KLRU Celebrates Black History Month

KLRU celebrates black history month

KLRU broadcasts programming created by and about people from all cultures year-round, from public affairs to history to independent film to kids programming. In celebration of Black History Month, KLRU and KLRU-Q will broadcast a lineup of programs and events  honoring and exploring African American culture.

Haunted Texas
airs Sunday, Feb. 3 at 5:30 pm
Ghost sightings are reported at an abandoned settlement made by former slaves after the Civil War. This program explores the history of the Peyton Colony, Texas also known as Freedman’s Colony, a settlement established by former slaves after the Civil War.

Independent LensThe Powerbroker: Whitney Young’s Fight for Civil Rights
Community Cinema preview screening Tuesday, Feb. 5 in Austin and Thursday, Feb. 14 in Round Rock. Get more details about these screening events
airs Monday, Feb. 18 at 9 pm
Whitney M. Young Jr. was one of the most celebrated — and controversial — leaders of the civil rights era. This documentary follows his journey from segregated Kentucky to head of the National Urban League. Unique among black leaders, he took the fight directly to the powerful white elite, gaining allies in business and government, including three presidents. Young had the difficult tasks of calming the fears of white allies, relieving the doubts of fellow civil rights leaders and responding to attacks from the militant Black Power movement.

Independent LensWhen I Rise
Online screening with executive producer Don Carleton and director Mat Hames Wednesday, Jan. 30 at 7 pm
airs Monday, Feb. 4 at 9 pm and Tuesday, Feb. 5 at 10 pm
“When I Rise” profiles Barbara Smith Conrad, a gifted University of Texas music student, who finds herself at the epicenter of racial controversy, struggling against the odds and ultimately ascending to the heights of international opera.

Pioneers of TelevisionMiniseries
airs Tuesday, Feb. 5 at 7 pm
Miniseries still rank among the top-rated programs in television history; they were major events that captured the nation’s imagination. “Roots” was the biggest – interviewed about that groundbreaking series are stars LeVar Burton, Louis Gossett Jr., Leslie Uggams, Ben Vereen, John Amos, Georg Stanford Brown and Ed Asner. This episode also considers the very first miniseries, “Rich Man, Poor Man,” as stars Peter Strauss and Susan Blakely offer fresh insights. All of the key players from the landmark miniseries “The Thorn Birds” appear, providing surprising commentary about the romance seen by more viewers than any other in TV history. New interviews with Richard Chamberlain, Rachel Ward and Bryan Brown mark the 30th anniversary of one of television’s biggest events.

Freedom Riders: An American Experience
airs Monday, Feb. 11 at 9 pm
An encore presentation of the powerful and inspiration 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.

Blackademics: Education, Performance and Youth Empowerment
Free event RSVP required to attend. Wednesday, Feb. 13, at 7 pm  RSVP here
Nationally and internationally renowned black studies scholars offer dynamic talks on education, performance and youth empowerment.

American MastersSam Cooke
airs Thursday, Feb. 14 at 9 pm
Sam Cooke put the spirit of the Black church into popular music — creating a new sound and setting into motion a chain of events that forever altered the course of popular music and race relations in America. With “You Send Me” in 1957, Cooke became the first African American artist to reach #1 on both the R&B and the pop charts. It was groundbreaking. It was also risky for this young gospel performer to alienate his fans by embracing “the devil’s music” — but he proved, with his pop/gospel hybrid, that it was, indeed, possible to win over white teenage listeners and keep his faithful church followers intact.

Underground Railroad: The William Still Story
airs Monday, Feb. 18 at 10 pm
Explores one man’s mission to help slaves escape to freedom. The programs 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.

Jesse Owens: American Experience
airs Tuesday, Feb. 19 at 7 pm
On April 2, 1936, when the 22-year-old son of a sharecropper entered the Olympic Stadium in Berlin, he was, he later remembered, barely able to control his anger. “I was angry because of the insults that Hitler and the other German leaders had hurled at me and my Negro teammates on the Olympic squad.” The young athlete would channel his raw emotions into some of the most remarkable achievements in the history of athletics, winning four gold medals. To tell the story of Owens’ remarkable victories in the face of Nazi racism, this film begins in the poor Cleveland neighborhood where the young athlete grew up; details his early career; describes Adolf Hitler’s outsized ambitions for the 1936 Olympics; explores the movement in Western democracies to boycott the event; and explains the pressures on Owens to attend. The film also reveals the unlikely relationship Owens struck up at the games with his German rival Carl “Luz” Long and shows that, in the end, despite his success in Germany, Owens struggled to find a place for himself in a United States that was still wrestling to overcome its own deeply entrenched racism.

