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Celebrate Black History

Celebrate Black History

Explore this robust collection of local and national programs honoring key historical events and cultural contributions of African Americans.

Explorethe life and legacy of Kentucky-born author bell hooks, who wrote nearly 40 books and whose work at the intersection of race, class and gender serves as a lasting contribution to the feminist movement. Learn how bell’s childhood in Hopkinsville and her connection to Kentucky’s “hillbilly culture” informed her views and her belief that feminism is for everybody.

The one-hour KET documentary features selections read by Academy Award winner Octavia Spencer and interviews with feminist activist Gloria Steinem, Kentucky writers Crystal Wilkinson and Silas House, bell’s younger sister Gwenda Motley and many others.

Premieres February 27th at 9/8 pm on KET

A photo of bell hooks as a young woman resting her chin in her hand. Next to the photo is the logo for the program, Becoming bell hooks in yellow on a red textured background.

Gospel Live! Presented by Henry Louis Gates Jr.
Before watching the Gospel series, tune in for this program co-hosted by Henry Louis Gates Jr. and Erica Campbell, for a concert featuring an assortment of artists, including John Legend, performing some of their favorite gospel songs.

Premieres February 9th at 9/8 pm on KET

Gospel, the latest history series from Henry Louis Gates, Jr., digs deep into the origin story of Black spirituality through sermon and song.

Premieres February 12th at 9/8 pm on KET

A close-up of Maya Angelou with short gray hair and a shiny black blouse.

African American Lives 2
Maya Angelou shares the story of learning about her Mende heritage during an interview with Dr. Henry Louis Gates, Jr.

Three women in red tops, skirts, and dresses, and their heads wrapped in red fabric pose on steps outside between buildings.

AfroPop: The Ultimate Cultural Exchange
This series is at the forefront of bringing informative and entertaining films about modern life in the African Diaspora to television audiences in the U.S.

The Alice and Wade Houston Story
This KET film chronicles the lives of one of Louisville’s most prominent couples. From their childhoods in Louisville and Alcoa, Tenn., we follow the Houstons as they move from the segregation of their youth to their successes in the arenas of business and sports.

American Masters: How It Feels to Be Free
Explore the lives of iconic African American entertainers Lena Horne, Abbey Lincoln, Nina Simone, Diahann Carroll, Cicely Tyson and Pam Grier, who changed American culture through their work.

The Beecher Terrace Story logo over a partial view of doors and windows on the fronts of residences.

The Beecher Terrace Story
This documentary examines the history of the Beecher Terrace public housing community and the role it played in the development of the Russell neighborhood in Louisville.

Thomas Wilkins standing on stage smiling in a tux and holding a baton with the auditorium seats behind him.

Beyond the Baton: A Conductor’s Journey
Born to a single mother on welfare, Thomas Wilkins grew up to become one of the few African American conductors leading a major orchestra. Learn about his experiences and his impact on the musical world.

The program logo sits atop an abstracted image of hills and trees in black and gray tones.

Black in Appalachia
Learn about a project that showcases the contributions of Black communities of the Mountain South.

A black and white photo of a football player in a jersey with 20 on the chest holds a ball in his left arm and extends his right in a protective gesture.

Black in Blue
Learn the story of four African American football players at the University of Kentucky who broke the color line in the Southeastern Conference in the 1960s.

City of Ali logo over a collage of several images of Ali

City of Ali
Explore Muhammad Ali’s relationship with his hometown, Louisville. Through interviews with friends and relatives, viewers get a an account of the man who became a global icon.

Host Renee Shaw and the Connections logo

Each week, host Renee Shaw and a variety of interesting and engaging people – including business leaders, entertainers, authors, celebrities, and more – explore a broad array of topics impacting Kentucky and the world.

The Dream Whisperer
During segregation, the all-Black Tennessee A&I Tigers made history winning three straight national championships. Captain Dick Barnett fought to secure recognition for his team and in 2019, they were inducted into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame.

A black and white photo of a close-up of a car with several adults inside along with one boy who looks straight at the camera.

Driving While Black: Race, Space and Mobility in America
Discover how the automobile brought mobility and freedom for African Americans but also exposed them to discrimination and violence.

Economic Success Through Minority Empowerment
Renee Shaw and a panel of leaders explore the links between academic success in minorities and economic empowerment, how embracing diversity is key to success in a global economy, and the importance of today’s leaders creating opportunities for tomorrow.

A close-up of a statue in a church setting with people in the background.

Facing an Uncomfortable Truth
This film explores the roles of African Americans in the early years of the Catholic Church in Kentucky from those who were enslaved and worked to grow the denomination to individuals who endured second-class citizenship to how Black Catholics in Kentucky are finding their voices today.

black and white photo of rap group Public Enemy

Fight the Power: How Hip Hop Changed the World
As Hip Hop celebrates its 50th anniversary, examine its socially-conscious roots with rap stars and other cultural commentators.

Films BYkids: Beekeeper
Learn about 15-year-old Keith Griffith III of Louisville, who developed an interest in beekeeping at age 11 when his parents were incarcerated. To help Keith cope with stress, his uncle taught him how to care for a bee colony and harvest honey, and the importance of pollinators for the environment.

A collage of a photo of program host Henry Louis Gates, Jr.; a tree and sky; and the program title.

Finding Your Roots
Henry Louis Gates, Jr. uses cutting-edge DNA research and old-school genealogical sleuthing to help some of the nation’s most compelling personalities discover their buried family histories.

Jessye Norman and Kathleen Battle singing on stage with a red curtain behind them.

