or


[01/13/10 - 11:01 AM]
PBS Explores African-American Contributions to History and Society
2010 brings a new primetime series hosted by Tavis Smiley, TAVIS SMILEY REPORTS.

[via press release from PBS]

PBS Explores African-American Contributions to History and Society

An Impressive Array of New and Encore Programming Before and During Black History Month

Clockwise from top left: Dr. Henry Louis Gates Jr. (credit: Joseph Sinnott), Sam Cooke (credit: RCA Records) and Thabo Mbeki (credit: Big World Cinema/Big Sister)

ARLINGTON, VA �January 6, 2010 -- Throughout the year, PBS invites viewers to explore the vast contributions of African Americans. In honor and celebration of Black History Month, February 2010, PBS presents new and encore programs, beginning in January and continuing through February.

2010 brings a new primetime series hosted by Tavis Smiley. On Wednesday, January 27, TAVIS SMILEY REPORTS accompanies Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on diplomatic missions and goes behind the scenes at the State Department. AUSTIN CITY LIMITS and AMERICAN MASTERS take viewers onstage and backstage with performances and stories of groundbreaking musicians in new episodes, "Mos Def/K'naan" and "Sam Cooke: Crossing Over," respectively.

On Thursday, February 11, 2010, PBS presents IN PERFORMANCE AT THE WHITE HOUSE "A Celebration of Music from the Civil Rights Movement," a concert in the White House East Room. President and Mrs. Obama will host the event in honor of Black History Month. The evening will be taped live by WETA Washington, D.C. on February 10 and air on February 11 at 8 p.m. ET on PBS stations nationwide (check local listings). The music special will include Jennifer Hudson, John Legend, Seal, Smokey Robinson and the Blind Boys of Alabama, with a complete talent line-up announced in the coming weeks.

Acclaimed Harvard scholar Dr. Henry Louis Gates Jr. investigates the ancestry of 12 renowned Americans, including poet Elizabeth Alexander, who composed and read the poem at President Barack Obama's inauguration, and writer Malcolm Gladwell, with FACES OF AMERICA WITH HENRY LOUIS GATES, JR., a new four-part series.

INDEPENDENT LENS brings race to the forefront with two new films in February. "Herskovits at the Heart of Blackness" explores the often overlooked legacy of Jewish anthropologist Melville Herskovits, whose ideas in the 40s and 50s challenged the accepted assumptions about race and culture. "Behind the Rainbow" unearths once-hidden realities of South Africa's political obstacles on the path to democracy. A third film, "Mine/Home," is the poignant and powerful story of pet owners separated from their animals during Hurricane Katrina, and of the ensuing struggles to bring them home. A meditation on the essential bond between humans and animals, "Mine/Home" is an equally compelling story of race and class and the power of compassion in contemporary America.

Thousands of hours of PBS programming are available on the PBS Video Portal. In mid-January, the Video Portal will release a special collection for Black History Month 2010, featuring new and encore programming, at www.pbs.org/blackhistory.

Beyond broadcast, PBS Teachers� (pbsteachers.org) conducts a series of free monthly Webinars designed to help preK-12 educators learn new ways to integrate online instructional resources in the classroom and engage students in curriculum lessons. Dr. Henry Louis Gates Jr. will be the guest speaker for the upcoming PBS Teachers Webinar, "Exploring the FACES OF AMERICA." The Webinar will be held February 23, 2010, at 8:00 p.m. ET.

In addition to the Webinar, PBS Teachers offers the Unsung Heroes in African American History and Civil Rights Movement in American Literature Activity Packs for educators to use in the classroom or to post on their classroom, school or favorite social networking Web sites. The activity packs are designed for multiple grade levels and contain links to African-American history-themed education resources and activities from PBS.

NEW PROGRAMMING:

AUSTIN CITY LIMITS "Mos Def/K'naan"

Saturday, January 16, 2010, 9:00-10:00 p.m. ET (check local listings)

Hip hop conquers the ACL stage with sets from alternative rapper/actor Mos Def and Somalian native K'naan.

AMERICAN MASTERS "Sam Cooke: Crossing Over"

Monday, January 11, 2010, 9:00-10:00 p.m. ET

Portrait of Sam Cooke, who put the spirit of the black church into popular music, creating a new American sound.

FACES OF AMERICA WITH HENRY LOUIS GATES, JR.

