Black History Month

In recognition of this special month, WCNY is delving into the lives of Black Americans who have left indelible marks on history through their artistry, professional accomplishments, and community activism.

Join us for special programming all month long that shines a spotlight on the impactful stories and inspiring achievements of Black Americans who have played a crucial role in shaping American history and culture.

We’ve compiled a list of upcoming programming airing on WCNY-TV and Classic FM, as well as intriguing features available for streaming, and a family fun event!

Becoming Frederick Douglass

Watch Thursday, Feb. 1 at 10 p.m. on WCNY-TV

Discover how a man born into slavery became one of the most influential voices for democracy in American history, as well as the role he played in securing freedom for African Americans. Oscar-nominated filmmaker Stanley Nelson explores the role Douglass played in securing the right to freedom for African Americans.

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American Masters: How It Feels to Be Free

Watch Tuesday, Feb. 6 at 9:30 p.m. on WCNY-TV

The inspiring story of how six iconic African American female entertainers—Lena Horne, Abbey Lincoln, Nina Simone, Diahann Carroll, Cicely Tyson and Pam Grier—challenged an entertainment industry deeply complicit in perpetuating racist stereotypes, and transformed themselves and their audiences in the process.

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GOSPEL Live! Presented by Henry Louis Gates, Jr.

Watch Friday, Feb. 9 at 10 p.m. on WCNY-TV

“GOSPEL Live! Presented by Henry Louis Gates, Jr.” is a one-of-a-kind musical celebration that honors the legacy and influence of Gospel music in America. Contemporary secular artists and renowned gospel singers perform their favorite gospel classics. The event, co-hosted by Gates and Erica Campbell, and featuring John Legend, is a companion program to the PBS four-hour documentary series “GOSPEL.”

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Fight the Power: How Hip Hop Changed the World (Four-Part Series)

Watch Saturday, Feb. 10 & 17 from 9-11 p.m. on WCNY-TV

Chuck D of Public Enemy explores Hip Hop’s political awakening over the last 50 years. With a host of rap stars and cultural commentators he tracks Hip Hop’s socially conscious roots. From The Message to Fight The Power 2020, he examines how Hip Hop has become “the Black CNN.”

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Watch Monday, Feb. 12 at 9 p.m. on WCNY-TV

Dig deep into the origin story of Black gospel music, coming out of slavery, blending with the blues tradition, and soaring to new heights during the Great Migration. From Mahalia to Kirk Franklin, in the last century, gospel music has become the dominant form of African American religious expression, and it has provided a soundtrack of healing and uplift to those at the front lines of protest and change.

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Secrets of the Dead: The Woman in the Iron Coffin

Watch Wednesday, Feb. 14 at 10 p.m. on WCNY-TV

A team of forensic experts investigates the preserved remains of a young African American woman from 19th century New York, and reveal the little-known story of early America’s free Black communities.

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George Washington Carver: An Uncommon Life

Watch Saturday, Feb. 17 at 8 p.m. on WCNY-TV

George Washington Carver’s journey from slavery to scientific achievement has inspired millions. This documentary explores Carver’s complexities and unveils the full impact of his life and work.

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Juneteenth: Faith & Freedom

Watch Monday, Feb. 19 at 9 p.m. on WCNY-TV

A Black man is troubled by the legacy of American slavery and the misuse of Christianity to justify it. He travels throughout Texas and discovers how the Juneteenth holiday reveals the hope and courage that empowered the formerly enslaved and their descendants to fight for freedom in an often unjust society.

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Harriet Tubman: Visions of Freedom

Watch Saturday, Feb. 24 at 10 p.m. on WCNY-TV

Go beyond the legend and meet the inspiring woman who repeatedly risked her own life and freedom to liberate others from slavery. Born 200 years ago in Maryland, Harriet Tubman was a conductor of the Underground Railroad, a Civil War scout, nurse and spy, and one of the greatest freedom fighters in our nation’s history.

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Classic FM
Black History Month Special
Host Bruce Paulsen brings listeners to the intersection of Black History and classical music history in this compelling one-hour special.
Listen Thursday, Feb. 15 at 11 a.m. & 6 p.m. on Classic FM
Classic FM will also feature Black History Month vignettes throughout the month of February, celebrating the incredible contributions of Black composers, musicians, and conductors.

