Celebrate African-American History Month 2019 with WPT

January 22, 2019 Susannah Brooks Leave a Comment

Any day is a great day to recognize the many contributions that African-Americans have made to American history and culture. But February offers special opportunities to celebrate and recognize African-Americans, both famous and not-so-famous, who have made a difference.

Read on for a selection of upcoming programs airing on WPT – and don’t forget our many offerings available anytime online!

Antiques Roadshow
Celebrating Black Americana 
8 p.m. Monday, Feb. 4

Highlights include an 1821 citizenship certificate for George Barker, a free man of color; an African-American beauty book written by Madam C.J. Walker, the first American female millionaire; and a trip to the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum in Kansas City.

Independent Lens
Black Memorabilia 
9 p.m. Monday, Feb. 4 | Preview

From the South to Brooklyn to China, people who reproduce, consume and reclaim black memorabilia: racially-charged objects often wrapped in the protection of antiquity and historical preservation.

Finding Your Roots With Henry Louis Gates, Jr.
Freedom Tales
7 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 5 | Preview

Host Henry Louis Gates, Jr. delves deep into the roots of two African American guests: actor S. Epatha Merkerson and athlete and television personality Michael Strahan. Discover unexpected stories that challenge assumptions about black history.

Live From Lincoln Center
3 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 10 | Preview

Dominique Morisseau’s new play introduces Nya, an inner-city teacher desperate to save her son. When he gets in trouble at school, Nya must confront his rage and her own choices, as she tries to reach him before he gets pulled away forever.

Independent Lens
Hale County: This Morning, This Evening 
9 p.m. Monday, Feb. 11 | Preview

Visit the world of Hale County, Ala. Composed of intimate and unencumbered moments in the lives of people in the community, the film offers a richly detailed glimpse at life in America’s Black Belt.

American Experience 
Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution 
10:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 15

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.

Clip: Former Black Panther Ericka Huggins shares her admiration for the passion of the young women leading the Black Lives Matter movement.

Clip: Former Black Panther Jamal Joseph remembers his first day in the Party.

POV – Academy Award-nominated documentary
Minding the Gap
8 p.m. Monday, Feb. 19 | Preview

Three young men bond together to escape volatile families in their Rust Belt hometown of Rockford, Ill., in this documentary by first-time filmmaker Bing Liu. As they face adult responsibilities, unexpected revelations threaten their decade-long friendship.

Sammy Davis, Jr. poses with his hand on his faceAmerican Masters
Sammy Davis, Jr.: I’ve Gotta Be Me
8 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 19 | Preview

Explore the entertainer’s vast talent and journey for identity through the shifting tides of civil rights and racial progress during 20th-century America. Features Billy Crystal, Whoopi Goldberg, and clips from his TV, film and concert performances.

American Masters
Charley Pride: I’m Just Me
3 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 24 | Preview

Explore the complicated history of the American South and its music through the life of country star Charley Pride. Raised in segregated Mississippi, his journey shows the ways that artistic expression can triumph over prejudice and injustice.

American Experience
Roads to Memphis 
8 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 26 | Watch online now!

Much of the concern following Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s death centered on what killed him, rather than who. This film focuses on the entwined stories of assassin James Earl Ray and his target: Dr. King.

Striking members of Memphis Local 1733 hold “I Am a Man” signs, the slogan that symbolized the sanitation workers 1968 campaign.


Items marked with a [P] are available to Passport members only. More info.

Hip-Hop U: The First Wave Scholars

Explore the innovative work of students in the University of Wisconsin-Madison First Wave – Office of Multicultural Arts Initiatives program.

Hip-Hop U: The First Wave Scholars

Vel Phillips: Dream Big Dreams

Discover how civil rights leader Vel Phillips achieved an impressive list of “firsts” as part of her legacy, including the first African American judge in Wisconsin and the first woman, and African American, in the nation elected to executive office in state government.

Al Jarreau: Coming Home

WisContext/University Place: Wisconsin’s Halting Path Towards Black Suffrage

Origin of Everything: How Did Martin Luther King, Jr. Get a Holiday?


StoryCorps Shorts: A More Perfect Union | More: Behind the Scenes

POV Shorts: Positive Images

POV Shorts: Give

50 Years of Aretha Franklin’s “Respect”

Eugene Bullard: An American in France (from American Experience: The Great War)


John Lewis: Get In the Way [P]

The Talk: Race in America [P]

American Masters: 

Lorraine Hansberry: Sighted Eyes/Feeling Heart [P]

Basquiat: Rags to Riches [P]

Fats Domino and the Birth of Rock ‘n’ Roll [P]

B.B. King: The Life of Riley [P]

Althea [P] (Althea Gibson)

August Wilson: The Ground on Which I Stand [P]

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