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AETN celebrates Black History Month throughout February
Posted 29 Jan 2015
In honor of Black History Month, the Arkansas Educational Television Network (AETN) and PBS has released a programming lineup and online content offerings that will enrich viewers' understanding of black history and culture. As part of the commitment to provide diverse programming and resources year round, AETN and PBS will offer special new episodes and encore programming from popular titles, all of which will stream online after broadcast on the PBS Black Culture Connection (BCC) at pbs.org/bcc.
Beginning in February, 'Antiques Roadshow' premieres 'Celebrating Black Americana,' where, among other items, participants bring for appraisal an 1821 citizenship certificate for a free man of color and an African-American beauty book written by entrepreneur Madame C.J. Walker, the first American female millionaire. On 'Genealogy Roadshow,' participants in New Orleans explore family links to the Civil War and connections to the famous New Orleans Voodoo Queen, Marie Laveau.
'Independent Lens' airs the documentary 'Through a Lens Darkly: Black Photographers and the Emergence of a People,' which tells the story of pioneering black photographers who have recorded the lives and aspirations of generations of people, from slavery to present.
'American Masters' premieres 'August Wilson: The Ground on Which I Stand,' which examines the legacy of August Wilson, whom some call America's Shakespeare, in honor of the 70th anniversary of his birth and 10th anniversary of his death. Film and theater luminaries such as James Earl Jones, Viola Davis, Phylicia Rashad, Laurence Fishburne, Charles Dutton and others share their stories of the career and life experience of bringing Wilson's rich theatrical voice to the stage.
Also airing in February is 'Shakespeare Uncovered,' with programs that combine history, biography, iconic performances, new analysis and the personal passion of its celebrated hosts, including Morgan Freeman and David Harewood, to tell the stories behind the stories of Shakespeare's greatest plays.
In addition to on-air programs, the PBS BCC (pbs.org/bcc), an extension of PBS.org featuring black films, stories and discussion across PBS, will debut several new 'Top 10' lists with recommendations for must-see documentaries and must-read authors, as well as little-known black history facts.
The full Black History Month programming lineup is listed below and will also be available for online streaming on the BCC after premiere:
- 'Genealogy Roadshow: New Orleans – Board of Trade,' Tuesday, Feb. 3, at 7 p.m. 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.
- 'Genealogy Roadshow: St. Louis – Union Station,' Tuesday, Feb. 10, at 7 p.m. 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 a schoolteacher who has all the answers for her students has very few about her own past.
- 'Genealogy Roadshow: Philadelphia – Historical Society of Pennsylvania,' Tuesday, Feb. 17, at 7 p.m. 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, with the help of DNA testing, gets the answer she has waited for; and another woman learns her ancestor may have helped others escape the Holocaust.
- 'Shakespeare Uncovered: The Taming of the Shrew With Morgan Freeman,' Friday, Feb. 6, at 8 p.m. 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. Interviewees include Tracey Ullman, Sinead Cusack and Julia Stiles.
- 'Shakespeare Uncovered: Othello With David Harewood,' Friday, Feb. 6, at 9 p.m. 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, and returns to the National to meet Adrian Lester, the most recent actor to take on the role at the theatre. Interviewees include Simon Russell Beale, Ian McKellen, Julia Stiles and Patrick Stewart.
- 'Antiques Roadshow: Celebrating Black Americana,' Monday, Feb. 9, at 8 p.m. '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; an African-American beauty book written by Madame C.J. Walker, the first American female millionaire; and a trip with host Mark L. Walberg and appraiser Leila Dunbar to the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum in Kansas City, Missouri.
- 'Independent Lens: Through a Lens Darkly: Black Photographers and the Emergence of a People,' Sunday, Feb. 22, at 10:30 p.m. This is the story of the pioneering black photographers – men and women, celebrated and anonymous – who have recorded the lives and aspirations of generations, from slavery to the present.
- 'American Masters – August Wilson: The Ground on Which I Stand,' Friday, Feb. 20, at 8 p.m. Explore the life and legacy of playwright August Wilson (April 27, 1945 – Oct. 2, 2005), the man some call America's Shakespeare, from his roots as an activist and poet to his indelible mark on Broadway. Film and theater luminaries including Viola Davis, Charles Dutton, Laurence Fishburne, James Earl Jones, Suzan-Lori Parks and Phylicia Rashad share their stories of the career- and life-changing experience of bringing Wilson's rich theatrical voice to the stage. Unprecedented access to Wilson's theatrical archives, rarely seen interviews and new dramatic readings bring to life his seminal 10-play cycle chronicling each decade of the 20th-century black experience.
AETN PBS LearningMedia – PBS' destination for educators and students – offers a range of curriculum-targeted resources that support lessons on black history and spotlight the leaders, thinkers and innovators that helped shape the nation's history. Through discussion questions, worksheets, videos and digitized primary sources, AETN PBS LearningMedia helps teachers to promote inquiry in their classrooms and strengthen students' personal connection to black history and culture. More information on the latest digital resources for classroom instruction is available at aetn.pbslearningmedia.org.
A complete schedule and additional programs are available at aetn.org/schedule.
The Arkansas Educational Television Network (AETN) is Arkansas's statewide public television network that enhances lives by providing lifelong learning opportunities for people from all walks of life. AETN delivers local, award-winning productions and classic, trusted PBS programs aimed at sharing Arkansas and the world with viewers. AETN depends on the generosity of Arkansans and the State of Arkansas to continue offering quality programming. For more information, visit aetn.org, or follow the AETN blog at aetn.org/engage. AETN is broadcast on KETS (Little Rock), KEMV (Mountain View), KETG (Arkadelphia), KAFT (Fayetteville), KTEJ (Jonesboro), and KETZ (El Dorado).