African American

The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution


This is the first feature-length documentary to explore the Black Panther Party, its significance to the broader American culture, its cultural and political awakening for black people and the painful lessons wrought when a movement derails. Master documentarian Stanley Nelson goes straight to the source, weaving rare archival footage with the voices of the people who were there: police, FBI informants, journalists, white supporters and detractors, and Black Panthers who remained loyal to the party and those who left it. Featuring Kathleen Cleaver, Jamal Joseph, and dozens of others, the film is a vibrant chronicle of this pivotal movement that gave rise to a new revolutionary culture in America.



The Education of Harvey Gantt


In 1960, a talented African-American student from Charleston, Harvey Gantt, graduated from high school and decided to become an architect. Clemson College was the only school in South Carolina that offered a degree in his chosen field. In January of 1963, with the help of NAACP lawyer Matthew J. Perry, Gantt won a lawsuit against Clemson and was peacefully admitted to the college, making him the first African-American student to attend a formerly all-white school in South Carolina.



Alice Walker: Beauty in Truth


Most famous for her seminal novel The Color Purple, writer-activist Alice Walker was born into a family of sharecroppers in rural Georgia in 1944. She came of age during the violent racism and seismic social changes of mid-20th-century America. Her mother, poverty and participation in the civil rights movement were the formative influences on her consciousness, becoming the inherent themes in her writing. The first African American woman to win a Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, Walker continues to shine a light on global human rights issues. Her dramatic life is told with poetry and lyricism, and includes interviews with Steven Spielberg, Danny Glover, Gloria Steinem and Walker herself.


Keep Your Head Up / Touch the Sky


Henry Louis Gates, Jr. explores America’s changing racial landscape-celebrating how far we have come toward equality and asking why we still have so far to go. Features conversations with Attorney General Eric Holder, activist DeRay Mckesson and television producer Shonda Rhimes.


Out of the Shadows / Move On Up


Dr. Henry Louis Gates Jr. takes a personal journey through the last 50 years of African American history, charting the incredible progress made – as well as the obstacles that remain. The program features conversations with Jesse Jackson, Nas and Donna Brazile.


America in Black & Blue
A PBS NewsHour Weekend Special

America in Black & Blue, A PBS NewsHour Weekend Special


After a week of violence, grief and horror, with five police officers shot dead in Dallas, and two African American men shot dead by police officers in Minnesota and Louisiana, this news special will dig deep to explore the roots of these events, competing accounts of responsibility and justice, and televise the conversation that America is having around so many losses, mutual fears, and also around the common ground where progress may be made. Journalist Alison Stewart anchors, with reports from Newark, New Jersey and Minneapolis, Minnesota.


The Adventure (1955-1960)

JAZZ: The Adventure (1955-1960)


As rhythm and blues and rock ‘n’ roll erode jazz’s audience, the music nonetheless enjoys a time of tremendous creativity. Tenor saxophonist John Coltrane scores a hit with his version of the show tune “My Favorite Things” and creates some of the most intense music in jazz history.


A Masterpiece by Midnight (1961-Present)

JAZZ: A Masterpiece by Midnight. Charles Mingus in 1976


In the 1960s, the question of what is jazz and what isn’t rages, dividing audiences, musicians and generations. Miles Davis leads a movement of jazz musicians who incorporate elements of rock and soul into their music.


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