Independent LensMore Than A Month
airs Thursday, Feb. 21 at 9 pm
An African-American filmmaker is on a cross-country campaign to end Black History Month. Through this tongue-in-cheek and thought-provoking journey, the film investigates what the treatment of history tells us about race and equality in a “post-racial” America.

American MastersSister Rosetta Tharpe: The Godmother of Rock & Roll
airs Friday, Feb. 22 at 9 pm and Tuesday, Feb. 26 at 10 pm
During the 1940s, 50s and 60s, Southern-born, Chicago-raised and New York-made Sister Rosetta Tharpe introduced the spiritual passion of her gospel music into the secular world of popular rock ‘n roll, inspiring the male icons of the genre. This flamboyant African-American gospel superstar, with her spectacular virtuosity on the newly electrified guitar, was a natural-born performer and a rebel — one of the most important singer-musicians of the 20th century. She is acknowledged as a major influence not only on generations of black musicians — including Chuck Berry, Little Richard, Isaac Hayes and Etta James — but also on white stars such as Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins and Johnny Cash.

KLRU Q (broadcast 18.3) will also have special programming for Black History Month.

FEB. 10TH

6 pm Conversation with Henry Louis Gates, Jr. This lively hour-long interview program was produced by The History Makers, the nation’s largest African American video oral history archive. The program provides an interesting and rarely seen inside look into the life and career of Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates, Jr. A native of West Virginia, Gates returns to his birth state to share his story with CNN White House Correspondent Suzanne Malveaux. Taped on February 18, 2010 in front of a live audience at The Culture Center in the State Capital of Charleston, A CONVERSATION WITH HENRY LOUIS GATES, JR. provides a wonderful and insightful look into the life of this history “change agent.” The HistoryMakers also honored Dr. Hazo Carter, President of West Virginia University, Eloise Gentry, President of The Gary Urban League and Andrew Taylor, General Manager of Microsoft Corporation during the program.

7 pm Ernest J. Gaines: Louisiana Stories Author and Louisiana native Ernest J. Gaines gave an immortal voice to the people of his early life through his tales of the old South. ERNEST J. GAINES: LOUISIANA STORIES is a memory-filled journey from the land of dirt roads, magnolias and majestic oak trees to San Francisco and back again. Gaines’ reminisces about growing up on a plantation and reflects on a successful career which has spanned more than 40 years. The program also contains comments from other writers and scholars, as well as passages from his acclaimed works, including The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman (1971), A Gathering of Old Men (1983) and In My Father’s House (1978).

8 pm Secrets of the Dead #1004, “Slave Ship Mutiny
When the Meermin set sail from Madagascar en route to South Africa on a hot summer’s day in 1766, the Dutch crew had no idea they were about to make history. The ship was filled to capacity with human cargo, slaves bound for hard labor building the Dutch colony, Cape Town. But the Meermin with its crew and cargo would never make it to Cape Town. Instead, in a dramatic altercation, the slaves mutinied and managed to overpower the Dutch crew, ordering the ship be sailed back to Madagascar and freedom. But through a sinister act of deception the crew turned the boat around each evening and made full sail for Cape Town. And so the circumstances for a dramatic climax — and shipwreck — were laid when the ship and its desperate passengers finally spied land. This program tracks the efforts of archaeologists, historians and slave descendents to discover the full story of this dramatic historical event. They want to learn what happened on the Meermin, how the slaves were able to overpower their captors, and why the ship ended up wrecked on a wild, windswept beach 200 miles east of Cape Town.

9 pm Simon Schama’s Rough Crossings At the end of the American Revolution, thousands of African-American slaves risked everything to fight for the British in exchange for a promise of freedom. John Clarkson, a young Royal Navy lieutenant, was sent to North America by British abolitionists to fulfill that promise. According to plan, each slave would be resettled in Nova Scotia. However, when that frigid, rocky terrain proved inhospitable to those who had worked the cotton fields of the Deep South, Clarkson arranged for them to be transported across the Atlantic to Sierra Leone. Using journals, diaries and autobiographical accounts, writer-narrator Simon Schama (SIMON SCHAMA’S POWER OF ART) reconstructs this epic journey. Gripping dramatizations transport viewers from the slave plantations of Georgia to the bone-chilling cold of Nova Scotia to the trim parlors of Georgian England and finally to sweltering Sierra Leone, where Clarkson’s dreams of a haven for former slaves would come to a tragic end.

