This Black History Month, we’re continuing to celebrate and reflect on the incredible history, culture, traditions, accomplishments, and contributions of the Black community in America. Below we’ve gathered a list of programs airing on PBS KVIE and streaming on the PBS Video app that highlight the importance of celebrating Black culture and heritage not just for the month of February but all year round. These programs dive into African American history and illuminate the stories of trailblazers and changemakers from the past and present. Through dance, family traditions, music, interviews, and activism, these stories explore the Black experience in America.
Programs Airing on PBS KVIE
The Jazz Ambassadors
February 2 at 9PM
Discover how the Cold War and the civil rights movement collided when America asked Dizzy Gillespie, Louis Armstrong, and other jazz icons to travel as cultural ambassadors and combat racially charged Soviet propaganda through their music.
American Experience: Goin’ Back to T-Town
February 8 at 10PM
Explore the history of Greenwood, an extraordinary Black community in Tulsa, Oklahoma that prospered during the 1920s and ‛30s despite rampant and hostile segregation.
American Experience: Voice of Freedom
February 15 at 9PM
Explore the life of the Marian Anderson, the celebrated singer whose fame wasn’t enough to spare her from the indignities and outright violence of racism and segregation.
The Black Church: This Is Our Story, This Is Our Song
February 16 & 17 at 9PM
Join Dr. Henry Louis Gates, Jr. on a journey through the rich and complex evolution of the Black church to reveal how it has influenced nearly every chapter of the African American story and continues to animate the Black identity today.
Join us on Tuesday, February 9, at 6PM for a virtual preview screening of The Black Church! See an excerpt from the series and then join a Q&A with a panel of local experts moderated by Studio Sacramento host Scott Syphax. Attendance is free but does require as an internet connection. RSVP for this event here.
Independent Lens: Mr. SOUL!
February 22 at 10PM
Discover how Ellis Haizlip created the groundbreaking PBS series SOUL!, which became one of the most culturally significant television shows in U.S. history.
ViewFinder: Fair Legislation – The Byron Rumford Story
February 24 at 7PM
Explore the life and history of Byron Rumford, one of California’s first African American state lawmakers.
Here are a few more ViewFinder documentaries airing for Black History Month:
- Not All Lost airing on February 4 at 7PM – Stream Now
- Speak My Name and I Shall Live Again airing on February 10 at 7PM – Stream Now
- Voices of Freedom – The Hyers Sisters’ Legacy airing on February 17 at 7PM – Stream Now
Programs Available to Stream on the PBS Video App
American Masters: Maya Angelou – And Still I Rise
Distinctly referred to as “a redwood tree, with deep roots in American culture,” Dr. Maya Angelou led a prolific life. She inspired generations with lyrical modern African American thought that pushed boundaries. Explore the life of the singer, dancer, activist, poet, and writer through interviews, archived footage and photos, and more. (Streaming through February 21)
Driving While Black
Independent Lens: 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. (Streaming through February 18)
KVIE Arts Showcase: Susheel Bibbs
Review the broad career of Susheel Bibbs, an actress, filmmaker, scholar, professor, author, and internationally renowned American opera singer.
Rob on the Road: Rob at Home – Bertha Gaffney Gorman
The power of story and roots flows from Bertha Gaffney Gorman, the grandmother of inaugural poet Amanda Gorman. Join Rob for an in-depth discussion on Gorman’s family history, including the surreal journey from slavery to the celebration at the United States Capitol.
Sound Field: How James Brown Invented Funk
Musicians LA Buckner and Nahre Sol explore how James Brown created funk music, as well as how his music influenced hip-hop.
Studio Sacramento: 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 joined with Scott Syphax to discuss injustice and racism.
ViewFinder: The Time is Now – Nathaniel Colley
Explore the life and work of Nathaniel Colley, one of Sacramento’s earliest African American lawyers, who spent 50 years shaping the course of American history.