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Celebrate Black History Month 2021 with KCET and PBS SoCal

This February, PBS SoCal and KCET present an exciting programming slate in honor of Black History Month! Both stations will showcase a curated lineup of enlightening programs to bolster awareness and understanding of racial history in America. In a commitment to sharing diverse and inclusive stories, PBS SoCal and KCET will continue to roll out additional related digital content exploring Black History Month and the experience of Black Americans throughout the month of February.

Headlining this lineup is the two-part series “The Black Church: This Is Our Story, This Is Our Song,” hosted by Dr. Henry Louis Gates, Jr, that traces the 400-year-old story of the Black church in America.

For the full lineup, see below. For even more content related to Black History Month, check out the end of the programming list.

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Antiques Roadshow: Celebrating Black Americana
Monday, Feb. 1 at 9 p.m. on PBS SoCal

An 1821 U.S. citizenship certificate for a free man of color; beauty book by Madam C.J. Walker, the first American female millionaire; a trip to the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum. Watch Now with PBS Passport.

 

Hollywood’s Architect: The Paul R. Williams Story
Tuesday, Feb. 2 at 9 p.m. on PBS SoCal

Paul Revere Williams discusses a project with others at the site of the future LAX | Still from "Hollywood's Architect"

The special tells the story of African American architect Paul R. Williams as he defied the odds to become one of the most notable architects in history. Watch Now.

 

Artbound: How Sweet the Sound: Gospel in Los Angeles
Wednesday, Feb. 3 at 9 p.m. on KCET

Artists like James Cleveland and Aretha Franklin captured live recordings of the church experience of South Central and the voices and sentiment of the people coming together to give birth to a new gospel sound and the election of L.A.’ s first black mayor, Tom Bradley. Watch Now.

 

The Jazz Ambassadors
Wednesday, Feb. 3 at 10 p.m. on KCET

Louis Armstrong and his wife Lucille pose in front of the Sphinx near Cairo, Egypt in 1961.

Discover how the Cold War and Civil Rights movement collided when America asked Dizzy Gillespie, Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington and Benny Goodman to travel as cultural ambassadors and combat racially charged Soviet propaganda through their music. Watch Now.

 

Lost L.A.: Paul Revere Williams
Thursday, Feb. 4 at 6 p.m. on KCET

African-American architect Paul Revere Williams contributed to some of the city’s most recognizable civic structures — all while confronting racial barriers. Watch Now.

 

Lost L.A.: Shindana Toy Company
Thursday, Feb. 4 at 6:30 p.m. on KCET

A look at the lasting impact of one Operation Bootstrap initiatives, the Shindana Toy Company, which left a lasting mark on the American doll industry by manufacturing ethnically correct black dolls. Watch Now.

 

In Their Own Words: Muhammad Ali
Thursday, Feb. 4 at 7 p.m. on PBS SoCal

Follow Muhammad Ali’s rise from Columbia Gym in Louisville, Kentucky to international fame, as he transcended his great athletic achievements to become one of the most influential Americans of his time. Watch Now with PBS Passport.

 

American Masters: Charley Pride – I’m Just Me
Thursday, Feb. 4 at 8 p.m. on PBS SoCal

Trailblazing country music star Charley Pride in an early RCA promotional photo.

Trace the improbable journey of Charley Pride, from his humble beginnings as a sharecropper’s son on a cotton farm in segregated Sledge, Mississippi to his career as a Negro American League baseball player and his meteoric rise as a trailblazing country music superstar. Watch Preview.

 

Jazz: Swing – Pure Pleasure
Thursday, Feb. 4, 18 and 25 at 9 p.m. on PBS SoCal

As the Great Depression drags on, jazz comes as close as it has ever come to being America’s popular music. From prolific documentary filmmaker Ken Burns. Watch Now.

 

Dave Chappelle: The Kennedy Center Mark Twain Prize
Thursday, Feb. 4 at 10:30 p.m. on PBS SoCal
Friday, Feb. 5 at 10 p.m. on KCET

An outstanding lineup of entertainers gathers in the Kennedy Center Concert Hall to salute Dave Chappelle, recipient of the 22nd annual Mark Twain Prize for American Humor. Watch Now with PBS Passport.

 

American Experience: The Murder of Emmett Till
Saturday, Feb. 6 at 7 p.m. on KCET

The murder and the trial that horrified the nation and the world. Till’s death was a spark that helped mobilize the Civil Rights movement. Watch Now with PBS Passport.

 

Masterpiece: The Long Song
Sunday, Feb. 7 and Feb. 14 at 10 p.m. on PBS SoCal

A Black woman holds up a baby in her arms in a field.

Tamara Lawrance and Hayley Atwell star in this three-part miniseries based on Andrea Levy’s award-winning novel about the end of slavery in Jamaica. Watch Preview.

