Featured WHYY Black History Month Programming

WHYY proudly honors Black History Month with a selection of award-winning documentaries, radical performances and local histories. Hear I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings in Maya Angelou’s own voice, experience Nas’ deeply lyrical portrait of life in a public housing project and more.



WHYY Passport compass logo.  Many of these programs are available to stream free online for two weeks after they air on WHYY-TV. WHYY Members have extended access to the programs with this symbol via WHYY Passport.


Historic photograph of Delaware State University.
Delaware State University: A Legacy of Opportunity
Friday, February 16 | 5 p.m. | ADD TO CALENDAR

Delaware State University alumni and others close to the school talk about the transformation of the state’s only Historically Black University, its challenges and where it’s headed next. Preview »

Maya Angelou with Passport logo.
American Masters
Maya Angelou

Friday, February 16 | 9 p.m. | ADD TO CALENDAR | Stream

Distinctly referred to as “a redwood tree, with deep roots in American culture,” Maya Angelou gave people the freedom to think about their history in a way they never had before. Preview »

We Knew What We Had poster.
We Knew What We Had: The Greatest Jazz Story Never Told
Sunday, February 18 | 7 p.m. | ADD TO CALENDAR

Archival footage sheds light on the social conditions and historical events that conspired to make Pittsburgh one of the world’s leading contributors to the legacy of jazz music. Preview »

Tell Them We Are Rising - Available on WHYY Passport.
Independent Lens
Tell Them We Are Rising

Monday, February 19 | 9 p.m. | ADD TO CALENDAR

Hear the story of the pivotal role historically black colleges and universities played in American history, culture and national identity. Preview »

Karamu with Passport logo.
Karamu: 100 Years in the House
Monday, February 19 |10:30 p.m. | ADD TO CALENDAR | Stream

James Pickens, Jr. from Grey’s Anatomy narrates the story of the oldest African-American theater in the United States. Preview »

Ann Curry - with Passport Logo.

We’ll Meet Again
Freedom Summer

Tuesday, February 20 | 8 p.m. | ADD TO CALENDAR

Former NBC News anchor Ann Curry reunites Fatima and Thelma, two women who lost touch after working to register voters in Louisiana during the civil rights movement. Preview »

Afropop - available on WHYY Passport.
AfroPop: The Ultimate Cultural Exchange
Thursdays at 10 p.m. until February 20 | Stream

Explore the present-day realities and contemporary lifestyles of Africans, both on the continent and in the evolving diaspora. Hosted by actor Nicholas L. Ashe. Preview »

John Lewis with the police - WHYY Passport logo.
John Lewis: Get in the Way
Sunday, February 25 | 7 p.m. | ADD TO CALENDAR | Stream

John Lewis rose from Alabama’s Black Belt to the corridors of power on Capitol Hill, his humble origins forever linking him to those whose voices customarily go unheard. Preview »

Condoleeza at the table - with Passport logo.
American Creed
Tuesday, February 27 | 9 p.m. | ADD TO CALENDAR

Longtime friends Condoleezza Rice and historian David Kennedy explore whether a unifying set of beliefs can prove more powerful than the issues that divide us. Preview »



Great Performances
Nas Live from the Kennedy Center: Classical Hip Hop

Nas teams up with the National Symphony Orchestra to stage a symphonic rendition of his groundbreaking 1994 album Illmatic, a densely textured, deeply lyrical portrait of life in the largest public housing project. Stream now »

Friday Arts - Available on WHYY Passport.

Friday Arts
Abolitionism in Philadelphia

The Philadelphia block where WHYY Studios now stands was once home to Pennsylvania Hall, an abolitionist meeting place. But in 1838, the hall was burned to the ground by anti-black rioters. Stream now »

Finding Your Roots - available on passport.
Finding Your Roots
Seasons 1 – 4

Harvard scholar Henry Louis Gates, Jr. unearths the family histories of influential people helping shape our national identity, like Questlove and Maya Rudolph. Stream now »

Antiques Roadeshow - available on Passport.
Antiques Roadshow
Celebrating Black Americana

Signed Muhammad Ali training shoes, handwritten letters from Louis Armstrong, a 1950 Willie Mays jersey — one of these pieces of history is worth up to $80,000. Stream now »

Black America Since MLK - available on Passport.

Black America Since MLK: And Still I Rise

Dr. Henry Louis Gates, Jr. embarks on a deeply personal journey through the last fifty years of African American history. Stream now »

The Force - available on WHYY Passport.
Independent Lens
The Force

Go deep inside the long-troubled Oakland Police Department as it struggles to confront federal demands for reform, a popular uprising following events in Ferguson and an explosive scandal. Stream »


Lorraine Hansbury on typewriter.
American Masters
Lorraine Hansberry

She was a rebel, a radical journalist, the inspiration for a Nina Simone song—and the first black woman to write a play performed on Broadway. Stream »



Tell Them We Are Rising Split.

Free Screening: Tell Them We Are Rising
Delaware State University | Thursday, February 15 | 7 p.m. | Register
Cheyney University | Monday, February 12 | 6 p.m. | Register

Join WHYY for a screening of Tell Them We Are Rising, the second film in the three-part series that began with The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution.

Portrait of Elizabeth Montier.

The Montiers: An American Story at the Philadelphia Museum of Art
Philadelphia Museum of Art | Wednesday, March 14 | 6:30 p.m. | Save the date

The earliest surviving portraits of an African American couple, Hiram and Elizabeth Brown Montier, provide a first-person perspective on their lives in nineteenth-century Philadelphia.


Going Black: The Legacy of Philly Soul Radio
Sunday, February 4 | 8 p.m. | ADD TO CALENDAR

Starting in the 1950s, Black radio stations around the country became the pulse of African-American communities, and served as their megaphone during the Civil Rights and Black Power movements.

The Pulse 
Separate: Black in America 
Friday, February 16 | 9 a.m. | ADD TO CALENDAR

For most of their time in America, black people have largely lived, worked and played separately from white people. Sometimes good, sometimes bad. Explore the reverberations of “being separate” on health and medicine.

The Invention of Race
Sunday, February 18 | 8 p.m. | ADD TO CALENDAR

Trace the development of racial, and racist, ideas, from the ancient world to the founding of the United States, including the slave-traders who invented blackness, the enlightenment scientist who divided humanity into five races and more.


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