Black History Month Specials 2015

Various Times

Join us as we celebrate the incredible achievements and contributions in the arts, literature, sciences, and humanities that African Americans have achieved through the centuries.

Airs Sunday, September 27, at 6 p.m. Before the civil rights movement, African Americans were largely barred from white-dominated institutions of higher education. And so black Americans, and their white supporters, founded their own schools, which came to be known as Historically Black Colleges and Universities. HBCU graduates helped launch the civil rights movement and built the black middle class. But after desegregation, some people began to ask whether HBCUs had outlived their purpose.

Airs Friday, February 27, at 10 p.m. A Man Like Curtis is a two hour tribute to Curtis Mayfield, hosted by Lenny Kravitz, for whom Curtis was a major musical influence.  With commentary from many fellow artists and family members, we learn how, despite his accomplishments as a prodigious writer and arranger of his generation, Mayfield remained a humble soul for the entirety of his life.

Airs Friday, February 27, at 9 p.m. Sister Rosetta Tharp electrified 1930s audiences with her singing and guitar playing. "The Godmother of Rock and Roll" influenced the music of Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis, Little Richard, and Johnny Cash. Plus, a celebration of the "Affrilachian Poets". And, accents can be endearing but southern and African American students often pay a price in the classroom for their dialects.

Airs Thursday, February 26, at 7 p.m. The most celebrated African American poets in America pay homage to the life’s work of former Poet Laureate and Pulitzer Prize winner Rita Dove. With Good Reason interviews Rita Dove and features readings from Dove, as well as readings by renowned poets Elizabeth Alexander and Ishmael Reed.

Airs Tuesday, February 25 at 10 p.m. The artistic collaboration between Duke Ellington and composer/ arranger Billy Strayhorn is one of the most important in the history of American music.  It's the subject of the music documentary,"The Magic of Duke Ellington and Billy Strayhorn" presented by the AAPRC Network this month.