5 things to watch for Black History Month this weekend

The Tina Knowles-Lawson produced project ‘Profiled: The Black Man,’ as well as ‘One Thousand Years of Slavery’ premiere this week

1. One Thousand Years of Slavery (The Smithsonian Channel)

Coming in at number one on our list is One Thousand Years of Slavery, a stirring four-part docuseries from Angela Bassett and Courtney B. Vance. Airing every Monday during Black History month, the series interviews subjects, “confronting their personal connection to slavery and its legacy today.”

Vance shared in a statement, “The Smithsonian Channel and Smithsonian brand are known around the world as a trusted resource that makes history accessible for all. We couldn’t think of a better outlet to tell this important and increasingly relevant history. We are incredibly proud to be part of this journey.”

“If we’re telling the story of oppression without telling ways people refused to be dehumanized, we’re not telling the whole story,” the trailer teases. The series features appearances from various leaders, celebrities and more including, Dr. Bernice King, Debbie Allen, Valerie Jarrett, Lorraine Toussaint, Soledad O’BrienCCH Pounder, and Sen. Cory Booker. The first episode of One Thousand Years of Slavery is available to watch now.

2. The Loyola Project​ (CBS Sports)

Detailing the “beginning of modern basketball,” The Loyola Project takes a deep dive into the 1963 Loyola Ramblers team of Chicago. The team broke racial barriers throughout the country when it played with four Black starters during the NCAA tournament at the time.

In this film, Loyola basketball player and co-captain, Lucas Williamson looks back on that time. “Woven together with archival footage and modern day interviews, this captivating story continues to provide inspiration in the fight for equality,” the synopsis details.

Check out the trailer below:

3. Summer of Soul (…or, When the Revolution Could Not be Televised) Disney+

(Credit: Mass Distraction Media)

Released in the summer of 2021, Summer of Soul (…or, When the Revolution Could Not be Televised) contains rare footage of the 1969 Harlem Cultural Festival, a six-week event that saw performances from the likes of Stevie WonderB.B. King, and Nina Simone. The film is the directorial debut of Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson, who gathered various attendees who were able to recount their experiences at the festival.

Thompson just picked up an Oscar nomination for Best Documentary Feature for the film.

This week, the film finally made its way to Disney+, making it a perfect binge with the family for the weekend.

4. Moonlight (Philo)

HOLLYWOOD, CA – FEBRUARY 26: Screenwriter Tarell Alvin McCraney (L) and writer/director Barry Jenkins, winners of Best Adapted Screenplay for ‘Moonlight’, pose in the press room during the 89th Annual Academy Awards at Hollywood

This month marks five years since the historic Oscars where Moonlight won Best Picture. Despite the La La Land mixup, Moonlight has stood the test of time as one of the most revered films in LGBTQ+ since its release. Directed by Barry Jenkins, the film follows Chiron in three defining chapters of his life, tenderly looking at Black, queer love.

The film was the first LGBTQ+ film to take home the coveted Best Picture prize and is available to stream now on Philo under their The Black Experiences collection.

5. Profiled: The Black Man (Discovery+)

Tina Knowles-Lawson has brought her new series, Profiled: The Black Man to Discovery+. The show examines, “the origins of the widespread stereotypes that have permeated society and impacted the lives of Black men in America for centuries.” The first episode of the highly anticipated docuseries airs this Saturday, with subsequent episodes airing every Saturday through March.

The series is hosted by Tristan “Mack” Wilds (The Wire), who guides the audience through different stereotypes plaguing Black men to this day. Watch the trailer below:

Nathan Odige