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Movies/Theatre/TV

TV One celebrates Black History Month with programs celebrating Civil Rights heroes and music trendsetters

Featured network programming highlights 'Represent Black History" theme.

TV One Represent Black History in February

TV One celebrates Black History Month with a full schedule of programs that exemplifies this year’s theme, “REPRESENT BLACK HISTORY.” The network will feature highlights from its acclaimed signature series, UNSUNG, profiling prominent musical figures that have impacted music over the past 40 years. Additionally, the campaign will celebrate the rich stories of heroes behind the Civil Rights Movement.

While the network focuses all year long on all facets of Black life and culture, Black History Month on TV One is a special time to honor the tremendous contributions that African Americans have made throughout the world. Every Saturday beginning Saturday, February 1 at 10 A.M. ET, the network will air movies that celebrate important moments in Black history, including the TV One original films BEHIND THE MOVEMENT and WHITE WATER, as well as THE WATSONS GO TO BIRMINGHAM.

Additionally, TV One will present UNSUNG: THE DECADES beginning Wednesday, February 5 at 8 P.M. ET, spotlighting musical innovators from the 60s, 70s, 80s and 90s. Featured episodes include James Brown, David Ruffin, Tammi Terrell, The Dramatics, Blue Magic, Switch, Mtume, DeBarge, The Boys, Chanté Moore, Kenny Lattimore and Dru Hill. UNSUNG celebrates the lives of trailblazing musicians whose full stories and journeys have yet to be explored.

The brand new season of UNSUNG will also air during Black History Month, premiering on Sunday, February 23 at 10 P.M. ET with the popular 90s R&B group Dru Hill.

Check out line-up below:

