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UMOJA! 2011 – Black History Month Programming

By Michelle Michalos
Monday, January 31st, 2011
  • comments (12)

Alison Stewart

This February, THIRTEEN’s UMOJA! festival returns, celebrating the history, heritage and contributions of African Americans throughout Black History Month.

UMOJA! covers a variety of subjects, with a focus on African American contributions to our national identity.  The annual UMOJA! festival begins this Thursday, February 3.

Hosts Tavis Smiley and Alison Stewart (Need to Know) will be introducing the films.

Here is a complete list of UMOJA! programming on THIRTEEN:

Unforgettable Hampton Family: A film documenting how Deacon Clark Hampton realized his dream of raising his twelve children out of poverty and into successful performers. Airs Thursday, February 3 at 10:30 p.m.

Independent Lens – When I Rise: A profile of Barbara Smith Conrad, a gifted University of Texas music student who found herself at the center of racial controversy and fought against the odds to become an international opera star.  Airs Tuesday, February 8 at 10 p.m.

Independent Lens -  Adjust Your Color: The Truth of Petey Greene: America’s original shock-jock, Petey Greene, became a leading activist during some of the most tumultuous years in recent history. Airs Tuesday, February 15 at 10 p.m.

Searching for Buxton: Narrated by Simon Estes, the film tells the story of a young African-American who searches for his family history in a long-disappeared Iowa mining town, only to discover that his relatives of a century ago may have been better off than he is today.  Airs Thursday, February 17 at 10:30 p.m.

Unforgivable Blackness: The Rise and Fall of Jack Johnson: Ken Burns’ film on the life of Jack Johnson, the first African-American heavyweight champion and one of the greatest fighters of the 20th century. Airs Sunday, February 20 at 10:30 p.m.




  • ellen beth robbins

    So, should we name the other eleven months European+Asian+South American -American History months. Such a dumb idea and so racist

  • W. Ali

    Stop being a hatter Ms. Robbins………….you should embrace those who have come before you as their existence has been a benefit to all human kind……..and it’s nothing dumb or racist about that!

  • C. Roberts

    For ellen beth robbins to say that, you must feel that in your heart. I will pray for you.

    Racism is still alive (tsk, tsk), it may have been suppressed, but it coming to the forefront again.

    Each nationality is recognized in its own way, whether small or big.

  • T A Wilder

    Ellen Beth Robbins, if this is the only way we can learn and respect each other’s diverse culture, accomplishments and ideals then maybe we should name the other eleven months European+Asian+South American -American History months. I would definitely enjoy it. Thanks for sharing. = )

  • Gloria Fahie

    Hello!! The reason that there is a Black History Month is because the history of blacks was not being taught and is still not being taught in any real way. Black children learn European history, Jewish history every one’s story except their own. American history books have one chapter about slavery and one chapter about the American Indian.WHite teachers for the most part won’t even teach books authored by blacks. Everyone wonders why black youth turn off and drop out, this is why. Nothing is realy relevant to them.

  • T. SMART

    Perhaps if we spent more time learning African American History we wouldn’t be so quick. to criticise the month dedicated to it. But, then again maybe not. I don’t pretend to be a Christian, but for those who are there’s a passage in the bible that describes a situation where a man said to Jesus, if you are the son of God, why don’t you perform a miracle to prove it? .And Jesus said to the man I could make the stones cry out the word of God & still they would not listen.

  • Tiara Perry

    As a strong beautiful black woman, yes I enjoy Black History Month. People are ignorant to the knowledge behind the true pioneers who have shaped this country. If someone took that wisdom, knowledge and understanding from you, based off your ancestral history…you too would want the world to share in that moment and embrace the history!! It’s not racist….it’s refreshing, different from the norm, and information! Knowledge truly is power…seek it!

  • Tiara Perry

    Ooops, it’s refreshing, different from the norm, and informative!!!

  • Anthony Forestine

    Hey Guys,

    Don’t waste another keystroke on Ellen Beth. She lacks critical analyzation skills….like many people the quick answer is the best answer. Maybe if she actually saw some of this month programming she could learn, but sadly TROLLS don’t listen to the opinions of others, they are too busy blurting out their short sided, ill conceived, simpleton thought processes. Evolve already!

  • michele walker

    Yes, we need black history day, month, year. Yes, we need more than one paragraph in the school history books. BUT MORE THAN THAT, BLACK HISTORY SHOULD BE TAUGHT IN THE HOMES OF ALL PEOPLE OF AFRICAN DESCENT. It is pitiful we make no effort to learn about ourselves and our own history. White folks are not going to teach you about yourself, end of story. Now what are you doing as a parent, educator, community member to give our children what we know they need!!!!!!

  • michele walker

    To Ellen Beth: We don’t need a name for other ethnic groups, because the other groups are not responsible for building the wealth of this nation. The European contribution was war crimes, murder, kidnapping, theft, rape and other forms of control. If you want a month to celebrate that, go ahead. But be honest and tell the truth about Europeans and others and their contribution. If Europeans won’t tell the truth, then the African-American will tell the truth. And stop trying to silence the black American with this “racism” attack. It’s like a sick rapist who blames the woman for being raped. Beth, you’re sick and you should keep your ignorance to yourself.

  • Deb Zee

    Dear Ms. Robbins and Ms. Walker: If ignorance is bliss then you both must be very happy. Each mouth spewing racism all the the while committing the same crime.

    Each culture is to be celebrated for their achievements. No one group of immigrants is responsible for building this great nation alone. It truly takes a village to raise a child and it is up to everyone to help raise this nation’s youth. If the supposed adults of our nation behave like this what can we expect of our youth.