A Time to Celebrate: Public Media Highlights Women’s History and More This March

Mar. 8, 2021

Women's History Image

This Women’s History Month, public media is celebrating the accomplishments and contributions of women in history with documentaries, stories and educational resources that center women's experiences in history. PBS will broadcast two new American Masters specials this month, and more than a dozen encore PBS specials are available for streaming in March. WORLD Channel, public media’s multicast channel airing in 73% of the country, is offering programs about groundbreaking women who have defied traditional social standards for the opportunity at equality and equity. 

Preview American Masters: Flannery. by American Masters

Public media programming includes:

Stories from the Stage: She Persisted, WORLD Channel, now streaming. This special follows three women’s journeys to overcome personal and societal obstacles in spite of doubt.

American Masters: Flannery, PBS, March 23, 8 p.m. ET (times may vary). With never-before-seen archival footage, newly discovered journals and interviews, American Masters explores the life of Flannery O’Connor whose fiction was unlike anything published before.

American Masters: Twyla Moves, PBS, March 26, 9 p.m. ET (times may vary). This documentary provides a first-hand look at the legendary choreographer Twyla Tharp, her storied career and famously rigorous creative process.

America ReFramed: BaddDDD Sonia Sanchez, WORLD Channel, now streaming. Featuring readings and jazz-accompanied performances of her work, this portrait of artist Sonia Sanchez reveals her uncompromising life as she raised her voice.

For Our Girls: A Conversation with Black Women, WORLD Channel, now streaming. A love letter to Black daughters and women everywhere, this special examines the challenges and hardships Black women face from within and outside of their own communities through one-on-one, mother-daughter conversations.

Public media’s CPB-funded oral history and engagement partner StoryCorps has a collection of stories featuring women who have challenged gender norms, advanced their fields, and left a lasting legacy.

The American Archive of Public Broadcasting’s “Woman” Series Collection features half-hour episodes produced by Buffalo, New York, public media station WNED from 1972 to 1977, covering topics such as women's health, history, rights, and resources.

The classical music division of Capitol Public Radio in Sacramento, California, is highlighting female classical composers.

Vision Maker Media is hosting a month-long, worldwide, online streaming event “commUNITY: Herald Native Women” featuring films all produced and/or directed by Native women and panel discussions.

UNLADYLIKE2020, a series of 26 short films and a one-hour documentary profiling diverse American women from the turn of the 20th century and their contemporaries, aired on PBS’ American Masters and is now streaming. The UNLADYLIKE2020 Where Are the Women? Summit for educators held last month to address the underrepresentation of women in U.S. history and social studies classrooms is now available online. A series of follow-up webinars, Elevating the Hidden History of American Women, will take place this month. The UNLADYLIKE2020 PBS Learning Media collection includes resources to develop students’ historical thinking skills and help them make connections between past and present. Topics include the labor movement, politics, civil rights, and women’s suffrage.

Kentucky Educational Television has curated resources for Women's History Month from PBS LearningMedia for students PreK-12.

The ITVS Community Classroom collection on PBS Learning Media celebrates Women's History Month by focusing on women and girls around the world. The films tell powerful, personal stories, and the activities encourage students to learn and understand international struggles and take an active role in addressing local concerns.

Many public media stations, like PBS SoCal, GBH and Arizona PBS have also announced month-long lineups of enlightening programs to help viewers increase awareness and understanding of women’s history in America. Check your local listings.

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Photo: Literary icon Flannery O’Connor is featured in an American Masters special premiering March 23 on PBS. Courtesy of Joe McTyre