Specials on Race, Justice, Equality and Law Enforcement

June 4, 2020

Updated June 22, 2020.
As a trusted source of news and information, all of The WNET Group’s news programs, on the air, and online, are concentrating on the topics of race, justice, equality and the relationship with law enforcement.

News and public affairs broadcasts will be available to stream at time of broadcast and after, online and through the THIRTEEN Explore and PBS apps.

Jump to the newest special (aired June 15), America in Black and Blue 2020: A PBS NewsHour Weekend Special, below.

THIRTEEN is one of several public media stations of The WNET Group, and you can see how to watch all of them, here. If you enter a program name in any station schedule search, it will give you dates and times it airs on all stations in the next six weeks (programming is subject to change).

June 3
Frontline: Policing the Police

10pm on WLIW; June 5 at 10pm on THIRTEEN; streaming now


How do you change a troubled police department? FRONTLINE goes inside the Newark Police Department — one of many forces in America ordered to reform. As the country’s debate over race, policing and civil rights continues to unfold, the New Yorker’s Jelani Cobb examines allegations of police abuses in Newark, N.J. and the challenge of fixing a broken relationship with the community. (This film premiered in 2016.) Hear Cobb discuss the killing of George Floyd by police and the resulting national protests on the Frontline Dispatch podcast.

June 5
Race Matters: America in Crisis – A PBS Newshour Special

9pm on THIRTEEN


This special will focus on the frustration pouring out onto American streets, outrage about police brutality, and America’s deep systemic racial disparities in the economy, education, criminal justice system, and health care, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. Stream on PBS NewsHour and see more related coverage.

10pm on THIRTEEN
Frontline Policing the Police
(see stream under June 3 or on the Frontline program page)

June 6
Race Matters: America in Crisis – A PBS Newshour Special

6pm on NJTV

This special will focus on the frustration pouring out onto American streets, outrage about police brutality, and America’s deep systemic racial disparities in the economy, education, criminal justice system, and health care, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. Stream on PBS NewsHour and see more related coverage.

June 7
Race Matters: America in Crisis – A PBS Newshour Special

10am on NJTV; 7:30pm on WLIW

This special will focus on the frustration pouring out onto American streets, outrage about police brutality, and America’s deep systemic racial disparities in the economy, education, criminal justice system, and health care, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. Stream on PBS NewsHour and see more related coverage.

June 8
The Talk – Race in America

9pm on Thirteen


Produced by THIRTEEN in 2017, The Talk is a two-hour documentary about the increasingly necessary conversation taking place in homes and communities across the country between parents of color and their children, especially sons, about how to behave if they are ever stopped by the police. Stream episode and see clips.

June 10
The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution – Independent Lens

9pm on Thirteen


The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution sheds light on the Black Panther Party — and all its reviled, adored, misunderstood, and mythologized history. A film by Stanley Nelson. Watch now.

June 10
I Am Not Your Negro – Independent Lens

10pm on Thirteen


The Academy Award-nominated documentary by Raoul Peck envisions the book James Baldwin never finished, a revolutionary and personal account of the lives and successive assassinations of three of his close friends: Medgar Evers, Malcolm X and Martin Luther King, Jr. Actor Samuel L. Jackson reads texts, letters and notes Baldwin wrote in the 1970s.

June 15
Great Performances Twilight: Los Angeles

1pm on WLIW; July 3 at 10pm on THIRTEEN


In response to the national crisis in the aftermath of the murders of Ahmaud Arbery (Brunswick, GA), Breonna Taylor (Louisville, KY), and most recently George Floyd (Minneapolis, MI) THIRTEEN’s Great Performances resumes streaming of Marc Levin’s film adaptation of Anna Deavere Smith’s play “Twilight: Los Angeles.” It originally aired on PBS in 2001. Her powerful one-woman theater piece gives a riveting account of the violent aftermath of the 1992 Rodney King verdict and the lasting impact of the Los Angeles riots on America’s conscience. Levin weaves Smith’s stage performance with news footage and interviews to create a portrait of rage, sorrow, loss and battered hope. Stream through August 8, 2020.

June 15
America in Black and Blue 2020: A PBS NewsHour Weekend Special

9pm on THIRTEEN and on pbs.org/newshour


The special offers context for and insight into the widespread protests currently engulfing the nation after the latest display of police brutality against Black citizens.