BEHIND THE MOVEMENT
Airs: Saturday, February 1 at 10 a.m. ET/ Re-airing Saturday, February 22 at 10 a.m. ET
Set during the tumultuous Civil Rights era, TV One’s original film offers a closer look at how Rosa Parks’ refusal to give up her seat on a bus to a white passenger launched the historical Montgomery Bus Boycott. The movie recounts the inner workings and behind the scenes preparation that took place during the three intense days between the fateful evening when Parks refused to give up her seat, to the launch of this significant protest. Starring Meta Golding, Isaiah Washington, Roger Guenveur Smith and Loretta Devine.
UNSUNG (The 60s): James Brown
Airs: Wednesday, February 5 at 8 p.m. ET
The Godfather of Soul, James Brown, was known as the hardest working man in show business. With his explosive voice, dynamic stage shows, amazing song catalogue and unforgettable style, Brown was truly an icon.  Through rare footage and interviews with former band members and celebrity guests, UNSUNG will take viewers on a journey filled with soul, R&B, Gospel, Funk, Hip-Hop and all the magic that made Brown the greatest of all time.
UNSUNG (The 60s): David Ruffin
Airs: Wednesday, February 5 at 9 p.m. ET
The raspy and anguished lead voice on mega-hits “My Girl,” “Ain’t Too Proud to Beg,” and “I Know (I’m Losing You),” David Ruffin was the center of The Temptations in their peak years. His expanding ego, however, forced bandmates to cut ties with him in 1968. Drug abuse wore him down in the 70s and 80s, costing him precious opportunities to reunite with friends and former bandmates. His family, friends and musical associates came together to help UNSUNG portray the tumultuous life and career of the legendary singer.
UNSUNG (The 60s): Tammi Terrell
Airs: Wednesday, February 5 at 10 p.m. ET
Tammi Terrell had a record deal by the time she was 14, was a featured vocalist with James Brown at 17 and was signed by Motown Records at 20. Terrell teamed up with Marvin Gaye to record a series of classic romantic hits “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough,” “Your Precious Love,” “Ain’t Nothin LikeThe Real Thing,” and others that remain the gold standard for romantic duets today. The magic of her career ended abruptly when she collapsed on stage from a brain tumor while singing with Gaye in the fall of 1967. She underwent eight surgeries over the next three years, and even returned to recording before she died in 1974 at the tender age of 24. Her life was short, but full of passion, art and courage.
WHITE WATER
Airs: Saturday, February 8 at 10 a.m. ET
A TV One original, WHITE WATER is the imaginative tale of a seven-year-old black child during the summer of 1963 who becomes obsessed with the desire to taste water from the “whites only” drinking fountain. He sets out on a quest to do the unthinkable – to drink from it. When his protective mother and free-spirited father learn of their son’s obsession with tasting the “white water,” they do their best to steer him away from this risky adventure. However, his friends, parents nor the KKK can steer the young child away from his desire. Starring Sharon Leal, Larenz Tate, Amir O’Neil and Amari O’Neil.
UNSUNG (The 70s): The Dramatics
Airs: Wednesday, February 12 at 8 p.m. ET
Detroit R&B quintet, The Dramatics, recorded some of the top hits of the 1970s including “Whatcha See Is Whatcha Get,” “Hey You! Get Off My Mountain” and “In The Rain,” making them one of the most distinct R&B groups of all time. After performing at the Fox Theater in 1967, they found themselves witness to the Detroit Riots. While being sheltered at the Algiers Motel, Dramatics members Rod Davis and Larry Reed were terrorized and bloodied by police, and the group’s friend and valet Fred Temple was shot to death along with two other teenagers. Through insights from family, friends and group members, audiences will get a glimpse into the groups’ trials and triumphs.
UNSUNG (The 70s): Blue Magic
Airs: Wednesday, February 12 at 9 p.m. ET
Hailing from Philadelphia, Blue Magic stands as the last of the great vocal groups from the 1970s. The group blended the sound of classic soul singing groups of the 1950s with the lush sound of Philadelphia Soul that defined an era. Their choreography became their identity, with moves designed to fit each song and performed with the kind of precision that made each show memorable. Throughout the 70s, Blue Magic delivered infectious radio hits including “Stop to Start,” “Spell” and the chart-topping “Side Show,” but bad business deals and internal struggles stopped the group from reaching its full potential. All five original members reunited for the first time since 1982 to tell their incredible story on UNSUNG.
UNSUNG (The 70s): Switch
Airs: Wednesday, February 12 at 10 p.m. ET
One of the most prominent, unique groups of the late seventies and early eighties, Funk and R&B group Switch demonstrated a musical style and versatility that left an indelible impression on music. Originally composed of brothers Bobby and Tommy DeBarge, Gregory Williams, Phillip Ingram, Jody Sims, and Eddie Fluellen, their ability to sing, dance, and play multiple instruments was the catalyst to their success – and what caught the attention of Motown. Known for the singles “I Call Your Name,” “Best Beat In Town” and “There’ll Never Be” – which hit the Top 10 on the Billboard charts, the group’s talent wasn’t enough to outweigh the demons of fame, ultimately leading to their downfall.
THE WATSONS GO TO BIRMINGHAM
Airs: Saturday, February 15 at 10 a.m. ET
Set against the backdrop of the Civil Rights Movement in 1963, this film follows a tight-knit African American family living in Flint, MI. When the eldest son begins to get into trouble, the parents decide to send him to Alabama under the guidance of his grandmother. The entire family travels there together by car and during their visit, they find themselves involved in life-changing events. Featured cast members include Wood Harris, Anika Noni Rose, Skai Jackson and David Alan Grier.
UNSUNG (The 80s): Mtume
Airs: Wednesday, February 19 at 8 p.m. ET
James Mtume rose to musical prominence crafting albums with the iconic Miles Davis before starting his own group, named simply after him – Mtume. With a lineup that included his partner Reggie Lucas, Hubert Eaves III and vocalist Tawatha Agee, Mtume combined the styles of jazz, funk and R&B. The group broke into the mainstream in the 1980s with the hit song “Juicy Fruit,” most notably sampled by the late Notorious B.I.G; and Top 10 hits like “You, Me and He” and “Breathless.” In this episode of UNSUNGJames Mtume and members of his group, discuss his long career in jazz and R&B, the story behind their music and the challenges they faced in the music industry.
UNSUNG (The 80s): DeBarge
Airs: Wednesday, February 19 at 9 p.m. ET
Debarge was arguably Motown’s most successful group of the 1980s. Rising from their deep roots in their mother’s Pentecostal church to their signing with the fabled Motown label as Berry Gordy’s unabashed reincarnation of the Jacksons, DeBarge would subsequently descend into sibling rivalry and drug abuse that ultimately led to their break-up. The influence of this immensely talented family still resonates in the music of artists as varied as Kenny “Babyface” Edmonds, Sean “Diddy” Combs, Mary J. Blige and Ashanti.
UNSUNG (The 80s): The Boys
Airs: Wednesday, February 19 at 10 p.m. ET
In the late 80s, The Boys soared to stardom with charismatic hits like “Dial My Heart” and “Lucky Charm.” Managed by their parents, The Abdulsamad siblings (Khiry, Hakim, Tajh, and Bilal) got their start in 1984 as street performers in Venice Beach, California. Four years later, they rose to the top of the charts with their debut platinum album “Messages from the Boys” that included a pair of LA Reid and Babyface-produced #1 singles. Handling the demands of life in the public eye became overwhelming for the teenage brothers and after releasing their third album in 1992, The Boys abruptly abandoned their careers in the spotlight for a life of solitude in Gambia, West Africa.
  
