The Legacy Archive Project of The WNET Group

June 27, 2022
Collage of images representing tv shows

Images from episodes in The Legacy Project.

The WNET Group, parent company to THIRTEEN, has been a leading provider of award-winning, innovative, expertly produced programming for public television for nearly 60 years. Its early ground-breaking films and public affairs programs predate PBS and are now available to stream thanks to a digitization effort called the Legacy Archive Project. The curated selection of historic episodes and films is presented by Exploring Hate, a contemporary reporting initiative from The WNET Group that examines the roots and rise of antisemitism, racism, and extremism in America and across the globe.

Launched in 2021, Exploring Hate is a new public media initiative that provides historical programming in The Legacy Archive Project, examines present-day threats in digital short series, and seeks to highlight responses that promote understanding, healing and civility.

The Legacy Archive Project highlights The WNET Group’s robust catalog of content featuring those who fought for social justice, beginning with the early 1960s.

The rich archive is gradually releasing for streaming 50 documentary films and series focusing on the Black experience, Indigenous rights, and antisemitism. The collection includes rare interviews with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., James Baldwin, Muhammad Ali, Malcolm X, and other civil rights leaders; Holocaust survivor and renowned author Elie Wiesel; and many more. A May release, The Rejected (1961), emphasizes in its introduction that the topic of “homosexuality may be controversial and difficult to discuss, but it cannot be ignored.” The film includes introductory remarks from anthropologist Margaret Mead and a discussion with leaders in the fields of law, religion, medicine.

New additions will be released regularly. Learn more and browse the Legacy Project Archive, and explore more of Exploring Hate’s films and essays at pbs.org/exploringhate.

Major funding for The Legacy Archive Project is provided by Denise R. Sobel.