*TV One is celebrating Black History Month with a full slate of programming offerings that embody the theme, “Represent the Dream.” The network also debuts a new short form video campaign featuring three-time Grammy Award and Academy Award-winning artist, actor and social justice activist Common, which runs throughout the month of February.
In the videos, Common discusses a variety of topics related to Black history and issues affecting the African American community: racism and how we can become a better nation; activism, the power of using “our voice” and movements like Black Lives Matter; self-awareness, his heroes and what representing the dream means today, 55 years after Martin Luther King Jr.’s iconic “I Have a Dream” speech.
The campaign also features a digital video exclusive that profiles his life as an activist – his calling, his music and his work. Highlighting Common’s story and journey as an activist, the profile explores where this passion was born and how it was fueled by his music. Transitioning to present day, it also reveals why Common has stepped even more into the spotlight to fight injustices that affect the Black community.
“What drove me to want to be an activist was a conversation with Ambassador Andrew Young, who was, obviously, a very strong figure of the civil rights movement,” said Common in an interview for the profile.
“We were sitting around a table at a rehearsal for Selma listening to him and his experiences. We all were in awe of him. He posed the question, ‘What are you willing to die for? Live for that.’ He said, ‘This is what our mentality for the civil rights movement was. We were willing to die for freedom. We were willing to die for equality. We were willing to die for justice, so we lived for it every day.’ When he said that to me it struck me.”
“2018 is a pivotal election year, and the objective of our Black History Month REPRESENT THE DREAM campaign is to elevate our viewers’ awareness of the need for unity, pride and action”, said Lori Hall, TV One SVP Consumer Marketing. “Common is the perfect voice and creative influence for the campaign because of his activism, work and passion for issues facing African Americans today.”
Black History Month on TV One aims to spark conversations on social justice in the Black community and celebrate African Americans’ contributions to the world throughout February. The new limited series Two Sides explores the facts surrounding four victims of fatal police interactions that made national news. In addition to the new season of Unsung, the debut series Uncensored highlights the intimate lives of some of today’s most notable personalities as they reveal their own stories, in their own words. The network also will present documentary and movie premieres of Behind the Movement, A Long Way From Home: The Untold Story of Baseball’s Desegregation, Muhammad Ali: Fighting Spirit, and You Belong To Me.
“As part of TV One’s daily mission, we are proud to highlight programming that both inspires and informs our viewers,” said General Manager, Michelle Rice. “Our Black History Month programming furthers our mission, by telling stories that honor remarkable people and their important contributions to our rich history. A film like ‘Behind the Movement’ is so important because it reveals some of the lesser-known, unsung heroes of the civil rights movement like E.D Nixon and Jo Ann Robinson, who worked behind the scenes alongside icons like Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Rosa Parks to plan and execute the Montgomery Bus Boycott. Their courageous actions sparked a movement that changed the course of American history.”
An overview of TV One’s Black History Month programming is as follows:
Mondays at 10 p.m. ET through Feb. 12
Two Sides is a landmark limited four-part docu-series exploring watershed moments for law enforcement and the Black community at the crossroads between life and death on TV One. Executive produced by Academy Award® winner Viola Davis, Julius Tennon (JuVee Productions) and Lemuel Plummer (L. Plummer Media) with narration by Davis, each one-hour episode analyzes and presents multiple points of view of the highly charged cases involving Eric Garner (New York), Ezell Ford(California), John Crawford (Ohio), and Sandra Bland (Texas).
Their tragic deaths sparked grassroots social justice movements such as Black Lives Matter, inspired protests by high profile personalities, and immortalized their names as tragic figures in the polarizing debate on police brutality and race.
Unsung (Season 12)
Premieres Sunday, Feb. 18 at 9 p.m. ET
Premiere Dates: Feb. 18 (Silk), Feb, 25 (The Boys), Mar. 4 (Trick Daddy), Mar. 11 (Blue Magic), March 18 (Deborah Cox), Mar. 25 (Shirley Caesar), Apr. 8 (Avant), Apr. 15 (Brand Nubian), Apr. 22 (Lost Boyz)
Through first-hand accounts, interviews with family and friends, and archival footage, each episode of TV One’s signature series weaves a tale of the highs and lows of a life in the limelight. The poignant stories of Unsung offer insight into the trials and triumphs faced by musical artists in both private and public forums.
