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Summer of Rockets

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Programming that Celebrates Black History Month all February

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FUN FACT: While Black History Month (also referred to as African-American History Month) has been celebrated in the U.S. since the 1970s, it started off as a history week in the 1920s, intended to coincide with the birthdays of Abraham Lincoln (Feb. 12) and Frederick Douglass (Feb. 14).

This month, both PBS SoCal and KCET will broadcast and stream programs that honor the history, events, and sacrifices of generations of African Americans.


charley pride
Image from American Masters: Charley Pride: I’m Just Me

AUSTIN CITY LIMITS: Buddy Guy/August Green
Saturday, February 2, 2019, 11:00 p.m.

Thrill to an hour of blues and hip-hop with Buddy Guy and August Greene. Blues legend Guy plays hits and songs from his latest album, "The Blues is Alive and Well." Hip-hop supergroup August Greene performs songs from its self-titled debut.

INDEPENDENT LENS: Black Memorabilia
Monday, February 4, 10:00 p.m.

From the South to Brooklyn to China, meet the people who reproduce, consume and reclaim black memorabilia, racially-charged objects often wrapped in the protective embrace of antiquity and historical preservation. Directed by Chico Colvard.
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Tuesday Feb. 5 8:00 p.m.

Host Henry Louis Gates, Jr. delves deep into the roots of two African American guests, actor S. Epatha Merkerson and athlete and television personality Michael Strahan. Both discover unexpected stories that challenge assumptions about black history.
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Friday, February 8, 9:00 p.m.

Meet Nya, an inner-city teacher desperate to save her son, in Dominique Morisseau’s riveting and critically acclaimed new play. When her son gets in trouble at school, Nya must confront his rage and her choices, and try to reach him before he gets pulled away forever. Co-produced by BroadwayHD. (Not available for streaming.)
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INDEPENDENT LENS: Hale County This Morning, This Evening
Monday, February 11, 10:00 p.m.

Visit the world of Hale County, Alabama. Composed of intimate and unencumbered moments in the lives of people in the community, the film offers a richly detailed glimpse at life in America’s Black Belt. Directed by RaMell Ross.
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AMERICAN MASTERS: Sammy Davis, Jr.: I’ve Gotta Be Me
Tuesday, February 19, 9:00 p.m.

Explore the entertainer’s vast talent and journey for identity through the shifting tides of civil rights and racial progress during 20thcentury America. Features new interviews with Billy Crystal, Norman Lear, Jerry Lewis, Whoopi Goldberg and Kim Novak, and clips from Davis’ TV, film and concert performances. Directed by Sam Pollard.
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AMERICAN MASTERS Charley Pride: I’m Just Me
Friday, February 22, 9:00 p.m.

Explore the complicated history of the American South and its music through the life of country star Charley Pride. Raised in segregated Mississippi, his journey shows the ways that artistic expression can triumph over prejudice and injustice. Directed by Barbara J. Hall.
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1964 the fight for a right
Image from 1964: The Fight for a Right

Redeeming Uncle Tom: The Josiah Henson Story
Tuesday, February 5, 10 p.m.

Actor Danny Glover narrates this story of Josiah Henson, the real-life inspiration for Uncle Tom in Harriet Beecher Stowe’s classic 1852 novel, which has been recognized as one of the sparks that ignited the Civil War. 

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An Evening with Ken Chenault
Tuesday, February 12, 10 p.m.

This special is a one-on-one interview with former American Express CEO Ken Chenault conducted by sportscaster James Brown. The program will pay tribute to Chenault’s extraordinary life and career and reviews his early professional years as a lawyer and consultant, as well as his nearly forty-year career at American Express.

Backs Against the Wall: The Howard Thurman Story
Tuesday, February 19, 10 p.m.

The documentary is a chronicle of the extraordinary life of Theologian Howard Thurman, a poet and “mystic” who used religious expression to help ignite sweeping social change. Born the grandson of slaves in segregated Daytona, Florida, he went on to become one of the great spiritual and religious pioneers of the 20th century, whose words and influence continue to echo today. His landmark book was the first to state that Jesus Christ – who was born in poverty as part of a powerless minority – lived a life that spoke directly to black Americans.
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1964: The Fight for A Right
Tuesday, February 26, 10 p.m.

By the mid-twentieth century, Mississippi’s African Americans had suffered from nearly 75 years of slavery by another name – Jim Crow discrimination. In 1964 in Mississippi, people died in an effort to force the state to allow African Americans to exercise their constitutional right to vote. Although, the 50th anniversary of Freedom Summer has passed, the struggle for voting rights is still pertinent.
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