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Black History

LPB is proud to celebrate Black History! We bring you a lineup of films and moments, memories and people in Black history that inspire!

Black History Month

An intimate four-hour series from Henry Louis Gates, Jr., The Black Church: This Is Our Story, This Is Our Song will explore the 400-year-old story of the black church in America, the changing nature of worship spaces, and the men and women who shepherded them from the pulpit, the choir loft, and church pews.

Click here for more on The Black Church

The Ernest J. Gaines Award for Literary Excellence

More National Film & Video


Art Rocks! Highlights Black History

Art Rocks! - Episode 812

We remember Louisiana folk artist Clementine Hunter (1886-1988), who lived at Melrose Plantation for most of her life. It was while she was a cook at the property, about 1940, when she first picked up paint brushes to create her first artwork. We speak with artist and former educator, Morris Taft Thomas, who forged a close friendship with Hunter and shares his insights on her life and work. Then, we see how the Wisconsin Philharmonic has been delighting audiences with their musical concerts for more than seventy years and provide hands-on experiences to families. Plus, a tour of the newly renovated Eustis Mansion in Milton, Massachusetts, an architectural treasure constructed in 1878.

Art Rocks! - Episode 710

Meet Ascension Parish painter Alvin Batiste who recreates the rural life and music of the past through his fantastic folk art. Then, Stephanee Grosscup uses her ice skating talent to inspire others. In Cochiti Pueblo, New Mexico, we see the work of potter Helen Cordero, who was known for sculpting stories onto her pieces. Our Louisiana Treasure this week takes us back in time to a circa 1880 structure on Broad Street in Lake Charles. We take a tour.

Art Rocks! - Episode 424

It’s the blues edition! First, we meet one of the biggest musical names to come out of Baton Rouge and known throughout the nation - Grammy-nominated bluesman Kenny Neal. He tells us why he decided to move back to his hometown and about carrying on the music legacy of his father, harpist Raful Neal. Next, we meet Blues Hall-of-Famer Lazy Lester, originally from West Feliciana Parish, and who now resides in California. Only a handful of people know as much as Lazy Lester does about the early days of blues in the Capital City. He tells us how being in the right place at the right time launched his blues career. Kenny Neal and Lazy Lester play the blues for us and reminisce about the good old days including their experiences with the Rolling Stones, Janis Joplin, and others. Plus, we’ll hear how California artist Rufus Chalmers draws on jazz to create his paintings.

Art Rocks! - Episode 415

Meet Pointe Coupee artist Henry Watson, who uses a mallet, a chisel, and a block of cypress to create phenomenal 3-dimensional depictions of the rural cabins and plantation homes he grew up around. Then, we visit with a Kansas City couple who enjoyed full professional careers as dancers and now teach the next generation about the steps and discipline required to reach their potential. Plus, hear from glass blowers who believe the old techniques are still the most reliable. This week’s Louisiana Treasures segment reminds us of conservation steps that were taken in the past which allow residents and visitors the opportunity to enjoy the beauty of New Orleans from its earliest days.

Art Rocks! - Episode 414

Meet Baton Rouge painter Randell Henry, whose mixed media collage paintings showcase his use of improvisational methods of playing with shape, color and pattern with influences from abstract expressionism, cubism and African and Asian art. Visit with a group of children who are learning how to take on Shakespearean characters, and meet designer Anna Cohen, who merges her concern for the environment into the materials she uses for her apparel line. Plus, hear the intriguing story behind Alexandria’s Bentley Hotel, this week’s Louisiana Treasure.

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 Stained glass imagery from The Black Church | The Politics of Perseverance | Louisiana

Louisiana’s Black Church: The Politics of Perseverance

How has the black church helped Louisiana’s African American community persevere through centuries of turmoil? From the Civil Rights Movement of days past to the struggles of the modern age, LPB explores the importance of the Black Church in Louisiana, taking you on a journey across our state to show you the history and the culture that makes our state so unique. Watch for these stories on our award-winning news program Louisiana: The State We’re In every Friday in February.

“Signpost to Freedom: The 1953 Baton Rouge Bus Boycott” is a one hour documentary that recounts the circumstances and events that led to the nation’s first large-scale boycott protesting segregation and then examines its impact on the evolution of grassroots civil rights activism across the country during the early years of America's Civil Rights Movement.


  • February is Black History Month, a time to honor the important role African Americans play in the story of our country. Learn how this observance originated with @PBSTeachers 'All About the Holidays'! (Grades: K-5)
  • Watch @TheAmandaGorman, poet, writer, and the Inaugural National Youth Poet Laureate, recite her original poem "Talking Gets Us There" from the "@PBSKIDS Talk About: Race and Racism" special. Share this and talk about celebrating differences and speaking out against racism with the children in your life. (All grade levels)
  • By kindergarten, most children have heard of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and learned that he was an advocate for peace and equality. Here are ways to take Black History a step further this month and year-round. (Ages 2-8)
  • Introduce your children to Black artists and artwork while learning about Black history! Here are ways you can use art to help spark conversations with your child. (Ages 2-8)
  • Help your kids celebrate Black culture today and every day! In this booklist, you'll find a Coretta Scott King award-winning picture book, a story about a little girl with beautiful hair, a book of 40 biographies on remarkable Black women, and more. (Ages 2-8)
  • Introduce your students to the Ashanti people, natives of the west coast of Africa, with this "Between the Lions" story-time segment! As they watch and learn, they'll build their word knowledge — and love of reading. (Grades: PreK-1)
  • Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" speech is one of the most inspirational pieces of rhetoric in American history. In honor of Black History Month, learn more about the lasting influence of his words with this virtual learning-ready lesson plan. (Grades: 6-12) Celebrate Black History Month by introducing students to Shirley Chisholm, the first female Black candidate for president! Virtual learning-friendly resources highlight Chisholm's life, historic campaign, and the times in which she lived. (Grades: 6-12)
  • Have you heard the story of Anansi the spider? Inspire a love of creative storytelling in your students with this African folktale about why spiders don’t have hair. (Grades: PreK-5)

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