As the conversation concerning race and racism across America has reached new heights, it is important to educate as we communicate. Our local PBS station, Panhandle PBS, has begun broadcasting a series of films and specials focused on race in America. In addition, Panhandle PBS will share a playlist of programs from FRONTLINE, POV, INDEPENDENT LENS and other iconic series that explore the impact of racism on Black Americans and the larger country.

“As a media system that serves every person in America, we stand with the Black community, and we stand against racism and hate," said Paula Kerger, President & CEO of PBS. "In the coming days and weeks, we will use our national reach and community presence to deepen understanding, foster conversation and enable meaningful change. And we will continue to stand behind our courageous journalists, whose unwavering commitment to speak truth to power is essential to the strength of our democracy.”

On Monday June 8, at 9:00pm, an encore of Great Performances “Twilight: Los Angeles” will air on Panhandle PBS. Anna Deavere Smith’s powerful one-woman theater piece gives a riveting account of the violent aftermath of the 1992 Rodney King verdict and the lasting impact of the Los Angeles riots on America’s conscience. Award winning director Marc Levin weaves Smith’s stage performance with news footage and interviews to create a portrait of rage, sorrow, loss and battered hope.

"America In Black and Blue 2020," will be next in the special series of programming on Panhandle PBS. It will air Monday, June 15 at 8:00 p.m, and will report from across the country, and include interviews with key leaders and participants in the struggle for racial justice, accountability and equity, as well as voices from law enforcement. As the latest crisis of police violence on black citizens — and outraged protests and ensuing violence — engulf the nation, this PBS special will bring context and insight.

PBS will also stream a full slate of films including Dr. Henry Louis Gates, Jr.’s "The African Americans: Many Rivers To Cross," a chronicle of African American history, from the origins of slavery on the African continent through more than four centuries of remarkable events; "Reconstruction: America After The Civil War," a four-part series that explores the trans-formative years when the nation struggled to rebuild itself in the face of profound loss and African Americans forged a new, more equal place in American social and political life, only to face the backlash of segregation and institutionalized dis-empowerment whose legacy persists today; and "Black America Since MLK: And Still I Rise," a detailed exploration of how the civil rights movement impacted the country, including successes and failures related to political and economic equality. PBS will also provide Stanley Nelson’s award-winning film "The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution," a riveting look at an earlier era of conflict and how the Black Panthers provided community services while advocating for more radical national change.

If you are unable to watch on television at the times above, you will be able to stream all the films on the PBS website as well as your favorite streaming devices. As well as the specials, you will also find a curated collection to stream of even more content:

  • INDEPENDENT LENS “Always in Season” - A grieving mother embarks on a quest for racial justice after her teenage son’s suspicious death.
  • INDEPENDENT LENS “Charm City” - Get to know the people on the front lines of three years of unparalleled violence in Baltimore.
  • INDEPENDENT LENS “The First Rainbow Coalition” - Notable community groups in 1960s Chicago bridge race and ethnicity to form a surprising alliance.
  • INDEPENDENT LENS “I Am Not Your Negro” - Explore James Baldwin’s unfinished book about race in America in this Oscar-nominated documentary.
  • JOHN LEWIS – GET IN THE WAY - Follow the courageous journey of John Lewis, from his youth in the segregated South, through his leadership within the Civil Rights movement, to his current role as a powerful voice in Congress.
  • POV “Whose Streets?” - Take an unflinching look at the Ferguson uprising, told by the activists leading the movement.

PBS Learning Media as well as PBS Kids will also be offering special programming and resources available for our youth. You can follow along during the month of June and beyond on PBS.org and the Panhandle PBS website.