Black History Month

In honor of Black History Month, CET has scheduled a variety of programs to enrich viewers’ understanding of African-American history and culture. As part of our commitment to provide diverse programming and resources for all Americans year-round, we’ll be offering from popular titles alongside encore programming and online streaming opportunities.

Black History Month Programs:

Slavery by Another Name

Slavery by Another Name
2pm Sunday, Feb. 1, on CET

This documentary tells a harrowing story of how in the South, even as chattel slavery came to an end, new forms of involuntary servitude, including convict leasing, debt slavery and peonage, took its place with shocking force - brutalizing and ultimately circumscribing the lives of hundreds of thousands of African Americans well into the 20th century.

Education of Harvey Gantt

Education of Harvey Gantt
3:30pm Sunday, Feb. 1, on CET

On January 28, 1963, a young black man from Charleston named Harvey Gantt enrolled at Clemson College, making him the first African American accepted to a white school in South Carolina.

Genealogy Roadshow: New Orleans – Board of Trade

Genealogy Roadshow: New Orleans – Board of Trade
8pm Tuesday, Feb. 3, on CET

A team of genealogists uncovers fascinating family stories at the New Orleans Board of Trade. A local man seeks to recover essential history washed away in Hurricane Katrina; a woman discovers she has links to both sides of the Civil War; another unravels the mystery behind her grandfather's adoption; and one man explores a link to the famous New Orleans Voodoo Queen, Marie Laveau.

Shakespeare Uncovered: The Taming of the Shrew With Morgan Freeman

Shakespeare Uncovered: The Taming of the Shrew With Morgan Freeman
9pm Friday, Feb. 6, on CET
8pm Monday, Feb. 9, on CET Arts

In 1990, Morgan Freeman famously starred in a Wild West version of The Taming of the Shrew for Shakespeare in the Park in New York. Here he sets out to understand how and why the play, one of the Bard’s first works, was written.

Shakespeare Uncovered: Othello with David Harewood

Shakespeare Uncovered: Othello with David Harewood
10pm Friday, Feb. 6, on CET
9pm Monday, Feb. 9, on CET Arts

In 1997, David Harewood was the first black actor to play Othello on stage at the National Theatre in London. In this episode, he unravels the complex issues of prejudice and jealousy that are threaded throughout the play.

Meet Mary Pleasant

Meet Mary Pleasant
2pm Sunday, Feb. 8, on CET

Meet Mary Pleasant, the 19th-century African American woman born a slave who became an international abolitionist, a prosperous entrepreneur, and a civil-rights activist who helped alter modern-day civil rights law.

Integrated Ole Miss

Integrated Ole Miss
3pm Sunday, Feb. 8, on CET

Integrating Ole Miss presents the University of Mississippi as a microcosm for the Civil Rights Movement in the state and across the nation. In the midst of the Civil Rights Movement, James Meredith became the first Black student to enroll at Ole Miss. His application created an uproar that made news around the world and culminated in a deadly riot and federal intervention.

Civic Life of Nathaniel Colley

Civic Life of Nathaniel Colley
3:30pm Sunday, Feb. 8, on CET

Nathaniel Colley, one of Sacramento's earliest African American lawyers, spent 50 years shaping the course of American history. His passion for education and civil rights brought Colley together with John F. Kennedy, Lyndon Johnson, Rosa Parks, Edmund "Pat" Brown, and Bill Clinton. Discover the achievements of this Sacramento-born advocate for justice and equality.

CCM Jazz Series: An Evening with Gerald Wilson

CCM Jazz Series: An Evening with Gerald Wilson
9pm Sunday, Feb. 8, on CET Arts

Jazz trumpeter, composer, arranger and educator Gerald Stanley Wilson leads the CCM Jazz Ensemble with vocalist Mary Ellen Tanner.

Antiques Roadshow: Celebrating Black Americana

Antiques Roadshow: Celebrating Black Americana
9pm Monday, Feb. 9, on CET

Antiques Roadshow honors Black History Month with this new special that features items seen together for the first time. Highlights include an 1821 U.S. citizenship certificate for George Barker, a free man of color; and an African-American beauty book written by Madame C.J. Walker, the first American female millionaire.

