In February, KQED proudly celebrates the diversity of our community with a special Black History Month programming lineup on KQED Public Television.
Premiere dates are listed below. Please click on each program for additional airdates and information.
8pm B.B. King: American Masters
Explore B.B. King’s challenging life and career through candid interviews with the “King of the Blues,” filmed shortly before his death.
9pm Smokey Robinson: The Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song – NEW
Join host Samuel L. Jackson for an all-star tribute to singer and songwriter Smokey Robinson.
10:30pm In Performance at the White House “Women of Soul”
From the East Room of the White House, the President and Mrs. Obama welcome Aretha Franklin, Janelle Monae, Jill Scott and others to perform the songs made famous by generations of remarkable women who overcame adversity through the power and passion of their music.
6pm Korla – NEW
Korla is the amazing story of John Roland Redd, an African American from Columbia, Missouri who migrated to Hollywood in 1939 and reinvented himself as a musician from India.
7pm Take This Hammer
KQED’s mobile film unit follows author and activist James Baldwin in the spring of 1963 as he’s driven around San Francisco to meet with members of the local African American community.
10pm Independent Lens “Accidental Courtesy” – NEW
An African-American musician meets members of the Ku Klux Klan and attempts to change their minds.
8pm Driving Miss Daisy
An elderly Atlanta widow (Jessica Tandy) and her chauffeur (Morgan Freeman) reflect the changing times, from 1948 to 1973.
9pm The Talk – Race in America – NEW
In the wake of recent tragic and fatal events between men of color and law enforcement, learn how black and Hispanic families counsel their kids to stay safe if they are stopped by the police.
11pm Editor and the Dragon: Horace Carter Fights the Klan
Narrated by Oscar-winning actor Morgan Freeman, this documentary tells the story of Pulitzer Prize-winning publisher Horace Carter (1921-2009) and his bold reporting on the Ku Klux Klan in the pre-Civil Rights era.
8pm Maya Angelou: American Masters – NEW
Journey through the prolific life of the author and activist, who inspired generations with lyrical modern African American thought. Features new interviews with Oprah Winfrey, Common, the Clintons and others.
11pm AfroPop: The Ultimate Cultural Exchange “American Ascent” – NEW
An American Ascent is a feature documentary about the first African American expedition to tackle North America’s highest peak, Denali.
10:30pm Black Ballerina – new
Set in the overwhelmingly white world of classical dance, this program tells the stories of several black women from different generations who fell in love with ballet.
9pm Africa’s Great Civilizations #101 – NEW
Beginning with Africa’s ancient history as the cradle of mankind, this documentary series with Henry Louis Gates Jr. brings to life the epic stories of both little-known and celebrated African kingdoms and cultures.
11pm AfroPop: The Ultimate Cultural Exchange “Intore (The Chosen)” – NEW
Intore offers a power and rare look at how Rwanda survived its tragic past by regaining its identity through music, dance and the resilience of a new generation.
8pm Finding Your Roots “Family Reunions”
Uncover family mysteries about two legends of hip-hop, Sean Combs and LL Cool J, through the use of DNA technology.
9pm Africa’s Great Civilizations #102 – NEW
11pm AfroPop: The Ultimate Cultural Exchange “My Father’s Land” – NEW
My Father’s Land is a travel adventure that entertains through humor, intimate cultural spaces and vivid landscapes, while touching on socio-economic complexities of immigration, culture and identity.
10am Bridging the Divide: Tom Bradley and the Politics of Race
Thirty-five years before the election of President Barack Obama, the question of race and the possibility of bridging racial barriers were put to the test in an overlooked story in American politics — Tom Bradley’s 1973 election as Mayor of Los Angeles — the first African American mayor of a major U.S. city with an overwhelmingly white majority.
11:30pm Reel South “Soul City”
Civil rights activists attempted to build a multiracial utopia in North Carolina in the 1970s.
