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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

WTVP Announces Programming Line-Up for 2012 Black History Month Commemoration

 

Friday, January 27th, 2012

 

William Still, Father of the Underground Railroad

New specials include a story of the UNDERGROUND RAILROAD and, from INDEPENDENT LENS, an intimate look at “Daisy Bates: The First Lady of Little Rock,” a collection of interviews called “Black Power Mixtape 1967-1975,” and a filmmaker’s cross country campaign in “More Than a Month

 

Schedule also features 2012 Sundance Film Festival selection SLAVERY BY ANOTHER NAME and an AMERICAN MASTERS profile of “Cab Calloway

WTVP-Public Media is airing an expansive slate of programs profiling the rich history, culture and contributions of African-Americans. The programs air as part of PBS’ celebration of Black History Month, February 2012. With new programs that delve into the archives of history, this year’s schedule provides an in-depth look at a variety of historical events from the post-Emancipation era to the rise of the black power movement.

Premieres:
INDEPENDENT LENS will present three new shows. “Daisy Bates: The First Lady of Little Rock,” premiering Sunday, February 12, at 11:00 p.m. on WTVP-HD, tells the story of Bates’ life and her public support of nine black students who registered to attend the all-white Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas . The film’s director is Sharon La Cruise. (See advanced clip here) Premiering on Sunday, February 19, at 10:30 p.m. on WTVP-HD is a compilation of interviews from leading African-American artists, activists, musicians and scholars in “Black Power Mixtape 1967-1975.” (See advanced clip here) In the late 1960s and early 1970s, Swedish television journalists came to America to document the burgeoning black power movement. This long-lost trove of film, combined with contemporary interviews to create an irresistible mosaic chronicling the movement’s evolution, features interviews with seminal black power leaders, including Stokely Carmichael and Eldridge Cleaver, as well as author/activist Angela Davis. And in “More Than a Month”, premiering on Sunday, February 26, at 11:00 p.m. on WTVP-HD, Shukree Hassan Tilghman, an African-American filmmaker, is on a cross-country campaign to end Black History Month. Through this tongue-in-cheek and thought-provoking journey, “More Than a Month” investigates what the treatment of history tells us about race and equality in a “post-racial” America. (See advanced clip here)

In the compelling story of an unsung hero, UNDERGROUND RAILROAD: THE WILLIAM STILL STORY, airing Monday, February 6 at 9:00 p.m. on WTVP-HD, explores one man’s mission to help slaves escape to freedom. The program looks at the inner workings of the Underground Railroad through detailed records, diaries and other written accounts of the freedom seekers who made their way across the U.S. border to Canada. (See advanced clip here)

SLAVERY BY ANOTHER NAME premieres Monday, February 13, at 8:00 p.m. on WTVP-HD. A Sundance Film Festival selection for 2012, this new documentary based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning book by Wall Street Journal senior writer Douglas A. Blackmon examines the concept of “neoslavery,” which sentenced African-Americans in the post-Emancipation South to forced labor for violating an array of laws that criminalized their everyday behavior. Award-winning actor Laurence Fishburne narrates the film. (See advanced clip here)

FRONTLINEThe Interrupters,” premiering Tuesday, February 14, at 9:00 p.m. on WTVP-HD, follows a group of former gang leaders in Chicago who try to “interrupt” shootings and protect their communities from the violence they themselves once committed. From director Steve James (HOOP DREAMS, Stevie), “The Interrupters” is a compelling observational journey into the stubborn, persistent violence that plagues American cities. (See advanced clip here)

Rounding out the Black History Month programming are three shows that highlight the artistic contributions of African-Americans. On Friday, February 24, at 8:00 p.m., turn the radio dial back to the 1950s for the tale of a black singer, a white DJ, forbidden love and the birth of rock ‘n’ roll in GREAT PERFORMANCESMemphis.” The original Broadway cast members of the 2010 Tony Award-winner for Best New Musical reprise their roles in this roof-raising celebration of music.

Finally, AMERICAN MASTERS closes out the month with a profile of Cab Calloway, one of the first black musicians to tour the segregationist South and a regular performer at Harlem’s famous Cotton Club. “Cab Calloway: Sketchespremiering Monday, February 27, at 9:00 p.m. on WTVP-HD, showcases this exceptional figure in the history of jazz, a bandleader and singer who charmed audiences around the world with his boundless energy, bravado and elegant showmanship. Calloway was at the top of his game in the jazz and swing eras of the 30s and 40s with his signature song “Minnie the Moocher,” featuring the popular refrain “Hi de hi de hi de ho,” and his timeless rendition of “It Ain’t Necessarily So.” (See advanced clip here)

“Each year, PBS is committed to airing historically informative programming that not only pays tribute to the men and women who sacrificed so much for our nation, but who influenced change in the face of adversity,” said Donald Thoms, Vice President, Programming. “We hope viewers will find PBS’ commemorative programming both enlightening and enjoyable, and we are excited to present some of these selections as part of our TCA Press Tour session.”

In addition to these premieres, WTVP will air an encore of FREEDOM RIDERS: AMERICAN EXPERIENCE on Tuesday, February 7, at 7:00 p.m. WTVP-HD. FREEDOM RIDERS is acclaimed filmmaker Stanley Nelson’s powerful and inspirational story of the more than 400 black and white men and women who, using non-violent tactics, risked their lives to challenge segregated travel facilities in the South in 1961.

Other series airing throughout the year that routinely cover topics and profile guests and performers of interest to African-Americans include FRONTLINE, GREAT PERFORMANCES, PBS NEWSHOUR, NEED TO KNOW, POV, TAVIS SMILEY and WASHINGTON WEEK WITH GWEN IFILL. FINDING YOUR ROOTS, the latest series from renowned cultural critic and Harvard scholar Henry Louis Gates, Jr., premieres Sunday, March 25, at 7:00 p.m. on WTVP-HD. (See advanced clip here)

Thousands of hours of PBS programming are available on the PBS Video Portal. In mid-January, the Video Portal will release a special collection for Black History Month 2012, featuring new and encore programming.

Through broadcast and services, WTVP has been serving the communities of Central Illinois since 1971. Now on the Internet, WTVP provides quality educational content to the world. WTVP and wtvp.org—Public Media for Central Illinois. Viewers can tune in to WTVP over the air on Channel 47.1, on Comcast Cable (Peoria office) channel 12 and HD 916, and Mediacom Cable channel 10 and HD 710 (Chillicothe, Henry, Elmwood, Farmington, Toulon, Wyoming and Dunlap). Check your local cable or satellite provider for details. Some Black History Month programming will also air on WTVP WORLD Channel 47.2 (or check your cable/satellite provider). Full schedule at http://www.wtvp.org.

 

 

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For further information contact Linda Miller, WTVP Vice President of Programming, at (309) 495-0591 or linda.miller@wtvp.org

 


 

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