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A Guide to Black History Month Programming on TV, from ‘The 1619 Project’ to ‘Black Panther: Wakanda Forever’

Variety logo Variety 2/3/2023 Charna Flam
© Provided by Variety

As Black History Month runs throughout February, television will celebrate Black voices, icons and stories across entertainment, politics, sports and more.

Throughout February, audiences will be able to keep up with Hulu’s year-long initiative in spotlighting Black stories and storytellers on the platform’s “Black Stories Always” hub. In addition to new series and season premieres, from “Wu-Tang: An American Saga” to “The 1619 Project,” the platform will continue to stream new episodes of “Abbott Elementary” and “Grown-ish,” and feature classic titles from Black storytellers including “Living Single” and “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.”

BET will honor Black History Month with a programming schedule that features new unscripted series, including “Black Icons — Past, Present, Future” and “America In Black” as well as the 54th NAACP Image Awards telecast on Feb. 25.

Read a full list of programming to look out for this Black History Month below. (More titles will be added throughout the month.)

The 1619 Project” (Jan. 26, Hulu) – This six-part docuseries, which releases new episode on Thursdays, is an expansion of Nikole Hannah-Jones and the New York Times Magazine’s “The 1619 Project.” The series aims to reframe the national narrative by reviewing the consequences of slavery and the contributions of Black Americans.

“Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” (Feb. 1, Disney+) – The Academy Award-nominated Marvel film “Wakanda Forever” is now available to stream on Disney+ following its November 2022 premiere. After the death of Chadwick Boseman, the “Black Panther” sequel follows how the people of Wakanda cope and grieve the death of their king.

Black Icons — Past, Present, Future” (Feb. 1, BET) – On a daily basis throughout February, BET will feature 28 one-minute interstitials featuring a current HBCU student paying tribute to one Black icon’s achievements. The 28 interstitials will feature visionaries, unsung heroes, the new generation and hip-hop legends, including icons that cover politics, journalism, music, activism, law, sports and dance, with icons such as Alvin Ailey, Arthur Ashe, Barack Obama, James Baldwin, Ketanji Brown Jackson, Nina Simone and Shirley Chisholm.

“Sherman’s Showcase” (Feb. 1, Hulu) – Inspired by shows like “Solid Gold” and “Soul Train,” the latest sketch variety show invites audiences to time travel via music and clips drawn from the forty-year library of a legendary, and fictional musical variety show.

CBS Black History Month programming (Feb. 1, CBS) – Led by the CBS News Race and Culture Unit, CBS is celebrating African American achievement across all its platforms. In addition to “America in Black” with BET Newsmagazine (Feb. 19), its documentary “Black Twitter: Inside the Twitterverse That Changed a Generation” (Feb. 23) and the platform’s continued coverage on Tyre Nichols, the month’s celebration can be seen on CBS Mornings, CBS Saturday Mornings, CBS Evening News With Norah O’Donnell, CBS Sunday Morning, CBS News Radio and CBS Newspath. The celebration will take place on local channels, too. KCBS/KCAL in Los Angeles will report on the Hidden Genius Project that works to mentor young Black males in technology creation, entrepreneurship and leadership.

Soul of a Nation: Black in Vegas” (Feb. 2, Hulu) – “Soul of a Nation” returns with a one-hour special, “Black in Vegas,” which will explore the history of Black entertainers in Las Vegas, including musicians Usher, Mariah Carey, Janet Jackson, Boyz II Men, Lionel Richie and Smokey Robinson, as well as comedians Marsha Warfield, George Wallace and Eddie Griffin.

“Three Ways” (Feb. 10, Hulu) – Andrea Lewis, Brittany S. Hall and Jerrel O’Neal star in a movie about sexually awkward Stacey, who is ready to take control of her life. She decides to conquer her fears by having a threesome with her new beau and a mysterious woman she’s never met.

Kulipari: An Army of Frogs Special Edition” (Feb. 13, Hulu) – Season 1 of the action adventure series “Kulipari: An Army of Frogs” follows as the frogs of the Amphibilands are threatened by an army of spiders and scorpions. One frog, Darel, joins the Kulipari, a group of super powered frogs, to join the battle lines. Season 2, “Kulipari: Dreamwalker Special Edition,” will premiere later in Feb. The series is based on the popular children’s book trilogy written by former NFL player Trevor Pryce.