Hosted by Emmy- and Peabody Award-winning journalist Alison Stewart (WNYC’s All Of It), America in Black and Blue 2020 features new interviews with author and cultural critic Roxane Gay; long-time Minnesota police reform advocate and lawyer Nekima Levy Armstrong, a former candidate for mayor and former head of the Minneapolis NAACP; and Rep. Val Demings (D-Florida), former Chief of the Orlando Police Department. PBS NewsHour Weekend Anchor Hari Sreenivasan explores whether tech-based law enforcement methods, including facial recognition and so-called “predictive policing,” run the same risks of racism that ordinary methods do, while correspondent Christopher Booker reports on barriers to police reform. NJTV News correspondent Michael Hill provides an update from the 2016 special on Newark, New Jersey’s ongoing policing problems and trouble implementing the city’s first civilian complaint review board.

A recent Amanpour and Company interview with lawyer and criminal justice reform activist Bryan Stevenson by contributor Walter Isaacson explores the reaction to Floyd’s death compared to similar moments in the past. The special also includes an interview with Kevin Young, poet and Director of the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, as well as an excerpt from the upcoming PBS Independent Lens documentary Women in Blue that features the work of an African American Minneapolis police sergeant.

View PBS NewsHour and PBS NewsHour Weekend episodes and segments.

June 18
The Talk – Race in America

8pm on WLIW


Produced by THIRTEEN in 2017, The Talk is a two-hour documentary about the increasingly necessary conversation taking place in homes and communities across the country between parents of color and their children, especially sons, about how to behave if they are ever stopped by the police. Stream now.

June 19
Juneteenth: Black Freedom

Livestream to come, here, Friday, June 19 at 12pm.

A livestream production, Juneteenth: Black Freedom will commemorate the 155th Anniversary of Juneteenth, which dates back to June 19, 1865, when union soldier, Major General Gordon Granger, arrived at Galveston, Texas, with the news that the Civil War had ended and that enslaved African Americans were now free. This announcement was more than two and half years after President Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation that granted their freedom.

BLKFREEDOM.org is a combined effort between Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History (Detroit, MI), Historic Mitchelville Freedom Park (Hilton Head Island, SC), Northwest African American Museum (Seattle, WA), Black Archives Historic Lyric Theater (Miami, FL), National Underground Railroad Freedom Center (Cincinnati, OH), and the National Civil Rights Museum (Memphis, TN).

This collaborative program will explore the meaning and relevance of “freedom”, “justice” and “democracy” in Black American life, from a historical and contemporary framework. In addition to performances, there will be commentary from Lonnie G. Bunch III, the first African American and first historian to serve as the Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution; Dr. Johnnetta Betsch Cole, anthropologist, educator, museum director and the first female African American president of Spelman College; The Honorable Carla Hayden, Librarian of Congress, the first woman and the first African American to lead the national library.

June 20: GZERO World with Ian Bremmer: Breathing While Black


Protests for racial justice have prompted a sea change in public understanding of the Black experience in America. They’ve also shined a light on how other countries are experiencing social reckonings of their own. This week: the Washington Post’s Karen Attiah with a perspective that’s both global and deeply personal. And then a look at why protestors are also flooding the streets of Paris. See this and more episodes.

June 22
The Talk – Race in America

8pm on NJTV


Produced by THIRTEEN in 2017, The Talk is a two-hour documentary about the increasingly necessary conversation taking place in homes and communities across the country between parents of color and their children, especially sons, about how to behave if they are ever stopped by the police. Stream now.

June 25
America in Black and Blue 2020: A PBS NewsHour Weekend Special

8pm on WLIW
America in Black and Blue will report from across the country, and include interviews with key leaders and participants in the struggle for racial justice, accountability and equity, as well as voices from law enforcement. As the latest crisis of police violence on black citizens — and outraged protests and ensuing violence — engulf the nation, this PBS special will bring context and insight. It will update reporting from the original America in Black and Blue in 2016, as well as The Talk – Race in America. Correspondents will report from Minneapolis, Georgia, New York and elsewhere, and interviews from PBS NewsHour Weekend, Amanpour and Company, and other PBS national and local programming will be included.

July 3
Great Performances Twilight: Los Angeles

10pm on THIRTEEN


In response to the national crisis in the aftermath of the murders of Ahmaud Arbery (Brunswick, GA), Breonna Taylor (Louisville, KY), and most recently George Floyd (Minneapolis, MI) THIRTEEN’s Great Performances resumes streaming of Marc Levin’s film adaptation of Anna Deavere Smith’s play “Twilight: Los Angeles.” It originally aired on PBS in 2001. Her powerful one-woman theater piece gives a riveting account of the violent aftermath of the 1992 Rodney King verdict and the lasting impact of the Los Angeles riots on America’s conscience. Levin weaves Smith’s stage performance with news footage and interviews to create a portrait of rage, sorrow, loss and battered hope. Stream through August 8, 2020.