7am Jackie Robinson “Part 1”
Robinson rises from humble origins to integrate Major League Baseball, performing brilliantly despite the threats and abuse he faces on and off the field and, in the process, challenges the prejudiced notions of what a black man can achieve.
11am John Lewis – Get in the Way – NEW
Follow the journey of civil rights hero, congressman and human rights champion John Lewis. At the Selma March, Lewis came face-to-face with club-wielding troopers and exemplified non-violence. Now 76, Lewis is considered the conscience of Congress.
6pm Black America Since MLK: And Still I Rise “Out of the Shadows/Move On Up”
Henry Louis Gates Jr. looks at the last 50 years of African American history — from Stokely Carmichael to Barack Obama, James Brown to Beyonce — charting the remarkable progress made and raising hard questions about the obstacles that remain.
10am Klansville, U.S.A.: American Experience
Investigate the reasons that North Carolina, long seen as the most progressive state in the South, became home to the largest Klan organization in the country, with more members than all the other Southern states combined, during the 1960s.
10am Mr. Civil Rights: Thurgood Marshall and the NAACP
This program incorporates rare archival film and extraordinary interviews to explore Marshall’s life in the years leading up to the landmark Brown v. Board of Education ruling.
8pm African Americans: Many Rivers to Cross “Rise! (1940–1968)”
This episode examines the long road to civil rights, when the deep contradictions in American society finally became unsustainable.
Friday, February 3
11pm Reel South “Counter Histories: Rock Hill”
In 1961 nine college men decided they were ready to go to jail to fight segregation laws and inequality in Rock Hill, South Carolina. Their sit-in at the local whites-only lunch counter changed the course of the civil rights movement by introducing a new strategy.
7pm Smithsonian Salutes Ray Charles: In Performance at the White House
Hear interpretations of the music of Ray Charles, using his own big-band musical arrangements, by renowned as well as up-and-coming artists.
8pm Fats Domino – Walkin’ Back to New Orleans
This special chronicles music legend Fats Domino’s triumphant return to the stage after Hurricane Katrina’s devastation to his New Orleans hometown.
8pm African Americans: Many Rivers to Cross “A More Perfect Union (1968–2013)”
After 1968, African Americans set out to build a bright new future on the foundation of the civil rights movement’s victories, but a growing class disparity threatened to split the black community in two.
7pm American Masters “Althea”
Discover the story of Althea Gibson, who emerged as the unlikely queen of the segregated tennis world of the 1950s. She was the first African American to play and win Wimbledon and the US Nationals.
8:30pm Education of Harvey Gantt
Narrated by Tony-winning actor Phylicia Rashad, this documentary tells a pivotal, yet largely forgotten, story of desegregation.
8pm Rise of the Black Pharaohs
In the heart of Sudan, archeologists are finding indisputable evidence of an advanced African society with powerful armies, vast reach and spiritually driven imperial aspirations to rival the Egyptians.
7pm African American Museum
This special captures the details, ingenuity and the history surrounding the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture.
8pm Freedom Riders: American Experience
The powerful harrowing, and ultimately inspirational, story of six months in 1961 that changed America forever.
7pm An Evening With Gwen Ifill
A one-on-one interview with the late Gwen Ifill — one of the most prolific journalists of our time.
5am 1964: The Fight for a Right
This documentary chronicles the struggles of African Americans in 1960s Mississippi fighting for the right to vote.
8pm Finding Your Roots “The Stories We Tell”
Discover the unsolved mysteries behind the family stories of political organizer Donna Brazile, actor Ty Burrell and artist Kara Walker as they learn how the legacy of slavery has shaped their identities.
mid Independent Lens “Spies of Mississippi”
This film tells the story of a secret spy agency formed by the state of Mississippi to preserve segregation during the 1950s and 1960s.
6am AfroPop: The Ultimate Cultural Exchange “Blackout and Pangaea”
Every day during exam season, as the sunsets over Conakry, Guinea, hundreds of school children begin a nightly pilgrimage to the airport, petrol stations and wealthier parts of the city, searching for light.