UNSUNG (NEW SEASON, NEW EPISODE): Dru Hill
Airs: Wednesday, February 23 at 10 p.m. ET; Re-airing Wednesday, February 26 at 10 p.m.
Four childhood friends from Baltimore – Sisqo, Nokio, Jazz and Woody – took the music industry by storm in the 90s with a combination of old school vocal harmonies and effortless charisma. When their debut album produced four top charting singles – “Tell Me,” “In My Bed,” “Never Make a Promise,” and “Five steps” – Dru Hill positioned themselves as a group destined for major success. Despite a bounty of top ten hits, the group was plagued by clashes with their record label and internal problems, including drug abuse and weight issues which ultimately resulted in the departure of two members. Today, Dru Hill keeps on keeping on, and remains one of the most beloved singing groups performing. In this UNSUNG episode, they tell the full story of their long and winding journey.
UNSUNG (The 90s): Chanté Moore
Airs: Wednesday, February 26 at 8 p.m. ET
Chanté Moore made a name for herself first singing back-up for Toni Braxton. With her sultry looks and powerhouse voice, she soon became a household name with hits such as “Chante’s Got a Man” and “Love’s Taken Over.” Moore went on to join TV One’s reality series R&B DIVAS LA. In this tell-all episode, she opens up about her career, divorce and more.
UNSUNG (The 90s): Kenny Lattimore
Airs: Wednesday, February 26 at 9 p.m. ET
Kenny Lattimore came straight out of Washington, D.C. in the mid 90s with a smooth R&B sound and look to match. Raised on gospel and the soulful music of popular icons Marvin Gaye and Donny Hathaway, Lattimore made his mark in 1997 with the breakout single “For You.” The song would eventually become an enduring wedding classic. When he married R&B Diva Chanté Moore and recorded two highly regarded duet albums, his romantic life appeared to mirror his love songs. An unfortunate split from his record label coupled with his dramatic breakup with Moore, however, led to public speculations about his private life that overshadowed his career. In this revealing episode of UNSUNG, Lattimore, along with friends and family, set the record straight.
Sarah Hearn
the authorSarah Hearn
Sarah Hearn is Editor-in-Chief of PositivelyGospel.com. Sarah founded the site to serve as a positive platform for gospel music news, to share all of the good things happening within the Gospel and Christian music industry. In 2017, the site was named one of the Top 50 Gospel and Christian Music websites. An ordained minister of the Gospel, Sarah has done missions work in Kenya, India, Haiti, Nicaragua and other nations, as well as locally and throughout the United States.

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