 

American Experience: Goin’ Back to T-Town
Monday, Feb. 8 at 9 p.m. on PBS SoCal
Saturday, Feb. 13 at 7 p.m. on KCET

The story of Greenwood, an extraordinary Black community in Tulsa, Oklahoma, that prospered during the 1920s and 30s despite rampant and hostile segregation. Watch Preview.

 

Artbound: The Watts Towers Arts Center
Sunday, Feb. 14 at 5 p.m. on KCET

The Watts Towers Arts Center was founded by artists and educators in the 1960s and has been a beacon of art and culture in the community for decades. This episode features the work of artists including Noah Purifoy, John Outterbridge, Betye Saar, Charles White and Mark Steven Greenfield. Watch Now.

 

American Experience: Voice of Freedom
Monday, Feb. 15 at 9 p.m. on PBS SoCal
Saturday, Feb. 20 at 6 p.m. on KCET

Marian Anderson in San Francisco, California. Feb 10, 1941.

In 1939, after being barred from performing at Constitution Hall because she was Black, Marian Anderson triumphed at the Lincoln Memorial in what became a landmark moment in American history.

 

Josephine Baker: The Story of an Awakening
Monday, Feb. 15 at 10 p.m. on PBS SoCal
Wednesday, Feb. 10 at 10 p.m. on KCET

Baker, born into poverty in Missouri in 1906, moved to France where she became a dancer hailed as the Queen of Paris, joined the French Resistance and became a civil rights activist.

 

Finding Your Roots: Write My Name in the Book of Life
Tuesday, Feb. 16 at 8 p.m. on PBS SoCal

Dr. Henry Louis Gates, Jr. helps musician Pharrell Williams and filmmaker Kasi Lemmons uncover extraordinarily rare first-person accounts of their enslaved ancestors.

 

The Black Church: This Is Our Story, This Is Our Song – Part One
Tuesday, Feb. 16 and Feb. 23 at 9 p.m. on PBS SoCal
Sunday, Feb. 21 at 6 p.m. on KCET

Host of "The Black Church" Henry Louis Gates Jr. poses with actress Jennifer Hudson.

Dr. Henry Louis Gates, Jr. takes viewers on a two-part journey through the rich and complex history of the Black Church to reveal how this uniquely American institution has influenced nearly every chapter of the African American story. Part One 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. Watch Preview.

 

American Masters: Maya Angelou
Wednesday, Feb. 17 at 9 p.m. on KCET

The story of iconic writer, poet, actress and activist Maya Angelou whose life intersected some of the most significant moments in the recent history of the United States of America. Watch Now.

 

Driving While Black: Race, Space and Mobility in America
Friday, Feb. 19 at 9 p.m. on PBS SoCal

Discover how the advent of the car brought African Americans new freedom but also dangers. Watch Now.

 

Independent Lens: Mr. Soul!
Monday, Feb. 22 at 10 p.m. on PBS SoCal

Ellis Haizlip with the J.C. White Singers on the set of "SOUL!"

In 1968 Ellis Haizlip created the groundbreaking PBS series “Soul!,” which became one of the most culturally significant television shows in U.S. history. “Mr. SOUL!” delves into this critical moment in television history. Featuring performances from music legends like Earth Wind and Fire, Al Green, Patti LaBelle and Stevie Wonder, and interviews with Muhammad Ali, James Baldwin and more. Watch Preview.

 

The Black Church: This Is Our Story, This Is Our Song – Part Two
Tues., Feb. 23 at 9 p.m. on PBS SoCal
Sun., Feb. 28 at 6 p.m. on KCET

Dr. Henry Louis Gates, Jr. takes viewers on a two-part journey through the rich and complex history of the Black Church to reveal how this uniquely American institution has influenced nearly every chapter of the African American story. Part Two follows the Black church as it expanded its reach to address social inequality and minister to those in need, from the Jim Crow South to the heroic phase of the civil rights movement and the Black church’s role in the present. Watch Preview.

 

American Masters: Lorraine Hansberry
Wed., Feb. 24 at 8 p.m. on KCET

Explore the inner life and works of the activist, playwright and author of A Raisin in the Sun, Lorraine Hansberry. Narrated by actress LaTanya Richardson Jackson and featuring the voice of Tony Award-winning actress Anika Noni Rose as Hansberry. Watch Now.

 

Great Performances: Twilight – Los Angeles
Wednesday, Feb. 24 at 10 p.m. on KCET

Anna Deavere Smith’s riveting theatrical account of the 1992 riots from multiple points of view continues to reverberate powerfully within the context of today’s current events. Watch Now.

 

Rising from the Rails: The Story of the Pullman Porter
Saturday, Feb. 27 at 7 p.m. on KCET

This film explores the little-known history of the African American men hired to work on railroad sleeping cars beginning in the late 1860s. Watch Preview.

 

For more content related to Black History Month, click the links below.

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