African American Experience

African American Experience is sponsored locally by:




American Masters:
Maya Angelou

This film celebrates Dr. Maya Angelou by weaving her words with rare and intimate archival photographs and videos, which paint hidden moments of her life during some of America s most defining moments. From her upbringing in the Depression-era South, to her work with Malcolm X in Ghana to her inaugural speech for President Bill Clinton, the film takes us on an incredible journey through the life of a true American icon.

WKNO
Fri, February 15 at 10:00 PM




Independent Lens
Hale County This Morning, This Evening

An inspired and intimate portrait of a place and its people, Hale County This Morning, This Evening looks at the lives of two young African American men from rural Alabama over the course of five years. Daniel Collins attends college in search of opportunity while Quincy Bryant becomes a father to an energetic son in this open-ended, poetic film without a traditional narrative. Distilling life to its essence, the film invites the audience to experience the mundane and the monumental, birth and death, the quotidian and the sublime. These moments combine to communicate the region's deep culture and provide glimpses of the complex ways the African American community's collective image is integrated into America's visual imagination. The film received an Oscar nomination for Best Documentary Feature from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

Watch a preview here

WKNO
Sun, February 17 at 2:00 AM

WKNO2
Sun, February 17 at 9:00 PM




Duty of the Hour:
Benjamin Hooks

A documentary film about Benjamin L. Hooks, Memphian and civil rights hero.

WKNO's popular The story of Benjamin L. Hooks is an exploration of this nation's long, complex, and difficult history of race. Equally as important, the story of Hooks highlights how our nation was, and can be, transformed by committed visionaries like Hooks, who were determined to make every second of their lives count to fulfill their Duty of the Hour.

The true measure of our lives is not determined by the number of years we live, but in how we positively shape the lives of others and our communities in those years. As a minister, activist, father, husband, and friend of many, Dr. Hooks recognized that the span of one's life is relatively short compared to the passing decades and centuries that created the backdrop of history into which each of us is born. Nevertheless, he recognized that even one lifetime, dedicated to the right causes (in Hooks' case, the advancement of civil rights), can change the face of history and a nation.

A production of the Benjamin L. Hooks Institute for Social Change at the University of Memphis.

No Current Showtimes Available



A Conversation with
Kirk Whalum

Memphis radio personality and Host Tracy Bethea talks with Kirk Whalum about his life, his roots in Memphis and his illustrious career as a GRAMMY Award winning saxophonist and recording artist.


No Current Showtimes Available



Backs Against the Wall:
The Howard Thurman

The documentary BACKS AGAINST THE WALL: THE HOWARD THURMAN STORY chronicles the extraordinary life of theologian Howard Thurman, a poet and "mystic" who used religious expression to help ignite sweeping social change. Thurman was born the grandson of slaves in segregated Daytona, Florida. Despite the circumstances of his upbringing, he went on to become one of the great spiritual and religious pioneers of the 20th century, whose words and influence continue to echo today. His landmark book, Jesus and the Disinherited, was the first to state that Jesus Christ - who was born in poverty as part of a powerless minority - lived a life that spoke directly to black Americans. In his own time, Thurman was a celebrated religious figure with profiles in major magazines such as LOOK, Ebony and others. His efforts at the height of World War II to create the nation's first interfaith, interracial church stands as a precursor for many contemporary faith communities. And for millions today who consider themselves "spiritual but not religious," Thurman's poetry, meditations, sermons and prayers continue to be wildly popular.

Watch a preview here

No Current Showtimes Available



Live from Lincoln Center:
Pipline

Live From Lincoln Center is proud to present Lincoln Center Theater's critically acclaimed staging of Dominique Morisseau's Pipeline, available for broadcast on PBS February 8 and streaming on BroadwayHD.

In this riveting production, Nya Joseph (Karen Pittman) is a dedicated, inner-city public high school teacher who is committed to her students' achievement, while she sends her only son, Omari (Namir Smallwood), to a private boarding school. When Omari is involved in a controversial incident which threatens him with expulsion from his school, Nya is forced to reconcile Omari's rage, her own parental decisions, and the public and private school systems, as she rallies to save her son.

Watch a preview here

No Current Showtimes Available




Independent Lens:
Black Memorabilia

Black Memorabilia explores the world of racist material, both antique and newly produced, that propagate demeaning representations of African Americans. From industrial China to the rural South to Brooklyn, the film shines a light on those who reproduce, consume and reclaim racially-charged items, from banks to Mammy kitchenware, confederate flags, Nazi insignia and other ephemera.

Black Memorabilia asks the provocative questions: When are objects immoral, and when is it right or wrong to possess them? Does historic value supersede offensiveness? At times uncomfortable and often unexpected, Black Memorabilia is a thought-provoking, stimulating addition to our nation's ongoing conversations about how we think and talk about race.

Watch a preview here

No Current Showtimes Available




Memphis Memoirs:
Stax - The Early Years

WKNO Looks at the Birth of the "Memphis Sound" in a new documentary on Stax Records

WKNO's popular Memphis Memoirs series will look at the birth of this iconic label in Stax - The Early Years It's produced by Bill and Tess Carrier, the award-winning team from API Cine. From the illuminating history of Stax, written by Rob Bowman, to the illustrative archival photography lensed by API Photographers, the engaging story of Soulsville USA will be set to motion. The story of Stax documents not only the origins of the world famous "Memphis Sound," but also the pre-civil rights cooperative spirit of southern blacks and whites - who worked together to create a cultural phenomenon.

Stax - The Early Years includes interviews with participants and archival photography to share the story of the birth and legacy of Stax Records. In Stax - The Early Years, we discover how Stax got its name changed from Satellite Records in 1961, and how James Stewart and Estell Axton, brother & sister, founded the company. We'll see how WLOK's exposure of "Green Onions" boosted the careers of Al Jackson, Steve Cropper, Booker T and Lewis Steinberg, and how the Hamond B2 enhanced the sound.

We'll take a journey with Otis Redding and his unique voice and gospel background in "These Arms of Mine" and discover how Jerry Wexler, of Atlantic, guided the success of Rufus Thomas with "Walking the Dog." We'll also highlight the songwriting team of Isaac Hayes and David Porter, with hits like "Hold on I'm Coming," and the memorable Mabel John, who captured the Memphis sound along with Sam & Dave

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No Current Showtimes Available




Hoxie:
The First Stand

A documentary about Hoxie, Arkansas' early effort to integrate its schools. This hour-long historical program illuminates our understanding of school desegregation in the late 1950s through the heroic story of a small Arkansas town. The all-white Hoxie school board set out to integrate its schools immediately after the 1955 Supreme Court decision in Brown vs. Board of Education, while most of the South was determined to defy the ruling. Filmmaker David Appleby interviews the surviving participants about the community's painful struggle. The program's style is deceptively simple, smoothly combining archival elements, re-enactments and interviews for a deeper understanding of a story that remains central to our national core.

Watch a preview here

No Current Showtimes Available




Deep City:
The Birth of the Miami Sound

Learn how two musical geniuses created the first black-owned record label in Florida. Explore the early days of 1960s soul music in Miami, the pioneers of that era and their lasting contributions to the broader American musical landscape.

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No Current Showtimes Available



African American Experience is sponsored locally by:




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