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PBS honors Asian American and Pacific Islander communities through ongoing educational programming
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An image from ASIAN AMERICANS - A protest with San Francisco State University in 1968.
Courtesy of PBS

Films include the five-part ASIAN AMERICANS, AMERICAN EXPERIENCE “The Chinese Exclusion Act” and AMERICAN MASTERS “Amy Tan: Unintended Memoir"

Arlington, VA; March 24, 2021— At a time of ongoing violence and hateful rhetoric against Asian Americans, PBS stands with the Asian American community. PBS has a longstanding commitment to programs that deepen awareness, foster dialogue and illuminate the many ways in which diversity makes our country stronger. In addition to airing programs from our archives, we will continue to share stories that bring new light to the Asian American experience. 

“PBS stands in solidarity with the Asian American community, including our colleagues across the public television system who are hurting,” said Paula Kerger, President and CEO of PBS. “Over the coming weeks, we will present programs that honor the extraordinary contributions of Asian Americans, and we will continue to use our national platform and community presence to help create a future that is free of intolerance, racism and hate.”

On Saturday, March 27, from 7:00–9:00 p.m. ET, PBS will rebroadcast AMERICAN EXPERIENCE “The Chinese Exclusion Act,” which examines the origin, history and impact of the law that made it illegal for Chinese workers to come to America and for Chinese nationals already here to ever become U.S. citizens.

On Monday, April 12, 10:00-11:30 p.m. ET, PBS will premiere INDEPENDENT LENS "Down a Dark Stairwell," a film that examines the experiences of two marginalized communities thrust into an uneven criminal justice system together.

To support parents and educators, PBS LearningMedia offers more than 30 lesson plans based on the ASIAN AMERICANSseries. Teachers may utilize these free lesson plans to explore the ways that Asian Americans have shaped our nation's history.

PBS has also curated a collection on, with titles provided in association with the Center for Asian American Media (CAAM). In addition, PBS has made several Asian American and Pacific Islander-focused programs available for local broadcast and streaming on the PBS Video app, such as:

In honor of Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, PBS will also encore documentaries and premiere new films that share the rich history and modern-day experience of Asian Americans in the U.S. (Please check local listings.)

On Saturdays, May 1-29, 10:00–11:00 p.m. ET, PBS will rebroadcast the five-part ASIAN AMERICANS. The sweeping series explores the impact of Asian Americans on the country’s past, present and future, told through individual lives and personal histories.

On Monday, May 3, 9:00-11:00 p.m. ET, AMERICAN MASTERS “Amy Tan: Unintended Memoir” will provide an intimate portrait of the groundbreaking author that interweaves archival imagery, including home movies and personal photographs, animation and original interviews to tell the inspiring story of Tan’s life and career.

On Monday, May 24, 10:00-11:30 p.m. ET, INDEPENDENT LENS “The Donut King" tells the story of Ted Ngoy, who fled Cambodia for the United States and launched a multimillion-dollar fried pastry empire.

Additionally, PBS news and public affairs series PBS NEWSHOURWASHINGTON WEEK and FRONTLINE will continue to devote significant coverage to deepening understanding around hate and racism in America. Educator tools are also available from PBS NEWSHOUR on PBS LearningMedia.




About PBS
PBS, with more than 330 member stations, offers all Americans the opportunity to explore new ideas and new worlds through television and digital content. Each month, PBS reaches over 120 million people through television and 26 million people online, inviting them to experience the worlds of science, history, nature and public affairs; to hear diverse viewpoints; and to take front row seats to world-class drama and performances. PBS’ broad array of programs has been consistently honored by the industry’s most coveted award competitions. Teachers of children from pre-K through 12th grade turn to PBS for digital content and services that help bring classroom lessons to life. Decades of research confirms that PBS’ premier children’s media service, PBS KIDS, helps children build critical literacy, math and social-emotional skills, enabling them to find success in school and life. Delivered through member stations, PBS KIDS offers high-quality educational content on TV – including a 24/7 channel, online at, via an array of mobile apps and in communities across America. More information about PBS is available at, one of the leading dot-org websites on the internet, or by following PBS on Twitter, Facebook or through our apps for mobile and connected devices. Specific program information and updates for press are available at or by following PBS Pressroom on Twitter.



Michaé Godwin,

Eleanor Hawkins,