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Posted at 9:30 AM ET, 02/ 4/2011

Smithsonian Channel spotlights black history

By Jacqueline Trescott

The welcome saturation of Black History Month specials is upon us.

The Smithsonian Channel, a joint business venture between the Smithsonian Institution and Showtime Networks Inc, is offering several programs on Saturday nights for the month of February.

New to their lineup is a feature documentary on the background of the National Museum of African American History and Culture. Called "Smithsonian Spotlight: Museum in the Making," the show is narrated by journalist Susan Spencer and airs this Saturday at 8:30 p.m.

The Smithsonian Channel is available in the Washington region on Comcast, Channel 194.

The Saturday line-up includes several original programs that have previously aired.

"Seizing Justice: The Greensboro 4" airs February 5 at 9 p.m. and February 19 at 10 p.m.

Two biographies are repeated: "Lives that Changed the World: Nelson Mandela," airs Feb. 5 at 10 p.m. And a documentary on Muhammad Ali airs February 12 at 10 p.m.

A six-part series on American music, narrated by actor Morgan Freeman, starts with a look at the blues February 12 at 8 p.m. Another blues show follows at 9 p.m. on February 12. Then jazz on February 19 at 8 p.m. Postwar jazz on February 19 at 9 p.m. Soul roots on Saturday February 26 at 8 p.m. Soul of the 1960s and 1970s on February 26 at 9 p.m.

The schedule concludes on February 26 at 10:30 p.m. with a program on the Scurlock Studio, the Washington photography business of Addison Scurlock and his sons, George and Robert. They provided a record of black Washington for most of the 20th century.

By Jacqueline Trescott  | February 4, 2011; 9:30 AM ET
Categories:  Jacqueline Trescott, Smithsonian, TV  | Tags:  Black History Month, Showtime Networks, smithsonian Institution, special programs on African American events and personalities  
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