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A Docuseries on Gospel Kicks Off the PBS Celebration of Black History Month

PBS SoCal, Southern California’s flagship PBS station, will present a robust programming slate in February highlighting Black History Month content headlined by Gospel, a new four-hour docuseries that explores the rich history of Black spirituality through sermon and song from Henry Louis Gates, Jr. Musical styles come and go, but gospel music has been a constant source of strength, courage and wisdom from the pulpit to the choir lofts on any given Sunday. Gospel digs deep into the origin story of Black spirituality through sermon and song as the four-episode series highlights how, from the blues to hip hop, African Americans have been the driving force of sonic innovation for over a century. All four episodes will debut back-to-back over the course of two nights airing starting on February 12.

PBS veteran contributor LeVar Burton

Kicking off the celebration earlier in the month, and as a companion presentation to Gospel, PBS taped the one-of-a-kind television special Gospel Live! at Oasis Church in Los Angeles in October. The special features performances by contemporary secular and gospel stars, including John Legend, Erica Campbell, Anthony Hamilton, Lena Byrd Miles, Mali Music and more. Presented by Henry Louis Gates, Jr., this extraordinary musical celebration honoring the legacy and influence of gospel music in America and premieres February 9 at 9 p.m. on PBS SoCal.

Jazz Drummer Mekela Session. Photo courtesy of PBS SoCal.

Also in February, viewers can find relevant programming options that range from popular PBS series like Finding Your Roots and Southern California’s locally produced arts & culture series Artbound to groundbreaking limited series such as Fight the Power: How Hip Hop Changed the World and Making Black America: Through the Grapevine. While trailblazing individuals including guitarist Wes Bound, architect Paul R. Williams and fearless civil rights leader Rev. Fred Shuttlesworth are among the many individuals celebrated in other documentaries airing throughout the month on PBS SoCal.

Gospel contributors Skip Gates and Dionne Warwick. Photo courtesy of PBS.

Additional offerings for local audiences include specially curated episodes of Bare Feet, where host and dancer Mickela Mallozzi experiences the world one dance at a time, exploring the traditional dances of every culture while connecting with the local community.

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