As the outcry against systemic racism and disparities continues across our country, we’re continuing our commitment to raise awareness and foster dialogue around systemic issues both nationally and locally. We’ve updated our list of programs that focus on the topics of race and racism in America, from the time of slavery to current civil rights activism, available to stream for free on the PBS Video app.
Freedom Riders: The story behind a courageous band of civil rights activists called Freedom Riders who challenged segregation in the American South in 1961.
Freedom Summer: Experience the story of 10 memorable weeks in 1964 known as Freedom Summer, when more than 700 student volunteers from around the country joined organizers and local African Americans in a historic effort to shatter the foundations of white supremacy in Mississippi.
The Murder of Emmett Till: The murder and the trial horrified the nation and the world. Emmett Till’s death was a spark that helped mobilize the civil rights movement. Three months after his body was pulled from the Tallahatchie River, the Montgomery bus boycott began.
George Floyd’s killing triggered mass demonstrations nationwide calling for racial justice and police accountability in the United States. In the wake of those protests, New Yorker writer and historian Jelani Cobb returns to a troubled police department he first visited four years ago to examine whether reform can work, and how police departments can be held accountable.
The First Rainbow Coalition: Explore how notable community groups in 1960s Chicago bridged race and ethnicity to form a surprising alliance in one of postwar America’s most segregated cities to confront issues like police brutality and substandard housing.
Tell Them We Are Rising: Though much of its history was eclipsed by the explosiveness of the 1960s, the essential role the nation’s historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs) played in shaping Black life, creating a Black middle class, and dismantling segregation cannot be overstated.
From the Ken Burns Collection
The Central Park Five: This documentary examines the story of the five black and Latino teenagers from Harlem who were wrongly convicted of raping a white woman in New York City’s Central Park in 1989. The film chronicles The Central Park Jogger case, for the first time from the perspective of these five teenagers whose lives were upended by this miscarriage of justice.
Unforgivable Blackness – The Rise and Fall of Jack Johnson: Discover the story of Jack Johnson, the first African American Champion of the World. Follow Jack Johnson’s remarkable journey from his humble beginnings in Galveston, Texas, as the son of former slaves, to his entry into the brutal world of professional boxing.
The NewsHour team turns to grassroots voices from around the country and hosts roundtable conversations on the frustration pouring out onto American streets. In this special, they cover outrage about police brutality and America’s deep systemic racial disparities in the economy, education, criminal justice system, and health care, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Every Mother’s Son: A documentary that follows three New York mothers who unexpectedly find themselves united to seek justice and transform their grief into an opportunity for profound social change.
A Conversation With My Black Son: For generations, parents of Black boys across the U.S. have rehearsed, dreaded, and postponed the conversation. But when their boys become teenagers, parents must decide how to handle discussions about race.
Revolution ’67: An illuminating account of events too often relegated to footnotes in U.S. history: the Black urban rebellions of the 1960s. Focusing on the 6-day Newark, N.J., outbreak in mid-July, Revolution ’67 reveals how the disturbances began as spontaneous revolts against poverty and police brutality and ended as fateful milestones in America’s struggles over race and economic justice.
Rob on the Road: Rob at Home
Impact of Injustice: Join Rob and Cassandra Pye for a conversation on injustice, understanding, and passion for Black people. Topics include Cassandra’s list of action, steps we all can take to help elevate the unheard, the history of systemic discrimination, and why the act of listening to others matters.
The Pandemic of Racism: Author and professor Addie Ellis joins Rob to discuss the pervasive problem of racism. Dr. Ellis says, “How are we going to, as a community and as a world, heal from the greatest pandemic that’s lasted the longest amount of time that impacts everybody, and that’s racism?”
Region Rising – Health Disparities: Explore alarming health disparities in California with WellSpace Health CEO Janine Bera and Sacramento Observer publisher Larry Lee.
A Civil Rights Journey: Attorney Mark T. Harris has been at the forefront of police brutality lawsuits locally. In the wake of the killing of George Floyd and protests nationwide, he talks with Scott Syphax about injustice and racism.
Progress on the Dream – MLK and Equality: In 2012, Scott Syphax sat down with Sam Starks of MLK 365, Policy Consultant Arnoldo Torres, and the late Dr. Marion Woods to discus racial equality in America 50 years after Martin Luther King Jr.’s iconic “I Have a Dream” speech.
Race and Injustice in America: Dr. Bruce Haynes from UC Davis, Sam Starks from MLK 365, and Dr. Christopher Towler from Sacramento State join host Scott Syphax to talk about race and injustice.
The Talk: Race in America is a 2-hour documentary about the increasingly necessary conversation taking place in homes and communities across the country between parents of color and their children, especially sons, about how to behave if they are ever stopped by the police.