“Craig of the Creek” (Feb. 15, Hulu) – The fourth season of the animated kid series will follow Craig and his friends, Kelsey and JP, as they adventure through the kid-dominated, yet untamed, creek.

“Wu-Tang: An American Saga” (Feb. 15, Hulu) – With episodes premiering on Wednesdays, the third and final season of “Wu-Tang” will follow the Wu-Tang Clan as they work to figure out their placement in the music industry. The group is faced with a series challenges, each of which threaten a group separation, as the season continues the group works fulfill their place in the industry and create their legacy.

“Snowfall” (Feb. 22, Hulu) – The FX original sixth and final season, follows as a civil war threatens to destroy the Saint family. After losing everyone and everything he loves, Franklin Saint needs to out-smart the CIA, DEA and the KGB, all while avoiding the LAPD’s militarized and corrupt, C.R.A.S.H units.

“Can’t Turn Us Around: Alabama’s Foot Soldiers” (Feb. 22, The History Channel) – The one-hour documentary tells a different side of the foot soldiers movement. From 1955 to 1965 the foot soldiers worked alongside their white allies to rid America of segregation and guarantee equal civil rights. The foot soldiers participated in a series of non-violent demonstrations, boycotts, and sit-ins throughout Montgomery, Birmingham and Selma, Ala.

“Black Twitter: Inside the Twitterverse That Changed a Generation” (Feb. 23, CBS) – Jericka Duncan will lead viewers through Black Twitter, which has birthed movements such as #BlackLivesMatter, #OscarsSoWhite and #SayHerName. Featuring celebrities, influencers and thought leaders, the one-hour special will document Black Twitter’s history and its expansion onto other social media platforms. The CBS Reports documentary will air on CBS News.

Bruiser (Feb. 24, Hulu) – Miles Warren’s feature debut explores the boundaries of manhood and fatherhood, and examines the effects of toxic masculinity. Teenager Darious (Jalyn Hall) and his father, Malcolm (Shamier Anderson), come to a crossroads when drifter Porter (Trevante Rhodes) comes into their lives. When Darious learns of Porter’s true identity, he is thrust into a conflict between the two men, which may rip his family apart and threaten his safety.

Black + Iconic: Style God” (Feb. 18, BET, BET Her, BET+, VH1) – The upcoming BET franchise celebrates Black cultural icons, pioneers, and activists and their impact, influence and legacies in fashion, music, film, and dance. The series will examine the momentous achievements of Black people across various fields while celebrating the power of Black cultural innovators.

“America In Black” (Feb. 19, BET, BET Her, BET+, VH1, CBS Streaming Network) – BET and CBS News will begin airing a monthly prime-time newsmagazine, “America In Black,” which will include a combination original long-form investigative reports, human interest stories, exclusive in-depth celebrity profiles and one-on-one newsmaker interviews. The one-hour episodes will feature award-winning correspondents including Gayle King, Vladimir Duthiers, Marc Lamont Hill, James Brown, Michelle Miller, Jericka Duncan, Adriana Diaz, Errol Barnett, Skyler Henry, Danya Bacchus, Wesley Lowery and Ed Gordon.

“Black Twitter: Inside the Twitterverse That Changed a Generation” (Feb. 23, CBS) – Jericka Duncan will lead viewers through Black Twitter, which has birthed movements such as #BlackLivesMatter, #OscarsSoWhite and #SayHerName. Featuring celebrities, influencers and thought leaders, the one-hour special will document Black Twitter’s history and its expansion onto other social media platforms. The CBS Reports documentary will air on CBS News.

54th NAACP Image Awards (Feb. 25, BET) – The upcoming 54th NAACP Image Awards will continue the organization’s longstanding tradition of honoring and highlighting artists committed that uplift values that inspire equality, justice and progressive change. This awards ceremony allows the public to vote and determine the winners, by visiting Voting closes on February 10, 2023.

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