The Guide to Networks and Streamers’ Black History Month Programming in 2022

Barbara Lee Lizzo Courtney B. Vance

February is Black History Month, and new content celebrating Black stories across television and film is on its way.

Over the course of Black History Month, many channels will premiere nonfiction specials and programming that spotlight Black leaders in politics, entertainment and social justice. PBS will premiere specials about civil rights activist Fannie Lou Hamer and singer Marian Anderson, while Starz will premiere a feature length documentary on Congresswoman Barbara Lee.

In addition, the Smithsonian Channel will debut a four-part miniseries tracing the origins exploring the legacy of slavery around the world. Aside from new documentaries and docuseries, streaming channels like Tubi will offer hundreds of hours of Black Cinema to watch, as well as original fiction programming.

Check out the full list of Black History Month programming below. (This list will be updated as more titles are announced).

“Barbara Lee: Speaking Truth to Power” (Feb. 1, Starz) — This feature-length documentary follows the career of congresswoman Barbara Lee, who is known for her racial justice activism and work with the Black Panther Party and opposed the authorization of military force after 9/11. Along with Lee, interviewees include Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Cory Booker, Alice Walker, John Lewis, Van Jones, Ayanna Pressley, Lisa Blunt Rochester and Danny Glover. Abby Ginzberg directs and produces with executive producer Jonathan Logan, consulting producer Shola Lynch and impact producer Joslyn Rose Lyons. Greenwich Entertainment distributes.

“Black History, Black Freedom, and Black Love” (MasterClass, Feb. 1) — This three-part, 54-lesson class dives into the past, present and future of race in America. Taught by Jelani Cobb, Kimberlé Williams Crenshaw, Angela Davis, Nikole Hannah-Jones, Sherrilyn Ifill, John McWhorter and Cornel West, all three parts of “Black History, Black Freedom, and Black Love” are available at no cost on the MasterClass platform for the month of February. Free streaming will be available on MasterClass.com, IMDb TV, and on Prime Video for U.S. members.

“Our Kind of People” (Feb. 2, Tubi) –– Season one of the Fox original series will be added to Tubi’s library this February. The Lee Daniels produced show is inspired by Lawrence Otis Graham’s 1999 book, “Our Kind of People: Inside America’s Black Upper Class,” and set in the traditionally Black Martha’s Vineyard town Oak Bluffs. The series stars Yaya DaCosta (“Chicago Med”), as a single mother attempting to launch a haircare line for Black woman who learns a dark secret from her mother’s past. The series was created by Karin Gist (“Gray’s Anatomy”) and also stars Morris Chestnut (“The Resident”). In addition to “Our Kind of People,” Tubi will stream thousands of hours of Black cinema during Black History Month, with titles including award-winning documentary “I am Not Your Negro,” “Sorry to Bother You,” “A Raisin in the Sun” and “Bessie” starring Queen Latifah.

“Screen Queens Rising” (ABC, Feb. 3) — ABC News’ “Soul of a Nation” will return with “Screen Queens Rising,” a special that will explore the rise of trailblazing Black actresses in entertainment and American culture over recent years. Hosted by ABC News Live Prime anchor Linsey Davis and ABC News senior national affairs correspondent Deborah Roberts, the special will include interviews with Tessa Thompson, Halle Berry, Debbie Allen, Jackée Harry, Marla Gibbs and Regina Hall. An “In the Kitchen” discussion moderated by “The View” co-host Sunny Hostin will also be featured. “Soul of a Nation Presents: Screen Queens Rising” will air on ABC Feb. 3 at 8 p.m. ET.

“X/onerated – The Murder of Malcolm X and 55 Years to Justice” (ABC, Feb. 3) — “Soul of a Nation” will also present “X/onerated – The Murder of Malcolm X and 55 Years to Justice,” which profiles Muhammad Abdul Aziz, who was wrongfully convicted of assassinating Malcolm X in 1965. Featuring an interview with Aziz (conducted by ABC News “Nightline” co-anchor Byron Pitts), the special will re-trace Malcolm X’s assassination, Aziz’s decades behind bars and the joint re-investigation that ultimately led to Aziz‘s exoneration in Nov. 2021. “X/onerated” will also include interviews with attorneys, activists and loved ones for both Aziz and Malcom X — as well as the late Khalil Islam, who was also wrongfully convicted for the assassination of Malcolm X and posthumously exonerated. “X/onerated” will air on ABC Feb. 3 at 9 p.m. ET.

