If you haven’t yet tapped into the PBS series Beyond the Canvas, this is a perfect time. Season 3 is absolutely stellar! These are the times when being a public broadcasting nerd really pays off.
Remember Charlayne Hunter-Gault? Charlayne was a news anchor superhero for little Black girls growing up in the 70s with broadcasting dreams. From 1978 -1983 she sat proudly at the anchor desk for the MacNeil/Lehrer Report. Yes, they were two white guys and Charlayne! For a time after PBS, Charlayne was CNN’s Johannesburg Bureau Chief. Charlayne busted barriers throughout her career and broke ground early on as one of the two first African American students to attend the University of Georgia in 1961. If you’ve never heard of her, please Google her!
Season 3, Episode 4 of Beyond the Canvas: Art, Black Women Lead, focuses on the contributions of Black women in American history to the arts. Black history is re-centered and appropriately re-framed, highlighting women like Nicole Hannah-Jones, Regina King, and Roxanne Gay, who have played important roles in reshaping narratives.
Amna Nawaz hosts the series, but the unmistakable voice of Charlayne Hunter-Gault is a delightful surprise as she guides the conversation on the inspiration for the Netflix series High on the Hog, which was adapted from Jessica B. Harris’ book.
There are a number of really interesting episodes in the season, including a piece on one of my new favs, the irreverent, intelligent, and wildly entertaining Ziwe. The focus on Black women in the arts is of course at the top of my rotation.
You can check out the entire season on demand, right here or check out episode 4 below. Another good reason to support public television!