Monday, May 9 at 9:00 p.m.
Soundtrack for a Revolution
The program tells the story of the American civil rights movement through its powerful music — the freedom songs protesters sang on picket lines, in mass meetings, in paddy wagons, and in jail cells as they fought for justice and equality. The music enabled African Americans to sing words they could not say, and it was crucial in helping protesters as they faced down brutal aggression with dignity and non-violence. The infectious energy of the songs swept people up and empowered them to fight for their rights. Directed by Bill Guttentag and Dan Sturman (Nanking), and executive produced by Danny Glover, Soundtrack for a Revolution is a vibrant blend of heart-wrenching interviews, dramatic images, and thrilling contemporary performances by top artists, including John Legend, Joss Stone and Wyclef Jean.
Monday, May 16 at 9:00 p.m.
In 1961, segregation seemed to have an overwhelming grip on American society. Many states violently enforced the policy, while the federal government, under the Kennedy administration, remained indifferent, preoccupied with matters abroad. That is, until an integrated band of college students, many of whom were the first in their families to attend a university, decided, en masse, to risk everything and buy a ticket on a Greyhound bus bound for the Deep South. They called themselves the Freedom Riders, and they managed to bring the president and the entire American public face to face with the challenge of correcting civil-rights inequities that plagued the nation.
Visit the website at www.pbs.org/wgbh/americanexperience/.