WDCW-TV, the Tribune Media-owned CW affiliate in Washington, DC is once again proud to be the market leader in commemorating Black History month this February, 2017. The station’s award-winning coverage will include: original locally-produced programming; re-broadcasts of past half-hour Washington, DC-based documentaries;   community outreach and informational access on the station’s digital platforms; custom public service announcements; syndicated specials, and more.   This year, DCW50 will specifically chronicle the Underground Railroad, the first integrated civil rights movement of our country.

WDCW-TV’s “Living Black History” is sponsored by:

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Sunday, February 12, 3:00 PM

“THE TRUMPET AWARDS SHOW,” acknowledges the accomplishments of individuals who have significantly enhanced the lives of others by partnering with the cause of equality.  The mission of the Trumpet Awards Foundation is to inspire, educate and enlighten our generation to the reality that achievement and success are void of color and gender. Grammy Award winning artists come together with their unique musical talents to deliver an uplifting night of inspiration and fun.  The show will be hosted by Deon Cole (Black-ish, and The Tonight Show with Conan O’Brien, Writer) and Nicole Ari Parker (Almost Christmas, Rosewood, Remember the Titans and Soul Food the series).  Presenters and Performers include: Wendy Williams, New Edition, David & Tamela Mann, Erica Campbell, BJ the Chicago Kid, Vanessa Bell Calloway, Kenny Lattimore, Ed Gordon, Keke Wyatt, and Louis Gossett Jr. and more!

Past Presenters/Performers/Honorees included: Jamie Foxx, Janelle Monáe, Tommy Hilfiger, Steve Harvey, Halle Berry, Clint Eastwood, Magic Johnson, Isley Brothers, Shirley Caesar, Yolanda Adams, Lou Brock, Guy Vickers, Arnold W. Donald, Franklyn R. Wilson CMG, Dr. Valerie Montgomery Rice, Toni Braxton, Raven Symoné, Chris Tucker, Samuel Jackson, Tyler Perry, Ted Turner and Beyoncé Knowles among others.



Sunday February 12, 5:00 PM

Howard Theatre: A Century in Song is a locally produced special chronicling the rich history of Washington, DC’s famed Howard Theatre. It launched the careers of legendary musical artists, Duke Ellington, BB King, Ella Fitzgerald, Marvin Gaye, Roberta Flack and many others. Featured are local historians, entertainers and vintage footage and photographs of the historic landmark. The theatre, closed for nearly 35 years and in a state of decline, was in the midst a major renovation when this special was originally broadcast five years ago. Howard Theatre: A Century in Song looked ahead as the theatre underwent restoration.  Hosted by DCW50’s Robin Hamilton, Howard Theatre:  A Century in Song was awarded the prestigious “Salute to Excellence Award” by the National Association of Black Journalists in 2011, and was a featured presentation at the Congressional Black Caucus meetings.  This program was also nominated for a regional Emmy Award for Outstanding Historical Documentary.

Visit the Howard Theatre's website. CLICK HERE



Sunday, February 12, 5:30 PM

We live in the midst of history every day, but ROADS TO FREEDOM revealed some historic sites in our area that you may never have heard of, let alone visited. ROADS TO FREEDOM took us down the local highways and byways that forever changed the history of all Americans.  From Harpers Ferry where John Brown stuck a dagger in the heart of slavery with his failed revolution to the battlefields of Petersburg, Virginia where the U.S. Colored Troops endured a nine month siege that secured the Union Victory, ROADS TO FREEDOM examines the rich history of our local communities.  Along the way, ROADS TO FREEDOM profiles several local former plantations, one in Bethesda (right off Old Georgetown Road) where the original Uncle Tom’s Cabin once stood.  The other plantation, in Fairfax, features tales of courage and examples of the endurance of the slaves who kept the plantation running. This program also examines the chaotic life in Washington during the Civil War and key events that could have changed the outcome and American history forever. We visited one of the 68 forts that once formed a protective ring around our capital city and saw the spot where President Lincoln was nearly shot and killed by a Confederate sniper.



Sunday, February 12, 6:00 PM

2013 Regional Emmy Winner!  From the first African Americans to pioneer the Civil Rights Movement, to our first African American President, The Dream Began Here explores the evolving roles African Americans had within the White House, the city of Washington, D.C., and our surrounding areas. The Dream Began Here highlights the major contributions of African Americans in the early days of building our nation’s capital.



Saturday, February 18, 8:00PM

The 48th NAACP Image Awards is a LIVE star-studded salute to outstanding achievements of people of color in television, film and movies as well as those who promote social justice through creative endeavors. Join the NAACP and 3,000 guests inclusive of A-list celebrities, cultural influencers and notable dignitaries as they celebrate the brightest and best in the African-American community. Hosted by Anthony Anderson (Black-ish).


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Sunday, February 19, 4:00 PM 

Despite the Civil War victory that granted slaves their freedom, Jim Crow laws helped maintain a segregated society and severely limited opportunities for Blacks. Some might be surprised that Jim Crow rulings impacted our contemporary times in many ways. "Freedom Deferred" chronicles the evolution of Jim Crow laws and profiles some people who were impacted by these rulings.


