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With the start of Black History Month, a variety of programs are scheduled to air across channels in honor of the month.
Here are some of the best shows and documentaries channels and streaming platforms have to offer for February’s celebrations.
- Fight the Power: How Hip Hop Changed the World: With the first episode already up on their site, PBS’s Fight the Power: How Hip Hop Changed the World follows the birth of hip hop with the release of Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five’s 1982 hit, “The Message,” all the way up to modern hits on the charts. Narrated by Public Enemy’s Chuck D, the series has special episodes dedicated to each aspect of hip-hop, including rap and politics associated with the genre.
- Marvel’s Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur: Scheduled to premiere on Feb. 10 on Disney Channel, this animated television series features voices from Diamond White, Laurence Fishburne, Indya Moore, Craig Robinson, Jennifer Hudson and Wesley Snipes. The series follows a young girl who’s heralded as being one of the smartest characters in the Marvel Universe, Lunella Lafayette. Lafayette is a creator who loves to develop gadgets; one day, her gadgets lead to her bringing out the Devil Dinosaur onto New York City streets. Along with the new series, Lafayette will make her debut at the Disney California Adventure theme park in honor of Black History Month.
- African Queens: Njinga: Produced and narrated by actor Jada Pinkett Smith, this documentary series is scheduled to premiere on Netflix on Feb. 15. For its premiere season, African Queens is set to to cover the history behind Njinga’s legacy, a woman who was known as a warrior queen in what’s now modern-day Angola back in the 17th century. While Pinkett Smith will serve as the voice of the documentary, the series will be a mix of historical documentation and reenacted dramatization of the queen’s life.
- Wattstax: Although this concert series was released in 1973, HBO has brought back Wattstax for Black History Month. The documentary features the performances of legends like the Staple Singers, The Bar-Kays, Albert King, Luther Ingram and Isaac Haues, amongst others. The concert was originally held by Stax Records on Aug. 20, 1972, to observe the seventh anniversary of the Watts Rebellion in Watts, Los Angeles. For six days, there were riots in the predominantly-Black neighborhood when 21-year-old Marquette Frye was attacked by the police after being stopped at a traffic light. The violence inflicted by the police grew as they attacked Joyce Ann Gaines, a pregnant woman who was a part of the outraged crowd that bore witness to the assault against Marquette and his family.
- 54th NAACP Image Awards: Presented on Feb. 25 on BET’s channel, this award show celebrates Black excellence with recognition being given to creators in over 80 categories of music, TV, books and more. The 54th NAACP Image Awards has already announced a few of their winners, with attorney Ben Crump most recently announced as the receiver of the Social Justice Impact Award.