Black History Month is upon us and television, as usual, is planning to honor the occasion with programming that highlights the vast contributions made to society and culture by African Americans.
Here are some highlights:
"Way Black When Primetime" - An hourlong talk/variety program showcasing black pop culture icons from the 1970s through the '90s. Hosted by Sinbad, Niecy Nash and Christopher "Kid" Reid. It premiered Jan. 31 and airs 10 p.m. weeknights throughout February, TV One.
"Independent Lens: When I Rise" - A profile of Barbara Smith Conrad, a gifted music student who found herself at the epicenter of racial controversy but struggled against the odds to reach the heights of international opera. 10 p.m. Tuesday, PBS.
"Modern Black History Heroes" - A series of "106 & Park" specials devoted to contemporary "unsung heroes." Those profiled include Kevin Liles, an author, philanthropist and former president of Def Jam Music Group; Marvelyn Brown, an author and HIV/AIDS activist; Kenyon Farrow, a writer and community organizer; and Beverly Bond, founder of Black Girls Rock! Inc. 6 p.m. Fridays beginning Feb. 11 and airing through the month, BET.
"Nick News with Linda Ellerbee: Beyond I Have a Dream" - Martin Luther King's most famous speech focuses on his dream of racial equality. But King had other dreams as well. This special examines how some of his other words are still affecting kids today. 9 p.m. Feb. 13, Nickelodeon.
"Oprah Presents Master Class with Condoleezza Rice" - The intimate biography series focuses on the life lessons of the Stanford professor and former secretary of state. 10 p.m. Feb. 13, OWN.
"Independent Lens: Adjust Your Color: The Truth of Petey Greene" - The story of America's first shock-jock, a black man in a white man's profession who became a leading activist on his uncensored radio and TV shows during the 1960s and '70s. 10 p.m. Feb. 15, PBS.
"Pictures Don't Lie: A Black in America Special" - A look at photographer Ernest Withers, a man remembered as a hero who helped advance the civil rights movement with his stunningly intimate images. Now, his legacy is in question because of accusations Withers may have led a double life as a paid FBI "racial informant." His children dispute the charges and are speaking out for the first time. 8 p.m. Feb. 20, CNN.
"Oprah Presents Master Class with Sidney Poitier" - The trailblazing actor, film director, author and diplomat is profiled in a special two-hour installment of the biography series. 9 p.m. Feb. 20, OWN.
"BET Honors 2011" - Gabrielle Union hosts the fourth annual celebration of black achievement. Those being honored include entertainers Cicely Tyson, Jamie Foxx and Herbie Hancock, as well as supermodel-entrepreneur Iman, publishing mogul Linda Johnson Rice and historian-educator Lonnie G. Bunch. Also scheduled to appear are, among others, Ne-Yo, Keyshia Cole, Tyler Perry, Cedric the Entertainer and Anika Noni Rose. 9 p.m. Feb. 21, BET.
"The Cosby Show: A Look-Back Special" - One of television's most popular sitcoms is honored in this 2002 retrospective, which underscores the significance of the series to blacks and America at large. Featured: Memorable clips, bloopers and comments from series producers and stars, including Cosby. 8 p.m. Feb. 26, BET.