Louisiana Public Broadcasting celebrates Black History Month

Published 12:00 am Saturday, January 30, 2021

On Thursday, Jan. 28, Louisiana Public Broadcasting kicked off its celebration of Black History Month online with The Gaines Award Ceremony and in February LPB spotlights the highly anticipated PBS series The Black Church: This Is Our Story, This Is Our Song from filmmaker Henry Louis Gates, Jr., and a number of other special programming and digital offerings.

Highlights include:

Monday, Feb. 8 at 8 p.m. – American Experience: Goin’ Back to T-Town
Hear the extraordinary history of Greenwood, a successful Black community in segregated Tulsa. In a nostalgic celebration of old-fashioned neighborhood life, Black residents of “T-Town” relive their community’s remarkable rise and ultimate decline.

Tuesday, Feb. 16 and Wednesday, Feb. 17 at 8 p.m. –  The Black Church: This Is Our Story, This Is Our Song
This intimate two-part series from Henry Louis Gates, Jr., examines the 400-year-old story of the black church in America, exploring its role as the site of African American organizing, resilience, autonomy, freedom and solidarity. Both episodes will be available for streaming at www.lpb.org or with the LPB App beginning the night of the broadcast premiere.

Fridays at 7 p.m. in February – Louisiana: The State We’re In Louisiana’s Black Church: The Politics of Perseverance. From the Civil Rights Movement of days past to the struggles of the modern age, LPB explores the importance of the Black Church in Louisiana, taking you on a journey across our state to discover how the black church helped Louisiana’s African American community persevere through centuries of turmoil and show the history and the culture that makes our state so unique. Go to www.lpb.org/blackhistory for more, including videos and educational resources.

Monday, Feb. 15 at 8 p.m.- American Experience: Voice of Freedom
Explore the fascinating life of celebrated singer Marian Anderson. In 1939, after being barred from performing at Constitution Hall because she was Black, she triumphed at the Lincoln Memorial in what became a landmark moment in American history.

Friday, Feb. 19 at 9 p.m. – Driving While Black: Race, Space and Mobility in America
Discover how the advent of the automobile brought new freedoms and new perils for African Americans on the road in this deep look into the dynamics of race, space and mobility in America over time.
Monday, Feb. 22 at 9 p.m. – Independent Lens: Mr. Soul!
Celebrate SOUL!, the public television variety show that shared Black culture with the nation. Ellis Haizlip developed SOUL! in 1968 as one of the first platforms to promote the vibrancy of the Black Arts Movement. Its impact continues to this day.
Monday, Feb. 22 at 10:30 p.m. – Signpost to Freedom: The 1953 Baton Rouge Bus Boycott

This LPB program tells the story of the nation’s first large-scale boycott challenging segregation. Led by a handful of determined young men and women, the African American citizens of Louisiana’s capital city staged a quiet revolt by refusing to ride city buses. In just eight days, they brought the city’s bus system to the brink of bankruptcy. Word of the successful action spread like wildfire, influencing others like Rosa Parks and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Highlights this February on LPB’s digital media platforms include:
LPB’S Louisiana Digital Media archive features Folks during Black History Month – now streaming on YouTube. LPB produced 210 episodes of Folks, a minority affairs program that aired from 1981-1990, now freely available for streaming on LPB’s YouTube Page, as well as on the LDMA website. The series highlighted issues related to African Americans and other minority groups in Louisiana, as well as stories featuring the state’s unique culture.  Every February, the show explored Black History Month through a series of segments called Pause for Pride, including stories related to segregation, the Civil Rights Movement, and African American culture. The series also featured profiles of African American trailblazers.  Browse through profiles on 1984 presidential candidate Jesse Jackson, journalist Ed Bradley, authors Alex Haley and James Baldwin, actors Ossie Davis and Ruby Dee, and jazz great Dizzy Gillespie. LDMA houses restored archival interviews, series and documentaries that explore Louisiana history during the periods of slavery, segregation and the Civil Rights Movement. The ever expanding site contains a combined catalog of thousands of hours of media recorded in Louisiana in the late 20th and early 21st centuries.

To see more LPB stories on Black History Month visit www.lpb.org/blackhistory, www.lpb.org/youtube and follow the LDMA Twitter page @LDMArchive. For the complete Black History Month topics, including interviews with black Louisianans who have made significant contributions to the state, visit www.ladigitalmedia.org.

About the Louisiana Digital Media Archive: The Louisiana Digital Media Archive (LDMA) is the online home of the Louisiana Public Broadcasting Digital Collection and the Louisiana State Archives Multimedia Collection. This is the first project in the nation to combine the media collections of a public broadcaster and a state archives. LDMA has vast library of preserved and digitized content including archival interviews, series and documentaries that explore Louisiana history during the periods of slavery, segregation and the Civil Rights Movement and this February will feature Folks, a minority affairs program that aired from 1981-1990, now freely available for streaming on LPB’s YouTube Page, as well as on the LDMA website.


Since 1975, Louisiana Public Broadcasting has been the public television network for the state of Louisiana. LPB is also affiliated with WLAE-TV in New Orleans. In addition to its award-winning