Great Performances – The Magic of Spirituals
This documentary examines the behind-the-scenes story of Kathleen Battle and Jessye Norman’s famed concert of spirituals at Carnegie Hall on March 18, 1990.

A collage of waves, palm trees, homes, and an excavator boom and bucket.

Independent Lens: Raising Liberty Square
The historically Black community of Liberty City in Miami becomes ground zero for climate gentrification.

Inspired Lives
Reporter and host Tony Fama sits down with FUBU founder Daymond John, the “Godfather of Urban Fashion” and legendary artist Dionne Warwick.

A black-and-white image depicting  six black people on the underground railroad.

Kentucky’s Underground Railroad — Passage to Freedom
An account of the fugitive slave movement in Kentucky, focusing on those who lived in Kentucky and sought to escape to the North.

The Legacy of Black Horsemen
This hour-long historical documentary from KET, highlights the often-untold story of Black jockeys, trainers, grooms and exercisers in the 1800s whose contributions helped lay the foundation for the Thoroughbred industry.

Muhammad Ali looking at the camera wearing boxing trunks and with both fists held out at chest level.

Louisville’s Own Ali
Explore the life and times of Muhammad Ali from the perspective of his hometown through interviews with journalists Dave Kindred and Bob Edwards, Gov. John Y. Brown, Mayor Jerry Abramson, Sen. Georgia Davis Powers and others.

A man next to a telescope pointed at the sky.

NOVA: Star Chasers of Senegal
A visionary astronomer in West Africa attempts a high-stakes observation of a distant asteroid vital to a NASA mission.

Two women sitting together with a lace curtain behind them

Secrets of the Dead: The Woman in the Iron Coffin
Forensic experts investigate the remains of a young African American woman from 19th-century New York and reveal the little-known story of early America’s free black communities.

A close-up of a statue depicting a man on horseback with the top of a building in the background.

Statues: This Is What We Stand For?
Racism, white privilege what do communities choose as symbols? This documentary examines these questions in Louisville, Kentucky, a city grappling with many of the issues that divide our country today.

A Symphony Celebration: The Blind Boys of Alabama
A visionary astronomer in West Africa attempts a high-stakes observation of a distant asteroid vital to a NASA mission.

Featured KET Passport ProgramsBlue Passport logo

The KET Passport member benefit allows you to watch your favorite programs anytime, on any screen. Learn more about Passport.

A composite image showing an elderly Marnie Lang Kirkland in front of images of her in her youth along with a burning cross and other historical images of racism.

100 Years from Mississippi
Mamie Lang Kirkland left Mississippi at seven years old to escape racial violence and did not return until a century later.

From behind an illustration of a church with a steeple, the sun radiates outward in multi-colored sections designed to look like stained glass. In the foreground are a minister, choir member, and three others.

The Black Church: This Is Our Story, This Is Our Song
This intimate two-part, four-hour series from Henry Louis Gates, Jr., explores the 400-year-old story of the black church in America.

A close-up of Dave Chapelle in large, squarish black glasses and a black leather jacket.

Dave Chappelle: The Mark Twain Prize
An outstanding lineup of entertainers gathers in the Kennedy Center Concert Hall to salute Dave Chappelle, recipient of the 22nd annual Mark Twain Prize for American Humor.

A collaged image of a waving US flag, silhouettes of people walking, and the logo for Eyes on the Prize.

Eyes on the Prize
Learn the story of the civil-rights era from the point of view of ordinary people whose extraordinary actions launched a movement that changed America, and embodied a struggle whose reverberations continue today.

A black-and-white photo of Jackie Robinson with a young boy on his lap, a young girl at his side, being hugged by a young woman, with an older woman seated next to Jackie and the boy.

Jackie Robinson — Parts 1 & 2
Robinson rose from humble origins to cross baseball’s color line and become one of the most beloved men in America. A fierce integrationist, Robinson used his fame to speak out against discrimination.

A close-up of Billie Holiday singing at an old-fashioned silver microphone with light lines across the image for mood.

Jazz — A Ken Burns series
Award-winning filmmaker Ken Burns takes an in-depth look at jazz, the most original American art form, in this miniseries.

A woman in a white blouse, tan long skirt, and a long peach-colored apron strides toward the camera on a path with sugar cane plants on either side of her.

The Long Song on Masterpiece
This three-part series based on Andrea Levy’s award-winning novel follows a slave and her mistress.

A woman seen from the side smiling to herself with many lines of various colors superimposed over the image of the woman's face.

Making Black America: Through the Grapevine
As early as 1775, free Black people built towns, established schools and held conventions, creating networks to address the political, economic and social needs of the Black community.

Muhammad Ali looking back over his left shoulder. Next to his face are the words: MUHAMMAD ALI A FILM BY SARAH BURNS & DAVID McMahon.

Muhammad Ali
This documentary brings to life the iconic heavyweight boxing champion who became an inspiration to people everywhere.

Ron Carter from behind playing a bass with the show logo superimposed over the image.

Ron Carter: Finding the Right Notes
An intimate portrait of the quiet genius who speaks with his music, and who brought the upright bass out from the background into the spotlight.

Tina Turner in a fitted black dress with her head turned to the side.

Tina Turner: One Last Time
In 2000, Tina Turner’s final UK concert was filmed at London’s Wembley Stadium. Turner’s inspiring, powerful performance made it an unforgettable event.

An old photo of Jack Johnson bare-chested in a boxing pose.

Unforgivable Blackness: The Rise and Fall of Jack Johnson
Follow Jack Johnson’s remarkable journey from his humble beginnings in Galveston, Texas, as the son of former slaves, to the world of professional boxing.

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