PBS celebrates Black History Month with special programs

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By Event Editor

Courtesy PBS

In celebration of Black History Month and as part of its year-round commitment to diverse programming, PBS has announced an on-air lineup commemorating the contributions of African Americans in music, dance, television and civil rights, providing an in-depth look at key figures and events that shaped black - and American - history. In addition to these programs, PBS announced it will launch the PBS Black Culture Connection, a digital storybook of black films, history, trends and discussion that's available throughout the year on PBS.org.

UNDERGROUND RAILROAD: THE WILLIAM STILL STORY
Friday, February 15, 2013, 10:30-11:30 p.m. ET

Hear the story of William Still, a free black man who accepted delivery of "human cargo" on the Underground Railroad.

SLAVERY BY ANOTHER NAME
Friday, February 22, 2013, 10:00-11:30 p.m. ET

Explore the story of labor practices and laws that effectively created a new form of slavery in the South. Laurence Fishburne narrates.

INDEPENDENT LENS
Whitney M. Young, Jr. was one of the most celebrated - and contro- versial - leaders of the civil rights era. I INDEPENDENT LENS "The Powerbroker: Whitney Young's Fight for Civil Rights," premiering Monday, February 18, 10:00-11:00 p.m. ET, follow his journey from segregated Kentucky to head of the National Urban League. Unique among black leaders, Young took the fight directly to the powerful white elite, gaining allies in business and government, including three presidents. He had the difficult tasks of calming the fears of white allies, relieving the doubts of fellow civil rights leaders & responding to attacks from the militant Black Power movement.

AMERICAN MASTERS
"Sister Rosetta Tharpe: The Godmother of Rock & Roll," premiering Friday, February 22, 2013, 9:00-10:00 p.m. ET. Discover the life, music and influence of African-American gospel singer and guitar virtuoso Sister Rosetta Tharpe (1915-1973). Southern-born, Chicago-raised and New York-made, "She could play the guitar like nobody else ... nobody." During the 1940s-60s, Sister Rosetta introduced the spiritual passion of her gospel music into the secular world of rock 'n' roll, inspiring the male icons of the genre. One of the most influential musicians of the 20th century, Tharpe may not be a household name today, but the flamboyant superstar, with her spectacular playing on the newly electrified guitar, had a major influence on black musicians, including Chuck Berry, Little Richard, Isaac Hayes and Etta James, and also on white stars such as Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis and Carl Perkins.

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