Immerse yourself in the incredible history, culture, traditions, accomplishments, and contributions of the Black community in America with this list of programs that are airing on PBS KVIE, available to stream for free on the PBS Video app, or available to stream with PBS KVIE Passport. Discover, reflect, learn, and celebrate Black History Month not only during the month of February, but all year long. These programs dive into African American history and illuminate the stories of trailblazers and changemakers from the past and present. Through family traditions, music, interviews, and activism, these stories explore the Black experience in America.

Programs Airing on PBS KVIE

In Their Own Words: Chuck Berry
February 1 at 9PM

 

Take a riveting ride on the Chuck Berry train, exploring the life of the man behind the music. By blending “hillbilly” music with R&B and writing impactful lyrics, Berry birthed a renaissance in popular music we now call rock ‘n’ roll.


ViewFinder: The Time is Now – Nathaniel Colley
February 2 at 7PM                                             

 

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.


Muhammad Ali
Encore continues February 4, 11 & 18  

 

Follow the life of legendary boxer Muhammad Ali, the 3-time heavyweight boxing champion who captivated billions of fans with his combination of speed, agility, and power in the ring and his charm, wit, and outspokenness outside of it, in this 4-part documentary from Ken Burns.


Rob on the Road: Rob at Home – Bertha Gaffney Gorman
February 7 at 7:30PM

 

The power of story and roots flows from Bertha Gaffney Gorman, the grandmother of 2021 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.


American Masters: Marian Anderson – The Whole World in Her Hands
February 8 at 9PM

 

Discover an international singer who captivated royalty in Europe and defied the conscience of 1939 America. Watch rare archival footage and hear audio recordings exploring her life and career from the Metropolitan Opera to the State Department.


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.


American Experience: The American Diplomat
February 15 at 9PM

Discover how three Black diplomats broke racial barriers at the U.S. State Department during the Cold War. Asked to represent the best of American ideals abroad while facing discrimination at home, they left a lasting impact on the Foreign Service.


ViewFinder: Voices for Freedom – The Hyers Sisters’ Legacy
February 16 at 7PM

 

Chronicle the lives of Sacramento’s Hyers Sisters, the African American opera prodigies who toured the nation to acclaim from 1871 to 1894 and championed human rights in Voices for Freedom – The Hyers Sisters’ Legacy.


Fannie Lou Hamer’s America: An America Reframed Special
February 22 at 9PM

 

Explore and celebrate the life Mississippi sharecropper-turned-civil-rights-activist, Fannie Lou Hamer, known in the 1960s and ‘70s for her powerful speeches, soulstirring songs, and impassioned pleas for equal rights. In this film, Hamer tells her story – in her own words – through archival audio footage and rarely seen television appearances recorded throughout her political and humanitarian career.


Programs Available to Stream on the PBS Video App

The Black Church: This Is Our Story, This Is Our Song

 

Henry Louis Gates, Jr. explores the roots of African American religion beginning with the trans-Atlantic slave trade and the extraordinary ways enslaved Africans preserved and adapted their faith practices from the brutality of slavery to emancipation.


Driving While Black
Discover how the advent of the automobile brought new mobility and freedom for African Americans but also exposed them to discrimination and deadly violence and how that history resonates today.

KVIE Arts Showcase: Susheel Bibbs

 

Review the broad career of Susheel Bibbs, an actress, filmmaker, scholar, professor, author, and internationally renowned American opera singer.


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.


Programs Available to Stream on the PBS Video App with PBS KVIE Passport

PBS KVIE Passport is a benefit of station membership. Members gain extended access to more videos available to stream on the PBS Video app.

American Masters: How it Feels to be Free

 

Discover the inspiring story of how six iconic African American women entertainers – Lena Horne, Abbey Lincoln, Nina Simone, Diahann Carroll, Cicely Tyson, and Pam Grier – challenged an entertainment industry deeply complicit in perpetuating racist stereotypes and transformed themselves and their audiences in the process.


American Experience: Goin’ Back to T-Town

 

Goin’ Back to T-Town tells the story of Greenwood, an extraordinary Black community in Tulsa, Oklahoma, that prospered during the 1920s and 30s despite rampant and hostile segregation. Torn apart in 1921 by one of the worst racially motivated massacres in the nation’s history, the neighborhood rose from the ashes, and by 1936, boasted the largest concentration of Black-owned businesses in the U.S.


American Experience: Jubilee Singers

 

In the chaotic decade following the Civil War, a group of young ex-slaves in Nashville, Tennessee, set out on a mission to save their financially troubled school by giving concerts.


American Experience: The Blinding of Isaac Woodward

 

In 1946, Isaac Woodard, a Black army sergeant on his way home to South Carolina after serving in WWII, was pulled from a bus for arguing with the driver. The local chief of police savagely beat him, leaving him unconscious and permanently blind. Discover how this incident of racial violence by police led to the racial awakening of President Harry Truman and jump started the civil rights movement.


Jackie Robinson

 

Discover the story of Jack Roosevelt Robinson, who rose from humble origins to break baseball’s color barrier and waged a fierce lifelong battle for first-class citizenship for all African Americans that transcends even his remarkable athletic achievements, in this 2-part documentary by Ken Burns.


Independent Lens: Ferguson Rises

How does a father find purpose in pain? In 2014, Michael Brown Sr.’s son was killed by white police officer Darren Wilson in Ferguson, Missouri, an event that fueled the global Black Lives Matter movement. But his personal story seeking justice and healing has not been told until now.


Reconstruction: America After the Civil War

Explore the transformative years following the American Civil War, when the nation struggled to rebuild itself in the face of profound loss, massive destruction, and revolutionary social change, in this 4-part documentary from Henry Louis Gates, Jr. The 12 years that composed the post-war Reconstruction era (1865-77) witnessed a seismic shift in the meaning and makeup of our democracy.


Celebrate Black History Month: What to Watch & Stream