Black History Month on KERA
KERA is proud to offer the following programs and educational resources honoring Black History Month 2022.
Some TV programs are available to watch on-demand. Those with a blue compass icon are available to watch on-demand via the KERA Passport member benefit. Learn more.
“Round One: The Greatest” – Friday, January 28 at 8pm
“Round Two: What’s My Name” – Friday, February 4 at 8pm
“Round Three: The Rivalry” – Friday, February 11 at 8pm
“Round Four: The Spell Remains” – Friday, February 18 at 8pm
Muhammad Ali brings to life one of the most indelible figures of the 20th century, a three-time heavyweight boxing champion who captivated millions of fans across the world with his mesmerizing combination of speed, grace, and power in the ring, and charm and playful boasting outside of it. Ali insisted on being himself unconditionally and became a global icon and inspiration to people everywhere.
Tuesday, February 1 at 8pm
Take a riveting ride on the Chuck Berry train exploring the life, the legend, the music, and the man who is regularly credited as the father of rock and roll. We will meet the family who loved him, the players who were there for the rise, and the stars who bow to his inspiration and credit him for their own success.
Part I: Wednesday, February 2 at 10pm
Part II: Wednesday, February 9 at 10pm
Jack Roosevelt Robinson rose from humble origins to cross baseball’s color line and become one of the most beloved men in America. A fierce integrationist, Robinson used his immense fame to speak out against the discrimination he saw on and off the field, angering fans, the press, and even teammates who had once celebrated him for turning the other cheek.
Thursday, February 3 at 10pm
Explore the story behind a courageous band of civil rights activists called Freedom Riders who in 1961 challenged segregation in the American South.
Parts I & II: Sunday, February 6, starting at 12pm
In this intimate series from executive producer, host, and writer Henry Louis Gates, Jr., we trace how this came to be in the 400-year-old story of the Black church in America, all the way down to its bedrock role as the site of African American survival and endurance, grace and resilience, thriving and testifying, freedom and independence, solidarity and speaking truth to power.
Monday, February 7 at 10pm
Is the “American Dream” of homeownership a false promise? While the government’s postwar housing policy created the world’s largest middle class, it also set America on two divergent paths – one of perceived wealth and the other of systematically defunded, segregated communities.
Tuesday, February 8 at 8pm
With unprecedented access to the Marian Anderson Estate, the documentary draws on rare archival footage and audio recordings and Anderson’s extensive personal correspondence to family and friends, including Martin Luther King, Jr., W.E.B. DuBois, Duke Ellington, Shirley Chisholm and Langston Hughes, to reveal the woman behind the icon. Anchored by key performances in her career, Marian Anderson: The Whole World in Her Hands shows how her quiet genius and breathtaking voice set the stage for black performers in classical music, and a louder voice for civil rights.
Through the Banks of the Red Cedar
Tuesday, February 8 at 11pm
In 1963 Michigan State Head Coach Duffy Daugherty and 23 African American young men seized the opportunity of a lifetime. The daughter of Minnesota Vikings football legend Gene Washington deepens her connection to her father as she uncovers how the first fully-integrated college football team in America changed the game forever. Maya, Gene’s youngest daughter, traces her father’s journey from the segregated South to the North and explores the impact of this legacy on the present generation.
Thursday, February 10 at 10pm
Toni Morrison leads an assembly of her peers and critics on an exploration of the powerful themes she confronted throughout her literary career in this artful and intimate meditation that examines the life and work of the legendary storyteller.
Monday, February 14 at 10:30pm
Dive into the career of the legendary blues guitarist, a pioneer of Chicago’s West Side sound and major influence on rock titans like Jimi Hendrix and Eric Clapton. Featuring new performances and interviews with Carlos Santana and more
Tuesday, February 15 at 9pm
FRONTLINE and Retro Report tell the story of the 1967 killing of Wharlest Jackson Sr., a local NAACP leader in Natchez, Mississippi. The documentary follows Jackson’s family as they search for the truth about what happened and examines the history of white supremacy in Natchez. It is part of FRONTLINE’s multiplatform Un(re)solved initiative.
