Black History Month

New Mexico PBS is honoring Black History Month with a full slate of related programming throughout the month of February


This 6-hour series chronicles the full sweep of African-American history, from the origins of slavery on the African continent through more than four centuries of remarkable historic events up to the present. Presented and written by Harvard scholar Henry Louis Gates, Jr., the series draws on some of America’s top historians and heretofore untapped primary sources, guiding viewers on an engaging journey across two continents to shed new light on the experience of being African American. Among those interviewed are Kathleen Cleaver, Charlayne Hunter-Gault, Congressman John Lewis, civil rights activist Diane Nash and more.
Sundays, 2/5 – 2/19 at 8pm & 9pm on Ch. 9.1
Watch the trailer here

INDEPENDENT LENS: Birth of a Movement

D.W. Griffith’s KKK-friendly The Birth of a Nation opened in 1915 to big audiences but also widespread protests by African Americans, led by Harvard-educated newspaper editor W.M. Trotter. The Birth of a Movement captures this clash between human rights, freedom of speech, and a changing media landscape.
Mon. 2/6 at 9pm on Ch. 9.1
Sat. 2/11 at 10pm on Ch. 5.1
Watch the trailer here

SMOKEY ROBINSON: The Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song

Enjoy an all-star tribute to Smokey Robinson, the 2016 recipient of the Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song, with performances by Robinson, as well as Aloe Blacc, Gallant, CeeLo Green, JoJo, Ledisi, Tegan Marie, Kip Moore, Corinne Bailey Rae, Esperanza Spalding, The Tenors, BeBe Winans, and a special appearance by Berry Gordy, Founder of Motown — with Samuel L. Jackson as host and Greg Phillinganes as music director (program subject to change).
Fri. 2/10 at 9pm on Ch. 5.1
Learn more here

INDEPENDENT LENS: Accidental Courtesy

Renowned musician Daryl Davis has an unusual, controversial hobby: meeting and befriending members of the KKK, many of whom have never met a black person. When some decide to leave the Klan, Daryl keeps their robes and hoods, a collection built piece by piece, story by story. Accidental Courtesy captures Daryl's search for answers to the question, "How can you hate me when you don't even know me?"
Mon. 2/13 at 9pm on Ch. 9.1
Sat. 2/18 at 10pm on Ch. 5.1
Watch the trailer here

THE TALK: Race in America

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.
Mon. 2/20 at 8pm on Ch. 5.1
Learn more here

AMERICAN MASTERS: Alice Walker - Beauty in Truth

Most famous for her seminal novel "The Color Purple," writer / activist Alice Walker celebrates her 70th birthday. Born February 9, 1944, into a family of sharecroppers in rural Georgia, her life unfolded during the violent racism and seismic social changes of mid-20th century America. Her mother, poverty and participation in the Civil Rights Movement were the formative influences on her consciousness, becoming the inherent themes in her writing. The first African-American woman to win a Pulitzer Prize for Literature, Walker continues to shine a light on global human rights issues. Her dramatic life is told with poetry and lyricism, and includes interviews with Steven Spielberg, Danny Glover, Quincy Jones, Howard Zinn, Gloria Steinem, Sapphire, and Walker herself.
Mon. 2/20 at 9pm on Ch. 9.1
Watch the trailer here


This is a story of passion, opportunity, heartbreak and triumph of the human spirit. Set in the overwhelmingly white world of classical dance, it tells the stories of several black women from different generations who fell in love with ballet. Sixty years ago, while pursuing their dreams of careers in classical dance, Joan Myers Brown, Delores Browne (photo) and Raven Wilkinson (the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo's first black ballerina) confronted racism, exclusion and unequal opportunity in segregated mid-century America. In 2015, three young black women also pursue careers as ballerinas, and find that many of the same obstacles their predecessors faced are still evident in the ballet world today.
Mon. 2/20 at 7pm on Ch. 9.1
Fri. 2/24 at 10pm on Ch. 5.1
Learn more here

INDEPENDENT LENS: A Ballerina's Tale

Explore the rise of Misty Copeland, who made history as the first African-American female principal dancer with the prestigious American Ballet Theater (ABT). Get an intimate look at this groundbreaking dancer during a crucial period in her life.
Mon. 2/20 at 9pm on Ch. 9.1
Watch the trailer here

AMERICAN MASTERS: Maya Angelou - And Still I Rise

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 - Featuring new interviews with Oprah Winfrey, Common, the Clintons and others.
Tues. 2/21 at 7pm on Ch. 5.1
Sun. 2/26 at 8pm on Ch. 9.1
Learn more here


Over Three Nights! Beginning with Africa’s ancient history as the cradle of mankind, this documentary series with Henry Louis Gates, Jr. brings to life the epic stories of both little-known and celebrated African kingdoms and cultures.
Mon. 2/27 at 8pm on Ch. 5.1
Wed. 3/1 at 8pm on Ch. 5.1
Thus. 3/2 at 8pm on Ch. 5.1
Watch the trailer here

JACKIE ROBINSON (A Film by Ken Burns)

Examine the life and times of Jack Roosevelt Robinson, who in 1947 lifted a nation and an entire race on his shoulders when he crossed baseball’s color line. Ken Burns reveals fascinating stories about the legend’s life on and off the field.
Mon. & Tues., 2/27 & 2/28 at 7pm on Ch. 9.1
Watch the trailer here

AMERICAN MASTERS: B.B. King - The Life of Riley

Explore B.B. King'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.
Mon. 2/27 at 9pm on Ch. 9.1
Watch the trailer here