Smithsonian Channel Documentary Series at the Museum Starting Jan. 17 - The Birthplace of Country Music
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Smithsonian Channel Documentary Series at the Museum Starting Jan. 17

Bristol, Va.-Tenn. (Jan. 13, 2023) – As part of Bristol’s city-wide celebration of the legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr., the public is invited to attend free screenings of four Smithsonian Channel documentary films that focus on important – and often lesser-known – moments in Black American history. The screenings will be held in the performance theater at the Birthplace of Country Music Museum Jan. 17-19 and Jan. 21.

“We are proud to be part of Bristol’s celebration honoring Martin Luther King, Jr. and to share this insightful programming with the community,” said museum Head Curator Dr. Rene Rodgers. “As an affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution, we have the unique opportunity to partner with them to screen these documentaries at no cost to the public.”

A graphic with scenes from each of the films in the series plus show dates.

Jan. 17
11 a.m. & 3 p.m. EST
Seizing Justice: The Greensboro 4
(47 minutes)
The story of four African American college students who began a series of non-violent sit-ins at a Woolworth’s lunch counter in Greensboro, North Carolina, and started a revolution.

Jan. 18
11 a.m. & 3 p.m. EST
Black Wings
(51 minutes)
Meet the men and women who took to the skies throughout the 20th century, proving to a segregated nation that skin color doesn’t determine skill level.

Jan. 19
6:30 p.m. EST
Screening & Discussion – Please RSVP
The Green Book Guide to Freedom
(51 minutes)
An exploration of Victor Hugo Green’s travel guide, published from 1936 to 1966, that helped people of color navigate the sometimes treacherous highways of a segregated nation.

Jan. 21
11 a.m. & 3 p.m. EST
Black in Space: Breaking the Color Barrier
(51 minutes)
Explores the untold story of the decades-long battle between the U.S. and the Soviet Union to be the first superpower to bring diversity to the skies, told by the Black astronauts and their families who were part of this little known chapter in the Cold War.

Click here for a complete schedule of events.

The Jan. 19 screening of The Green Book Guide to Freedom is the only film in the series that will offer an accompanying discussion following the feature. The discussion will focus on sites in our region that were featured in “The Negro Motorist Green Book.” For this screening only, the public is asked to RSVP to attend through the link provided on the Events page on BCM’s website.

There is only one screening time for The Green Book Guide to Freedom, however, two screening times are offered for the other films in the series.

For more information about these and other BCM events, visit the Events page at For more information on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Celebration activities in Bristol and the Tri-Cities, visit the YWCA of Northeast Tennessee and Southwest Virginia’s website at