TV specials honor Black History Month

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WQED kicks off Black History Month by taking viewers on a trip to meet Pittsburgh's civil rights pioneers with the documentary "Torchbearers: The Story of Pittsburgh's Freedom Fighters," airing tomorrow and repeating several times throughout the month. WQED also has a profile of scientist Percy Julian, a little-known industrialist and humanitarian, on an episode of "Nova" (8 p.m. Tuesday).

John Beale, Post-Gazette
Dr. Helen Faison, Pittsburgh Public Schools' first female and first black high school principal, is among local figures featured in "Torchbearers: The Story of Pittsburgh's Freedom Fighters," airing throughout the month on WQED-TV.
Click photo for larger image.

The History Channel takes a look at black aviators from both world wars on Monday, and Showtime takes the opportunity to showcase the works of black filmmakers throughout the month.

The following is a list of Black History Month offerings throughout February from networks and cable TV stations:

Tomorrow

7:30 p.m. SHO: Black Filmmaker Showcase.

8 p.m. WQED: "Torchbearers," a documentary on Pittsburgh's civil rights pioneers.

10 p.m. WQED: "Race: The Power of Illusion" looks at how race, rather than being a biological reality, is a social construction. (Part one of three.)

Friday

1 a.m. WQED: "Torchbearers," a documentary on Pittsburgh's civil rights pioneers.

4:30 a.m. SHO: Black Filmmaker Showcase.

Sunday

9:30 a.m. WPGH: "Day of Discovery" -- the life of abolitionist Josiah Henson inspires Harriet Beecher Stowe's novel "Uncle Tom's Cabin" and ignites anti-slavery sentiment prior to the Civil War.

11:30 a.m. WQED: "Explore PA," the history of the Underground Railroad and religious freedom in the Lancaster area.

Noon WPCB: "Day of Discovery" -- the life of abolitionist Josiah Henson inspires Harriet Beecher Stowe's novel "Uncle Tom's Cabin" and ignites anti-slavery sentiment prior to the Civil War.

3 p.m. WQED: "Torchbearers," a documentary on Pittsburgh's civil rights pioneers.

4 p.m. WQED: "Return to the Roots of Civil Rights: An OnQ Special Edition."

4 p.m. PCNC: "Healthy Black Family Project" -- Dr. Stephen Thomas discusses prevention of diabetes and high blood pressure.

4:30 p.m. WQED: "Dance Party": "The Teenarama Story," documentary (narrated by recording artist Martha Reeves of Martha and The Vandellas) documentary that examines television's teen dance phenomenon of the 1950s and '60s, during which time African-American teens were often excluded.

10:30 p.m. WQED: "DeFord Bailey: A Legend Lost," the tale of one of the first African-American solo stars of the Grand Ole Opry.

4 a.m. A&E: "Frederick Douglass" -- Activist, abolitionist and escaped slave Douglass rose to become the U.S. minister to Haiti.

Monday

6 a.m. HIST: "Black Aviators: Flying Free," the personal battles of black aviators, including Eugene Ballard, winner of the Croix de Guerre during World War I, and World War II's Tuskegee Airmen.

8 a.m. SHO: "Black Filmmaker Showcase."

3 p.m. COM: "Heroes of Black Comedy": Chris Rock.

Tuesday

6 a.m. HIST: "America's Black Warriors: Two Wars to Win," a revealing examination of the integration of blacks into the U.S. Armed Forces, focusing on World War II and interviews with veterans.

7 a.m. HIST: "Civil War Journal," a profile of abolitionist Frederick Douglass.

9:15 a.m. SHO: "Black Filmmaker Showcase," a single mother's trip to a bargain store becomes an uplifting experience.

11 a.m. HBO: "Unchained Memories: Readings From the Slave Narratives" -- African-American actors give dramatic readings of first-person narratives collected from some 2,000 former slaves.

3 p.m. COM: "Heroes of Black Comedy": "The Original Kings of Comedy" tour.

8 p.m. WQED: "Nova" -- The grandson of Alabama slaves, Percy Julian became an industrialist, self-made millionaire, humanitarian and civil rights pioneer.

10 p.m. WQED: "Independent Lens": "Billy Strayhorn: Lush Life" -- As Duke Ellington's co-composer, arranger and right-hand man, Pittsburgh-raised Billy Strayhorn wrote some of the greatest American music of the 20th century.

Next Wednesday


3 p.m. COM: "Heroes of Black Comedy": Whoopi Goldberg.

