PBS SoCal and KCET, Southern California’s flagship PBS organizations, announced today a restructure of the upcoming programming schedule to stand in solidarity with the Black community following the murder of George Floyd on May 25, 2020, and the ensuing protests that erupted across the country.
Both channels will showcase a curated lineup of enlightening programs to help viewers to increase awareness and understanding of racial and social injustices in our country. Revamped schedules will feature previously produced local productions highlighting relevant content from series such as SOCAL CONNECTED, LOST LA, ARTBOUND, and BROKEN BREAD plus all-new PBS programming highlighted by the recently broadcast PBS NEWSHOUR special RaceMatters: America in Crisis (premiered last Friday, June 5 on PBS and is now available for streaming), as well as an updated look at the 2016 special AMERICA IN BLACK AND BLUE 2020. Past noteworthy titles from PBS will also be rebroadcast such as INDEPENDENT LENS: Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution and THE TALK – RACE IN AMERICA, among many others that will also be available to stream on the website and on the PBS Video App. Reinforcing both KCET and PBS SoCal’s commitment to sharing authentic stories of people too often overlooked, the organizations will continue to roll out additional related content exploring the impact of racism on Black Americans and the country at large over the next few months.
“To serve our community we have a mission to promote understanding and compassion toward one another as well as have a collective commitment to a fair and just society. We tell these stories with the goals of bringing our community together and of sharing insight, perspective and wisdom,” said President/CEO of KCET and PBS SoCal Andrew Russell. “We hope to foster conversations and reflections about our values and guiding principles, our challenges and painful truths, and the needed actions to improve our society and the lives of all in our community.”
Last week, PBS SoCal and KCET issued the following statement in support of the Black community:
PBS SoCal and KCET support and stand with the Black community and all communities of color. We are committed to diversity and inclusion in our programming. We believe in creating a Southern California where people are inspired to learn more about each other, do more to solve societal issues and become their best possible selves. We will continue to share trusted local and national news and resources for both our adult and younger audiences, provide historical information to contextualize the current moment and amplify community voices.
With original, local content, KCET and PBS SoCal produce programs dedicated to a richer and more inclusive California experience, helping residents understand and connect with diverse communities. Original programming has showcased little-known African American artists for the past ten seasons in the arts and culture documentary series ARTBOUND and has examined controversial food issues in Watts in BROKEN BREAD. Critical regional news is investigated, like the wrongful conviction of African American Kiera Newsome and the disappearance of Black student Josiah Lawson in the Emmy® award-winning SOCAL CONNECTED. Los Angeles’ hidden history of coded geographies and manufacturing ethnically correct Black dolls is explored in LOST LA. While an African American architect defied the odds to become one of the most notable architects in history in HOLLYWOOD’S ARCHITECT: The Paul R. Williams Story. These original programs continue to inspire and are available to stream at kcet.org and pbssocal.org as well as on the free PBS Video App. Viewers can look forward to upcoming new series devoted to inclusion, fostering understanding and building bridges with programming that includes BONNIE BOSWELL PRESENTS, LAaRT, CITY RISING, and FINE CUT, all of which debut new content later this year.
“California and Los Angeles in particular has been marking moments of cultural, social and political inflection in our society, and in many ways leading the way for America as a nation to see itself as a more equitable, responsible and diverse society,” remarked Chief Creative Officer Juan Devis. “We carry these values in our programming and strive to create context, reflection and empathy that can help us heal and understand the common threads of our beloved community.”
In addition, PBS is bringing award-winning content like THE AFRICAN AMERICANS: MANY RIVERS TO CROSS and the four-part series RECONSTRUCTION: AMERICA AFTER THE CIVIL WAR to PBS stations across the country. These films from Henry Louis Gates, Jr. have been announced as a special curated collection streaming free on PBS.org. with the filmmaker offering his insights into the events currently gripping the country and historical origins for greater context.
PBS KIDS will offer families resources to discuss race, racism, anti-racism, civil rights, current events and more with young children, including a special episode of the animated series ARTHUR featuring civil rights hero John Lewis as well as a virtual event on YouTube on Tuesday, June 9 at 12:30 p.m. PT with parents, teachers and child development experts. While PBS LEARNINGMEDIA will offer materials to help educators talk with students about race in America and current events, including classroom-ready resources for a variety of grade levels aligned to state and national standards. Professional learning materials for educators will also be available later this month. Educational digital content will be available to online visitors of pbssocal.org, focused on topics of equity and anti-racist education.
Select content slated to air during the next month is listed as follows with additional content forthcoming (*schedule subject to change):
“THE TALK – RACE IN AMERICA” – Tues., June 9 at 10:30 p.m. on PBS SoCal
The 2017 documentary tells six stories of struggle between people of color and law enforcement in America. It chronicles how families of color attempt to protect their children with “The Talk” — about what to do and how to react if they are stopped by police.
