civil rights documentary

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Free Movies in DC | WETA Movie Night February 23


Sometimes, you just have to go with what feels right. This week’s WETA Saturday Night Movies on WETA TV26 & WETA HD celebrate people who knew they were right, even when everyone else was telling them they were wrong. We begin at 9:30pm with Top Hat, where Jerry Travers peruses a woman who isn’t interested because she thinks he’s someone else. But Jerry doesn’t give up that easily! Black Power Mixtape 1967-1975 is at 11:00pm, which takes a look at activists during the civil rights era who knew they were working for good, even when the media tried to misrepresent them.

Click here to watch video previews of these two films!


Top Hat (1935)

What would you do if your best friend’s spouse fell in love with you? Run away! Or in this case, dance in the opposite direction. Dale Tremont (Ginger Rogers) makes her distaste of Jerry Travers (Fred Astaire) known after he wakes her one night with loud tap dancing from the room above her. In a case of mistaken identity, she believes him to be her friend’s husband and is put off even more by his romantic advances. After she travels to Italy, only to be perused by Jerry, the confusion escalates with a marriage proposal. Can these two figure out who they really are and become the perfect pair? If you missed it in January, find out this Saturday at 9:30pm.

Watch Top Hat on WETA TV26 & WETA HD Saturday at 9:30pm! Also airs Sunday at 11:30am.


The Black Power Mixtape 1967-1975

After 16mm footage of the civil rights movement was discovered in the cellar of a Swedish broadcasting company, filmmaker Goran Hugo Olsson decided to create a documentary about the Black Power movement from 1967 to 1975. Featuring interviews with prominent African American artists, activists, musicians and scholars, as well as input from today's scholars and historians, this film shows a different perspective of the revolution commonly portrayed as a violent protest by United States media of the time. Join us as we continue to celebrate Black History Month through the eyes of Swedish filmmakers, this Saturday at 11:00pm.

Watch Black Power Mixtape 1967-1975 on WETA TV26 & WETA HD Saturday at 11:00pm.

WETA TV26 logoCategory:TV26

Martin Luther King Jr. Day | Special Programming on WETA

As President Obama is sworn into office for a second term on Monday, he shares the spotlight with Martin Luther King Jr. as we celebrate the civil rights leader’s birthday January 21. This is a great time to reflect on the history of the United States and the progress made for African Americans in recent years. Join us beginning at 9:30am on Monday, as we spend the day revisiting key moments of the civil rights movement. And don’t forget! At 11:00am Monday, WETA is airing the PBS NewsHour Inauguration 2013: A Special Report.

Read the full article for video previews of each show including a special behind the scenes look at the making of Slavery By Another Name and the WETA Around Town tour of the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Memorial.


American Experience: Roads to Memphis

This is the story of one man’s desire to be forever infamous. James Earl Ray lived a life of crime

 and was always in and out of prison. After he failed to get adequate attention from his prison escape, Ray plotted and carried out the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in Birmingham, Alabama. Through eyewitness accounts, this story is told by people who knew King and officials who helped capture Ray. Investigate the steps leading up to the murder and the manhunt which ensued after.

Watch on WETA TV26 & WETA HD Monday January 21 at 9:30am and 5:30pm.


American Experience: Freedom Riders

From May until November of 1961 a revolution was happening in an unconventional place; 

public transportation. 600 Americans of diverse races, genders, and ages became Freedom Riders as they deliberately broke Jim Crow Laws traveling on buses and trains in the South. This was life-threatening activism and its participants were often attacked verbally or physically. Their efforts weren’t in vain however, and on September 22, the Interstate Commerce Commission issued its order to end the segregation in bus and rail stations. Follow the story of these heroes on the move and their efforts during the civil rights movement.

Watch on WETA TV26 & WETA HD Monday January 21st at 2:00pm


Slavery by Another Name

Based on the 2009 Pulitzer Prize-winning book by Douglas Blackmon, Slavery by Another 

Name follows the lives of African Americans from 1865 up until World War II. Even though the Emancipation Proclamation of 1863 is commonly thought to have ended slavery, the struggles of African Americans in the South persisted with new forms of forced labor known as “neoslavery.” This documentary is brought to life with archival footage and interviews with decedents of former slaves and scholars.

Watch on WETA TV26 & WETA HD Monday January 21st at 4:00pm

Learn more about the film and go behind the scenes with this PBS video: The Making of Slavery By Another Name. 


Watch the WETA Around Town tour of the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Memorial in Washington, DC.