Philadelphia Has a Long History of Fights Over Criminal Justice Reform

By Kristal Sotomayor In order to understand the rich history of criminal reform work, up through the vivid stories of crime and punishment presented in the docuseries Philly D.A., it is important to recognize Philadelphia’s origin story, as it were. This is by no means meant to reflect the entirety of Philadelphia’s complex history around … READ MORE

“Nobody Was Listening”: Finding Light in a Dark Stairwell

Filmmaker Ursula Liang‘s previous documentary 9-Man was about the fascinating titular sport that originated among Chinese immigrant communities in the United States and Canada, and was set in mostly Boston, Washington and Toronto. Her new film Down a Dark Stairwell takes Liang and her crew down a darker storyline, but as the Massachusetts native Liang … READ MORE

The District Attorney’s Office, Explained: From Prosecutors to Deputy D.A.’s, Who Does What

By Márcia Mayer We rooted for Jack McCoy on Law and Order, and loved to hate Peter Florrick on The Good Wife, but unless you actually work with a District Attorney’s office, you will probably find yourself reaching for a guidebook on the structure of that office and how it fits in with the other … READ MORE

“Coded Bias” Explores Blurring of Real and Imagined Artificial Intelligence

Shalini Kantayya has directed visually eye-catching and memorable work for both National Geographic TV with Breakthrough, a series profiling trailblazing scientists transforming the future) and the documentary Catching the Sun, about the race for a clean energy future, a New York Times Critics’ Pick executive produced by Leonardo DiCaprio. For her second feature-length documentary, Coded … READ MORE

Coded Bias” Asks: Are Our Faces Being Used Against Us?

By Christina Sturdivant Sani Coded Bias begins with MIT researcher Joy Boulamwini’s quest to find out why facial recognition technology inaccurately viewed her beautifully-hued brown face. After viewing the documentary with my friend India, a UX designer, and my husband Hamzat, the retail director at a Washington, D.C.-based boutique that centers around Black artisans, we were … READ MORE

Who Was Mr. SOUL?

If you’re of a certain generation and familiar at all with the late ’60s and early ’70s groundbreaking public TV show SOUL!, you may recognize the name Ellis Haizlip, but he’s not exactly a household name. The groundbreaking producer and co-host of the show is also filmmaker Melissa Haizlip’s late uncle. While Ellis Haizlip sadly … READ MORE

Listen Up: How Music Was the Heart of SOUL!

by Nick Dedina Today we take it for granted that Black culture is mainstream American culture. But, before the age of hip-hop, cable TV, the internet, streaming, and mobile phones, African Americans basically had to crowdsource their own entertainment guide.  Forget about Black stories being told—so few Black artists were even accepted on TV that … READ MORE

How SOUL! Helped Pave the Way for Black Cultural Programming

By Ade D. Adeniji Mr. SOUL! explores America’s first Black variety television show SOUL!, which ran from 1968 to 1973, and was steered by pioneering Black producer and host Ellis Haizlip. Many have likely seen the pristine sets of SOUL! and not even know it. The series featured legendary black musicians, artists, athlete-activists, and thinkers … READ MORE

Telling the Story of Gender, Politics, and Violence in America Through the Eyes of Women Police Officers

In addition to her documentaries Still Doing It: The Intimate Lives of Women Over 65, and Suicide On Campus, a web documentary produced in conjunction with The New York Times Magazine, Deirdre Fishel‘s previous film CARE peeled back the curtain of a topic Americans often avert their eyes away from, the largely hidden world of … READ MORE

Enter to Win “A Day in the Life of America” T-Shirt

Join us for a good old-fashioned giveaway. Enter by February 9 at 8:59pm PT for a chance to win a limited edition A Day in the Life of America T-shirt! Watch Jared Leto’s A Day in the Life of America on the free PBS Video app.

Working Women’s Wardrobe: How the 1970s Opened Feminist Fashion

By Marlen Komar In the early 1970s, a group of Boston secretaries came together to improve the working conditions in their offices. Tired of low pay, lack of advancement opportunities, and constant sexual harassment, they created the group 9to5, which would eventually grow into a nationwide revolution that would change the American workplace for women. … READ MORE