KCET Commemorates Black History Month with Seven Intriguing Documentaries Throughout February

 

BURBANK, CA - Jan. 22, 2014 - In honor of Black History Month, KCET, the nation's largest independent public television station serving Southern and Central California, will broadcast seven fascinating documentaries throughout February which showcase the many achievements of African Americans and their contributions throughout U.S. history.

 

The Education of Harvey Gantt - Tuesday, Feb. 4 at 10 p.m.

Even after the Supreme Court decided the landmark case Brown v. Board of Education in 1954, South Carolina's General Assembly passed numerous acts designed to maintain segregation in the state's schools, parks and other public facilities. On Jan. 28, 1963, a young black man named Harvey Gantt enrolled at Clemson College, becoming the first African American accepted to a white school in South Carolina. The Education of Harvey Gantt tells this pivotal, yet largely forgotten, story of desegregation. Narrated by Tony-winning actor Phylicia Rashad, this documentary features interviews with Gantt, distinguished scholars and civil rights veterans, and archival footage and reenactment illuminate the events leading up to Gantt's enrollment, the unfolding of entrance day and the impact of Clemson's integration on the state and the nation. In recounting this chapter of American civil rights history, this film illustrates how a determined young man, his family and his legal champions brought about permanent change.

 

Civic Life of Nathaniel Colley - Tuesday, Feb. 4 at 10:30 p.m.

Nathaniel Colley, one of Sacramento's earliest African American lawyers, spent 50 years shaping the course of American history. His passion for education and civil rights brought Colley together with John F. Kennedy, Lyndon Johnson, Rosa Parks, Edmund "Pat" Brown and Bill Clinton. This film discovers the achievements of this Sacramento-born advocate for justice and equality.

 

Meet Mary Pleasant - Friday, Feb. 7 at 8 p.m.

Meet Mary Pleasant, the 19th-century African American woman born a slave who became an international abolitionist, a prosperous entrepreneur, and a civil-rights activist who helped alter modern-day civil rights law. This unique award-winning documentary presents a colorful look at the unsung and daring 19th-century African American activist and entrepreneur Mary Ellen Pleasant, now called 'The Mother of Civil Rights in CA.' Narrated by actress Ruby Dee, Meet Mary Pleasant interweaves an acclaimed one-woman enactment with beautiful photo montages and expert commentary punctuated by live re-enactments and song.

 

Colored Frames - Sunday, Feb. 9 at 11 p.m.

Colored Frames reflects on the last 50 years in African American art by exploring the influences, inspirations and experiences of black artists. Beginning at the height of the Civil Rights Era and leading up to the present, this documentary provides a truthful, unflinching look at often-ignored artists and their progeny. Impressionistic video collages showcase the wide variety, both thematically and stylistically, of contemporary pieces of black artists working in the genres of illustration, abstraction and surrealism, among others. Colored Frames also chronicles the black artist's struggle for visibility and acceptance in mainstream art society as well as their experiences challenging assumptions about what constitutes "blackness," even within their own community.

 

Jesse Owens: Enduring Spirit - Friday, Feb. 14 at 8 p.m.

This is the story of Jesse Owens, the son of Alabama sharecroppers who became one of the most celebrated athletes in the world after winning four gold medals at the 1936 Berlin Olympics. Owens attended Ohio State University, where he ran track and shattered many collegiate records. Jesse Owens: Enduring Spirit reveals Owen's long relationship with Ohio State and looks at the significant impact Owens has made on the university as well as his influence on the world of sports.

 

Integrating Ole Miss: James Meredith and Beyond - Friday, Feb. 14 at 8:30 p.m.

This program presents the University of Mississippi (Ole Miss) as a microcosm for the Civil Rights Movement in the state and across the nation. In the midst of the Civil Rights Movement, James Meredith became the first black student to enroll at Ole Miss. His application created an uproar that made news around the world and culminated in a deadly riot and federal intervention. Fifty years later, the university is fully integrated and, in 2008, an international spotlight was once again on the university - this time, however, to cover a presidential debate that featured the man who would become America's first black president. From the status quo of 1960 to today, Ole Miss, like America, has grown and changed.

 

Building The Dream - Friday, Feb. 21 at 9 p.m.

Building the Dream recounts the journey of an idea for a national monument honoring Martin Luther King Jr. - from a group of friends talking around a kitchen table to the creation of this permanent symbol - to ensure King's Dream will remain alive for future generations. The film follows the 27-year project from inception to completion, from fundraising, design, and bureaucratic hurdles and shows the stones arriving on site and being moved into place. Featuring exclusive interviews from major political figures including Bill Clinton, Colin Powell, Andrew Young, John Lewis, John Warner, Connie Morella, John Sarbanes, as well as King family members, Building the Dream rejoices the creation of a dream manifested into a historic public memorial. 

 

ABOUT KCET

 

On-air, online and in the community, KCET plays a vital role in the cultural and educational enrichment of Southern and Central California. KCET offers a wide range of award-winning local programming as well as the finest public television programs from around the world. Throughout its 50-year history, KCET has won hundreds of major awards for its local and regional news and public affairs programming, its national drama and documentary productions, its quality educational family and children's programs, its outreach and community services and its website, kcet.org. KCET is a donor-supported community institution. For additional information about KCET productions, web-exclusive content, programming schedules and community events, please visit kcet.org. KCET is a service of KCETLink.

 

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