Wednesdays, February 10-March 3, 2010, 8:00-9:00 p.m. ET

Using DNA testing and genealogical research, Henry Louis Gates Jr. offers investigations of the family stories and ancestry of 12 renowned Americans. Professor Gates' guests include poet Elizabeth Alexander, who composed and read the poem at President Barack Obama's inauguration, chef Mario Batali, comedian Stephen Colbert, novelist Louise Erdrich, writer Malcolm Gladwell, cellist Yo-Yo Ma, film director Mike Nichols, Her Royal Highness Queen Noor, actress Eva Longoria, television host/heart surgeon Dr. Mehmet Oz, actress Meryl Streep and figure skater Kristi Yamaguchi.

IN PERFORMANCE AT THE WHITE HOUSE "A Celebration of Music from the Civil Rights Movement"

Thursday, February 11, 2010, 8:00-9:00 p.m. ET

President and Mrs. Obama host a concert in the White House East Room in honor of Black History Month. Jennifer Hudson, John Legend, Seal, Smokey Robinson and the Blind Boys of Alabama perform.

INDEPENDENT LENS "Herskovits at the Heart of Blackness"

Tuesday, February 2, 2010, 10:30-11:00 p.m. ET (check local listings)

Examines the forgotten legacy of Melville Herskovits, a controversial Jewish anthropologist whose writings in the 40s and 50s challenged widely held assumptions about race and culture. Maggie Gyllenhaal hosts.

Select INDEPENDENT LENS films are available from PBS Home Video: ShopPBS.org; 877-PBS-SHOP, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

INDEPENDENT LENS "Mine/Home"

Tuesday, February 16, 2010, 10:00 � 11:30 p.m. ET (check local listings)

A powerful story of animals left behind during Katrina, and of the struggles of hurricane survivors to reunite with their beloved pets. A meditation on the essential bond between humans and animals, "Mine" is an equally compelling story of race and class, and the power of compassion, in contemporary America.

Select INDEPENDENT LENS films are available from PBS Home Video: ShopPBS.org; 877-PBS-SHOP, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

INDEPENDENT LENS "Behind the Rainbow"

Tuesday, February 23, 2010, 10:00-11:30 p.m. ET (check local listings)

A previously untold account of South Africa's political problems, struggles and realities. Maggie Gyllenhaal hosts.

Select INDEPENDENT LENS films are available from PBS Home Video: ShopPBS.org; 877-PBS-SHOP, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

AN EVENING WITH SMOKEY ROBINSON

February 2010 (check local listings)

Gwen Ifill interviews Motown legend Smokey Robinson, giving viewers an insider's look at the life and career of the Motown legend. The program features former Motown executive and film producer Suzanne de Passe as mistress of ceremonies, with musical tributes from Grammy-nominated artists such as Teena Marie, Howard Hewett and Musiq Soulchild.

TAVIS SMILEY REPORTS "One on One With Hillary Clinton"

Wednesday, January 27, 2010, 8:00-9:00 p.m. ET

Tavis Smiley travels with and talks with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton about her first year as America's chief diplomat.

ENCORE PROGRAMMING:

AFRICAN AMERICAN LIVES 2

February 2010 (check local listings)

Harvard scholar Dr. Henry Louis Gates Jr. guides a group � including poet Maya Angelou, actors Don Cheadle and Morgan Freeman, radio host Tom Joyner, comedian Chris Rock and rock 'n' roll legend Tina Turner � on a journey to discover their ancestry. The four-part series draws on DNA analysis, genealogical research and family oral tradition to trace the lineages of the participants down through U.S. history and back to Africa.

More information is available at http://pbs.org/africanamericanlives. AFRICAN AMERICAN LIVES 2 is available from PBS Home Video: ShopPBS.org; 877-PBS-SHOP, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

AMERICAN MASTERS "Marvin Gaye: What's Going On"

Monday, January 11, 2010, 10:00-11:00 p.m. ET (check local listings)

The story of Marvin Gaye � the Motown star who challenged and changed the face of black music � includes performance footage and insight from Mary Wilson, Smokey Robinson, Gladys Knight, Mos Def and others. Actor Jesse L. Martin narrates.

AMERICAN MASTERS "Zora Neale Hurston: Jump at the Sun"

Monday, February 22, 2010, 10:00-11:30 p.m. ET (check local listings)

This is a profile of author Zora Neale Hurston, one of the most celebrated � and most controversial � figures of the Harlem Renaissance, that creatively expansive era in the 1920s when "the Negro was in vogue." S. Epatha Merkerson ("Law & Order") narrates.

AN EVENING WITH EARTHA KITT

February 2010 (check local listings)

In this lively and playful interview, Gwen Ifill talks with late performer Eartha Kitt about her stage, dance and film career. The program features a live performance by the legendary Kitt of three musical numbers: "Ain't Misbehavin'," "La Vie en Rose" and "Here's to Life."

