Black History Month television specials will air throughout February on Fairfax Public Access Channel 10, Fairfax Public Access International Cable and Fairfax Public Access Spiritual TV 36 —- the noncommercial community cable channels carried on Verizon FIOS TV and Cox Communications.
Fairfax Public Access (FPA) will air a special series of movies and documentaries throughout the month of February in recognition of Black History Month. The series movies include “The Emperor Jones” starring Paul Robeson, “The Jackie Robinson Story” starring Jackie Robinson and Ruby Dee and “The Mark of the Hawk” starring Sidney Poitier and Eartha Kitt. The documentaries in the series include the Academy Award-Winner “Nine from Little Rock” and the World War II documentary “The Negro Soldier,” produced by Frank Capra.
“The series motion pictures are notable for their fine performances and presentation of black Americans in a manner that broke away from Hollywood’s negative stereotypes, while the documentaries explore important milestones in Black History,” according to a FPA release.
The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) is the exclusive sponsor of the 2016 Black History Month specials. Metro services include Metrorail, Metrobus and MetroAccess. “We are extremely pleased to have WMATA serve as this year’s underwriter of our Black History Month television specials,” said Fairfax Public Access executive director Chuck Pena.
FPA is Fairfax County’s nonprofit community media center and cable network. FPA’s television channels are carried by Verizon FiOS TV and Cox Communications in Fairfax County, and by Comcast in Reston. For complete schedule go to www.fcac.org/blackhistory.
Black History Month Offerings
- “THE EMPEROR JONES” (1933) - Stars Paul Robeson in his iconic motion picture role. Based on Eugene O'Neill's play of the same name, Robeson plays Brutus Jones, who uses his wits from being a Pullman porter to the ruler of a Caribbean island and to his eventual hubris and downfall. When “The Emperor Jones was” released in 1933, it was first time a black actor's name was given top billing in a motion picture over a white actor.
- “THE MARK OF THE HAWK” (1957) - Starring Sidney Poitier and Eartha Kitt, “The Mark of the Hawk” is set in the post-World War II period, as the British Empire’s African colonies were beginning to achieve independence. Aided by his wife, played by Eartha Kitt, Poitier’s character must navigate between two opposing blocs — one supporting the interests of the colonial British landowners and the other representing the interests of the native Africans — both groups possessing factions with violent intentions. Poitier works to avoid bloodshed on either side.
- “THE JACKIE ROBINSON STORY” (1950) - Jackie Robinson stars as himself along with the actress Ruby Dee (“A Raisin in the Sun,” 1961). in this epic biography, which chronicles the life and career of Jackie Robinson — the first black American to play major league baseball in the modern era. On April 10, 1947, Robinson made history when he took to the field in his Dodgers uniform and was instrumental in the Dodgers winning the National League pennant that year. Later that same year, Robinson was named the National League’s Rookie of the Year, and was voted the League’s Most Valuable Player in 1949. In 1962, he became the first black American elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame.
- “NINE FROM LITTLE ROCK” (1964) - This Academy Award-winning documentary tells the story of the 1957 integration of Little Rock Central High by nine black students. On the first day of school, a white mob gathered in front of the school, and Governor Orval Faubus deployed the Arkansas National Guard to prevent the black students from entering. In response, President Eisenhower ordered troops from the 101st Airborne Division to protect the students for the remainder of the school year. The students’ integration of Central High became a major milestone in the Civil Rights movement.
- “THE NEGRO SOLDIER” (1942) - This World War II-era documentary was produced by Frank Capra, and was both written by and starred Carlton Moss, a young black man who had been director of the Harlem Federal Theater. Declared by black poet Langston Hughes as, “the most remarkable Negro film ever flashed on the American screen,” “The Negro Soldier” shows the heroism, determination and sacrifice of African Americans in the nation’s fight against tyranny for the cause of freedom, during a period when much of that freedom was not extended to people of color.