1 a.m. WQED: "Nova" -- The grandson of Alabama slaves, Percy Julian became an industrialist, self-made millionaire, humanitarian and civil rights pioneer.

Feb. 8

6 a.m. HIST: "A Fragile Freedom: African-American Historic Sites," eight unique historic sites showing the strength of black communities during the 1800s.

8 a.m. HIST: "Slave Catchers, Slave Resisters" -- bounty hunters track down slaves and clash with abolitionists. (Repeats at 2 p.m.)

3 p.m. COM: "Heroes of Black Comedy": Def Comedy Jam.

8 p.m. WQED: "Jim Crow Pennsylvania," how "Jim Crow" practices affected black Pennsylvanians.

10 p.m. WQED: "Race: The Power of Illusion" looks at how race, rather than being a biological reality, is a social construction. (Part two of three.)

Feb. 9

10 a.m. SHO: "Black Filmmaker Showcase."

3 p.m. COM: "Heroes of Black Comedy": Richard Pryor.

10 p.m. WQED: "Jim Crow Pennsylvania," how "Jim Crow" practices affected black Pennsylvanians.

Feb. 10

10:30 a.m. SHO: Black Filmmaker Showcase.

11 a.m. SHO: Black Filmmaker Showcase.

1:10 p.m. TMC: "Black Filmmaker Showcase."

9 p.m. WGN: "King: Man of Peace in a Time of War," a tribute to Martin Luther King Jr. featuring interviews with the Rev. Jesse Jackson, Colin Powell and Howard K. Smith and commentary from Malcolm X.

1 a.m. WQED: "Jim Crow Pennsylvania," how "Jim Crow" practices affected black Pennsylvanians.

5 a.m. WPXI: "Day of Discovery" -- the life of abolitionist Josiah Henson inspires Harriet Beecher Stowe's novel "Uncle Tom's Cabin" and ignites anti-slavery sentiment prior to the Civil War.

Feb. 11

6:15 a.m. SHO: "Black Filmmaker Showcase" -- A single mother's trip to a bargain store becomes an uplifting experience.

4 p.m. PCNC: "Healthy Black Family Project" -- Dr. Stephen Thomas discusses prevention of diabetes and high blood pressure.

4 p.m. WQED: "The Black Press: Soldiers Without Swords," a historical account chronicling the growth, accomplishments and illustrious history of African-American newspapers.

5:30 p.m. WQED: "Return to the Roots of Civil Rights: An OnQ Special Edition." (Repeats at 10:30 p.m.)

Feb. 12

3:30 a.m. WQED: "Return to the Roots of Civil Rights: An OnQ Special Edition." (Repeats at 5:30 a.m.)

Feb. 14

4 a.m. A&E: "The 54th Massachusetts" -- The 54th Massachusetts Regiment's heroic actions at Fort Wagner during the Civil War demonstrate the value of black soldiers.

Feb. 15

6 a.m. HBO: "Unchained Memories: Readings From the Slave Narratives" -- African-American actors give dramatic readings of first-person narratives collected from some 2,000 former slaves.

7:15 a.m. SHO: "Black Filmmaker Showcase"

8:30 p.m. WQED: "Return to the Roots of Civil Rights: An OnQ Special Edition."

9 p.m. IFC: "How to Eat Your Watermelon in White Company (and Enjoy It)," a provocative portrait of maverick filmmaker Melvin Van Peebles.

10 p.m. WQED: "Race: The Power of Illusion" looks at how race, rather than being a biological reality, is a social construction. (Part three of three.)

5 a.m. SHO: "Black Filmmaker Showcase."

5:20 a.m. SHO: "Black Filmmaker Showcase."

Feb. 16

5 p.m. SHO: "Black Filmmaker Showcase."

10 p.m. WQED: "An Evening with Colin Powell."

4:30 a.m. SHO: Black Filmmaker Showcase.

Feb. 17

7:30 p.m. WPXI: "Biking Through Black History," a look at the Pittsburgh connection to the Underground Railroad.

8 p.m. WGN: "The 22nd Annual Stellar Gospel Music Awards" -- hosts Kirk Franklin, Mary Mary and Tye Tribbett present Patti LaBelle, Myron Butler & Levi, Kiki Sheard, Bishop Paul Morton, Richard Smallwood, Byron Cage, Youthful Praise, Keith Johnson, Vickie Winans; from Nashville.