Genealogy Roadshow: St. Louis – Union Station

Genealogy Roadshow: St. Louis – Union Station
8pm Tuesday, Feb. 10, on CET

At St. Louis’ historic Union Station, a team of genealogists uncovers fascinating family stories from across Missouri. A musician hopes to find connections to a famous St. Louis jazz composer; two sisters explore links to a survivor of the legendary Donner Party; an Italian-American woman finds out if she is related to Italian royalty and more.

Mr. Civil Rights: Thurgood Marshall and the NAACP

Mr. Civil Rights: Thurgood Marshall and the NAACP
3pm Sunday, Feb. 15, on CET

This program explores Marshall's life in the years leading up to the landmark Brown v. Board of Education ruling, including his upbringing in Baltimore, his education at Howard University Law School, his status as a rising star within the NAACP, his skill as an orator and storyteller, his relationship with his mentor Charles H. Houston, and his high-profile segregation cases involving voting, transportation, housing, labor and the military.

Independent Lens – Through a Lens Darkly: Black Photographers and the Emergence of a People

Independent Lens - Through a Lens Darkly: Black Photographers and the Emergence of a People
10pm Monday, Feb. 16, on CET

This is the story of the pioneering African-American photographers - men and women, celebrated and anonymous - who have recorded the lives and aspirations of generations, from slavery to the present.

Genealogy Roadshow: Philadelphia – Historical Society of Pennsylvania

Genealogy Roadshow: Philadelphia – Historical Society of Pennsylvania
8pm Tuesday, Feb. 17, on CET

A team of genealogists uncovers fascinating family histories at the Historical Society of Pennsylvania. One woman’s ancestor may have sparked historic labor laws, a pastor may have an outlaw in her family tree, a woman learns about slave genealogy and more.

American Masters: August Wilson – The Ground on Which I Stand

American Masters: August Wilson - The Ground on Which I Stand
9pm Friday, Feb. 20, on CET
8pm Monday, Feb. 23, on CET Arts

Explore the life and legacy of playwright August Wilson (April 27, 1945 – October 2, 2005), the man some call America's Shakespeare, from his roots as an activist and poet to his indelible mark on Broadway.

Stand! Untold Stories of the Civil Rights Movement

Stand! Untold Stories of the Civil Rights Movement
2pm Sunday, Feb. 22, on CET

This program chronicles the key events which led to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC), selecting Birmingham, Alabama as the site for the now famous 'Project C' (Project Confrontation) in 1963.

Independent Lens: American Denial

Independent Lens: American Denial
10pm Monday, Feb. 23, on CET

American Denial 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.

Reason to Dance

Reason to Dance
9pm Thursday, Feb. 26, on CET Arts

China Smith is on a quest to spread awareness of the African diaspora through contemporary dance.



Free Streaming on the BCC

The following is a sample of the more than 30 programs available for online streaming on the BCC in February:

  • The African Americans: Many Rivers to Cross with Henry Louis Gates, Jr.
  • Memories of the March
  • Bill T. Jones: A Good Man (American Masters)
  • Cab Calloway: Sketches (American Masters)
  • Dreams of Obama (Frontline)
  • Endgame: AIDS in Black America (Frontline)
  • Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates, Jr.
  • Freedom Riders (American Experience) 
  • Interrupters (Frontline)
  • Jimi Hendrix—Hear My Train A-Comin’ (American Masters)
  • Jesse Owens (American Experience)
  • “Roots” Special (Pioneers of TV “Miniseries”)
  • Not in Our Town: Class Actions 
  • Slavery by Another Name
  • Too Important to Fail (Tavis Smiley)
  • Sister Rosetta Tharpe: The Godmother of Rock & Roll (American Masters)
  • Alice Walker: Beauty in Truth (American Masters)
  • POV – Black Male Achievement documentary special series: Teaching Fatherhood, The Jazz Ticket, The Algebra Ceiling 
  • The Powerbroker: Whitney Young’s Fight for Civil Rights (Independent Lens)
  • Spies of Mississippi (Independent Lens)
  • The Trials of Muhammad Ali (Independent Lens)
  • American Promise (POV)
  • Underground Railroad: The William Still Story
  • The March
  • Unforgivable Blackness: The Rise and Fall of Jack Johnson
  • Daisy Bates, Black Power Mixtape, Soul Food Junkies (Independent Lens)