Celebrating Extraordinary Black Americans during Black History Month and all year long …

WHYY-TV 12 Highlights

GOSPEL Live! Presented by Henry Louis Gates, Jr.Presented by Henry Louis Gates, Jr.| Friday, February 9 | 9PM
A one-of-a-kind musical celebration that honors the legacy and influence of Gospel music in America. Contemporary artists will join celebrated gospel singers to perform their favorite gospel classics.

GOSPEL, Hosted by Henry Louis Gates, Jr. | Monday, February 12 & Tuesday, February 13 | 9 PM
Gospel explores Black spirituality through sermon and song. From the blues to hip-hop, African Americans have been the driving force of sonic innovation for over a century. But, while musical styles come and go, there is one sound that has been a constant source of strength, courage and wisdom. It is a message that resounds from the pulpit to the choir lofts on any given Sunday — one of good news in bad times: gospel.

AMERICAN EXPERIENCE “Fly with Me” | Tuesday, February 20 | 9 PM
Fly with Me is a story about new frontiers for working women and the constraints of traditional notions of femininity. It’s about both exploitation and activism, and pitched battles within the courtrooms of the United States. Maligned as feminist sellouts and sluts, stewardesses, as they were called, knew different: They were on the frontlines of a battle to assert gender equality and transform the workplace. 

LYLA IN THE LOOP from PBS Kids | Weekdays | 8 AM
The new weekday animated series was created by Dave Peth, a local Philadelphian. The series is set in a city that resembles Philadelphia, murals and all. It stars Lyla, a dynamic 7-year-old Black girl, her close-knit family, fantastical blue sidekick Stu, and a host of relatable and quirky characters living in her community, who together spotlight creative problem-solving and critical thinking skills while working collaboratively with others.

THE UPTOWN THEATER: MOVIES, MUSIC AND MEMORIES | Tuesday, February 13 | 7:30 PM (Encore at 11 PM)
WHYY celebrates Black History Month with a locally-produced documentary. The Uptown opened in 1929 as a motion picture palace, lauded for its architectural and engineering design. Later it was popular on the vaudeville circuit and became an important venue on the Chitlin Circuit, second only to NY’s Apollo Theater, and nurtured the careers of many famous African American entertainers. Experience it all with historians, former concertgoers and performers who share memories of the Uptown Theater. (Encore: Saturday, February 17 | 4p & Sunday, February 18 | 5p).

GREAT PERFORMANCES “The Magic of Spirituals” | Friday, February 16 | 10:30 PM
Glimpse behind the curtain at opera legends Kathleen Battle and Jessye Norman’s famed concert at Carnegie Hall on March 18, 1990, featuring performance clips and new interviews with opera star Angel Blue, Met Opera General Manager Peter Gelb and more.

INSPIRED LIVES | Saturday, February 17 | 8 PM
INSPIRED LIVES is an hour-long program that features in-depth conversations with FUBU founder, “Godfather of Urban Fashion” and Shark Tank investor Daymond John, and six-time Grammy Award-winner Dionne Warwick, a legendary recording artist who has sold more than 100 million records worldwide. Award-winning reporter and host Tony Fama meets one-on-one with John and Warwick, discussing the steps each took to gain international success and exploring what both are doing to support communities in need.

The program features the five-time Grammy-winning Blind Boys of Alabama with conductor Dr. Henry Panion, III, and a full symphony orchestra. Hailed as “Gospel Titans” by Rolling Stonemagazine, this beloved group – which has collaborated with everyone from Mavis Staples to Stevie Wonder to Prince on the world’s most prestigious stages — rose to fame in the segregated South with their thrilling vocal harmonies and roof-raising live shows. The concert features a combined choir from Alabama’s Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), including Alabama State, Alabama A&M, Miles College, Tuskegee University and Talladega College among others.

INDEPENDENT LENS “THE PICTURE TAKER” – Saturday, February 17 | 10 PM
The life of Ernest Withers was anything but black and white. Soldier, police officer, civil rights activist, and paid FBI informant. It’s an unlikely resume for an African American photographer in the 1960s, but complex times spawn complicated stories. From his Memphis studio, Withers developed nearly 2 million images that came to illustrate America’s civil rights stories. But perhaps the push and pull of history is best illuminated by Withers’ lesser-known work, decades of secret FBI service uncovered only after his death. From the flashpoint of an American saga, The Picture Taker brings us a tale from in front of, and behind, the camera.

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