Elevating Black Stories
- Posted by
- Arkansas PBS
Arkansas PBS is elevating Black stories all year long with local features as well as national programming, highlighting those stories. From new features to Emmy-award-winning stories, Arkansas PBS has plenty of content to show all year long.
"Dr. Terrence Roberts: A Conversation About 'The U.S. and the Holocaust'"
In late 2022, Arkansas PBS sat down with Terrance Roberts to discuss his role as a member of the Little Rock Nine, growing up in the Jim Crow South, his father's and other African Americans' experiences during World War II, life after Central High School, and the documentary film “The U.S. and the Holocaust.”
"Arkansas PBS Sports - Returning Home: Cedric Houston"
Cedric Houston, former New York Jets running back and Clarendon High School graduate, returned home to the Delta to coach kids, at his alma mater, who needs role models. “Returning Home: Cedric Houston” focuses on the impact his record and accomplishments have had to inspire his community and the students now that he’s back.
"AR PBS Sports - Pippen's Court: UCA Renames Court for One of NBA's Greats"
From the small town of Hamburg, Arkansas, to the University of Central Arkansas and, ultimately, the NBA, Scottie Pippen journeyed to become regarded as one of the greatest basketball players who ever lived. In 2021, UCA honored Pippen by renaming the Farris Center court in his honor. Relive the moment and highlights from Scottie Pippen’s time at the university in this Mid-America Emmy Award-winning Arkansas PBS feature.
"Dream Land: Little Rock's West 9th Street"
“Dream Land: Little Rock’s West 9th Street” is an Arkansas PBS-original program that tells the story of the once-vibrant West 9th Street, which stands as the living witness of the street’s former glory days. Throughout the 1920s and 1930s, Taborian Hall housed varied and important Black businesses, including professional offices, a USO, the Gem Pharmacy and the Dreamland Ballroom. The spirit and hard work of the people and the implications of federal programs such as Urban Renewal, school desegregation, the Housing Act of 1949 and the Eisenhower Interstate Program are explored. “Dream Land: Little Rock’s West 9th Street” airs at 7 p.m., Feb. 2, and re-airs at 11 p.m., Feb. 5.
Arkansas PBS has further content on demand featuring Black stories on YouTube within the “Black Stories” playlist, including “Healing the Divide: Race Relations in Arkansas” and numerous features at events and talks.
"American Experience - Zora Neale Hurston: Claiming a Space"
Raised in the small all-Black Florida town of Eatonville, Zora Neale Hurston studied at Howard University before arriving in New York in 1925. She would soon become a key figure of the Harlem Renaissance, best remembered for her novel, “Their Eyes Were Watching God”. But even as she gained renown in the Harlem literary circles, Hurston was also discovering anthropology at Barnard College with the renowned Franz Boas. She would make several trips to the American South and the Caribbean, documenting the lives of rural Black people and collecting their stories. She studied her own people, an unusual practice at the time, and during her lifetime became known as the foremost authority on Black folklore. American Experience’s “Zora Neale Hurston: Claiming a Space” premieres Jan. 17 at 8 p.m.
"American Masters: Roberta Flack"
“American Masters: Roberta Flack” follows the music icon from a piano lounge through her rise to stardom. From “First Time Ever I Saw Your Face” to “Killing Me Softly,” Flack’s virtuosity was inseparable from her commitment to civil rights. Detailing her story in her own words, the film features exclusive access to Flack’s archives and interviews with Rev. Jesse Jackson, Peabo Bryson and more. "American Masters: Roberta Flack" premieres Jan. 24 at 8 p.m.
"Fight the Power: How Hip Hop Changed the World"
“Fight the Power: How Hip Hop Changed the World” explores hip hop’s political awakening over the last 50 years. With a host of rap stars and cultural commentators, Chuck D of Public Enemy tracks hip hop’s socially conscious roots. From The Message to Fight the Power 2020, he examines how hip hop has become “the Black CNN.”
“Fight the Power: How Hip Hop Changed the World: Episode 1” airs at 8 p.m. Jan. 31.
“Fight the Power: How Hip Hop Changed the World: Episode 2” airs at 8 p.m. Feb. 7.
“Fight the Power: How Hip Hop Changed the World: Episode 3” airs at 8 p.m. Feb. 14.
“Fight the Power: How Hip Hop Changed the World: Episode 4” airs at 8 p.m. Feb. 21.
"NOVA: Star Chasers of Senegal"
In “NOVA: Star Chasers of Senegal,” a NASA spacecraft named Lucy blasts off from Cape Canaveral on a mission to the Trojans, a group of asteroids over 400 million miles from earth thought to hold important clues about the origins of our solar system. Just hours before, in Senegal, West Africa, a team of scientists sets out to capture extraordinarily precise observations vital to the success of the Lucy mission – crucial data needed to help NASA navigate Lucy to its asteroid targets across millions of miles of space. The team’s leader, Senegalese astronomer Maram Kaire, takes viewers on a journey to investigate his nation’s rich and deep history of astronomy, reaching back thousands of years – and the promising future ahead. “NOVA: Star Chasers of Senegal” premieres Feb. 8 at 9 p.m. and re-airs at 2:30 p.m., Feb. 10.
"Great Performances: Magic of Spirituals"
Glimpse behind the curtain at opera legends Kathleen Battle and Jessye Norman’s famed concert at Carnegie Hall on March 18, 1990, featuring performance clips and new interviews with opera star Angel Blue, Met Opera General Manager Peter Gelb and more in “Great Performances: Magic of Spirituals.” “Great Performances: Magic of Spirituals” premieres Feb. 24 at 8 p.m.
