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Oprah Winfrey, PBS and the Knight Foundation to Stream Discussions, Films on Racial Justice

Fern Siegel

Various media organizations have decided to stream films and discussions that address the issue of race in America, following George Floyd’s death.

Starting today, PBS station WOUB begins streaming documentaries that detail social injustices in the African-American community.

They include Dr. Henry Louis Gates, Jr.’s “The African Americans: Many Rivers to Cross,” “Reconstruction: America After the Civil War,” and “Black America Since MLK: And I Still Rise.”

PBS will also air Stanley Nelson’s “The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution.” To further the discussion, PBS will curate shows from “Frontline,” “POV” and “Independent Lens” that chronicle the impact of racism in the black community and on the country.

All films can be streamed on station-branded PBS platforms, including PBS.org and the PBS Video App, available on iOS, Android, Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV and Chromecast.

PBS Kids will offer families resources to discuss race, racism, civil rights, current events and more with children, including a virtual event on YouTube on June 9 at 3:30 p.m. ET with parents, teachers and child development experts.

In addition, the OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network will air a two-night special “OWN Spotlight: Where Do We Go From Here?” on June 9 and 10 at 9 p.m. ET. It will stream for free on the Watch OWN and Discovery Family TV apps, as well as OWN’s YouTube, Facebook and Instagram channels, and is available on Discovery’s global platforms.

Winfrey will speak with various black leaders, artists and activists about systemic racism, including politician Stacey Abrams, New York Times journalist Charles M. Blow; Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms; Stanford professor Jennifer Eberhardt, the author of “Biased,” and Pulitzer Prize-winning founder of the “1619 Project” Nikole Hannah-Jones.

Also, the Knight Foundation is teaming with Magnolia Pictures and O Cinema to make three films about racial injustice free to the public in eight cities, Variety reports. The cities are: Akron, Ohio; Charlotte, North Carolina; Detroit; Macon, Georgia; Miami; Philadelphia; San Jose, California; and St. Paul, Minnesota.

Each film can be viewed on three consecutive Sundays for a 24-hour period. Users register in advance; they are then sent a secure link and password.

The films are “I Am Not Your Negro” on June 7, “Whose Streets?” on June 14 and “Toni Morrison: The Pieces I Am” on June 21. After each screening will be a community-led virtual conversation.

The Knight Foundation will pay all rental fees. Magnolia, Knight Foundation and O Cinema will use their mailing lists to supply information.

O Cinema cofounders Kareem Tabsch and Vivian Marthell told the trade magazine: “As artists and arts organizations we have the responsibility to speak out against injustice and oppression. These three remarkable films speak directly to issues that have plagued our country for far too long. We hope they can spark real dialogue and a plan of action to address inequities.”

Magnolia backed all three films. The nonprofit Knight Foundation supports journalism and the arts.

Photo credit: OWN YouTube channel

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