Part I: Wednesday, February 16 at 10pm
Part II: Wednesday, February 23 at 10pm
Jack Johnson became the first African American world heavyweight boxing champion in the height of the Jim Crow era — a time in which slavery was abolished, but African Americans were not yet truly free.
American Masters | Sammy Davis, Jr.: I’ve Gotta Be Me
Thursday, February 17 at 10pm
The first major film documentary to examine Sammy Davis, Jr.’s vast talent and his journey for identity through the shifting tides of civil rights and racial progress during 20th century America.
Sunday, February 20 at 2pm
Explore the little-known story of the labor practices and laws that effectively created a new form of slavery in the South that persisted into the 20th century. Laurence Fishburne narrates.
American Masters | How it Feels to be Free
Sunday, February 20 at 4pm
The inspiring story of how six iconic African American female entertainers – Lena Horne, Abbey Lincoln, Nina Simone, Diahann Carroll, Cicely Tyson and Pam Grier – challenged an entertainment industry deeply complicit in perpetuating racist stereotypes, and transformed themselves and their audiences in the process.
Independent Lens | Mr. SOUL!
Monday, February 21 at 10:30pm
Premiering in 1968, SOUL! was the first nationally broadcast all-Black variety show on public television, merging artists from the margins with post-Civil Rights Black radical thought. Mr. SOUL! delves into this critical moment in television history, as well as the man who guided it, highlighting a turning point in representation whose impact continues to resonate to this day.
Fanny Lou Hamer’s America: An America ReFramed Special
Tuesday, February 22 at 8pm
Explore and celebrate the life of a civil rights activist and the injustices in America that made her work essential. Public speeches, personal interviews, and powerful songs of the fearless Mississippi sharecropper-turned-human-rights-activist paint a moving portrait of one of the Civil Rights Movement’s greatest leaders.
Thursday, February 24 at 10pm
Celebrate the life of Charlie “Bird” Parker and his lasting legacy on the Kansas City jazz scene. Bird: Not Out of Nowhere features rarely seen archival footage of Parker, interviews with musicians and historians, and live performances from Kansas City’s most talented jazz musicians.
Josephine Baker: The Story of an Awakening
Thursday, February 24 at 11pm
Witness the amazing story of the first Black superstar. Baker, born into poverty in Missouri in 1906, moved to France where she became a dancer hailed as the Queen of Paris, joined the French Resistance, created her dream family “The Rainbow Tribe,” adopting twelve children from four corners of the world, and ultimately became a Civil Rights activist.
Friday, February 25 at 8pm
Discover the man behind the legend. With full access to the Miles Davis Estate, the film features never-before-seen footage, including studio outtakes from his recording sessions, rare photos and new interviews.
Parts 1-6: Sunday, February 27, starting at 11am
Harvard scholar Henry Louis Gates, Jr. recounts the full trajectory of African-American history in his groundbreaking six-part series. Written and presented by Professor Gates, the series explores the evolution of the African-American people, as well as the multiplicity of cultural institutions, political strategies, and religious and social perspectives they developed.
It’s Been A Minute with Sam Sanders
Saturday, February 5 at 11am
There were two big music festivals happening in the summer of 1969. But while one lived in infamy, going on to define an entire generation of culture and music…the other remained obscure. That is, until last year when Questlove released his documentary Summer of Soul. Host Sam Sanders talks with musician and director Questlove about the making of Summer of Soul. They discuss how Black history is remembered– or forgotten– in the archive.
▸ Explore the journey and contributions of Black Americans with these documentaries and episodes curated by PBS and KERA.
▸ Stay informed on race in current events with KERA News’ coverage
▸ For teachers and parents — access KERA’s education resource toolkit on protests, race and African American history
▸ PBS also has a collection of resources to help parents discuss race and racism with children
▸ Go to video.kera.org to watch more documentaries and series