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.
WSKG TV | Black History Month on PBS
WSKG TV | Rise of the Black Pharaohs
Around 800 BC, Kush, a little-known subject state of Egypt, rose up and conquered Egypt, enthroned its own Pharaohs and ruled for nearly 100 years. This unlikely chapter of history has been buried by the Egyptians and was belittled by early archaeologists, who refused to believe that dark-skinned Africans could have risen so high. Now, in the heart of Sudan, archeologists are finding indisputable evidence of an advanced African society with powerful armies, vast reach and spiritually-driven imperial aspirations to rival the Egyptians’. Wednesday, February 3 at 10pm on WSKG TV.
WSQX radio | Going Black: The Legacy of Philly Soul Radio
A look at the legacy of Black radio, with a special focus on the legendary WDAS in Philadelphia. It’s actually the story of a music that would have gone undiscovered, of Civil Rights and progress in the African-American community, and of how the radio medium has changed in the last century. Hosted by legendary Sound of Philadelphia (TSOP) music producer and Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Kenny Gamble . www.mightyradio.org. Saturday, February 6 at noon on WSQX radio.
WSKG TV | Independent Lens: A Ballerina’s Tale
Explore the rise of Misty Copeland, who made history as the first African-American female principal dancer with the prestigious American Ballet Theater. Get an intimate look at this groundbreaking dancer during a crucial period in her life. Monday, February 8 at 10pm on WSKG TV.
WSKG TV | American Masters: B. B. King
Explore B.B. King’s challenging life and career through candid interviews with the “King of the Blues,” filmed shortly before his death, and fellow music stars, including Bono, Bonnie Raitt, Carlos Santana, Eric Clapton, John Mayer, and Ringo Starr. Friday, February 12, 9pm on WSKG TV.
WSKG TV | Independent Lens – The Powerbroker: Whitney Young’s Fight for Civil Rights
Whitney M. Young Jr. was one of the most celebrated — and controversial — leaders of the civil rights era. This documentary follows his journey from segregated Kentucky to head of the National Urban League. Unique among black leaders, he took the fight directly to the powerful white elite, gaining allies in business and government, including three presidents. Young had the difficult tasks of calming the fears of white allies, relieving the doubts of fellow civil rights leaders and responding to attacks from the militant Black Power movement. Monday, February 15 at 10pm on WSKG TV.
WSKG TV | Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates, Jr.: Family Reunions
Henry Louis Gates, Jr. uncovers family mysteries about two legends of hip hop, Sean Combs (pictured) and LL Cool J, through the use of DNA technology that reveals information that shakes their very foundations. Tuesday, February 16 at 8pm on WSKG TV.
WSKG TV | Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution
Revisit the turbulent 1960s, when a new revolutionary culture emerged with the Black Panther Party at the vanguard. Stanley Nelson tells the vibrant story of a pivotal movement that feels timely all over again. Tuesday, February 16 at 9pm on WSKG TV.
WSQX radio | BBC Monthly: America in Black and White
Protests against shootings of young black men by the police have pushed the issue of race to the top of the public agenda. The BBC’s Washington Correspondent, Rajini Vaidyanathan, has covered many of the recent protests, from Baltimore to Ferguson. In this series of two one-hour documentaries, Rajini takes a step back and examines some of the deep, underlying structural issues which America still has with race. She travels across the country to unpick the ways justice, housing, education and popular culture have contributed to the sore of race in America, and meet people who are pushing for healing and reconciliation. In this 1st hour, Rajini explores the criminal justice system and economic opportunity, or lack of it. Part ONE airs Saturday, February 20 at noon on WSQX; Part TWO airs February 27 at noon on WSQX radio.
WSKG TV | Smithsonian Salutes Ray Charles: In Performance at the White House
Hear interpretations of the music of Ray Charles, using his own big-band musical arrangements, by renowned as well as up-and-coming artists. The performance, a White House partnership with the Smithsonian, airs from the East Room. Friday, February 26 at 9pm on WSKG TV.
WSKG TV | Fats Domino: American Masters
Discover how Fats Domino’s brand of New Orleans rhythm and blues became rock ‘n’ roll. As popular in the 1950s as Elvis Presley, Domino suffered degradations in the pre-civil rights South and aided integration through his influential music. Friday, February 26 at 10pm on WSKG TV.
PBSLearningMedia.org | Should Black History Be More Than a Month?
Resources for teachers, grades 5-12: Should Black History Month be ended? That’s the question explored by African American filmmaker Shukree Hassan Tilghman as he embarks on his cross-country campaign. Both amusing and thought provoking, More Than a Month examines what the treatment of history tells us about race and power in America. Classrooms can use the guide without watching the entire film, by watching the film clips and discussing the synopsis. “Whose History” provides a one- to three-day lesson plan designed to further students’ understanding of the film and to explore the question of how different cultural groups are acknowledged in American history, media, and culture. PBSLearningMedia.org
PBSLearningMedia.org | Civil Rights: Then and Now
Resources for teachers, various grade levels: While some consider the Civil Rights Movement part of the distant past, many of the problems that fueled the fight are still with us. This collection, featuring content from PBS programs including Eyes on the Prize and Freedom Riders, helps to lend context to the events and leaders that defined the Civil Rights movement’s first three decades (1954-1985). The resources also capture the issues and activists involved in the struggle today- those making headlines, stirring debate, and trending on social media. View Collection
PBS.org | Black Culture Connection
The PBS Black Culture Connection is your year-round resource and guide to films, stories and voices across public television centered around Black history & culture. Explore our award-winning programs, special online events, chats, and more! Connect with award-winning documentaries like Freedom Riders and The Interrupters, new web original productions like Black Folk Don’t, live chats with your favorite filmmakers, and PBS member stations to help you explore Black history and culture locally in your community. www.pbs.org/black-culture