5am Independent Lens “American Denial”
This film uses the story of Gunnar Myrdal’s 1944 investigation of Jim Crow racism as a springboard to explore the power of unconscious biases and how the ideals of liberty, equality and justice still affect notions of race and class today.
4:30pm One Night in March
This program tells the story of a historic college basketball game that captured the national imagination, influenced a state and helped redefine a sport.
9pm Independent Lens “A Ballerina’s Tale”
Explore the rise of Misty Copeland, who made history as the first African American female principal dancer with the prestigious American Ballet Theater.
5am American Masters “Sister Rosetta Tharpe: The Godmother of Rock & Roll”
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.
6am AfroPop: The Ultimate Cultural Exchange “Omo Child: The River and the Bush”
Omo Child: The River and The Bush tells the amazing true story of one man’s journey to bring about a progressive cultural shift that will save children’s lives.
6am Colored Frames
An exploration of the influences, inspirations and experiences of black artists.
5am Ghosts of Amistad: In the Footsteps of the Rebels
This documentary chronicles a trip made by academics and historians to Sierra Leone in May 2013 as they retrace the path of the 53 Africans who rebelled against their captors and seized the slave schooner Amistad in 1839, leading to a watershed U.S. Supreme Court decision.
4pm Evening With Eric Holder
A one-on-one interview with former U.S. Attorney General Eric H. Holder, Jr. whose career that has been committed to service and racial justice.
9pm Mary Lou Williams: The Lady Who Swings the Band
Mary Lou Williams (1910-1981) was an innovative and prolific jazz pianist, composer and arranger, who created some of the most sophisticated big-band hits for Benny Goodman, Duke Ellington and other popular orchestras of the 1930s.
10pm Queen of Swing
Recounts the true story of a Jazz Age trailblazer Norma Miller.
8pm Finding Your Roots “In Search of Freedom”
Learn how the ancestors of Maya Rudolph, Shonda Rhimes and Keenen Ivory Wayans struggled for freedom.
7am Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution — Independent Lens
Revisit the turbulent 1960s, when a new revolutionary culture emerged with the Black Panther Party at the vanguard.
7am Deep City: The Birth of the Miami Sound
Learn how two musical geniuses created the first black-owned record label in Florida. Explore the early days of 1960s soul music in Miami, the pioneers of that era and their lasting contributions to the broader American musical landscape.
5am Slavery by Another Name
This documentary challenges one of America’s most cherished assumptions: the belief that slavery in this country ended with Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation of 1863.
6:30am Looking Over Jordan: African Americans and the War
This documentary chronicles the black experience in the South before, during and after the Civil War.
4pm An Evening With Vernon Jordan
A one-on-one interview of Vernon Jordan.
12:30am An Unlikely Friendship
This program chronicles a surprising friendship that emerged between an embittered Ku Klux Klan leader and an outspoken black activist.
7am Independent Lens “Let the Fire Burn”
This film brings to life one of the most tumultuous clashes between government and citizens in modern U.S. history, as a longtime feud between Philadelphia police and controversial radical urban group MOVE came to a tragic climax in 1985.
KQED 9 is available over the air on DT9.1, 54.2 and 25.1 and via most cable systems on Channel 9. It is on XFINITY cable from Comcast (Channels 9 SD and 709 HD) and on Wave (Channels 9 SD and 164 HD). It can also be found on DIRECTV and DISH satellite systems (Channels 9 SD and HD).
KQED Plus is available over the air on Channels 54, DT54.1, 9.2 and 25.2, and via many cable and satellite systems on either channel 10 or 54. It is on XFINITY cable from Comcast (Channels 10 SD, and 710 HD) and on DIRECTV (Channel 54 SD and HD) and DISH (Channel 54, SD only) satellite systems.
This schedule also lists programs airing on KQED Life (XFINITY 189, Channel 54.3) and KQED World (XFINITY 190, Channel 9.3 & 54.5).