PBS broadcasts programming created by and about African Americans year-round, from public affairs to history to independent film to kids programming. For this year’s Black History Month, PBS programming commemorates the contributions of African Americans in music, literature, television and civil rights, providing an in-depth look at key figures and events that shaped black — and American — history.
Friday, February 6, 2015, 9:30-10:30 p.m.
In 1990, Morgan Freeman famously starred in a Wild West version of The Taming of the Shrew for Shakespeare in the Park in New York. Freeman sets out to understand how and why the play, one of the Bard’s first works, was written. Interviews include Tracey Ullman, Sinead Cusack and Julia Stiles.
Fridays, February 6, 2015, 10:30-11:30 p.m.
In 1997, David Harewood was the first black actor to play Othello on stage at the National Theatre in London. In this episode, he unravels the complex issues of prejudice and jealousy that are threaded throughout the play, as well as returning to the National to meet the most recent actor to take on the role at the theatre, Adrian Lester. Interviews include Simon Russell Beale, Ian McKellen, Julia Stiles and Patrick Stewart.
Monday, February 9, 2015, 8:00-9:00 p.m.
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.
Saturday, February 21, 2015, 10:00-11:30 p.m.
This is the story of the pioneering African-American photographers — men and women, celebrated and anonymous — who have recorded the lives and aspirations of generations, from slavery to the present. By Thomas Allen Harris.
Friday, February 20, 2015, 9:30-11:00 p.m.
From his roots as an activist and poet to his indelible mark on Broadway, this program captures the legacy of the man some call America’s Shakespeare. Film and theater luminaries such as James Earl Jones, Viola Davis, Phylicia Rashad, Laurence Fishburne, Charles Dutton and others share their stories of the career and experience of bringing Wilson’s rich theatrical voice to the stage. This film tells of his journey to the Great White Way, the triumphs and struggles along the path to such seminal works as Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, the Pulitzer Prize-winning Fences, Joe Turner’s Come and Gone, the Pulitzer Prize-winning The Piano Lesson, Two Trains Running and four others before his untimely death in 2005. Directed by Emmy-winner Samuel Pollard (When the Levees Broke: A Requiem in Four Acts; Slavery by Another Name).
Community Cinema at the KiMo Theatre – Free Screening!
INDEPENDENT LENS: American Denial
Monday, February 25, 2015, 7:00-9:00 p.m.
At the KiMo Theatre: 423 Central Ave NW, Albuquerque, NM.
“American Denial” uses the story of Gunnar Myrdal’s 1944 investigation of Jim Crow racism as a springboard to explore the power of unconscious biases and how the ideals of liberty, equality and justice still affect notions of race and class today. By Llewellyn Smith.
Saturday, February 28, 2015, 8:00-10:30 p.m.
Motown 25: Yesterday, Today, Forever debuted on NBC on May 16, 1983, and became an immediate sensation. The highlight that caused the most talk was Michael Jackson’s world premiere of the moonwalk (aka six seconds that changed the world) but Motown 25 had an abundance of buzzworthy moments—reunions by the Miracles, the Supremes and The Jackson 5; the first battle of the bands between The Temptations and Four Tops; and the hottest comedian in the world at the time, Richard Pryor, as host.