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Tue, Oct. 4 at 8pm – Making Black America: Through the Grapevine

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PBS
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PBS
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Despite the gains of legal desegregation, all Black political and cultural movements, from Black Power to Black Twitter, provide a safe space for a community driven by class, sexuality and generational divisions to debate, organize and celebrate. The latest documentary series by renowned scholar Dr. Henry Louis Gates, Jr., MAKING BLACK AMERICA: THROUGH THE GRAPEVINE highlights the vibrant cultural and social spaces at the heart of the African American experience.

Episode One: Building Black America | Tue, Oct. 4 at 8pm
As early as 1775, free Black people in the North and South built towns, established schools, and held conventions ─ creating robust networks to address the political, economic, and social needs of the entire Black community.

Tune in on the WSIU stations: WSIU 8.1, WUSI 16.1, WSEC 14.1, WQEC 27.1 and WMEC 22.2 or access the WSIU local broadcast livestream online at pbs.org or via the PBS Video app. Watch with WSIU Passport.

About the Series
“For centuries, 'the Grapevine' has connected Black Americans in formal and informal networks not just as a way of communicating but of building and sustaining communities large and small," said Henry Louis Gates, Jr., the program's host, writer, and executive producer. "From churches to fraternal and sororal organizations to Black Twitter, this is the story of the making of Black America and how, in the making, a people did more than survive the onslaught of enslavement and segregation. They redefined America and its cultural gifts to the world. All of us are grateful to our partners at CPB and PBS for giving us the opportunity to explore this history and what it can teach us as we struggle to overcome the challenges of our times.”

MAKING BLACK AMERICA chronicles the vast social networks and organizations created by and for Black people. The documentary series recounts the establishment of the Prince Hall Masons in 1775 through the formation of all-Black towns and business districts, Historically Black Colleges and Universities, destinations for leisure and the social media phenomenon of Black Twitter.

1920's - African American family sits on a picnic blanket
Courtesy of Museum of African American History, Boston and Nantucket
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PBS Pressroom
Photo portrait of African American family, including Lloyd Mason, in Sugarland, Maryland.

Gates sits with noted scholars, politicians, cultural leaders and old friends including Charles M. Blow (journalist and commentator), Angela Davis (political activist, scholar and author), André Holland (actor), Fab 5 Freddie (hip-hop pioneer and visual artist), Jason King (chair of the Clive Davis Institute of Recorded Music), Killer Mike (rapper and activist) to discuss this world behind the color line and what it looks like today.

Over the course of four weekly episodes, MAKING BLACK AMERICA takes viewers into an extraordinary world that showcases Black people’s ability to collectively prosper, defy white supremacy, and define Blackness in ways that transformed America itself.

With over a decade of experience in public media, Stackhouse serves as the Assistant Director of Digital Services for WSIU Public Broadcasting. The Digital Service department supports the promotion of the station’s digital content and services including social media, web-based membership services and activities, and marketing and communications. Stackhouse's professional goals include creating an inclusive environment where media students at Southern Illinois University Carbondale can gain experience and professional development opportunities in various aspects of the broadcasting industry.
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