10:30 pm Underground Railroad:  The William Still Story
This program tells the story of William Still, one of the most important yet unheralded individuals of the Underground Railroad. The film details the accounts of black abolitionists, who had everything at stake as they helped fugitives follow the North Star to Canada.

FEB. 17TH

3 pm Odyssey of Captain Healy
THE ODYSSEY OF CAPTAIN HEALY profiles the life of one of the most famous men on the Pacific Coast during the 19th century. As captain of a U.S. Marine Revenue cutter, Captain Michael Healy stood for law and order along the treacherous 30,000-mile coast of the Alaska territory. From San Francisco’s Barbary Coast to the Arctic, sailors swapped stories of “Hell-Roaring Mike Healy.” The man who skippered the U.S. cutter called Bear from 1886 to 1896 kept a closely guarded secret: He was the son of an African-American slave. Using 19th- century footage of old San Francisco, and interviews with longshoremen and historians, the film tells the dramatic tale of a fascinating man who was haunted by demons and, in the end, charted a destructive life course that ended with a heart attack in 1905.

4 pm Fly Boys: Western Pennsylvania’s Tuskegee Airmen
FLY BOYS: WESTERN PENNSYLVANIA’S TUSKEGEE AIRMEN tells the story of struggle and the ultimate triumph of the brave African-American soldiers who served their country during World War II. The film chronicles the “Tuskegee Airmen” program, a controversial military initiative designed to measure African-Americans’ competence for flying the engines of war. This fascinating documentary features the stories of the more than 40 aviators from western Pennsylvania, including the pilots, navigators and bombardiers who flew fighter and bomber planes during the war, as well as the maintenance and support staff, instructors and personnel who kept the planes in the air.

5 pm Nickles From Heaven
The 17 members of the 555th Parachute Infantry Battalion, known as the “Triple Nickles,” were among America’s least recognized military pioneers during World War II. NICKLES FROM HEAVEN recounts the experiences of the first African- American soldiers to be designated as U.S. paratroopers and celebrates their long- overlooked contributions to the war effort. The surviving six members of the troop provide first-hand accounts of their service and reflect on their impact on American history. The Emmy award-winning documentary features an introduction by Secretary of State Colin Powell who praises the sacrifices and the headway the “555″ made for all African- Americans in the U.S. military.

6 pm Marines of Montford Point: Fighting for Freedom
Hosted and narrated by Academy Award-winning actor Louis Gossett, Jr., THE MARINES OF MONTFORD POINT: FIGHTING FOR FREEDOM profiles the first African Americans recruits in the United States Marine Corps, beginning with their experiences at Montford Point Base, a segregated boot camp in the heart of the Jim Crow South. All-black battalions from Montford Point loyally served their country (some as officers) in three major conflicts – World War II, the Korean Conflict and the Vietnam War – while fighting for their civil rights back home. During the film, Montford Point veterans recount the racism they faced both within and outside the military and reminisce about the rigors of basic training, the harsh conditions of the barracks and the perils of combat.

7 pm For love of Liberty: The Story of America’s Black Patriots #101
FOR LOVE OF LIBERTY: THE STORY OF AMERICA’S BLACK PATRIOTS is an inspiring, definitive and unprecedented look at the largely untold history of African-American participation in America’s armed forces, from the earliest days of the Revolutionary War to the conflict in Afghanistan. Ten years in the making, the four-hour mini-series examines why, despite enormous injustice, these men and women fought so valiantly for freedoms they did not enjoy. Introduced by General Colin Powell and hosted by Academy Award-winning actress Halle Berry, the film uses letters, diaries, speeches, journalistic accounts, historical text and military records to document and acknowledge the profound sacrifices and largely ignored of African-American service men and women. The films also include dramatic readings by an all-star roster of actors, including Morgan Freeman, Mel Gibson, Bill Cosby, Susan Sarandon, Lou Gossett Jr., John Travolta, Ossie Davis, Robert Duvall, Danny Glover, Sam Elliot, Delroy Lindo, Isaac Hayes, John Goodman, Ice-T and many others.