Premieres: Sunday, Feb. 18 at 10 p.m. ET
Premiere Dates: Feb. 18 (Tiffany Haddish), Feb. 25 (NeNe Leakes), Mar. 4 (Rick Ross), Mar. 11 (Nia Long), March 18 (Tamar Braxton), Mar. 25 (Le’Andria Johnson), Apr. 8 (LaLa Anthony), Apr. 15 (Charlamagne Tha God), Apr. 22 (Snoop Dogg)
In its first season, UNCENSORED dives deep into the lives of these pop culture figures with the secrets, stories and scoop from the icons themselves. They speak directly and candidly about their personal triumphs and successes, the obstacles and challenges they have faced, and the pivotal moments that have shaped their lives and careers. No topic is off limits as they discuss issues relevant to today’s national dialogue such as race relations, drugs and violence, and sexual harassment.
Original Special & Movies:
Unsung: Voices of the Civil Rights Era
Premieres: Sunday, Feb. 11 from 11 a.m. ET – 7:00 p.m. ET
TV One presents a marathon of Unsung artists of the 1960s: James Brown, Florence Ballard, Mary Wells, Tammi Terrell, David Ruffin, Eddie Kendricks, Otis Redding and Wilson Pickett.
Behind the Movement
Premieres: Sunday, Feb. 11 at 7 p.m. ET
Set during the tumultuous Civil Rights era, Behind the Movement offers a closer look at how Rosa Parks’ refusal to give up her seat on a bus to a white passenger launched the history-making Montgomery Bus Boycott. Starring Meta Golding (Rosa Parks), Isaiah Washington (Edgar “E.D. Nixon”), Loretta Devine (Jo Ann Robinson), and Roger Guenveur Smith (Raymond Parks), this original made for television movie honors the contributions of many unsung heroes of this watershed moment in the Civil Rights struggle.
Behind the Movement recounts the inner workings and behind the scenes preparation that took place during three intense days between the fateful evening when Parks refused to give up her seat, to the launch of this significant protest. While Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was a prominent leader of the Montgomery Bus Boycott, there was a chorus of lesser-known heroes, including Rosa Parks, who galvanized the most successful boycott of its time.
Celebrity Crime Files: Martyrs of the Movement
Encore Presentation: Monday, Feb. 19 at 12 p.m. ET
There is a long list of people who died on the frontlines fighting for social justice for African-Americans. But there are three iconic men whose names remain legendary. Malcolm. Martin. Medgar. Just their first name is enough to make a nation remember the volatile 1960’s when these three bright stars and champions of civil rights were cut down in their prime. Their efforts, and those of the people who supported them and continued their work, have resulted in significant, groundbreaking changes. Celebrity Crime Files explores the life and crimes of three titans.
Celebrity Crime Files: The Black Panthers
Encore Presentation: Monday, Feb. 19 at 1 p.m. ET
Blasting on the scene in October of 1966 in Oakland, California, the Black Panther Party were a subversive civil rights group who became international sensations with a “freedom by any means necessary philosophy.” Along the way they empowered a generation but they also raised a lot of hell, tangled with police forces across the nation and were eventually public enemy number of the FBI’s infamous COINTELPRO program, which essentially targeted and wiped out numerous African American organizations. CCF looks at the life and crimes of its founders Huey P. Newton and Bobby Seale and its shining princess, the great Angela Davis.
Unsung Hollywood — A Tribute to Black Sports Icons:
Encore Presentation: Sunday, Feb. 18 from 12:00 p.m. ET to 3:00 p.m. ET
TV One will feature documentary films and a special episode of Unsung Hollywood highlighting sports legends Jackie Robinson, Muhammad Ali and the Harlem Globetrotters.
