Marian Anderson in the documentary "Voice of Freedom"

Black Excellence

Celebrate Black history, culture, and excellence.
#VPMBlackExcellence

VPM celebrates Black history, culture, and excellence through powerful documentaries, podcasts, specials and more. Explore stories of triumph, adversity, and achievement on VPM PBS, VPM News, VPM Music and social media @myVPM.

LISTEN

Seizing Freedom 

The story of how Black Americans risked their lives to fight for their own visions of what freedom could be—struggling for their dignity in the face of horrific violence. Seizing Freedom tells the stories of these unsung American heroes. Voice actors use letters, diaries, newspapers, and autobiographies to bring you stories from luminaries like Ida B. Wells-Barnett and W.E.B. DuBois, as well as everyday freedom fighters forging their own paths forward. Dr. Kidada Williams' interviews with artists, activists, thinkers and historians to bring the themes of these stories to the present day.


Code Switch | NPR

On this episode, we hear from Tomiko Brown-Nagin, author of Civil Rights Queen, the new biography about Constance Baker Motley. Motley was the first Black woman to serve as a federal judge and the first Black woman to argue a case before the Supreme Court. 


StoryCorps | NPR

In this episode, Jeanine Menze and La'Shanda Holmes talk about becoming the first and second Black female pilots in the U.S. Coast Guard, what led them to the military, and ultimately, each other. 

In this episode, we focus on the lives and achievements of two Black men who conducted groundbreaking medical research in the 1940's — as told by the people they mentored.

WATCH

Racism: Challenging Perceptions

Hidden History with Brian Bullock

A four part series that explores the social, cultural and economic impact of racism. Season 2 premieres Thursday, February 24 at 8:30 p.m. on VPM PBS. Watch the Digital release of each episode on pbs.org.

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A digital-first historical travel series with Host and Filmmaker Brian Bullock. Travel to various locations in Virginia to learn about the not-so-well-known places, people, and events within the state's history.

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Brewer's Sessions

Focal Point | VPM NEWS

Ronnie Luxe
 (Image: VPM/Brewer's Sessions)

A music concert series inspired by NPR's Tiny Desk, and a café owner's love for music and coffee. Set behind the counter of Brewer's Café in Richmond, VA, Brewer's Sessions features local musicians showcasing a diverse myriad of genres and talent over live instrumentation.

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Focal Point
(Image: VPM News/Focal Point)

VPM News Focal Point frames statewide news through a lens of in-depth reporting on the week’s pressing issues. Hosted by Angie Miles, VPM News Focal Point will air a 4-part series on Black churches in Virginia starting Thursday, February 24, 2022 at 8:00 p.m. on VPM PBS.

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LEARN

Unsung Heroes of Black History

VPM PBS Documentaries and Shows

Dr. Gladys B. West
(Image: VPM/Victoria York)

In celebration of Black History Month, we highlighted local and national unsung heroes by featuring one individual a day for 28 days on VPM's Facebook. Each featured graphic has been curated with local and national resources to watch, read, or listen to their stories.

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vpm docs image
(Image: PBS/VPM Documentaries)

Watch shows and documentaries including The Black Church: This is Our Story, This Is Our Song, an intimate four-hour series from Henry Louis Gates, Jr., exploring the 400-year-old story of the Black church in America.

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