“Race Matters: America in Crisis, A PBS NEWSHOUR SPECIAL” – Wed., June 10 at 7 p.m. on PBS SoCal
The special anchored by managing editor Judy Woodruff focuses on the frustration pouring out onto American streets, the outrage about police brutality, and America’s deep systemic racial disparities in the economy, education, criminal justice system and health care, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. The program will also include grassroots voices from around the country and roundtable conversations with thought leaders and other newsmakers.
INDEPENDENT LENS “The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution” – Wed. June 10 at 8 p.m. on PBS SoCal
Stanley Nelson’s award-winning film offers a riveting look at an earlier era of conflict and how the Black Panthers provided community services while advocating for more radical national change.
INDEPENDENT LENS: “I Am Not Your Negro” – Wed. June 10 at 10 p.m. on PBS SoCal
Narrated by Samuel L. Jackson and inspired by James Baldwin’s unfinished manuscript, Remember This House, the documentary examines a collection of notes and letters written by Baldwin in the mid-1970s. The memoir recounts the lives of his close friends and civil rights leaders Malcolm X, Martin Luther King Jr., and Medgar Evers.
“AMERICA IN BLACK AND BLUE 2020” – Mon, June 15 at 9:00 p.m. on PBS SoCal and on Tues., June 16 at 8 p.m. on KCET
A report from across the country that includes interviews with key leaders and participants in the struggle for racial justice, accountability and equity, as well as voices from law enforcement as the latest crisis of police violence on black citizens — and outraged protests and ensuing violence — engulf the nation.
“AMERICAN MASTERS: Toni Morrison: The Pieces I Am” – Tues. June 23 at 8 p.m. on PBS SoCal and Wed., June 24 at 9 p.m. on KCET
AMERICAN MASTERS mourns the loss of the Pulitzer and Nobel Prize-winning author Toni Morrison. Inspired to write because no one took a “little black girl” seriously, she published 11 acclaimed novels that illuminated the experiences of Black America and inspired generations of writers.
These shows and more are available to stream on the free PBS Video App.
KCET and PBS SoCal have also created online destinations dedicated to informing and educating the community including historical information on the Watts Rebellion and the 1992 LA Uprising. The websites at kcet.org/BlackInAmerica and pbssocal.org feature an array of stories from the archives that highlight the need for inclusivity and diversity, including a story written by one of the founders of Black Lives Matter on the birth of the organization. A variety of stories from local journalists, as well as ways to create effective change, can be found on the websites. Some highlights include:
- How to Talk to Your Kids About Anti-Racism: A List of Resources
- Ideas for Thoughtful Learning At Home: Discussing Difference
- Policing a Global City: Multiculturalism, Immigration and the 1992 Uprising (in partnership with USC Libraries)
- 1992 and 2020: A Look Back and Ahead in the Country’s Struggle for Justice (in partnership with USC Libraries)
- How I Talk to My Teen About What is Happening in Our Country
- Black Lives Matter and the Building of a Mass Movement
- PHOTOS: Popular Streets That Have Been Sites of Police Violence
- The Voice of Calm in the ’92 Uprising (in partnership with USC Libaries)
Viewers can find additional programs—that highlight the work of Black filmmakers and stories that examine inequality— to stream online here.
Join the conversation on social media by tagging @kcet and @pbssocal.
ABOUT PBS SOCAL AND KCET
PBS SoCal and KCET are both part of the donor-supported community institution, the Public Media Group of Southern California, which was formed by the merger of PBS SoCal and KCETLink Media Group. PBS SoCal is the flagship PBS station for 19 million diverse people across California and delivers content and experiences that inspire, inform and entertain – over the air, online, in the community and in the classroom. PBS SoCal offers the full slate of beloved PBS programs including MASTERPIECE, NOVA, PBS NewsHour, FRONTLINE, and a broad library of documentary films including works from Ken Burns; as well as educational content including PBS KIDS programs including DANIEL TIGER’S NEIGHBORHOOD and CURIOUS GEORGE. Programs are accessible for free through four broadcast channels, and available for streaming at pbssocal.org, on the PBS mobile apps, and via connected TV services Android TV, Roku, Apple TV and Amazon Fire TV.
KCET is on-air, online and in the community, and plays a vital role in the cultural and educational enrichment of Southern and Central California. KCET offers a wide range of award-winning local programming as well as the finest public television programs from around the world. Throughout its 55-year history, KCET has won hundreds of major awards for its local and regional news and public affairs programming, its national drama and documentary productions, its quality educational family and children’s programs, its outreach and community services and its website, kcet.org. For additional information about KCET productions, web-exclusive content, programming schedules and community events, please visit kcet.org. Select original programming from KCET is also available for streaming on Apple TV, YouTube, Amazon and Roku platforms. For more information please visit kcet.org/apps.