Documentaries to watch this Women’s History Month on KERA TV
Stateswomen and Texas trailblazers, artists and activists, legal giants and transformative writers – these documentaries celebrate a range of leaders who have elevated humanity and pushed their fields forward. Throughout March 2023, celebrate Women’s History Month with the KERA TV programs below.
Many of these titles can be streamed online or on your TV’s PBS app using the Passport member benefit. Learn more about Passport.
▸ Monday, March 13 at 10pm
Discover an international singer who captivated royalty in Europe and defied the conscience of 1939 America. This documentary includes rare archival footage and audio recordings exploring Marian Anderson’s life and career from the Metropolitan Opera to the State Department.
▸ Tuesday, March 14 at 10pm
▸ Sunday, March 26 at 4pm
This intimate portrait interweaves archival imagery, including home movies and personal photographs, animation and original interviews to tell the inspiring story of groundbreaking writer Amy Tan’s life and career.
▸ Wednesday, March 15 at 10pm
Meet the Supreme Court’s first female justice, Sandra Day O’Connor. She was a pioneer who both reflected and shaped an era, and she was the deciding vote in cases on some of the 20th century’s most controversial issues — including race, gender and reproductive rights.
▸ Monday, March 20 at 8pm
▸ Wednesday, March 29 at 11pm
Texas theater producer-director Margo Jones pioneered the regional theater movement, championed the work of Tennessee Williams and crusaded against the commercial domination of New York theater. This 2006 performance documentary by KERA is narrated by Marcia Gay Harden and stars Judith Ivey and Richard Thomas.
▸ Monday, March 20 at 10:30pm
Revisit the complex life and legacy of the author, advocate and human rights pioneer Helen Keller. Deaf and blind, Keller used her celebrity and wit to champion rights for women, people with disabilities and people living in poverty.
Bonus: Watch the children’s book I Am Helen Keller by Brad Meltzer read out loud on Youtube.
▸ Wednesday, March 15 at 8pm
Rita Moreno defied her humble upbringing and racism to become one of a select group of ERGOT – Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony Award – winners. Explore her 70-year career with new interviews, clips of her iconic roles and scenes of the star on set today.
▸ Wednesday, March 22 at 10pm
▸ Sunday, March 26 at 2pm
Toni Morrison leads an assembly of her peers and critics on an exploration of the powerful themes she confronted throughout her literary career. This artful and intimate meditation examines the legendary storyteller’s life and work.
▸ Friday, March 24, 8pm
▸ Thursday, March 30, 11:30pm
In the 1950s, married women in most states needed their husband’s permission for legal and business transactions. They couldn’t open their own bank accounts, sign contracts or control their own paychecks. This episode of the KERA series Texas Trailblazer tells the story of the Texas attorney who changed all that. Louise Raggio made history by leading the effort to draft and secure passage of the Marital Property Act of 1967 and became an icon in the struggle for women’s rights.
▸ Friday, March 24 and 8:30pm
▸ Sunday, March 26 and 12pm
▸ Friday, March 31 and 10:30pm
From the KERA Texas Trailblazer series, 2009: Vivian Castleberry became the first female editor of the Dallas Times Herald in 1957. She transformed the content of the newspaper’s Living section from coverage of high society and weddings to include stories of social significance, including child abuse, depression and women’s rights. Castleberry retired from the paper after 28 years to pursue a second career as a peace activist. She was inducted into the Texas Women’s Hall of Fame in 1984.
▸ Monday, March 27 at 8pm
▸ Wednesday, March 29 at 10pm
A champion for Women and Native American rights, Mabel Dodge Luhan was a trailblazing feminist 100 years ahead of her time. In 1917 she moved from Greenwich Village to Taos, New Mexico. There she married Tony Lujan, a Tiwa Indian from Taos Pueblo. This documentary is her story.
▸ Tuesday, March 28 at 9:30pm
Explore artist Georgia O’Keefe’s time spent in Columbia, South Carolina, as an art instructor at Columbia College. She found her voice with a series of innovative abstract charcoal drawings that led her career in a new direction. Collectively titled Specials, the drawings made her one of the first American artists to practice pure abstraction, establishing her as one of the country’s leading artists.
▸ Friday, March 31 at 8pm
After getting her start in coffee shops, Joni Mitchell went on to set a new standard, marrying music and lyrics with such songs as “Both Sides, Now.” While her early material is often categorized as “folk,” she became a household name with music that defies categorization.
▸ Friday, March 31 at 9pm
Follow music icon Roberta Flack from a piano lounge through her rise to stardom. From “First Time Ever I Saw Your Face” to “Killing Me Softly,” Flack’s virtuosity was inseparable from her commitment to civil rights. Detailing her story in her own words, the film features exclusive access to Flack’s archives and interviews with Rev. Jesse Jackson, Peabo Bryson and more.
Explore more films about women from the Women and Girls Lead Global initiative.
▸ Educators — access PBS LearningMedia’s Women’s History Month resource collection
▸ Listen to KERA Think podcasts about identity and race
▸ Read about KERA’s commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion