PBS Celebrates Black History Month With an Extensive Lineup of Special Programming

ARLINGTON, Va., Jan. 6 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — From history to performing arts to independent film, PBS offers viewers the opportunity to explore the rich and vibrant history and cultural contributions of African Americans throughout the year, but will offer a special slate of new and encore programs in honor of Black History Month, February 2009.

HISTORY DETECTIVES will hit the road to search for the truth about a slave songbook, a guitar once owned by African-American singer-songwriter Josh White and a house that some claim is the birthplace of hip-hop. Henry Louis Gates Jr. dissects the myths surrounding Abraham Lincoln in LOOKING FOR LINCOLN, while SIMON SCHAMA’S ROUGH CROSSINGS transports viewers on the journey of freed slaves who fought for the British during the Revolutionary War, from the cotton fields of George to sweltering Sierra Leone.

INDEPENDENT LENS offers three new films about race in February. “Adjust Your Color: The Truth about Petey Greene” profiles America’s first “shock jock,” who, with his raw, unvarnished voice, spoke truth to power on his groundbreaking radio and television series. “Tulia, Texas” examines the price Americans pay for the nation’s war on drugs and “The Order of Myths” reveals the parallel black and white worlds of Mardi Gras Secret Societies in Mobile, Alabama, where separate and unequal is still the order of the day.

AN EVENING WITH EARTHA KITT celebrates the life of the legendary entertainer, who passed away in December 2008, with a freewheeling and frank interview with PBS’ Gwen Ifill.

The following is a list of programming airing in February 2009 in honor of Black History Month. Full program descriptions, press materials and photos are available on PBS PressRoom at http://pressroom.pbs.org/programs/black_history_month_2009. Additional information is also available on pbs.org at http://www.pbs.org/aboutpbs/news/20090105_pbsblackhistorymonth.html.

New Programming

* AN EVENING WITH EARTHA KITT
* FAUBOURG TREME: THE UNTOLD STORY OF BLACK NEW ORLEANS
* HISTORY DETECTIVES Episode #611
* INDEPENDENT LENS “Adjust Your Color: The Truth About Petey Greene”
* INDEPENDENT LENS “Tulia, Texas”
* INDEPENDENT LENS “The Order of Myths”
* LOOKING FOR LINCOLN
* SIMON SCHAMA’S ROUGH CROSSINGS

Encore Programming

* AFRICAN AMERICAN LIVES 2
* EYES ON THE PRIZE: AMERICAN EXPERIENCE
* FANNIE LOU HAMER: COURAGE AND FAITH
* INDEPENDENT LENS “Billy Strayhorn: Lush Life”
* INDEPENDENT LENS “Hip Hop: Beyond Beats and Rhymes”
* SHARED HISTORY
* SIGNPOST TO FREEDOM: THE 1953 BATON ROUGE BUS BOYCOTT
* SISTERS OF SELMA: BEARING WITNESS FOR CHANGE
* THE STORY OF OSCAR BROWN JR.
* UNFORGIVABLE BLACKNESS: THE RISE AND FALL OF JACK JOHNSON
* ZORA’S ROOTS

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