Arlington, VA – January 31, 2021This February, watch watershed documentaries from legendary filmmakers Stanley Nelson, Henry Louis Gates, Jr., Ken Burns, and many others on the PBS Documentaries Prime Video Channel that help honor Black History Month. Some of the highlighted programs include documentaries about the Black Panther Party, the pivotal role of historically Black colleges and universities, the history and culture of the Black church in African American communities, the life of an American icon and arguably the greatest boxer of all time, the millennia-long history of Africa, and much more.

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Information about these programs is listed below.

(Photo Credit: Courtesy of Nutopia Limited/PBS)

Africa’s Great Civilizations

Premiere Date: February 1, 2022
Episodes: 3
Genre: History, Geography, Culture

Martin Scorsese reveals the fascinating story of a one-night-only performance in 1826 at St. Patrick’s Old Cathedral—Scorsese’s Henry Louis Gates, Jr. takes a look at the history of Africa, from the birth of humankind to the dawn of the 20th century. This is a breathtaking and personal journey through two hundred thousand years of history – from the origins, on the African continent, of art, writing and civilization itself, through the millennia in which Africa and Africans shaped not only their own rich civilizations, but also the wider world. Gates travels the length and breadth of Africa to chronicle the continent’s history from a firmly African perspective, and it’s a journey full of surprises and unexpected connections that highlight the collective and individual genius of Africans who, across thousands of years, built civilizations and empires, fought wars, established great cities, furthered and spread learning, and created some of the most sublime art and architecture in human history.

(Photo Credit: Courtesy of PBS)

The Black Church: This is Our Story, This is Our Song

Premiere Date: February 1, 2022
Episodes: 1
Genre: History, Culture

Producer, host and writer Henry Louis Gates, Jr. traces the 400-year-old story of the Black church in America, all the way down to its bedrock role as the site of African American survival and grace, organizing and resilience, thriving and testifying, autonomy and freedom, solidarity and speaking truth to power. Gates reveals how Black people have worshipped and, through their spiritual journeys, improvised ways to bring their faith traditions from African to the New World, while translating them into a form of Christianity that was not only truly their own, but a redemptive force for a nation whose original sin was found in their ancestors’ enslavement across the Middle Passage. Featuring Oprah Winfrey, John Legend, Jennifer Hudson, Presiding Bishop Michael Curry, Yolanda Adams, Pastor Shirley Caesar, BeBe Winans, Rev. Al Sharpton, Cornel West, and many others.

(Photo Credit: Courtesy of Pirkle Jones and Ruth-Marion Baruch)

The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution

Premiere Date: February 1, 2022
Episodes: 1
Genre: Documentary, History, Culture

In the turbulent 1960s, change was coming to America and the fault lines could no longer be ignored – cities were burning, Vietnam was exploding and disputes raged over equality and civil rights. A new revolutionary culture was emerging and it sought to drastically transform the system. The Black Panther Party for Self-Defense would, for a short time, put itself at the vanguard of that change. This film, from master documentarian Stanley Nelson, explores the Black Panther Party, its significance to the broader American culture, its cultural and political awakening for Black people and the painful lessons wrought when a movement derails.

(Photo Credit: Michael Gaffney Collection of Muhammad Ali)

Muhammad Ali

Premiere Date: February 1, 2022
Episodes: 4
Genre: Biography, Sports, Culture

Filmmaker Ken Burns brings to life one of the best-known and most indelible figures of the 20th century – Muhammad Ali, the boxing champion who captivated millions throughout the world with his mesmerizing combination of speed, grace and power in the ring, and charm and playful boasting outside of it. He wrote his own rules – in the ring and in his life – infuriating his critics, baffling his opponents and riveting his fans. He spoke his mind and stood on principle, staying true to his Islamic faith and refusing induction into the U.S. Army, even when it cost him his livelihood. Banished for his beliefs, he returned to boxing an underdog, reclaimed his title twice, and became the most famous man on earth. An intimate portrait of a larger-than-life global icon, this is the story of an exceptional athlete whose influence transcends boxing.

(Photo Credit: Courtesy of Atlanta University Center)

Tell Them We Are Rising: The Story of Historically Black Colleges and Universities

Premiere Date: February 1, 2022
Episodes: 1
Genre: History, Culture

The rich history of America’s historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs) began before the end of slavery, flourished in the 20th century and profoundly influenced the course of the nation for over 150 years – yet remains largely unknown. Filmmakers Stanley Nelson and Marco Williams highlight the powerful story of the rise, influence and evolution of HBCUs – long a haven for Black intellectuals, artists and revolutionaries, and a path toward the American dream. These institutions have nurtured some of the most influential Americans of our time, from Booker T. Washington to Martin Luther King, Jr., Toni Morrison to Oprah Winfrey, and Alice Walker to Spike Lee to Common.

Other documentaries streaming on the channel include:

African American Lives, Season 2

Driving While Black

Boss: The Black Experience in Business

Fight the Power

Frederick Douglass: Voice of Equality

American Experience: Freedom Riders

American Masters: How It Feels to Be Free

Created Equal: Clarence Thomas In His Own Words

Tulsa: The Fire and the Forgotten

American Experience: Voice of Freedom

Other titles coming to the PBS Documentaries Prime Video Channel in February:

America ReFramed: Fannie Lou Hamer’s America

American Experience: Billy the Kid

American Experience: Klansville U.S.A.

American Experience: Rachel Carson

American Experience: Riveted: The History of Jeans

American Experience: The American Diplomat

American Experience: The Amish: Shunned

American Masters: Philip Roth: Unmasked

Dangerous Edge: A Life of Graham Greene

FRONTLINE: American Reckoning

FRONTLINE: Raising Adam Lanza

Local, USA: Heaven: Can You Hear Me?

Nature: American Horses

Nature: Cold Warriors: Wolves and Buffalo

Nature: Penguins: Meet the Family

Nature: The Ocean’s Greatest Feast

NOVA: Arctic Drift

NOVA: Augmented

NOVA: Great Mammoth Mystery

NOVA: Secrets in the Scat

NOVA: Transplanting Hope

The Path to Violence

The Secrets of Saint John Paul

This Emotional Life, Season 1

Through the Banks of the Red Cedar

Wonders of Mexico, Season 1

About PBS Documentaries Prime Video Channel

The PBS Documentaries Prime Video Channel is a DTC-SVOD channel exclusive to Prime Video. This channel features over 1,500 hours of the highest quality factual programming, including the full catalog of films from Ken Burns and award-winning documentaries from NOVA, FRONTLINE, AMERICAN MASTERS, NATURE, AMERICAN EXPERIENCE, in addition to programming from other independent producers.

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PBS Distribution is a leading distributor of public media content around the world, reaching audiences through multiple platforms and formats. The company operates five streaming channels —PBS MASTERPIECE, PBS KIDS, PBS LIVING, PBS DOCUMENTARIES, and PBS America (U.K.). Other services include transactional video-on-demand, subscription video-on-demand licensing, physical products on DVD and Blu-ray, theatrical releasing, educational, non-theatrical, inflight, and international program sales and co-productions.

PBS Distribution offers consumers and educators the highest quality factual, scripted, and children’s programming including films from Ken Burns, hit series from MASTERPIECE and foreign language dramas from Walter Presents, entertaining and educational PBS KIDS series, and award-winning documentaries from NOVA, FRONTLINE, AMERICAN MASTERS, NATURE, AMERICAN EXPERIENCE, and many independent producers. For over 10 years, the company has extended the reach of programming beyond broadcast while generating revenue for the public television system, stations, and producers.

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