PBS will celebrate Black History Month with an expanded new slate of programming, specials, and digital content, shining a spotlight on the diversity of people, stories, and experiences in the Black community.
Highlights include Season 10 of FINDING YOUR ROOTS, GOSPEL LIVE! PRESENTED BY HENRY LOUIS GATES, JR. (Feb. 9), and GOSPEL (Feb. 12). In addition, a new PBS KIDS series, LYLA IN THE LOOP will premiere on Feb. 5.
As a complement to the primetime schedule and continuing for the third consecutive year is THE BLOCK PARTY, a streaming collection and social campaign presented by PBS’s Black Culture Connection, created to amplify Black stories across PBS’s digital platforms through curated and original bonus content.
“PBS is proud to bring forth stories from diverse perspectives with documentaries such as GOSPEL and those from INDEPENDENT LENS and POV, which apply a wide lens on the lived experiences of the Black community,” said Sylvia Bugg, Chief Programming Executive and General Manager, General Audience Programming at PBS. “We’re also excited to bring back audience favorites with the return of FINDING YOUR ROOTS and THE BLOCK PARTY, highlighting content that audiences can access during Black History Month and all year long.”
“At PBS KIDS, we want kids across the country to see themselves represented in our content, and also want to be a window into experiences that may be different from their own,” said Sara DeWitt, Senior Vice President and General Manager, PBS KIDS. “We’re excited to welcome Lyla and the Loops family to PBS KIDS and know families across the country will be drawn to this warm, funny, and smart series.”
Below is the full schedule of Black History Month 2024 programs premiering on PBS (check local listings), PBS.org, and the PBS App—available on iOS, Android, Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, Chromecast and VIZIO.
FINDING YOUR ROOTS (Season 10)
Premieres: Tuesdays Jan. 2 – Feb. 20, 8 p.m. ET
Dr. Henry Louis Gates, Jr. guides 21 compelling guests – including three of his loyal viewers – deep into their family trees, revealing surprising stories that transcend borders, illuminating an American root system fortified by its diversity.
INDEPENDENT LENS “Racist Trees”
Premieres: Monday, Jan. 22, 10 p.m. ET
Were trees intentionally planted to exclude and segregate a Black neighborhood? In this documentary, racial tensions ignite in Palm Springs, California, over a fight to remove a wall of trees that form a barrier believed to exclude a community.
INDEPENDENT LENS “Razing Liberty Square”
Premieres: Monday, Jan. 29, 10 p.m. ET
Liberty City, Miami, was home to one of the oldest segregated public housing projects in the United States. Now, with rising sea levels, the neighborhood’s higher ground has become something else: real estate gold.
Premieres: Thursday, Feb. 1(check local listings)
Rev. Fred Shuttlesworth was raised in the crucible of segregated Birmingham, but he was forged by its attempt to kill him. When the KKK planted a bomb underneath his bed and he emerged unharmed, he was sure he was saved by God to lead a Movement. His work not only ended legal segregation but led directly to the Civil and Voting Rights Acts — and inspired freedom movements around the world.
Premieres: Sunday, February 4 (check local listings)
Theater luminary and Tony-nominated director of “Slave Play” Robert O’Hara oversees a potent new staging that imagines Malcolm as an Everyman whose story transcends time and space. An exceptional cast of breakout artists and young Met stars enliven the operatic retelling of the civil rights leader’s life.
Premieres: Monday, February 5
PBS KIDS’ newest funny and engaging animated series for kids ages 4-8 follows Lyla, a dynamic 7-year-old Black girl, who lives in a big city with her close-knit family, fantastical blue sidekick Stu, and a host of relatable and quirky characters in her community, who use creative and strategic problem-solving and critical thinking skills to address a range of everyday problems together. Produced by Mighty Picnic and Pipeline Studios, the new series will debut in both English and Spanish.
Premieres: Friday, Feb. 9, 9 p.m. ET
GOSPEL LIVE! PRESENTED BY HENRY LOUIS GATES, JR. is a concert celebration honoring the legacy of Gospel music in America. As a companion to GOSPEL, hosted by Henry Louis Gates, Jr., secular and gospel artists sing their favorite gospel classics.