Sunday, February 19, 4:30 PM

For nearly 250 years, US History has provided us with countless stories of great achievements  involving courage, strength and leadership. Yet sometimes we forget just how extensive and diverse these stories can be. WDCW-TV's 2015 "Living Black History" special, Founding Mothers,   will profile several African American women from the Washington, DC area, who over the last two centuries, have forged new rights and freedoms for their children, grandchildren, and generations beyond their respective lifetimes.  Most may not be household names, but they surely made a difference in the lives of all Americans. These women include:  Mary Church Terrell, Elizabeth Proctor Thomas, Hattie Sewell, Harriet Tubman, and Mary McLeod Bethune.   Tubman, born in Dorchester County, Maryland was an abolitionist, humanitarian, and Union spy during the Civil War.  Born into slavery in 1822, Tubman escaped and subsequently made about thirteen missions to rescue approximately seventy enslaved families and friends using the network of antislavery activists and safe houses known as the Underground Railroad.  Terrell was one of the first African American women to earn a college degree,  She helped found the National Association of Colored Women at the beginning of the 20th century and served as its first president.  In 1950, the age of 87, Terrell organized protests to end segregation at Washington, DC lunch counters.  Today her historic home lies in disrepair in DC's LeDroit Park.  Thomas, a free black woman, owned a farm outside the capital.  But in 1861, when the Union needed to expand Fort Stevens to defend the city, the Army took over her land.  According to legend, she was personally asked to sacrifice her farm by Abraham Lincoln himself.   In the 1920's, Sewell obtained a licence to run the Pierce Mill Tea-house in Rock Creek Park, which eventually was operated with great success.  A nearby neighbor, however, protested to park management, fearing the restaurant would become a "rendezvous for colored people."  Founding Mothers traces the story of what became of the tea-house.  Finally, Mary Bethune, was a pioneer for in education for black children.  She served in President Franklin Roosevelt's unofficial Black Cabinet.  She advised Roosevelt on issues of importance to blacks and helped him reach out to a community that had historically been Republican.  Her home in DC is a National Historic site operated by the US Park Service.



Saturday, February 25, 2:30PM

DCW50 'News at 10' anchor, Candace Burns, hosts this Living Black History 1967 special movie presentation starring Sidney Poitier.

USA TODAY also curated a well-rounded list of Top 10 movies that capture African American History. Click here for a list of other great movies to watch in honor of Black History Month.



Sunday, February 26, 3:00PM - NEW!

The stories of the Underground Railroad are among the most moving in American history and they personify the spirit of a country founded on rebellion yet born of oppression. Still for nearly a century we didn't learn much about the Underground Railroad. Now, thanks to new research and growing interest by the public, the railroad is quickly becoming a source of inspiration to generations of Americans. NORTH STAR TO FREEDOM will profile the realities of life on the Underground Railroad and will dispel some of the myths that surround this loosely organized path to freedom.

We spoke with some of the stars and producers of WGN America's acclaimed television series UNDERGROUND about their portrayal of the harrowing routes to escape through unfriendly landscapes. We visited some of those Underground Railroad trails and the private homes that housed fugitive slaves on their way to freedom.



Sunday, February 26, 3:30PM

Hattie’s Lost Legacy traced the career of the first African American Oscar-winner Hattie McDaniel (best supporting actress, 1939, “Gone with the Wind”) and the many challenges she encountered along the way. Upon her death in 1952, she left her historic Oscar to Howard University as a “beacon of hope and inspiration” to Howard University in Washington, DC.  In the late 1960’s, amongst political upheaval in the nation’s capital, the Oscar was lost, misplaced, stolen or possibly thrown in the Potomac River.  Hattie’s Lost Legacy traced McDaniel’s storied career, her Oscar win, and the eventual disappearance of her Academy Award. Guests included 2010 Oscar winner Mo’Nique and Los Angeles Times film historian and critic Tom O’Neil.  This program was nominated for a regional Emmy Award and won the national Alliance for Women in Media Award (Gracie Award) for Outstanding Public Affairs special.

Hosting WDCW-TV’s “Living Black History”


Robin Hamilton is an Emmy-award winning journalist, television host, moderator and writer who has worked for network affiliates around the country, including Florida, New York, and Massachusetts. She has also served as a Public Media Fellow, a program under the National Black Programming Consortium, which helps undeserved communities adopt social media tools. She received two Master’s degrees, one from New York University, with a concentration in broadcast journalism, and a second in public administration from Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government, with a focus on policy and media. Robin often serves as a moderator for town hall style meetings, forums and events.

She is owner of the Around Robin Production Company, producing videos for both the public and private sector.
Currently based in Washington, DC, Robin is a correspondent for DCW50 's local news program NewsPlus, and has hosted their award-winning Black History month series for the past couple of years.


Living Black History News


Dr. Bernice A. King relieved her brothers' plan to sell her father's Nobel Peace Prize Medal and his Bible. Click here for her perspective and feelings on selling her father's beloved items.

The newly renovated YMCA Anthony Bowen was the first YMCA to serve Africa Americans. Direct Access host Rodney Rikai spoke with YMCA president & CEO Angie Resse-Hawkins about Anthony Bowen, YMCA history and the renovation.