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Thinking Inside the Box | Column | Gun Violence, Black History, and Women "Makers" the Focus on MPTV

February 6, 2013

Hi, Ellis Bromberg with more "Thinking Inside the Box" on We have several significant programming themes in our February schedules on Channels 10&36 that I'd like you to know about. First, in response to the tragic shootings in recent months, we will broadcast a series of special programs, thoughtful and thought-provoking documentaries, magazine and news pieces meant to add context to the national conversation about gun violence in America. MPTV's 4th STREET FORUM will kick it off on February 8th with A CONVERSATION: VIOLENCE, GUNS AND OUR CULTURE. Later in the month, FRONTLINE reports on the battle over gun control as well as a psychological profile of Newtown shooter Adam Lanza; and NOVA will offer a program on violence and the brain. There will be several special primetime documentaries, along with reports on THE PBS NEWSHOUR, NEED TO KNOW, and a WASHINGTON WEEK discussion on pending legislation dealing with access to guns. I hope you'll be able to join us for this important and timely coverage throughout the month. February is Black History Month, and we've got a number of programs that celebrate important events in African American history, and profile some of America's well-known and some less well-known individuals. Look through the stations' schedules to see programs about dancer Josephine Baker; "Roots," the groundbreaking TV mini-series about slavery; the Abolitionist movement; William Still and the Underground Railroad; Civil Rights leader Whitney Young; the woman known as "the Godmother of Rock & Roll," Sister Rosetta Tharpe; renowned harpist Ann Hobson Pilot; and a wonderful documentary JAZZ ICONS about Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, Ella Fitzgerald, and much more. Finally, the MPTV special FREEDOM WALKERS FOR MILWAUKEE, about the significant Civil Rights activities in our area in the 1960s, will be aired on February 27th. The day before, February 26th, is the premiere date for an important new documentary on women leaders called MAKERS: WOMEN WHO MAKE AMERICA. It's the first film to tell the comprehensive story of how women have transformed America over the last half century. Meryl Streep narrates, and the program boasts an impressive list of impressive interviewees including Hillary Clinton, Gloria Steinem, Ellen DeGeneres, Oprah Winfrey, and others. The previous Friday, February 21st, MPTV's 4TH STREET FORUM looks at Wisconsin's women leaders. Two other notes: our next MPTV NEXT AVENUE Community Conversation, on Work and Purpose, will be held Monday afternoon, February 25th at 5 o'clock, at Waukesha County Technical College in Pewaukee. Please join us there, or watch the event streamed live, and then archived, here on And, yes, Season 3 of DOWNTON ABBEY wraps up -- parts 6 and 7 -- on February 24th. So we've got a lot of "must see" TV in February, and I hope you'll join us for as much of it as you can. And if you miss the initial broadcast, most programs are repeated some time during the month on Channels 10&36 or available for later viewing on Enjoy the fine programming, and I'll be back again soon with more "Thinking Inside the Box."

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