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AETN celebrates Black History Month throughout February

In celebration of Black History Month and as part of its year-round commitment to diverse programming, throughout February the Arkansas Educational Television Network (AETN) will recognize the contributions African-Americans have made to the national fabric.

As part of a special on-air lineup, AETN will explore the role African-Americans have played in music, the military and civil rights – providing an in-depth look at key figures and events that have shaped American history.

In addition to programming, PBS has announced the PBS Black Culture Connection, a digital storybook of black films, history, trends and discussion. The PBS Black Culture Connection will be available year-round on pbs.org, beginning Friday, Feb. 1. In addition to aggregating more than 100 digital resources about black history and culture, the site will feature thematic film collections, biographies, profiles, original web productions and local station spotlights.

Original AETN programming celebrating Black History Month will include “Minority Matters” and “Hoxie: The First Stand.”

A monthly AETN production, “Minority Matters” will air Sunday, Feb. 24, at 4:30 p.m. and ask whether race matters in love. This episode will explore interracial relationships, their history, how such relationships affect the dynamics of race relations and whether societal views on the topic are changing.

“Hoxie: The First Stand” will air Sunday, Feb. 10, at 4 p.m. This documentary tells the story of a small school district in northeast Arkansas where integration had gone smoothly – before Life ran a large story about the situation and the town became the site of the first battle between proponents of integration and the growing southern resistance.

Other Black History Month programming on AETN includes:

  • “The Black Kungfu Experience,” Sunday, Feb. 3, at 4 p.m. This film profiles four pioneering black martial artists who challenged and overturned preconceived notions while mastering the ancient art.
  • “Pioneers of Television: Miniseries,” Tuesday, Feb. 5, at 7 p.m. The miniseries category still ranks among the top-rated programs in television history. The groundbreaking series “Roots,” as well as “Rich Man, Poor Man” and “The Thorn Birds,” are featured.
  • “NCRM Freedom Award,” Sunday, Feb. 3, at 7 p.m. This program features highlights from The National Civil Rights Museum’s Freedom Awards held in Memphis, Tenn., Oct. 16, 2012.
  • “Ripple of Hope,” Monday, Feb. 11, at 9 p.m. After Martin Luther King Jr., was assassinated, Robert F. Kennedy risked his life to address a grief-stricken crowd in Indianapolis’s inner city and delivered one of the 20th century’s greatest political speeches.
  • “Colonial Williamsburg Field Trip: The Slave Trade,” Thursday, Feb. 14, at 9 a.m. and noon. This interactive lesson invites students to meet the people involved in or influenced by the U.S. law of 1807 that abolished the transatlantic slave trade. 
  • “For Love of Liberty: The Story of America’s Black Patriots,” Sunday, Feb. 17, at 2 p.m. This program explores the largely untold history of black participation in America’s armed forces, from the earliest days of the Revolutionary War to the conflict in Afghanistan.
  • “The Powerbroker: Whitney Young’s Fight for Civil Rights,” Monday, Feb. 18, at 9 p.m. Unique among black leaders, Whiney M. Young Jr. took the fight for equal rights directly to the powerful white elite. This film examines the journey of one of the most celebrated leaders of the civil rights era.
  • “American Masters: Sister Rosetta Tharpe: The Godmother of Rock & Roll,” Friday, Feb. 22, at 9 p.m. This program highlights Sister Rosetta Tharpe’s work to introduce the spiritual passion of gospel music into the secular world of popular rock ‘n’ roll from the 1940s-1960s.
  • “Slavery by Another Name,” Sunday, Feb. 24, at 1:30 p.m. This film challenges one of America’s most cherished assumptions: the belief that slavery in this country ended with Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation of 1863. The documentary details how new forms of involuntary servitude took its place with shocking force.
  • “Underground Railroad: The William Still Story,” Sunday, Feb. 24, at 3 p.m. William Still – a black abolitionist and one of the most important, yet unheralded, individuals of the Underground Railroad – placed everything at stake to help fugitives follow the North Star to Canada.

 A complete schedule and additional programs are available at aetn.org/schedule.

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