A group of Black women in college graduation garb pose for a picture. | From "Independent Lens: Tell Them We Are Rising"

Tell Them We Are Rising: The Story of Black Colleges and Universities

"Tell Them We Are Rising: The Story of Black Colleges and Universities" is a documentary and interactive project that explores the pivotal role historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) have played in American history, culture, and national identity. Today, over half of all African American professionals are graduates of HBCUs. More than 50 percent of the nation's African American public school teachers and 70 percent of African American dentists earned degrees at HBCUs. The film brings to a broad national audience for the first time the story of HBCUs and the power of higher education to transform lives and advance civil rights and equality in the face of intolerance and injustice.

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Full Episodes

Upcoming Airdates


Leading up to the 2018 midterm elections in the heart of the Midwest, three women take on entrenched local political networks in their fight to reshape politics on their own terms.

  • 2020-10-31T16:00:00-07:00

Conscience Point

A golf club built atop a sacred burial ground triggers a woman's relentless fight to protect her tribe from the onslaughts of development.

  • 2020-11-07T15:00:00-08:00

Won't You Be My Neighbor?

Celebrate the legacy of icon Fred Rogers in a film from Academy Award winner Morgan Neville. Beamed daily into American homes, Rogers and his cast of puppets and friends spoke simply and directly to children about some of life's weightiest issues.

  • 2020-11-08T05:30:00-08:00


See how a group of Native and non-Native leaders in Maine came together to acknowledge and address the abuses suffered by Native children in the hands of the child welfare system, illuminating the ongoing crisis of indigenous child removal.

  • 2020-11-14T15:00:00-08:00

Jonathan Scott's Power Trip

Follow home renovation expert Jonathan Scott on his mission to flip the switch on how Americans access power. He travels the country and interviews a host of experts, and quickly learns how little choice the public has in how they source energy.

  • 2020-11-21T15:00:00-08:00