FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
CONTACT: George Hazimanolis
January 31, 2012 412-622-1366
WQED RECOGNIZES BLACK HISTORY MONTH WITH FEBRUARY’S
PROGRAMMING ON TELEVISION AND RADIO
PITTSBURGH – WQED commemorates Black History Month with programs centered on the
cultural struggles and accomplishments of African Americans not only in Pittsburgh, but
throughout America. Classical WQED-FM 89.3 will acknowledge the importance of Black
History Month by playing the music of various African American artists throughout the month of
Funding for Black History Month television and radio programming was made possible by
Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield, First Niagara Bank, and the City of Pittsburgh.
February 1 st – February 4 th
• Thursday, February 2 nd
Newspaper of Record: The Pittsburgh Courier 1907-1965 – (Airs: 8 p.m.) – With fourteen
national editions and a peak circulation of over three hundred thousand, the Pittsburgh Courier was the leading
Black newspaper of the last century. With accounts from Courier reporters and employees, this documentary reveals
the role of the Pittsburgh Courier in reporting and shaping African American history.
Independent Lens “Daisy Bates: First Lady of Little Rock” – (Airs: 10:30 p.m.) – This
documentary tells the story of Daisy Bates, a black woman who was a feminist before the term was invented. Her
public support of nine black students to attend the all-white Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas,
culminated in a constitutional crisis – pitting a president against a governor and a community against itself.
February 5 th – February 11 th
• Sunday, February 5 th
Wylie Avenue Days* – (Airs: 3 p.m.) – This documentary captures Pittsburgh’s Hill District during its
prime, which lasted from the 1930s through the 1950s. Wylie Avenue, located in Pittsburgh’s Hill District, was
unique as it was the only street in America which began at a church and ended at a jail, but it was the spirit of this
vibrant neighborhood that was the reason it was considered the heart of black life in Pittsburgh. A WQED
Barbershops: PA Stylin’* – (Airs: 4 p.m.) – Politics, romance, race relations, and hair care are the
topics of discussion in “Barbershops: PA Stylin’.” Host Chris Moore visits several distinctly different yet similar
African American barbershops that share a time-honored tradition practiced by barbers and patrons everywhere. A
joyous mix of new ideas and fond nostalgia, “Barbershops: PA Stylin’” is the real-life story of one of the longest and
liveliest traditions in the black community. A WQED production.
Torchbearers* – (Airs: 5 p.m.) – A documentary on Pittsburgh’s civil rights pioneers. “Torchbearers”
uses interviews, photos and archival footage to tell the story of Pittsburgh’s struggles during the so-called “golden
era” of civil rights. “Torchbearers” spans events from the 1950s through the 70s, and features many of the men and
women who risked everything for their beliefs. A WQED production.
Secrets of the Dead “Slave Ship Mutiny” – (Airs: 8 p.m.) – During the summer of 1766, the Dutch
Crew of the Meermin, filled to capacity with human cargo, set sail from Madagascar en route to the Dutch colony of
Cape Town, South Africa, but it never made it. Along this journey the Meermin experienced an overpowering
mutiny from the slaves and cunning acts of deception from crew members determined to reach Cape Town. This
program tracks the efforts of archaeologists, historians and slave descendents to discover the full story of this
dramatic historical event.
• Monday, February 6 th
Underground Railroad: The William Still Story – (Airs: 10 p.m.) – “Underground Railroad: The
William Still Story” profiles William Still, one of the most important yet unheralded individuals of the Underground
Railroad. The film details accounts of black abolitionists, who had everything at stake as they helped fugitives
follow the North Star to Canada.
• Tuesday, February 7 th
Freedom Riders: American Experience – (Airs: 8 p.m.) – They called themselves the Freedom
Riders, the integrated group of college students who risked everything and bought a ticket on a Greyhound bus
headed into the Deep South. For this inspirational documentary, veteran filmmaker Stanley Nelson gained
impressive access to many influential figures on both sides of the civil rights issue as he showcases the astonishing
testament to those students that managed to bring the president and the entire American public face to face with the
challenge of correcting civil-rights inequities that plagued the nation.
• Thursday, February 9 th
Independent Lens “The Black Power Mixtape 1967-1975” – (Airs: 10:30 p.m.) – Utilizing an
innovative format that riffs on the popular 1970s mixtape format, the film is a cinematic and musical journey into
the black communities of America. Filmmaker Goran Hugo Olsson brings newly discovered footage to light and
introduces it to a new generation across the world in an examination of the Black Power movement from 1967 to
February 12 th – February 18 th
• Sunday, February 12 th
Safe Harbor – (Airs: 3 p.m.) – “Safe Harbor” is an incredible story of strength and determination, told
through the eyes of the slaves and the people who defied race and gender in one if the greatest survival stories of all
time. “Safe Harbor” follows the Underground Railroad through a little-known passage to freedom in the
northernmost corner of Pennsylvania. Character voices, reenactments, documents and diaries create a vivid account
of Pennsylvania in the years leading up to the Civil War.
Gullah – (Airs: 4 p.m.) – “Gullah” is a documentary about the culture preserved by the descendents of the
original slaves who have never left St. Helena Island, South Carolina where their ancestors endured their servitude.