“Howard High” (Feb. 4, Tubi) –– Based off of a 2020 TV mini-series of the same name that’s also streaming on Tubi, “Howard High” is a musical drama that follows a group of high schoolers who enter a competition with a rival school to save their arts program. Produced by Footage Films and directed by Christopher B. Stokes, “Howard High” stars Chrissy Stokes (“Southland”), Anthony Lewis (“Madea’s Farewell Play”) and R&B singer Keith Sweat. An original soundtrack will be released the same day on all digital platforms.

“Phat Tuesdays” (Feb. 4, Prime Video) – This three-part documentary focuses on Guy Torry, the creator and host of the weekly comedy show “Phat Tuesdays,” which ran for 10 years in West Hollywood’s The Comedy Store from 1995 to 2005 and featured an all-Black lineup of comedians. Previously unseen clips from performers such as Dave Chappelle, Tiffany Haddish, Nick Cannon, Lil Rel Howery, Craig Robinson, Chris Tucker, JB Smoove and Cedric the Entertainer will be shown alongside newly filmed interviews.

“One Thousand Years of Slavery – The Untold Story” (Feb. 7, Smithsonian Channel) — This four-part docu-series explores the legacy of slavery around the world as leading Black actors, celebrities and influencers including Debbie Allen, Valerie Jarrett, Lorraine Toussaint, Soledad O’Brien, CCH Pounder, Senator Cory Booker, Marc Morial and Dulé Hill go on journeys to confront their personal connection to slavery and its lasting impact today. “One Thousand Years of Slavery — The Untold Story” is a follow-up to the U.K. version of the series titled “1000 Years A Slave.” “One Thousand Years of Slavery — The Untold Story” is executive produced by Angela Bassett and Courtney B. Vance’s Bassett Vance Productions. The MTV Entertainment Studios and Smithsonian Channel project is also produced by Uplands Television Ltd and Channel 5. The limited series, which will be narrated by Courtney B. Vance, is set to debut every Monday in February in the U.S. and Canada at 8 p.m. ET/PT, and will also air in Latin America later this year.

“Love & Hip Hop: Lineage to Legacy” (VH1, Feb. 7) — This two-part event will celebrate Black history and African ancestry, as well as bring together cast members from both “Love & Hip Hop” and “Black Ink Crew.” With host Dometi Pongo (MTV News), “Love & Hip Hop: Lineage to Legacy” will examine the devastating impacts of slavery and challenging stereotypes within Black culture — while also celebrating Africa’s rich legacy of music, food, dance and more. The special will feature Remy Ma, Papoose, Yandy Smith-Harris, Rich Dollaz, Tokyo Vanity, Paris Phillips, Karlie Redd, Momma Dee, Dr. Gina Paige, Ceaser Emanuel, Katrina ‘Kat Tat’ Jackson and Krystal Kill_lustrator. “Love & Hip Hop: Lineage to Legacy” is executive produced by Mona Scott-Young, Stephanie R. Gayle, Michael Lang and Andrew Huang for Monami Productions. Sitarah Pendelton-Eaglin and Phakiso Collins are executive producers for VH1. “Love & Hip Hop: Lineage to Legacy” will premiere Feb. 7 at 9 p.m. ET.

“American Masters: Marian Anderson: The Whole World in Her Hands” (Feb. 8, PBS) — This two-hour special follows the life and career of internationally renowned singer Marian Anderson, from the Metropolitan Opera to her time as a goodwill ambassador for the U.S. State Department, featuring rare archival footage and audio recordings.

“Just a Mortal Man – The Jerry Lawson Story” (Feb. 10, PBS and World Channel) — This new documentary will dive into the life of Jerry Lawson, “The King of A cappella.” Lawson founded and sang lead for The Persuasions, which paved the way for other groups like Boyz II Men, Pentatonix and Take 6. “Just a Mortal Man – The Jerry Lawson Story” is directed and produced by Miles Merritt and Gail Kempler of M/K Productions, based in Santa Fe, N.M. Miles Merritt and Staci Griesbach are executive producers, with Hope Kelley as associate producer.