See It Again
"American Masters - Charley Pride: It's Just Me"
Starting Feb. 1, Arkansas PBS will feature “American Masters - Charley Pride: It’s Just Me.” “American Masters” explores the complicated history of the American South and its music through the life of country star Charley Pride, who was raised in segregated Mississippi. Pride’s journey shows the ways that artistic expression can triumph over prejudice and injustice. See Pride’s story unfold at 3:30 p.m. Feb. 1.
"Making Black America: Through the Grapevine"
“Making Black America: Through the Grapevine” is a four-part series hosted by Henry Louis Gates, Jr., that chronicles the vast social networks and organizations created by and for Black people — beyond the reach of the “white gaze.” Professor Gates sits with noted scholars, politicians, cultural leaders and old friends to discuss this world behind the color line and what it looks like today.
“Making Black America: Through the Grapevine - Episode 1” airs at 8 p.m., Feb. 3 and re-airs at 3:30 p.m., Feb. 8.
“Making Black America: Through the Grapevine - Episode 2” airs at 9 p.m., Feb. 3 and re-airs at 4:30 p.m., Feb. 8.
“Making Black America: Through the Grapevine - Episode 3” airs at 8 p.m., Feb. 10 and re-airs at 3:30 p.m., Feb. 15.
“Making Black America: Through the Grapevine - Episode 4” airs at 9 p.m., Feb. 10 and re-airs 4:30 p.m., Feb. 15.
"Making Black America: Through the Grapevine" will also be shown throughout various screenings in February and March at Philander Smith College as part of the Philander Forward film screening series. Updates and additional information will be available at myarkansaspbs.org/events.
“Antiques Roadshow: Celebrating Black Americana” honors Black History Month with a special episode with highlights including an 1821 U.S. citizenship certificate for George Barker, a free man of color and an African American beauty book written by Madam C.J. Walker, the first American female millionaire. “Antique Roadshow: Celebrating Black Americana” airs at 8 p.m., Feb. 6 and re-airs at 3:30 p.m., Feb. 7.
"American Masters - Sammy Davis Jr.: I've Gotta Be Me"
Following “Antique Roadshow: Celebrating Black Americana” on Feb. 6 is “American Masters - Sammy Davis Jr.: I’ve Gotta Be Me.” The "American Masters" feature is the first major film documentary that examines Sammy Davis Jr.’s talent and his journey for identity through the changing tides of civil rights and racial progress during 20th century America. “American Masters - Sammy Davis Jr.: I’ve Gotta Be Me” airs at 9 p.m., Feb. 6.
"Secrets of the Dead: The Woman in the Iron Coffin"
“Secrets of the Dead: The Woman in the Iron Coffin” follows a team of forensic experts as they investigate the preserved remains of a young African American woman from 19th century New York and reveal the little-known story of early America’s free Black communities. “Secrets of the Dead: The Woman in the Iron Coffin” airs Feb. 8 at 9 p.m. and re-airs at 3:30 p.m. Feb. 10.
"Just a Mortal Man: The Jerry Lawson Story"
Jerry Lawons was the original lead singer of the legendary a cappella group The Percussions, first discovered by Frank Zappa in the early 70s. “Just a Mortal Man: The Jerry Lawson Story” follows Jerry Lawson’s story of his 40-year career with The Percussions, where they recorded 24 albums, toured internationally and sang alongside Ray Charles, Stevie Wonder, Paul Simon and Joni Mitchell among others. “Just a Mortal Man: The Jerry Lawson Story” airs Feb. 13 at 9 p.m.
"American Experience: Freedom Riders"
“American Experience: Freedom Riders” is a two-hour documentary based on Raymond Arsenault’s book “Freedom Riders: 1961 and the Struggle for Racial Justice.” “Freedom Riders” follows the inspirational story of more than 400 Black and white Americans risking their lives for six months for traveling together on buses and trains as they journeyed through the Deep South. American Experience’s “Freedom Riders” airs Feb. 22 at 3 p.m.
"NOVA: Forgotten Genius"
See how - against all odds - African American chemist Percy Julian became one of the great scientists of the 20th century in NOVA’s “Forgotten Genius.” The grandson of enslaved people from Alabama, Dr. Percy Julian met with every possible barrier in a deeply racist and segregated America. As one of the first Black chemists, he fought to make a place for himself in a profession and country divided by bigotry. At the height of his career, Dr. Julian had reached unparalleled levels of scientific and personal achievement, overcoming countless obstacles to become a world-class scientist, a self-made millionaire and a civil rights pioneer. “NOVA: Forgotten Genius” airs Feb. 24 at 3:30 p.m.
Arkansas PBS’s on-demand “Black Stories” playlist can be found on YouTube at youtube.com/arkansaspbs.
Learn about the Philander Forward film screening series and when you can join us at myarpbs.org/PhilanderForwardFilmSeriesSpring2022.
American Experience’s “Zora Neale Hurston: Claiming a Space” premieres Jan. 17 at 8 p.m.
“American Masters: Roberta Flack” premieres Jan. 24 at 8 p.m.
“Fight the Power: How Hip Hop Changed the World” airs Tuesdays, Jan. 31-Feb. 24, at 8 each night.
“Dream Land: Little Rock’s West 9th Street” airs Feb. 2 at 7 p.m.
“NOVA: Star Chasers of Senegal” premieres Feb. 8 at 9 p.m. and re-airs at 2:30 p.m., Feb. 10.
“Great Performances: Magic of Spirituals” premieres Feb. 24 at 8 p.m.
See our full and most recently updated schedule anytime at myarkansapsbs.org/schedule.