9 pm For love of Liberty: The Story of America’s Black Patriots #102
FOR LOVE OF LIBERTY: THE STORY OF AMERICA’S BLACK PATRIOTS is an inspiring, definitive and unprecedented look at the largely untold history of African-American participation in America’s armed forces, from the earliest days of the Revolutionary War to the conflict in Afghanistan. Ten years in the making, the four-hour mini-series examines why, despite enormous injustice, these men and women fought so valiantly for freedoms they did not enjoy. Introduced by General Colin Powell and hosted by Academy Award-winning actress Halle Berry, the film uses letters, diaries, speeches, journalistic accounts, historical text and military records to document and acknowledge the profound sacrifices and largely ignored of African-American service men and women. The films also include dramatic readings by an all-star roster of actors, including Morgan Freeman, Mel Gibson, Bill Cosby, Susan Sarandon, Lou Gossett Jr., John Travolta, Ossie Davis, Robert Duvall, Danny Glover, Sam Elliot, Delroy Lindo, Isaac Hayes, John Goodman, Ice-T and many others.

FEB. 24TH

5 pm The Highwaymen: Legends of the Road
This new documentary tells the story of a unique art world phenomenon that took root in the mid-20th century in the Jim Crow South. They were an unlikely group of black landscape painters that emerged from the American South in the 1950s and 60s. Segregation locked them out of selling their works in white owned art galleries. So, the artists took to the road to sell their paintings.

6 pm Colored Frames
COLORED FRAMES reflects on the last 50 years in African-American art by exploring the influences, inspirations and experiences of black artists. Beginning at the height of the Civil Rights Era and leading up to the present, it provides a truthful, unflinching look at often-ignored artists and their progeny. Impressionistic video collages showcase the wide variety, both thematically and stylistically, of contemporary pieces of black artists working in the genres of illustration, abstraction and surrealism, among others. COLORED FRAMES also chronicles the black artist’s struggle for visibility and acceptance in mainstream art society as well as their experiences challenging assumptions about what constitutes “blackness, ” even within their own community.

7 pm Music and Message of Curtis Mayfield and the Impressions
THE MUSIC AND MESSAGE OF CURTIS MAYFIELD AND THE IMPRESSIONS tells the incredible story of a great artist and one of the most important R&B groups of all time. One of the few musicians to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame more than once, Curtis Mayfield remains a music icon. His soulful melodies and powerful lyrics – popularized through his career as both a groundbreaking solo artist and as the lead singer and songwriter of the Impressions – helped pave the way for the urban grittiness of hip-hop and rap, and continue to inspire legions of fans.

8 pm The Black Kungfu Experience
THE BLACK KUNGFU EXPERIENCE introduces kungfu’s African-American pioneers, men who challenged convention and overturned preconceived notions while mastering the ancient art. The four martial artists profiled include Ron Van Clief, an ex-Marine and Vietnam veteran who starred in more than 40 kungfu films and earned the nickname “Black Dragon” from Bruce Lee. Their compelling stories illustrate how kungfu began as – and remains – a unique crucible of the black experience. In particular, kungfu’s themes of the underdog triumphing against the odds resonated in black communities across the United States.

9 pm Evolution of the Nation of Islam
This documentary chronicles the creation, rise and evolution of Elijah Muhammad’s Nation of Islam – a movement that challenged black Americans to reclaim their lost identity. As Americans, both black and white, sacrificed life and property to end segregation Elijah Muhammad preached a unique brand of separation with a do-for-self philosophy. While Malcolm X and Muhammad Ali exemplified the uncompromising stance that the Nation of Islam maintained, the movement headed for an abrupt change. Upon the death of Elijah, his son Wallace Muhammad became the new leader and ushered in a new thinking. Through honest dialogue with the original high-ranking members of the Nation of Islam we get an in-depth look at life after Elijah Muhammad. THE EVOLUTION OF THE NATION OF ISLAM takes the viewer on a remarkable journey chronicling how a once separatist movement evolved into a world community of universal humanity.

10 pm Independent Lens  ”The Black Power Mix 1967-1975
Combining fresh and candid 16mm footage that had lain undiscovered in the cellar of Swedish Television for the past 30 years, with contemporary audio interviews from leading African-American artists, activists, musicians and scholars, this program looks at the people, society, culture and style that fuelled an era of convulsive change, 1967-1975. Utilizing an innovative format that riffs on the popular 1970s mix tape format, this is a cinematic and musical journey into the black communities of America.