This blog post was created by KCTS 9 marketing and communications intern Danielle P. in collaboration with KCTS 9 staff.
Each February, people in the U.S., Canada and Britain celebrate Black History Month. Here at KCTS 9, we honor the accomplishments of African Americans, especially those who have worked to heal the racial divisions that have plagued — and continue to plague — our country. In the following programs premiering on KCTS 9 throughout the month, viewers will learn about the lives of African-American writers, historians, performers, activists and ordinary citizens.
Discover how D.W. Griffith’s controversial 1915 film, The Birth of a Nation, sparked the movement for racial equality among African Americans. Featuring interviews with Spike Lee, Reginald Hudlin, Henry Louis Gates, Jr. and others, this film shows how violent acts committed by the Ku Klux Klan motivated generations of African-American artists and filmmakers to reestablish their onscreen image and tell their own stories.
Celebrate the 50-year career of Grammy Award-winning rhythm-and-blues icon Smokey Robinson. Credited with writing more than 1,000 songs, including 37 Top-40 hits, Robinson is a Motown legend. Samuel L. Jackson hosts this tribute, which features performances from Robinson himself as well as from CeeLo Green, Esperanza Spalding, The Tenors and many others.
This program follows African-American musician Daryl Davis, who works to challenge racism by befriending members of the Ku Klux Klan. His approach — which is controversial and has been criticized by some activists — is to break the racist beliefs of each member he speaks to. When someone decide to leave the Klan, Davis keeps their robes and hoods, building his collection, person by person.
In the wake of the hundreds of violent encounters between law enforcement and young people of color in America, this documentary recounts the increasingly common conversation between parents of color and their children on how to behave if they are ever stopped by police. It focuses on African-American and Hispanic communities, telling the stories of six different families from across the United States.
Discover the life and legacy of the late poet, writer and civil rights activist, Dr. Maya Angelou. Best known for her timeless autobiography I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, she inspired generations of Americans. Featuring interviews with Oprah Winfrey, Quincy Jones, Hillary Clinton and others, the documentary sheds light on the prolific life of this beloved African-American icon.
Henry Louis Gates, Jr. hosts this captivating series, which highlights the continent’s compelling history and the remarkable contributions of its many complex and diverse cultures.