Bounce TV (www.bouncetv.com), the nation's first-ever broadcast television network for African Americans, will honor Black History Month in February with Our History, a month-long programming tribute including documentaries, specials and an original short-form series called Memories of My Father featuring Martin Luther King III sharing his personal memories and impressions of his father, the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
The Memories of My Father segments were filmed in Ebenezer Baptist Church where Rev. King began his ministry. Mr. King III, who is among the founding group and board of directors of Bounce TV, commented, "Bounce TV celebrates the African American community every day of the year. At the same time it is important as the country focuses on the contributions of African Americans to the advancement of civilization that we participate in a significant and meaningful manner. I strongly encourage people of all races and all ethnicities to watch Bounce TV all year, but particularly in February."
Other highlights of Bounce TV's Our History Black History Month programming include:
• The Real Great Debaters of Wiley College (10 p.m., Feb. 4) The inspiring true story of the 1935 Wiley College debate team. Under the tutelage of their dynamic coach, Melvin B. Tolson, three young debaters from a small Black college in the Jim Crow South managed, against all odds, to defeat the all-white reigning national championship team. Their stunning achievement shattered racial stereotypes and earned them the lasting respect of their peers and the nation.
• Standing In The Shadows Of Motown (9 p.m., Feb. 6) Part documentary and part concert performance, this film is an introduction to the intriguing personas of the Funk Brothers, the Hitsville studio band originally assembled by Berry Gordy in 1959. Over 40 years later, the remaining members reunited in their home base of Detroit, Mich. to tell their stories, remember their departed band mates, and put on a concert.
• Wattstax (11:30 p.m., Feb. 6, 8 p.m., Feb. 17) An exciting, vibrant documentary about music and the Black experience, centering on the Los Angeles community of Watts, and featuring exceptional monologues by Richard Pryor. Released in 1973, Wattstax covers a Stax Records-sponsored concert at the 1972 Watts Summer Festival with artists such as Isaac Hayes, Rufus Thomas and the Staples Singers.
• Rize (11 a.m., Feb. 8, 10 p.m., Feb. 24) In 1992, after long-simmering racial tensions in Los Angeles erupted in riots following the verdicts in the Rodney King trial, a man named Tommy Johnson sought to spread a new message in a new way to the city's African Americans. Creating a character called Tommy the Clown, Johnson developed an act that combined hip-hop-flavored comedy and dancing with an anti-gang and anti-violence message.
• Rising from the Rails (10 p.m., Feb. 11) Chronicles the relatively unheralded Pullman Porters, generations of African-American men who served as caretakers to wealthy White passengers on luxury trains that traversed the nation in the golden age of rail travel. Based on the best-selling book by Larry Tye.
• A Defining Moment (11 p.m., Feb. 11) Examines the personal stories of four of the famed Tuskegee Airmen whose contribution to the Civil Rights Movement helped pave the way for an historic event: the inauguration of the first African-American president of the United States. Through courage, discipline and faith, these men come full circle to witness this defining moment in history.
• The Hip Hop Project (3 p.m., Feb. 14) The dynamic and inspirational story of a group of New York City teenagers who transform their life stories into powerful works of art, using hip hop as a vehicle for self-development and personal discovery.
• President Barack Obama: The Man and His Journey (10 p.m., Feb. 18) Documents President Obama's life and career. This inspirational story is a tribute to the first African-American president of the United States, from his early days, through his run for the White House in 2008.
• 500 Years Later (11 a.m., Feb. 25) The multiple award-winning documentary filmed on five continents and over twenty countries, which tells the compelling story of the struggle of a people who have fought and continue to fight for the most essential human right – freedom.
• In the Shadow of Hollywood (10 p.m., Feb. 25) The story, sounds and images of a nearly-forgotten era in film history when African American filmmakers and studios created "race movies" exclusively for Black audiences.
• A Colored Life: The Herb Jeffries Story (11:30 p.m., Feb. 25) An honest, entertaining and often humorous look at a charismatic personality who used his light complexion to survive — and thrive — in both the black and white worlds.
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