A Harpist’s Legacy: Ann Hobson Pilot and the Sound of Change – (Airs: 4:30 p.m.) – This
compelling documentary follows Ann Hobson Pilot’s trailblazing journey as the first black female principle player
in a major symphony orchestra and also as an international soloist, teacher, mentor and driving force behind musiceducation
programs for undeserved minorities. “A Harpist’s Legacy” uses her professional journey to explore the
increasing racial diversity and shift in attitudes toward musicians of color in the classical music world.
Colored Frames – (Airs: 5 p.m.) – “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. “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
• Monday, February 13 th
Slavery by Another Name – (Airs: 9 p.m.) – “Slavery by Another Name” challenges one of America’s
most cherished assumptions: the belief that slavery in this country ended with Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation
Proclamation of 1863. This documentary tells a harrowing story of how in the South, even as slavery came to an
end, new forms of involuntary servitude, including convict leasing, debt slavery and peonage, took its place with
shocking force – brutalizing and ultimately circumscribing the lives of hundreds of thousands of African Americans
well into the 20 th century.
I am a Man: From Memphis, A Lesson in Life – (Airs: 10:30 p.m.) – Memphis sanitation
worker Mr. Nickleberry tells an uplifting life story of endurance and character – joined by the other men and women
of the 1968 sanitation strike whose courageous stand helped change the world forever.
• Thursday, February 16 th
Jim Crow Pennsylvania* – (Airs: 8 p.m.) – Joined by historical footage, period photographs and
interviews, the documentary explores ‘Jim Crow,’ its effect and legacy in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania,
whose southern border is the Mason-Dixon line that divided slave states from free states. A WQED production.
Independent Lens “More Than a Month” – (Airs: 10:30 p.m.) – Shukree Hassan Tilghman, a 29-
year-old African-American filmmaker, is on a cross-country campaign to end Black History Month. Through this
tongue-in-cheek journey, “More Than a Month” investigates what the treatment of history tells us about race and
equality in a “post-racial” America.
February 19 th – February 25 th
• Thursday, February 23 rd
Fly Boys: Western Pennsylvania’s Tuskegee Airmen* – (Airs: 8 p.m.) – This documentary tells
the fascinating stories of more than 40 of the brave African-American soldiers who served their country as pilots,
navigators, bombardiers, maintenance staff, and support staff during World War II. A WQED production.
February 26 th – February 29 th
• Monday, February 27 th
In Performance at the White House: Red, White And Blues – (Airs: 9 p.m.) – President and
Mrs. Obama host this all-star celebration of the blues -- the musical form that sprang from the Mississippi Delta, up
Highway 61 to the West Side of Chicago, with deep roots in Africa and slavery and influences on modern
American music from soul to rock and roll. Leading popular artists' performances trace that migratory root and pay
homage to the great figures of the genre and the songs they made famous -- from Robert Johnson to Muddy Waters.
American Masters “Cab Calloway: Sketches” – (Airs: 10 p.m.) – An ambassador for his race,
Cab Calloway was the first black musician to tour the segregationist South, as early as 1932. A singer, dancer and
band leader, he was an exceptional figure in the history of jazz. He was at the top of his game during the jazz and
swing eras of the ‘30s and ‘40s, but his career flagged until he was rediscovered in the 1980s with appearances in
the film “Blues Brothers” and the show “Sesame Street,” which gave him a new cult hero following of sorts.
* – Indicates that program will also be featured in February’s programming schedule on
WQED: The Neighborhood Channel
ADDITIONAL BLACK HISTORY MONTH THEME PROGRAMS
ON WQED: THE NEIGHBORHOOD CHANNEL
K. Leroy Irvis: A Lion in Pennsylvania – This documentary, narrated by Julian Bond, follows the life of K.
Leroy Irvis through his formative years, his struggles as an activist, his legendary political speeches and his
commitment to achieve social justice for all Pennsylvanians. K. Leroy Irvis made history in 1977 when he became
the first (and ultimately, longest-serving) African-American Speaker of the House in Pennsylvania. Before he retired
in 1988, Irvis fought tirelessly for civil rights, health care, consumer protection, prison reform, improvements in
housing and education, and government reform.
House: A Black Horizons Special – This documentary is an in-depth and loving look at Pittsburgh's
Westinghouse High School. Since the 1930's, Westinghouse has produced an amazing array of writers, educators,
musicians and athletes. At the center of the special is the 64-65 Westinghouse Bull Dogs football team, who were all
city champions. The program focuses on those players and where they are today, as well as others who were part of
the Westinghouse success story.
WQED PITTSBURGH has a proud history of honors, including 128 National and Mid-Atlantic
Emmy® Awards, an Academy Award, and many, many others, including two Emmy® Awards
for Station Excellence. WQED was founded in 1954 as the nation’s first community-supported
broadcaster. The people of WQED create, produce and distribute quality programs, products and
services to engage, inform, educate and entertain the public within their community and around
the world. WQED Pittsburgh is one of the first broadcasters in the country to be fully highdefinition
(HD) in its studio and field production capabilities. It is the parent company of
WQED-TV (PBS); WQED: The Neighborhood Channel; WQED: The Create Channel; WQED
Showcase; Classical WQED-FM 89.3/Pittsburgh; Classical WQEJ-FM 89.7/Johnstown; local
and national television and radio productions; WQED Interactive (www.wqed.org) and The
WQED Education Department.