Feb. 18

1 p.m. WPMY: "Know Your Heritage" -- College students showcase their knowledge of black history while competing for scholarships and prizes; host Gregory Alan Williams.

1:30 p.m. PCNC: "Biking Through Black History," the Pittsburgh connection to the Underground Railroad. (Repeats at 4 p.m.)

2 p.m. WTAE: "We Have a Dream," a celebration of the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. featuring successful, inspirational and motivational African-Americans who have achieved the great American dream.

4 p.m. PCNC: "Healthy Black Family Project" -- Dr. Stephen Thomas discusses prevention of diabetes and high blood pressure.

Feb. 19

6 a.m. HIST: "Underground Railroad" -- slave descendants and scholars describe the first U.S. civil rights movement.

Feb. 20

6 a.m. HIST: "Underground Railroad"-- a secret network of free blacks and whites aids slaves.

10 p.m. WQED: "Independent Lens": "Hip Hop: Beyond Beats and Rhymes."

Feb. 21

6 a.m. HIST: "Crossing the Bridge," recounting the events of "Bloody Sunday," when civil rights protestors battled with Alabama state troopers.

6 a.m. NICK: "Nick News," the life of Martin Luther King Jr., as told by former president of the NAACP Julian Bond.

12:15 p.m. SHO: "Black Filmmaker Showcase."

12:45 p.m. SHO: "Black Filmmaker Showcase."

Feb. 22

9:25 a.m. SHO: "Black Filmmaker Showcase," a single mother's trip to a bargain store becomes an uplifting experience.

4:05 p.m. TMC: "Black Filmmaker Showcase."

8 p.m. WQED: "In Country: A Vietnam Story" -- Chris Moore returns to Vietnam for the first time since serving during the Vietnam conflict.

10 p.m. WQED: "Sisters of Selma: Bearing Witness for Change," a spiritual take on the Selma, Ala., voting rights marches of 1965.

Feb. 23

6 a.m. NICK: "Nick News Special Edition: Do We Need Black History Month?" Young people discuss black history month.

10 p.m. WQED: "In Country: A Vietnam Story" -- Chris Moore returns to Vietnam for the first time since serving during the Vietnam conflict.

Feb. 24

7 a.m. COM: "Heroes of Black Comedy": Chris Rock.

7:30 a.m. COM: "Heroes of Black Comedy": "The Original Kings of Comedy" tour.

8 a.m. COM: "Heroes of Black Comedy": Whoopi Goldberg.

8:30 a.m. COM: "Heroes of Black Comedy": Def Comedy Jam.

9 a.m. COM: "Heroes of Black Comedy": Richard Pryor.

11:15 p.m. SHO: "Black Filmmaker Showcase," a single mother's trip to a bargain store becomes an uplifting experience.

1 a.m. WQED: "In Country: A Vietnam Story" -- Chris Moore returns to Vietnam for the first time since serving during the Vietnam conflict.

Feb. 25

8 a.m. COM: "Mad TV" -- Rappers Snoop Dogg and The Bishop guest star; black history month; a sports celebration gone too far; St. Valentine's Day edition of "The Lillian Verner Game Show."

3 p.m. WQED: "In Country: A Vietnam Story" -- Chris Moore returns to Vietnam for the first time since serving during the Vietnam conflict.

4 p.m. PCNC: "Healthy Black Family Project" -- Dr. Stephen Thomas discusses prevention of diabetes and high blood pressure.

4 p.m. WQED: "Wylie Avenue Days," Wylie Avenue in Pittsburgh's Hill District when it represented the heart of black life in Pittsburgh.

5 p.m. WQED: "Jim Crow Pennsylvania," how "Jim Crow" practices affected black Pennsylvanians.

Feb. 26

2 a.m. COM: "Heroes of Black Comedy": Chris Rock.

2:30 a.m. COM: "Heroes of Black Comedy": "The Original Kings of Comedy" tour.

3 a.m. COM: "Heroes of Black Comedy": Whoopi Goldberg.

3:30 a.m. COM: "Heroes of Black Comedy": Def Comedy Jam.

Feb. 27

6 a.m. HIST: "Frederick Douglass" -- activist, abolitionist and escaped slave Douglass rose to become the U.S. minister to Haiti.

Feb. 28

2:20 p.m.: "TMC Black Filmmaker Showcase."


"DeFord Bailey: A Legend Lost" chronicles the life of one of the early stars of the Grand Ole Opry. It airs Sunday night at 10:30 on WQED.
Click photo for larger image.


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