WSKG celebrates the achievements of African Americans all year, but since official recognition by the U.S. Government in 1976, there’s been a special focus each February. In 1976, President Gerald Ford encouraged all Americans to “seize the opportunity to honor the too-often neglected accomplishments of black Americans in every area of endeavor throughout our history.”
Here are some of WSKG’s special programs for Black History Month:
MUHAMMAD ALI – Round Two: What’s My Name? (1964-1970)
Friday, Feb 4 – 9:00 p.m.
Cassius Clay publicly joins the Nation of Islam and takes the name Muhammad Ali. When he refuses induction into the Army, he is stripped of his title and forced into exile. After three years, he returns to the ring, but he’s lost a step.
MUHAMMAD ALI – Round Three: The Rivalry (1970-1974)
Friday, Feb 11 – 9:00 p.m.
Muhammad Ali battles his fiercest rival, Joe Frazier, and the U.S. government, as he attempts to regain the heavyweight title. He first loses to and then defeats Frazier, but to become champion again, he will have to beat George Foreman.
MUHAMMAD ALI – Round Four: The Spell Remains (1974-2016)
Friday, Feb 18 – 9:00 p.m.
Muhammad Ali shocks the world by defeating George Foreman, winning back the heavyweight title and becoming the most famous man on earth. After retiring in 1981, he travels the world spreading his Islamic faith, and becomes a symbol of peace and hope.
Tuesdays in February – Finding Your Roots
FINDING YOUR ROOTS – “Fighters”
Tue, Feb 8 – 8:00 p.m.
Henry Louis Gates, Jr. sits down with Terry Crews and Tony Danza, both guests who overcame adversity, to discover they aren’t the first in their families to beat the odds through sheer force of will.
FINDING YOUR ROOTS – “Forgotten Journeys”
Tue, Feb 15 – 8:00 p.m.
Henry Louis Gates, Jr. helps John Leguizamo and Lena Waithe retrace the paths of their ancestors, uncovering crucial pieces of their own identities that were lost on the journey to America.
FINDING YOUR ROOTS – “Songs of the Past”
Tue, Feb 22 – 8:00 p.m.
Henry Louis Gates, Jr. accompanies Broadway stars Leslie Odom, Jr. and Nathan Lane as they meet a cast of inspiring ancestors hidden in the branches of their family trees.
FEB 7 | Independent Lens
Independent Lens – Owned: A Tale of Two Americas
Owned: A Tale of Two Americas weaves together the history of mid-century housing policy in America and the ramifications of the 2008 housing market collapse. In 2008, the U.S. housing market became the epicenter of an unprecedented global economic collapse. In the years since, protests in cities across the country have highlighted the stark racial disparities that define much of America. The crash of suburbia and urban unrest are not unrelated, the seeds of each germinated by the United States’ post-war housing policy. Over time, racist policies have created subcultures in our built environments that are inherently vulnerable and makes clear our society can’t continue to thrive in a segregated state. The stories of a retired New York City police officer, an eccentric Southern California realtor, and an ambitious real estate developer in Baltimore embody the promise of U.S. housing policies and the systematic oppression still plaguing many American cities. Ultimately, the communities created by the country’s housing history may have more in common than they expect.
FEB 7 | American Experience
American Experience – Riveted: The History of Jeans
Discover the fascinating story of this iconic American garment. From their roots in slavery to the Wild West, hippies, high fashion and hip-hop, jeans are the fabric on which the history of American ideology and politics are writ large.
FEB 8 | AMERICAN MASTERS
American Masters – Marian Anderson: The Whole World in Her Hands
Discover an international singer who captivated royalty in Europe and defied the conscience of 1939 America. Watch rare archival footage and hear audio recordings exploring her life and career from the Metropolitan Opera to the State Department.
FEB 11 | EXPRESSIONS (WSKG)
Expressions (WSKG) – Samite
Traditional African musician, Samite performs in front of a live studio audience and we visit his home studio to discuss his artistic journey from Africa to the Southern Tier of New York.
FEB 15 | AMERICAN EXPERIENCE
American Experience – The American Diplomat
Discover how three Black diplomats broke racial barriers at the US State Department during the Cold War. Asked to represent the best of American ideals abroad while facing discrimination at home, they left a lasting impact on the Foreign Service.
FEB 15 | FRONTLINE
Frontline – American Reckoning
An unsolved 1960s murder reveals an untold story of the civil rights movement and Black resistance. With Retro Report, the film draws on rarely seen footage filmed more than 50 years ago in Natchez, MS, and follows one family’s search for justice.
FEB 22 | AMERICA REFRAMED
Fannie Lou Hamer’s America: An America Reframed Special
Explore and celebrate the life of a fearless Mississippi sharecropper-turned-human-rights-activist and the injustices in America that made her work essential.
FEB 25 | Driving While Black: Race, Space and Mobility in America
Discover how the advent of the automobile brought new freedoms and new perils for African Americans on the road in this deep look into the dynamics of race, space and mobility in America over time.
Brian Frey interviewed Author and Professor Dr. Gretchen Sorin, Director and Distinguished Service Professor at the Cooperstown Graduate Program, part of the State University of New York College at Oneonta. Dr. Sorin wrote the book, Driving While Black: African American Travel and the Road to Civil Rights, which was the inspiration for the Ric Burns documentary.
FEB 5 | MLK – ACTIVISM AND THE ARTS
WNYC & Apollo Theater Present MLK – Activism and the Arts
6:00 p.m. Tune in 89.3fm WSKG