What Black History Month Programming Is On Demand?February 02, 2012

What Black History Month Programming Is On Demand?

Media savant T Tara Turk goes deep inside cable TV to reveal Video On Demand's Hidden Gems so even the busiest of our readers can get the most out of On Demand TV. Tell Tara what VOD shows you think deserves her attention.


Black History Month - On Demand

By T. Tara Turk


I generally celebrate being black 365 days a year since, well, I’m black and that’s who I am. But having a designated (albeit short) month to celebrate usually calls for the customary cards, parades, and customized television program on some channels. The TV part is my favorite because then we get to peruse some classics that usually go unnoticed in mainstream “Best Of” lists since some tend not to think outside of the regular classics box.

If you’re in the mood to add some culture to your February or you just want to take a dance down memory lane, I found a few titles available on Black Cinema on Xfinity On Demand this month that may help.

For the Beginner:

ROOTS: THE MINI SERIES - One of the most popular mini series of all time. Pre-dvr/vhs/on demand days, folks would actually plan their TV week with TV Guide and this was one series that scored high ratings across the board in the 1970s. And, since we’re spanning the first few hundred years of slavery, every black actor in Hollywood was able to get a job. -

RAY - Jamie Foxx appears to have an out of body experience playing famed musician Ray Charles. This performance was so good, Jamie continued to channel Ray in a Kanye West song. But seriously, not many people know the story of Ray Charles but most seem to benefit from it.

THE COLOR PURPLE - I don’t have a group of friends in my life that doesn’t, in some way, quote from this movie. While Alice Walker’s book about a black girl in the south who grows up beyond expectations touched so many lives, the movie, directed by Steven Spielberg, mad a lasting impression with its stellar cast which includes Danny Glover, Oprah Winfrey, Whoopi Goldberg, Margaret Avery and the late great Adolph Caeser.

MALCOLM X - For a long time, Malcolm was and has been misunderstood as a minister of hate but thanks to Spike Lee’s epic production and the genius of Denzel Washington, this should shed some light on the life of Malcolm while being hugely entertaining to watch.

DREAMGIRLS - Who doesn’t love a little retro glamour, a little heartbreak and some amazing singing from the likes of Beyonce, Jennifer Hudson, Jamie Foxx,Anoki Rose and - GASP - Eddie Murphy! The long running Broadway story rumored to based on Diana Ross and the Supremes, finally made a huge dent at the box office and came away with a few Grammy nods.

For the Experienced:

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THE LOVING STORY - On DemandFebruary 09, 2012



Demand Weekly provides new movie reviews of hot movies and shows on demand from the POV of watching from the comfort of your home. Today’s review: THE LOVING STORY(HBO).

A Landmark Case for Love

By Jean Tait


“Almighty God created the races white, black, yellow, malay and red, and he placed them on separate continents. And but for the interference with His arrangement there would be no cause for such marriages. The fact that he separated the races shows that he did not intend for the races to mix.”
--Caroline County Court (Virginia) Trial Judge Leon M. Bazile

These are the words Judge Bazile used to find Mr. and Mrs. Richard Loving guilty of miscegenation in 1958. Those words make my stomach churn. However, those words made it possible to go forward with the lawsuit that made the law that inspired them unacceptable and obsolete.

How that turning point was taken is lovingly (sorry, couldn’t resist!) explored in the filmmaker Nancy Buirski’s HBO Doc, “The Loving Story,” using rare and previously unseen footage along with some extraordinary photos and recordings.

The Lovings could not have been more appropriately named. As revealed in the footage, you can’t help but root for this simple, warm-hearted family. Not activists in any way, they were firmly rooted in their love for each other and for their families and home. They simply wanted to be together and be able to live in their hometown, near their parents and friends. This basic need was powerful enough to move the Supreme Court of the United States of America.


Of course, they had help in the fresh-out-of-school pair of ACLU lawyers, Bernard S. Cohen and Philip J. Hirschkop, who navigated the treacherous waters of our legal system and won (unanimously!) their Supreme Court case.

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