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In February we celebrate Black History Month and recognize the central role of blacks in U.S. history. Below are programs that highlight African American musicians and programs that tell the stories and history of many black citizens throughout the years.

Independent Lens | Cooked: Survival by Zip Code

Saturday, February 8 at 11:30 PM

In July 1995, a heat wave overtook Chicago: high humidty and a layer of heat-retaining pollution drove the heat index up to more than 126 degrees. City roads buckled, rails warped, electric grids failed, thousands became ill and people began to die - by the hundreds. Cooked tells the story of this heat wave, the most traumatic in U.S. history, in which 739 Chicago citizens died in a single week, most of them poor, elderly, and African American.

Independent Lens

Trailer | Cooked: Survival by Zip Code


Were the 739 deaths from Chicago's 1995 heatwave a one-time tragedy or appalling trend?

American Experience | The Fight

Monday, February 17 at 9:00 PM

June 22, 1938. Though the Great Depression rages and war looms, the eyes of the world are on Yankee Stadium in New York where, beneath threatening skies, German Max Schmelin and American Joe Louis are squaring off for the heavyweight championship of the world. The Fight explores the famous 1938 heavyweight bout and finds two men who, in the shadow of war, became reluctant symbols of equality and supremacy, democracy and fascism.

American Experience

Trailer | The Fight | American Experience


Theirs was a rivalry that would draw American and Germany inching closer to war.

American Masters | Miles Davis: Birth of the Cool

Friday, February 28th at 10:00 PM WXEL

Taking a hard look at the mythology that surrounds the legend, Davis is widely regarded as one of the most innovative, influential and respected figures in music. With full access to the Miles Davis Estate, the film features never-before-seen footage, including studio outtakes from this recording sessions, rare photos and new interview. Quincy Jones, Carlos Santana, Clive Davis, Wayne Shorter, and Davis'son Erin Davis are just a few of the luminaries weighing in on the life and career of the cultural icon.

American Masters

Miles Davis: Birth of the Cool | Full Trailer


Discover the man behind the legend with never-before-seen footage and rare photos.