Premieres: Monday, Feb. 12, 9 p.m. ET
Musical styles come and go, but there’s one sound that has been a constant source of strength, courage, and wisdom from the pulpit to the choir lofts on any given Sunday. GOSPEL, the latest history series from Henry Louis Gates, Jr., digs deep into the origin story of Black spirituality through sermon and song.
INDEPENDENT LENS “Breaking the News”
Premieres: Premieres: Monday, Feb. 12, 9 p.m. ET
Frustrated by a broken news media system, a group of women and LGBTQ+ journalists launch The 19th*, an unprecedented digital news startup dedicated to combatting misinformation. Challenging the status quo, the 19th* aims to elevate voices often left out of mainstream news. “Breaking the News” captures honest discussions at The 19th* around race and gender equity, revealing change doesn’t come easy.
THE COST OF INHERITANCE: AN AMERICA REFRAMED SPECIAL
Now streaming on PBS.org and the PBS App
Explore the issue of reparations in the U.S. with a focus on historical injustices, systemic inequities, and critical dialogue. Through narratives, inquiries, and insights, the film aims to inspire understanding of the scope and rationale of the reparations debate.
POV “A Brief Tender Light”
Now streaming on PBS.org and the PBS App
At the elite MIT, a Ghanaian alum follows four African students striving to become change agents for home. Now, living in America, each must refine their ideas about the world, themselves, and how to transform youthful ideals into action as adults.
PBS Digital Studios continues to prioritize diverse storytelling and creators through a variety of digital web series on YouTube, PBS.org, and the PBS App. Audiences can celebrate Black History Month with PBS Digital Studios’ curated YouTube playlist and the episodes below, highlighting the Studios’ newest web series exploring history, culture, science, and the arts.
Women of the Earth: How This Aquaponics Farmer is Reinventing Urban Agriculture
PBS, with more than 330 member stations, offers all Americans the opportunity to explore new ideas and new worlds through television and digital content. Each month, PBS reaches over 42 million adults on linear primetime television, more than 15 million users on PBS-owned streaming platforms, and 56 million people view PBS content on social media, inviting them to experience the worlds of science, history, nature, and public affairs; to hear diverse viewpoints; and to take front-row seats to world-class drama and performances. PBS’s broad array of programs has been consistently honored by the industry’s most coveted award competitions. Teachers of children from pre-K through 12th grade turn to PBS LearningMedia for digital content and services that help bring classroom lessons to life. As the number one educational media brand, PBS KIDS helps children 2-8 build critical skills, enabling them to find success in school and life. Delivered through member stations, PBS KIDS offers high-quality content on TV — including a PBS KIDS channel — and streaming free on pbskids.org and the PBS KIDS Video app, games on the PBS KIDS Games app, and in communities across America.
PBS KIDS believes the world is full of possibilities, and so is every child. As the number one educational media brand for kids, PBS KIDS helps children ages 2-8 learn lessons that last a lifetime. Through media and community-based programs, PBS KIDS wants children to see themselves uniquely reflected and celebrated in lovable, diverse characters who serve as positive role models, and to explore their feelings and discover new adventures along the way. Families can streamPBS KIDS for free anytime, no subscription required. A large collection of mobile apps and pbskids.org provide accessible content that spark kids’ curiosity. PBS KIDS and local stations across the country support the entire ecosystem in which children learn and grow – including their teachers and caregivers, parents, and community – providing resources accessible anytime and anywhere. Follow PBS KIDS on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
PBS Digital Studios
PBS Digital Studios produces original, digital programming designed to engage, enlighten, and entertain online audiences. The PBS Digital Studios network has more than 30 million subscribers on YouTube, generating an average of 50 million views each month. In 10 years, it has launched over 120 original series and has accumulated over four billion lifetime views on YouTube. Series include the Webby Award-winning BE SMART and SOUND FIELD, as well as popular series such as WEATHERED, EONS, MONSTRUM and PBS SPACE TIME. For more information on PBS Digital Studios,visit PBS.org.
Photo credit: Malcolm X.
- First Glimpse: The Met’s Historic Harlem Renaissance Exhibition
- The Mayer’s Op-Ed: Social Media And Youth Mental Health
- Saxophonist Javon Jackson And Poet Nikki Giovanni Perform At NYC’s Schomburg In Harlem
- New York Leads The Nation In AI Policy
- How To Balance Caring For Your Parents With Raising A Family Of Your Own