KCET is honoring Black History Month in February by premiering several programs that celebrate how African Americans have shaped the nation's history. From spotlighting a defining moment from the Civil Rights Movement to a look at a historic college basketball game, these documentaries delve deep into the rich history of African Americans in the United States.
Click here for articles and videos from over the years about African American culture, society, history, and identity.
Here's the full schedule:
STAND! Untold Stories of the Civil Rights Movement
Wednesday, February 4 at 9 p.m.
This film chronicles the key events that led Martin Luther King, Jr. and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference to select Birmingham, Ala. as the site for the now famous "Project C" (Project Confrontation) in 1963. Bringing to light often overlooked and unknown facts about the system of segregation in Birmingham, the film features the brave men and women who risked everything to bring about its demise. It also dispels the many myths that the Civil Rights movement was all black, exclusively male, and led by ministers who rallied in 1963 and liberated a city.
One Night in March
Wednesday, February 11 at 10:30 p.m.
This award-winning film tells the story of a historic college basketball game that captured the national imagination, influenced a state, and helped redefine a sport. Interviews, rare footage, and archival photos transport viewers back to a tumultuous time in U.S. history, just as the Civil Rights movement began gaining momentum throughout the South.
In the late 1950s and early 60s, Mississippi State University's powerhouse basketball program earned several conference titles and national rankings. Despite their success, the Bulldogs could not play in the NCAA national championship due to an unwritten rule prohibiting all-white Mississippi collegiate athletic teams from competing against integrated teams. Mississippi State's president, its head basketball coach, and their players ultimately risked their safety and their futures by defying this rule, as well as the governor and state legislature, in pursuit of a national championship.
This documentary recounts the 1962-1963 season and the events leading up to the team playing in the tournament against the integrated Loyola University (Chicago) club. The film concludes with a return trip to Loyola, where former players reunite and celebrate the landmark game they participated in 50 years earlier.
Wessyngton Plantation: A Family's Road to Freedom
Wednesday, February 18 at 10:30 p.m.
As a child, author John F. Baker, Jr. was mysteriously drawn to a photo of Robertson County slaves in his middle school textbook. When his grandmother explained that he was looking at his great-grandparents, he became obsessed with their story. The culmination of more than 30 years of research, his 2008 book -- "The Washingtons of Wessyngton Plantation" -- details the lives of hundreds of his family members.
Baker spent decades combing through countless family and state archives, researching birth and death records, and conducting dozens of interviews with relatives and historians. This moving exploration of family ties brings to life a story of pain and perseverance.
The Editor and the Dragon: Horace Carter Fights the Klan
Wednesday, February 25 at 10:30 p.m.
Narrated by Oscar-winning actor Morgan Freeman, "The Editor and The Dragon" tells the story of Pulitzer Prize-winning publisher Horace Carter (1921-2009) and his bold reporting on the Ku Klux Klan in the pre-Civil Rights era. Carter, the 29-year-old editor of the weekly Tabor City Tribune, stood against the Klan and risked his life, livelihood, friendships, and family's safety to protest the Klan's racist rhetoric and vigilantism.
His courageous reports and the unwavering integrity of his weekly editorials led to the first FBI investigation of the Klan during that era, and to the arrest and conviction of nearly 100 Klansmen. Archival footage and interviews with Carter, his family, Tabor City, N.C. residents, journalists, and historians help piece together this dark chapter in American history.
This documentary will also stream online until late 2017.