A Long Way From Home: The Untold Story of Baseball’s Desegregation
Network Documentary Premiere: Sunday, Feb. 18 at 12 p.m. ET
Award-winning filmmaker Gaspar González (Muhammad Ali: Made in Miami) chronicles the struggles and triumphs of the pioneering black and Afro-Latino players who followed Jackie Robinson into white professional baseball. Playing their minor-league ball in small, remote towns where racial segregation remained a fact of life well into the 1960s, these are the men who, before they could live their dreams, first had to beat Jim Crow.
Unsung Hollywood: Harlem Globetrotters
Airs: Sunday, Feb. 18 at 1 p.m. ET
Five decades before Magic Johnson’s “Showtime” Lakers, Michael Jordan’s moves, and the gravity-defying dunks of Dr. J, there were the Harlem Globetrotters. Born in 1927, the team took a stodgy game of controlled, plodding low-scoring basketball and turned it into a highlight reel of fast-paced, free-flowing, improvised action that set the template for today’s NBA. They were pioneers, blurring the lines between sports and entertainment, breaking entrenched racial barriers, and, by dribbling their multi-colored ball all over the globe, introducing basketball to the world.
Amazingly, they are still a phenomenon, touring non-stop with a sleek act targeting young audiences. Their story is a mesmerizing mix of racial progress and setbacks, soaring wins and crushing defeats, all within the microcosm of a vaudevillian basketball squad that changed sports, society and entertainment forever – unbeatable, unstoppable, unsung.
MUHAMMAD ALI: Fighting Spirit
Airs: Sunday, Feb. 18 at 2 p.m. ET
MUHAMMAD ALI: Fighting Spirit is a fast moving, entertaining look at this world champion boxer. Utilizing available footage, this special look at the world’s most famous sports icon weaves a story that begins early
Unsung — A Tribute to Black Hollywood Pioneers and Starlets:
Encore Presentation: Sunday, Feb. 25 from 11:00 a.m. ET to 7:00 p.m. ET
TV One presents a marathon of Unsung Hollywood Pioneers and Starlets: Pam Grier, Eartha Kitt, Sammy Davis Jr., Richard Roundtree, Flip Wilson, Redd Foxx, Meagan Good and Tupac Shakur.
Culture & History
Airs: Monday, Feb. 19 at 10:00 a.m. ET and Tuesday, Feb. 20 at 10 a.m. ET
TV One will feature films that highlight Black cultural experiences, traditions and historical milestones.
You Belong to Me
Airs: Monday, Feb. 19 at 10 a.m. ET
You Belong to Me is a docu-drama which tells the 1952 story of Ruby McCollum, the wealthiest black woman in Suwannee County, Florida; who killed a prominent white doctor following years of sexual abuse. The film follows the remarkable secrets and terrible truths revealed during her trial and incarceration in the Jim Crow South.
Soul Food Junkies
Encore Presentation: Tuesday, Feb. 20 at 10 a.m. ET
Filmmaker Byron Hurt sets out on a historical and culinary journey to learn more about the soul food tradition and its relevance to black cultural identity. Through candid interviews with soul food cooks, historians, and scholars, the film puts this culinary tradition under the microscope to examine both its positive and negative consequences.
For more information about TV One’s Black History Month visit www.tvone.tv and check out TV One’s YouTube Channel. Viewers can also join the conversation by connecting via social media on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook (@tvonetv) using the hash tag #RepresentTheDream.
ABOUT TV ONE:
Launched in January 2004, TV One serves 59 million households, offering a broad range of real-life and entertainment-focused original programming, classic series, movies and music designed to entertain and inform a diverse audience of adult black viewers. The network represents the best in black culture and entertainment with fan favorite shows Unsung, Rickey Smiley For Real, Fatal Attraction, and The NAACP Image Awards.
In addition, TV One is the cable home of blockbuster drama Empire. In December 2008, the company launched TV One High Def, which now serves 14 million households. TV One is solely owned by Urban One, Inc., formerly known as Radio One, Inc. [NASDAQ: UONE and UONEK, www.urban1.com], the largest African-American owned multi-media company primarily targeting Black and urban audiences.