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PBS reveals Black History Month slate

American pubcaster PBS has unveiled its slate of programming commemorating Black History Month. Beyond linear broadcast, PBS Digital Studios will launch Say It Loud on YouTube and Facebook Watch in February. The ...
January 10, 2019

American pubcaster PBS has unveiled its slate of programming commemorating Black History Month.

Beyond linear broadcast, PBS Digital Studios will launch Say It Loud on YouTube and Facebook Watch in February. The series is hosted by YouTube sensations Evelyn Ngugi of “Evelyn from the Internets” and Azie Dungey, Emmy-nominated writer and creator of “Ask a Slave,” and explores Black American culture and its impact on broader communities and trends. Say It Loud is produced in partnership with KLRU-TV in Austin, Texas.

Linear programming will cover a broad range of series and specials, including new and returning content. The full list of Black History Month non-fiction programming is below:

  • Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates, Jr. (season 5) airs Tuesdays starting Jan. 8 at 8 p.m. ET/PT. Harvard scholar Henry Louis Gates, Jr. uncovers the surprising ancestral stories of 25 cultural trailblazers including Michael Strahan, S. Epatha Merkerson, Kehinde Wiley, Michael K. Williams, Joe Madison and more.
  • Austin City Limits: Buddy Guy/August Green airs Feb. 2 at 11 p.m. ET/PT. Blues legend Buddy Guy and hip-hop supergroup August Green perform songs from their latest albums.
  • ‘Independent Lens’: Black Memorabilia airs Feb. 4 at 10 p.m. Et/PT. Director Chico Colvard explores the world of people who reproduce, consume and reclaim black memorabilia.
  • ‘Independent Lens’: Hale County This Morning, This Evening airs Feb. 11 at 10 p.m. ET/PT. Director RaMell Ross explores the lives of those living in Hale County, Alabama, called America’s “Black Belt.”
  • ‘American Masters’: Sammy Davis, Jr.: I’ve Gotta Be Me airs Feb 19 at 9 p.m. ET/PT. Director Sam Pollard looks at the life and legacy of musician, actor and comedian Sammy Davis Jr., featuring interviews with Billy Crystal, Norman Lear, Jerry Lewis, Whoopi Goldberg and Kim Novak.
  • ‘American Masters’: Charley Pride: I’m Just Me airs Feb. 22 at 9 p.m. ET/PT. Director Barbara J. Hall explores racism and music through the life and career of country star Charley Pride.
  • Reconstruction: America After the Civil War airs April 9 and 16 at 9 p.m. ET/PT. Henry Louis Gates, Jr. explores American history after the Civil War.
  • ‘Independent Lens’: Charm City airs April 22 at 10 p.m. ET/PT. Director Marilyn Ness brings together Baltimore citizens, police and government officials as they cope with the consequences of three years of unparalleled violence.
  • Boss: The Black Experience in Business airs April 23 at 8 p.m. ET/PT. Acclaimed filmmaker Stanley Nelson explores the history of African American entrepreneurship.

PBS will also air encore presentations of past programs throughout February as part of its Black History Month slate. These are Antiques Roadshow: Celebrating Black Americana (Feb. 4 at 9 p.m. ET/PT), ‘American Masters’: Maya Angelou: And Still I Rise (Feb. 4) and Breaking Big: Danai Gurira (Feb. 8 at 10:30 p.m. ET/PT).

All programs will be made available for streaming following their broadcast on all station-branded PBS platforms, including PBS.org, PBS Black Culture Connection and the PBS Video App.

“PBS has long had an appreciation of Black history and culture, but Say It Loud is the first series developed for online audiences specifically interested in celebratory cultural content,” said Brandon Arolfo, senior director, PBS Digital Studios, in a statement. “We’re lucky to work with this talented group of women to create a funny, authentic and enlightening series that will ignite an inspirational online community and extend the PBS Digital Studios brand to new, diverse audiences.”

“PBS always strives to produce content that will enhance our audience’s knowledge of history and culture,” added Perry Simon, PBS chief programming executive and general manager of general audience programming. “We are pleased to highlight the African American stories and contributions on and behind the screen in our lineup this February and beyond, and trust that the viewers will find these programs engaging and inspiring.”

About The Author
Senior staff writer Frederick Blichert comes to realscreen with a background as a journalist and freelance film critic. He has previously written for VICE, Paste Magazine, Senses of Cinema, Xtra, Canadian Cinematographer and elsewhere. He holds a Master of Arts in film studies from Carleton University and a Master of Journalism from the University of British Columbia.

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