1821 U.S. citizenship certificate for George Barker, a free man of color; an African-American beauty book written by Madam 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.

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An Evening with Ken Chenault

An Evening with Ken Chenault

Saturday, February 16 at 12 midnight

Sportscaster James Brown, of Washington, D.C., interviews former American Express CEO Ken Chenault at New York City’s The New York Times Center in a November 2018 event. The program pays tribute to the extraordinary life and career of one of the nation’s most accomplished business and civic leaders, presenting stories of ambition and perseverance.

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POV: Quest

POV: Quest

Sunday, February 17 at 11:00 pm

Watch an intimate film capturing eight years in the life of a black family from Philadelphia. Follow Christopher “Quest” Rainey, and his wife, Christine’a “Ma Quest,” as they raise a family and nurture a community of hip-hop artists.

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American Masters: Sammy Davis, Jr.: I've Gotta Be Me

American Masters: Sammy Davis Jr.

Tuesday, February 19 at 9:00 pm

Explore the entertainer’s vast talent and journey for identity through the shifting tides of civil rights and racial progress in 20th-century America. Interviewees include Billy Crystal and Whoopi Goldberg and featured are clips from Davis’ television, film and concert performances. Repeats Wed 2/20, 3pm; Thur 2/21, 1pm; Wed 2/27, 1pm

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Independent Lens: I Am Not Your Negro

Independent Lens: I Am Not Your Negro

Friday, February 22 at 9:30 pm

An Academy Award-nominated documentary by Raoul Peck 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.

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The Talk: Race in America

The Talk

Saturday, February 23 at 1:00 am

In the wake of recent tragic and fatal events between men of color and law enforcement, learn how black and Hispanic families counsel their kids to stay safe if they are stopped by the police.

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Roads to Memphis: American Experience

Roads to Memphis: American Experience

Tuesday, February 26 at 9:00 pm

A film by Stephen Ives examines the disparate but fatefully entwined stories of assassin James Earl Ray and his target, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., against the backdrop of the turbulent forces that led these two men to their violent collision in Memphis in 1968. Repeats Wed 2/27, 4pm

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