How Television Networks Are Celebrating Black History Month in 2021

Black History Month runs all through February and television is taking part in celebrating Black voices and stories across film, television, politics, sports and more.

CBS Sports will keep up the momentum year-round by airing vignettes that stem from conversations from members of the network’s Black Steering Committee, in addition to specials on legendary quarterback Doug Williams and HBCU all-star Earl “The Pearl” Monroe.

A more classical look at the past, The History Channel will honor the seminal Tuskegee Airman with a Robin Roberts-led documentary. Meanwhile, YouTube will come full circle with its “Black Renaissance” special by showcasing artists of the past and present.

Read a full list of Black History Month programming below. (More programming will be added to the list as networks announce titles.)

We Need to Talk with Doug Williams” (Jan. 31, CBS Sports) – To kick off the week of the Super Bowl, Lesley Visser sits down with Doug Williams, the first Black quarterback to start in and win the Super Bowl. He was named the Washington Redskins’ MVP for breaking numerous records for passing touchdowns, passing yards and longest touchdown pass.

Celebrating Black Stories” (Feb.1, CBS Sports) – CBS Network will highlight four Black athletes through the debut of animated vignettes. The mini history lessons feature Josh Gibson (Hall of Fame catcher), William Edward White (thought to be first ever Black player in Major League Baseball), Alice Coachman (first Black female Olympic gold medalist) and Lucy Diggs Slowe (first Black woman to win a national title in any sport).

Tuskegee Airmen: Legacy of Courage” (Feb. 8, History Channel) – The one-hour documentary about the United States’ first Black military pilots looks at the grit and determination of the Tuskegee Airmen and how they inspired the next generation of activists pushing for racial equality and change. Robin Roberts, whose father was a Tuskegee Airman, serves as narrator and executive producer.

Big House, The Pearl & The Triumph of Winston-Salem State” (Feb. 11, CBS Sports) – Narrated by NBA All-Star Chris Paul, this documentary uncovers how Earl “The Pearl” Monroe helped ease racial tensions of a North Carolina town all in the name of basketball. Averaging 41.5 points game, Monroe’s greatness helped Winston-Salem State become the first HBCU to win a NCAA championship in any sport.

BookTube” (Feb. 25, YouTube) – The newest episode of YouTube’s book series will feature Alicia Garza, the principal at Black Futures Lab and co-founder of the Black Lives Matter Global Network. She’ll discuss her book “The Purpose of Power: How We Come Together When We Fall Apart,” in which she dives into the lessons she’s learned in activism.

Black Renaissance” (Feb. 26, YouTube) – The YouTube Originals special will showcase the Black creators, artists, writers and history makers who have shaped our nation’s history and will go on to reimagine our future. The celebration includes President Barack Obama, Michelle Obama, Jason Reynolds, Killer Mike, Desus Nice, The Kid Mero, Jemele Hill and more.

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