An ongoing series of award-winning primetime specials examining the lives, works, and creative processes of our most outstanding cultural artists. Created in 1984, the series is both a celebration and an exploration of creativity in America, documenting the role important individuals, groups, and movements have played in the formation of our cultural identity.
Dorothea Lange: Grab A Hunk of Lightning (#2704) Duration: 1:56:46 STEREO TVPG (Secondary audio: none)
Explore, through Lange's granddaughter's eyes, the life story of the influential "Migrant Mother" photographer. Never-before-seen photos and film footage, family memories and new interviews reveal the artist who challenged America to know itself.
- KQED World: Sat, Mar 25, 2017 -- 9:00pm
Billie Jean King (#2604H) Duration: 1:26:46 SRND51 TVPG
The first sports figure ever featured by American Masters, this was a very deliberate choice about a very deliberate woman who has, indeed, been a major force in changing, and democratizing, our cultural landscape. To commemorate the 40th anniversaries of both the infamous Billie Jean King/Bobby Riggs tennis match - the Battle of the Sexes - and the launch of the Women's Tennis Association, this film looks back to the 12-year old southern California girl who played tennis on public courts, observed disparity and unfairness and, as she soared athletically, never stopped trying to remedy the situation.
Her competitiveness on the circuit was matched by her egalitarian efforts on behalf of women and her commitment to prove consistently that in diversity there is strength - ultimately being awarded the Medal of Freedom by President Obama. King presents her own story with perspective added by Rosie Casals, Chris Evert, Venus Williams, Gloria Steinem, Elton John and Bobby Riggs' son.
- KQED World: Sun, Mar 26, 2017 -- 9:00pm Remind me
Althea (#2901H) Duration: 1:25:16 STEREO TVPG-L
Discover the story of Althea Gibson, who emerged as the unlikely queen of the segregated tennis world of the 1950s. She was the first African American to play and win Wimbledon and the US Nationals. Features Billie Jean King and David Dinkins.
- KQED World: Sun, Mar 26, 2017 -- 10:30pm Remind me
Tanaquil Le Clercq: Afternoon of a Faun (#2703) Duration: 1:26:46 STEREO TVPG (Secondary audio: none)
Discover the inspiring story of the ballerina paralyzed by polio at age 27, who was muse to George Balanchine and Jerome Robbins, and who influenced dance forever. See rare archival footage and interviews with Jacques d'Amboise and Arthur Mitchell.
A Fierce Green Fire (#2701) Duration: 56:46 STEREO TVPG-V (Secondary audio: none)
This film is an exploration of the environmental movement - grassroots and global activism spanning 50 years from conservation to climate change. Inspired by the book of the same name by Philip Shabecoff and informed by advisors like Edward O. Wilson, this documentary chronicles the largest movement of the 20th century and one of the keys to the 21st. It brings together all the major parts of environmentalism and connects them. It focuses on activism, people fighting to save their homes, their lives, the future - and succeeding against all odds. Directed and written by Mark Kitchell, and narrated by Robert Redford, Ashley Judd, Van Jones, Isabel Allende and Meryl Streep.
August Wilson: The Ground On Which I Stand (#2705H) Duration: 1:27:46 STEREO TVPG-L
From his roots as an activist and poet to his indelible mark on Broadway, this program captures the legacy of the man some call America's Shakespeare. Film and theater luminaries such as James Earl Jones, Viola Davis, Phylicia Rashad, Laurence Fishburne, Charles Dutton and others share their stories of the career and experience of bringing Wilson's rich theatrical voice to the stage. This film tells of his journey to the Great White Way, the triumphs and struggles along the path to such seminal works as Ma Rainey's Black Bottom, the Pulitzer Prize-winning Fences, Joe Turner's Come and Gone, the Pulitzer Prize-winning The Piano Lesson, Two Trains Running and four others before his untimely death in 2005. Directed by Emmy-winner Samuel Pollard.
Alice Walker: Beauty In Truth (#2606H) Duration: 1:25:46 SRND51 TVPG-L
Most famous for her seminal novel The Color Purple, writer/activist Alice Walker celebrates her 70th birthday in February, 2014. Born February 9, 1944, into a family of sharecroppers in rural Georgia, her life unfolded during the violent racism and seismic social changes of mid-20th-century America. Poverty and participation in the civil rights movement were the formative influences on her consciousness, becoming the inherent themes in her writing. The first African-American woman to win a Pulitzer Prize for Literature, Walker continues to shine a light on global human rights issues. Her dramatic life is told with poetry and lyricism, and includes interviews with Steven Spielberg, Oprah Winfrey, Gloria Steinem, Toni Morrison, Quincy Jones, Yoko Ono, First Lady Michelle Obama -- and, of course, Walker herself.