Feminine Fusion
Celebrate Black History Month
Host Diane Jones highlights classical music’s Women of Color in her nationally-syndicated program, airing every Sunday in February.
Listen Sundays at 2 p.m. on Classic FM

Live Stream Classic FM

Oversize Eguide@72x-8

***SOLD OUT***

Calling all WCNY Families! Are you looking for a family fun activity to enjoy during winter break? Look no further! You’re invited to attend a screening of the new PBS KIDS series “Lyla in the Loop,” sponsored by St. Joseph’s Health, on Wednesday, Feb. 21 at 2 p.m. at the WCNY-TV studios!

The event begins at 2 p.m. with kid-friendly snacks, beverages, and activities, followed by the screening of episode 4 of “Lyla in the Loop.”

(Children must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.)

American Experience: The Busing Battleground

“The Busing Battleground” viscerally captures the class tensions and racial violence that ensued when Black and white students in Boston were bused for the first time between neighborhoods to comply with a federal desegregation order.


America Reframed: The Cost of Inheritance

The film explores the complex issue of reparations in the U.S. using a thoughtful approach to history, historical injustices, systemic inequities, and critical dialogue on racial conciliation. Through personal narratives, community inquiries, and scholarly insights, it aims to inspire understanding of the scope and rationale of the reparations debate.


POV: Brief Tender Light

A Ghanaian MIT alum follows four African students at his alma mater as they strive to become agents of change for their home countries Nigeria, Rwanda, Tanzania, and Zimbabwe. Over an intimate, nearly decade-long journey, all must decide how much of America to absorb, how much of Africa to hold on to, and how to reconcile teenage ideals with the truths they discover about the world and themselves.


America Reframed: Fannie Lou Hamer’s America

Fannie Lou Hamer’s America is a portrait of a civil rights activist and the injustices in America that made her work essential. Through public speeches, personal interviews, and powerful songs of the fearless Mississippi sharecropper-turned-human-rights-activist, Fannie Lou Hamer’s America explores and celebrates the lesser-known life of one of the Civil Rights Movement’s greatest leaders.


American Experience: Zora Neale Hurston—Claiming A Space

Meet the influential author and key figure of the Harlem Renaissance. Also a trained anthropologist, Zora Neale Hurston collected folklore throughout the South and Caribbean — reclaiming, honoring and celebrating Black life on its own terms.


Lyla in the Loop

Premieres Monday, Feb. 5 at 8 a.m. on WCNY-TV

“Lyla in the Loop” is a funny and engaging new animated series for kids ages 4-8 about Lyla Loops and her fantastical blue sidekick, Stu, who use creative and strategic problem-solving and critical thinking skills to help their family, friends, and community!

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Teaching Your Child About Black History

Encourage children to explore books and stories that embrace diverse cultures and ethnicities, highlighting the richness of Black history and cultural diversity throughout the entire year.

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Children’s Books with Strong Black Characters

Encourage children to explore books and stories that embrace diverse cultures and ethnicities, highlighting the richness of Black history and cultural diversity throughout the entire year.

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Black History Month | All About the Holidays

Grades: K-2, 3-5

The month of February honors the important role Black people play in the story of our country. Across the United States, schools and communities organize to learn more about Black history and culture. How is Black History Month recognized in your community? How do you recognize Black History throughout the year?

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Rosa Parks and the Montgomery Bus Boycott | Civil Rights Movement

Grades: 3-5, 6-8, 9-12

Discover how Rosa Parks played a pivotal role igniting the modern civil rights movement. In December 1955, Parks, a Black seamstress and civil rights activist, refused to give up her seat on a public bus to a white patron. Her arrest sparked the Montgomery Bus Movement.

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Hip Hop, Social Justice, and Grandmaster Flash | Making Black America

Grades: 9-12

Explore hip hop as an important social commentary on issues affecting the Black community, in this clip from “Making Black America,” presented by Henry Louis Gates, Jr. Accompanying classroom activities further explore the intersection of hip hop and social justice.

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