FAUBOURG TREM�: THE UNTOLD STORY OF BLACK NEW ORLEANS

February, 2010 (check local listings)

Arguably the oldest black neighborhood in America and the birthplace of jazz, Faubourg Trem� was home to the largest community of free black people in the Deep South during slavery and a hotbed of political ferment. Lolis Eric Elie, a New Orleans newspaperman, tours this storied neighborhood.

GREAT PERFORMANCES "Harlem in Montmarte"

Sunday, February 7, 2010, 10:00-11:30 p.m. ET (check local listings)

A picture of the African-American expatriate community in Paris between the First and Second World Wars.

INDEPENDENT LENS "Banished"

February 2010 (check local listings)

The story of three counties that forcefully banished African-American families from their towns 100 years ago.

Select INDEPENDENT LENS films are available from PBS Home Video: ShopPBS.org; 877-PBS-SHOP, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

INDEPENDENT LENS "February One: The Story of the Greensboro Four"

February 2010 (check local listings)

On February 1, 1960, four college students staged a sit-in at a Woolworth's lunch counter in Greensboro, North Carolina, a pivotal event in the civil rights movement.

Select INDEPENDENT LENS films are available from PBS Home Video: ShopPBS.org; 877-PBS-SHOP, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

LOOKING FOR LINCOLN

Fridays, January 22-29, 2009, 9:00-11:00 p.m. ET (check local listings)

Dr. Henry Louis Gates Jr. dissects the myths that have grown up around Abraham Lincoln.

LOOKING FOR LINCOLN is available from PBS Home Video: ShopPBS.org; 877-PBS-SHOP, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

POV "Revolution '67"

February 2010 (check local listings)

This program is an illuminating account of events too often relegated to footnotes in U.S. history � the black urban rebellions of the 1960s.

Select POV films are available from PBS Home Video: ShopPBS.org; 877-PBS-SHOP, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

PRINCE AMONG SLAVES

Friday, February 5, 2010, 10:00-11:00 p.m. ET (check local listings)

This special tells the forgotten true story of an African prince who was enslaved in Mississippi for 40 years before finally achieving freedom and becoming one of the most famous men in America. Mos Def narrates.

PRINCE AMONG SLAVES is available from PBS Home Video: ShopPBS.org; 877-PBS-SHOP, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

SIMON SCHAMA'S ROUGH CROSSINGS

February 2010 (check local listings)

At the end of the American Revolution, slaves were offered freedom in return for service to the British. This is the story of their resettlement, first in Nova Scotia, then Sierra Leone, where dreams of a haven came to a tragic end.

SIMON SCHAMA'S ROUGH CROSSINGS is available from PBS Home Video: ShopPBS.org; 877-PBS-SHOP, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

SISTERS OF SELMA: BEARING WITNESS FOR CHANGE

February 2010 (check local listings)

This program is an unabashedly spiritual take on the Selma, Alabama, voting rights marches of 1965 from some of its unsung foot soldiers � Catholic nuns.

SISTERS OF SELMA is available from PBS Home Video: ShopPBS.org; 877-PBS-SHOP, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

CONTINUING SERIES:

TAVIS SMILEY

Monday-Friday, 11:00-11:30 p.m. ET (check local listings)

Tavis Smiley hosts this program, featuring interviews with newsmakers, politicians, celebrities and everyday people.

Watch online video, download podcasts, read the "Young Voices" blog and find more info about Tavis Smiley at http://www.pbs.org/tavissmiley.

Other series that regularly cover topics and profile guests and performers of interest to African Americans include FRONTLINE, GREAT PERFORMANCES, PBS NEWSHOUR, NOW ON PBS, POV and WASHINGTON WEEK WITH GWEN IFILL, among many others.

About PBS

PBS, with its 356 member stations, offers all Americans � from every walk of life � the opportunity to explore new ideas and new worlds through television and online content. Each month, PBS reaches more than 124 million people on-air and online, inviting them to experience the worlds of science, history, nature and public affairs; hear diverse viewpoints; and take front row seats to world-class drama and performances. PBS' broad array of programs has been consistently honored by the industry's most coveted award competitions. Teachers of children from pre-K through 12th grade turn to PBS for digital content and services that help bring classroom lessons to life. PBS' premier children's TV programming and Web site, pbskids.org, are parents' and teachers' most trusted partners in inspiring and nurturing curiosity and love of learning in children. More information about PBS is available at www.pbs.org, one of the leading dot-org Web sites on the Internet.





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