RITUAL explores depths and varieties of rituals across the American South

Published 10:00 am Sunday, February 19, 2023

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

In an exciting collaboration with PBS Digital Studios and Houston Public Media, the Louisiana Public Broadcasting (LPB) produced series RITUAL is now streaming on PBS Voices, a documentary-focused YouTube channel.

RITUAL explores the depths and varieties of rituals across the American South alongside the series’ host, musician, poet, and New Orleans culture bearer, Tarriona “Tank” Ball. Throughout the series, Tank examines the various layers of meaning contained in various Southern rituals. Each episode focuses on a different ritual that contributes to a larger conversation around a community’s relationship between the past and present, and how perpetuating a ritual resonates in the collective regional consciousness.

In the premiere episode, Tank explores the hidden history of Black burial in Louisiana. From a man caretaking for an ancestral cemetery to a woman fighting to protect the sacred burial sites of her enslaved ancestors from exploitative industries, we learn how one of the oldest rituals in history – taking care of the dead – is an ongoing thread of resistance in the American South.

LPB Digital Media Director Donald “D Ray!” Washington heads the project for LPB. “Working with PBS Digital Studios and Houston Public Media has been a great experience. They’ve been very enthusiastic about the project. This collaboration provides LPB with another avenue to put Louisiana in the national spotlight.”

RITUAL is also available on PBS.org and the PBS app, and will be included in THE BLOCK PARTY, a streaming collection and social campaign presented by PBS’s Black Culture Connection aimed at amplifying Black stories and content across platforms.

The series was funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

For more information, contact Colleen Spillane, Public Information Officer, Louisiana Public Broadcasting at (225)-767-4453 or 1-800-272-8161 ext. 4453 or by email at cspillane@lpb.org.

About Louisiana Public Broadcasting
Since 1975, Louisiana Public Broadcasting has been the public television network for the state of Louisiana with stations in Alexandria, Baton Rouge, Lafayette, Lake Charles, Monroe and Shreveport. LPB is also affiliated with WLAE-TV in New Orleans. In addition to its award-winning documentaries about the history and people of Louisiana, LPB is dedicated to helping children throughout the state develop their literacy, math and science skills through its numerous educational outreach programs.