HoustonPBS broadcasts programming created by and about African Americans year-round, from public affairs to history to independent film to kids programming. In celebration of this year's Black History Month, HoustonPBS will showcase an expansive lineup of programs profiling the rich history, culture and contributions of African Americans.
The battle between pro-slavery and free-soil contingents rises to fever pitch. During his raid on Harpers Ferry, John Brown is captured, and then executed, becoming a martyr for the cause. Abraham Lincoln is elected president in 1860. Southern states secede, war breaks out and the conflict unexpectedly drags on. On New Year's Day 1863, it is announced that Lincoln has emancipated the slaves in rebel territory. African-American men may now enlist in the Union forces; two of Douglass' sons go to war. In December 1865, the Thirteenth Amendment is ratified, banning slavery in all states - forever.
Tuesday, January 22 at 8:00 p.m. on 8.1
Sunday, January 27 at 3:00 p.m. on 8.1
THE CLINTON 12 captures a pivotal moment in the American civil rights movement. On August 27, 1956, a dozen black teenagers walked into an all-white high school in Clinton, Tenn. and changed history. THE CLINTON 12 brings to life the events of that school year and the bombing of the high school in 1958. Narrated by award-winning actor James Earl Jones, THE CLINTON 12 highlights the courage of the black students who were subjected to racially motivated violence, harassment and protests by white supremacists. The film also shows the determination of one small, predominately white, Southern town to uphold the law and confront bigotry and fear.
Sunday, January 27 at 4:00 p.m. on 8.1
Miniseries still rank among the top-rated programs in television history; they were major events that captured the nation's imagination. "Roots" was the biggest - interviewed about that groundbreaking series are stars LeVar Burton, Louis Gossett Jr., Leslie Uggams, Ben Vereen, John Amos, Georg Stanford Brown and Ed Asner. This episode also considers the very first miniseries, "Rich Man, Poor Man," as stars Peter Strauss and Susan Blakely offer fresh insights. All of the key players from the landmark miniseries "The Thorn Birds" appear, providing surprising commentary about the romance seen by more viewers than any other in TV history. New interviews with Richard Chamberlain, Rachel Ward and Bryan Brown mark the 30th anniversary of one of television's biggest events.
Tuesday, February 5 at 7:00 p.m. on 8.1
Saturday, February 9 at 8:00 p.m. on 8.2
The 80-minute film explores the lives of 15 distinguished black alumni of Rice University in Houston, Texas from before they came to campus to their careers after college.
Tuesday, February 5 at 10:30 p.m. on 8.1
Thursday, February 7 at 2:00 a.m. on 8.2
As a black woman who was a feminist before the term was invented, Daisy Bates refused to accept her assigned place in society. This documentary tells the story of her life and public support of nine black students to attend the all-white Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas, which culminated in a constitutional crisis -- pitting a president against a governor and a community against itself.
Sunday, February 10 at 8:00 p.m. on 8.2
Baffled by his dad's reluctance to change his traditional soul food diet in the face of a health crisis, filmmaker Byron Hurt sets out to learn more about this culinary tradition and it's relevance to black cultural identity. The African American love affair with soul food is deep-rooted, complex, and in some tragic cases, deadly. This film puts this culinary tradition under the microscope to examine both its benefits and consequences. Hurt looks at the socioeconomics of predominantly black neighborhoods, where it can be difficult to find healthy options and wonders if soul food has become an addiction in his community.
Tuesday, February 12 at 10:00 p.m. on 8.1
Thursday, February 14 at 2:00 a.m. on 8.1
ACL presents modern blues and soul with Gary Clark, Jr. and Alabama Shakes. Austin guitarist Clark showcases his major label debut, while Alabama's Shakes spotlight their critically acclaimed Boys & Girls.
Saturday, February 16 at 10:00 p.m. on 8.1
Saturday, February 23 at 6:00 p.m. on 8.2
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.
Tuesday, February 19 at 10:00 p.m. on 8.1
During the 1940s, 50s and 60s, Southern-born, Chicago-raised and New York-made Sister Rosetta Tharpe introduced the spiritual passion of her gospel music into the secular world of popular rock 'n roll, inspiring the male icons of the genre. This flamboyant African-American gospel superstar, with her spectacular virtuosity on the newly electrified guitar, was a natural-born performer and a rebel -- one of the most important singer-musicians of the 20th century. She is acknowledged as a major influence not only on generations of black musicians -- including Chuck Berry, Little Richard, Isaac Hayes and Etta James -- but also on white stars such as Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins and Johnny Cash.
Friday, February 22 at 9:00 p.m. on 8.1
ACL presents an hour with jazz/soul singer/bassist Esperanza Spalding in support of her LP Radio Music Society.
Saturday, February 23 at 10:00 p.m. on 8.1
The Black Kungfu Experience introduces kungfu's African-American pioneers, men who challenged convention and overturned preconceived notions while mastering the ancient art. The four martial artists profiled include Ron Van Clief, an ex-Marine and Vietnam veteran who starred in more than 40 kungfu films and earned the nickname "Black Dragon" from Bruce Lee. Their compelling stories illustrate how kungfu began as - and remains - a unique crucible of the black experience. In particular, kungfu's themes of the underdog triumphing against the odds resonated in black communities across the United States.
Friday, February 22 at 10:00 p.m. on 8.1
Monday, February 25 at 12:00 a.m. on 8.1
This comprehensive and innovative series tells the compelling story of women's advancement in America over the past 50 years. It is a revolution that has unfolded in public and private, on grand stages like the U.S. Supreme Court and Congress, and humbler ones like the boardroom and the bedroom. The series features the stories of those who led the fight, those who opposed it and those -- both famous and unknown -- caught up in its wake. Meryl Streep narrates the three-hour stack, which features commentary and the stories of Hillary Clinton and Condoleezza Rice, Oprah Winfrey and Katie Couric, and Gloria Steinem and Phyllis Schlafly, among others.
Friday, February 26 at 7:00 p.m. on 8.1
Friday, March 1 at 8:30 p.m. on 8.1