“Everything’s Gonna Be All White” (Feb. 11, Showtime) — Directed by Emmy nominee Sacha Jenkins (Bitchin’: The Sound and Fury of Rick James), this three-part docuseries explores the history of race in the United States from the perspective of people of color. Featuring interviews with historians, activists and artists including Dr. Ibram X. Kendi, Dr. Nell Irvin Painter, Jemele Hill, Amanda Seales, Favianna Rodriguez and Tamika Mallory, all three episodes of the series drop at midnight for Showtime subscribers. “Everything’s Gonna Be All White” is directed and executive produced by Jenkins, produced by Djali Brown-Cepeda, Cameron Dennis, Jon Goodman and John Chimples and written by Jenkins, Brown-Cepeda, Gabriel Alvarez, Dennis and Goodman.

“Profiled: The Black Man” (Feb. 12, Discovery Plus) – This four-part docuseries examines the origins of stereotypes that impact the lives of Black men in America. Executive produced by Tina Knowles-Lawson, the series will feature commentary by civil rights activist DeRay Mckesson, activist Tamika Mallory, hip-hop culture icon Sway Calloway and Grammy, Emmy and Tony award-winner Billy Porter.

“Special Black History Month Roundtable” (Feb. 14, MSG Networks) – This televised special roundtable discussion on the intersection of race and sports features Hall of Famer and Knicks analyst Walt “Clyde” Frazier, former Knicks player and current team executive Allan Houston and Knicks analyst Monica McNutt. The three will talk about how to make basketball more inclusive for future generations.

“American Reckoning” (Feb. 15, PBS) — This feature-length documentary looks at the civil rights era and racist violence while following the still-unresolved 1960s killing of Wharlest Jackson, a local NAACP leader in Natchez, Mississippi, and the Jackson family’s search for justice. The documentary is directed and produced by Brad Lichtenstein and Yoruba Richen. In partnership with Retro Report, “American Reckoning” will air on Frontline (PBS), Youtube and stream on the PBS video app.

“Pass the Mic” (Feb. 16, Tubi) –– Produced by Fox Alternative Entertainment, this two-hour music documentary will look at the careers of three of the most popular music artists working today: Lizzo, Lil Nas X and Kendrick Lamar.

“Uprooted” (Feb. 18, Discovery Plus) – Three-part docuseries about the case Keith Warren, a 19-year old who was found hanging from a tree in 1986. After the police ruled his death a suicide, his sister Sherri spent the last 34 years investigating the case. The docuseries features extensive interviews with Sherri as well as archival footage and photos.

“Fannie Lou Hamer’s America: An America Reframed Special” (Feb. 22, PBS) –– From World Channel, Black Public Media and American Documentary, this special tells the story of Fannie Lou Hamer, a Mississippi-born sharecropper who became a leader in the Civil Rights Movement and co-founder of the Freedom Democratic Party. The special tells Hamer’s story through recordings of her speeches and interviews, as well as never-before-seen archival footage and family photos, and was produced in part by her great-niece Monica Land. It airs at 9:00 ET. Other Black History Month programming on PBS includes the Independent Lens special “Owned: A Tale of Two America’s” (Feb. 7), three episodes of the Henry Louis Gates Jr. series “Finding Your Roots” (Feb. 8, 15 and 22) and the Frontline special “An American Reckoning” (Feb. 15). In addition, PBS will re-air content this month, including all four parts of the 2021 Muhammad Ali miniseries.

Times vary, ABC-owned TV stations –– The “On the Red Carpet Storytellers Spotlight” series celebrates Black storytellers. From cast members of “black-ish” to Quinta Brunson, the creator, executive producer and star of ABC’s comedy series “Abbott Elementary” and Marissa Jo Cerar, the creator, showrunner and executive producer of ABC’s groundbreaking series “Women of the Movement,” a slate of Black talent is set to discuss their work and impact on culture.

Additionally, streaming service AMC Plus will present “Black Stories & Storytellers,” a compilation of documentaries and other films that will air throughout February. The collection includes original series “Anne Boleyn,” starring Jodie Turner-Smith (“Queen and Slim”), films like “The Hurricane” and “A Raisin in the Sun,” and many more.

Documentary streaming service MagellanTV is featuring a curated playlist of films including the documentary “The Fight for the Black Middle Class,” which the service is making available for free all month, even to non-subscribers. Additional films include “A Ripple of Hope,” “Bessie Coleman: The First Black Aviatrix” and “Race for Justice.”