June marks a special moment in time for many as the season shifts. For the Black community, Juneteenth – now observed as a federal holiday – calls for festivities with family and friends to honor justice and independence. For LGBTQIA+ persons and their allies, PRIDE is a celebration of living as your truest self and being proud to do so. And for cancer survivors and their families, National Cancer Survivor Month calls for moments of reflection and enduring hope in the face of diagnosis and treatment.
This month, reflect on these long sought-for, momentous milestones and more with new and streaming films on WORLD, including a two-part Stories from the Stage special, presented in partnership with Count Me In, featuring eight stories of self-advocacy from cancer survivors. Over the weekend of Juneteenth, Buffalo Soldiers: Fighting on Two Fronts, a Local, USA special, presents the often-contradictory role of Black soldiers throughout American history (join in on the week-long challenge with our Juneteenth Watch Party Kit!); America ReFramed’s The Death of My Two Fathers captures one father’s intimate journey of self-reflection and healing.
“Where are you really from?” Inspired by a young generation’s creative response to this loaded question, follow artists and activists from immigrant families coming of age in an era of rising xenophobia. Set in New York and Berlin, the film shows them create families, fight for citizenship, make art and forge identities, while redefining what it means to belong.
NEW Living with Cancer | Stories from the Stage
June 5 on TV, online & on the PBS app
A cancer diagnosis changes our lives forever, marking the beginning of what can be a long and difficult fight. But with science, fortitude, and the love of others, people can - and do - survive. Despite losing her hair to chemo, Leslie Nguyen-Okwu finds beauty in her Blackness; Daniel G Garza and his partner use humor to cope with the challenges of caregiving; and Mel Mann fights the odds to overcome “terminal” leukemia and become a marathon runner.
NEW Buffalo Soldiers: Fighting on Two Fronts | A Local, USA Special
June 19 on TV, online, on YouTube & on the PBS app With a special PBS presentation on June 12
Established by Congress, the 14th Amendment promised citizenship in exchange for enlistment, prompting many African American men. They were denied due to Jim Crow laws but still served. The film examines the profound and often-contradictory roles played by Buffalo Soldiers in U.S. history, and how they fought on two sets of front lines: military conflicts abroad and civil rights struggles at home.
NEW Beyond Cancer | Stories from the Stage
June 12 on TV, online & on the PBS app
A diagnosis of cancer changes someone’s life in innumerable ways. It can also teach us many things about ourselves that resonate beyond the illness. Erinn Budd applies lessons learned from Grey’s Anatomy to help her get the care she deserves; Megan-Claire Chase becomes an advocate after finding out that breast cancer will alter her dream of motherhood; and Dwayne Brown beats cancer twice and takes what he picked up back to the football field.
NEW & STREAMING PRIDE FILMS
Can You Bring It: Bill T. Jones D-Man in the Waters | AfroPoP: The Ultimate Cultural Exchange
June 2 on TV | Available on YouTube
Filmmakers Rosalynde LeBlanc and Tom Hurwitz trace the history and legacy of choreographer-dancer-director Bill T. Jones’ ballet, “D-Man in the Waters.” Emerging in the age of AIDS, the 1989 ballet gave physical manifestation to the fear, anger, grief, and hope for salvation that Jones and colleagues experienced as AIDS took the life of their beloved co-founder Arnie Zane and other troupe members. Watch an interview with Bill T. Jones and filmmaker Rosalynde LeBlanc.
Little Richard: The King and Queen of Rock and Roll | American Masters
June 3 on TV & on the PBS app
Experience the meteoric rise and enduring legacy of Little Richard. This portrait of the “King and Queen of Rock and Roll” explores his far-reaching influence as well as his advocacy for the rights of Black artists in the music industry.
Imara Jones: Countering the Anti-Trans Hate Machine | The Laura Flanders Show
June 4 on TV | Available on YouTube
549 proposed anti-trans bills banning books, medical treatment and even access to the bathroom have been introduced so far this year. Who and what got us here? TransLash Media's Imara Jones calls it the "Anti-Trans Hate Machine," an exploration of dark money and right-wing figures fueling anti-trans backlash.
Mama Gloria | AfroPoP: The Ultimate Cultural Exchange
June 12 on TV | Available on YouTube & on the PBS app
Gloria Allen, a 75-year-old Black trailblazing transgender activist who started a charm school for homeless trans youth, is now aging with joy and grace. This is the story of a mother’s love – the love that Gloria’s mother had for her and the love that Gloria has for her chosen children. And it is driven by the love that director Luchina Fisher has for her teenage transgender daughter, Gia.
NEW Mama Bears | Independent Lens
June 21 on TV, online & on the PBS app
They call one another “mama bears” because of the ferocity with which they fight for their children’s rights. Although they grew up as fundamentalist, evangelical Christians praying for the souls of LGTBQ people, these mothers are now willing to risk losing friends, family, and faith communities to champion their kids – even if it challenges their belief systems and rips apart their worlds.
PRIDE | Stories from the Stage
June 19 on TV | Available online & on the Facebook, YouTube & PBS apps
There are all sorts of things people can be proud of: their identity, family and heritage, a wise decision, a singular accomplishment, or just standing up and being true to who they are. Palestinian Muslim Eman El-Husseini comes out to her parents and finds in comedy the best tool to defy cultural stereotypes; April Hartford shares the relief and redemption of living an authentic self; and Jay Vilar comes out to his family and receives some surprising reactions. Hosted by Theresa Okokon.
Before You Know It | America ReFramed
June 22 on TV, online & on the PBS app | Available now on PBS Passport
Dennis, Ty and Robert are pioneers in an "out" generation. They are also among the estimated 2.4 million LGBT Americans over the age of 55. The film celebrates the lives of active gay senior citizens who have witnessed unbelievable change in their lifetimes: from the Stonewall Riots to the HIV/AIDS pandemic and gay marriage rights.
A Run for More | Reel South
June 23 on TV | Available online & on the PBS app
Growing up, Frankie Gonzales-Wolfe learned to be a fighter but never imagined having a chance to make history as the first openly elected transgender official in Texas. Unfolding amidst an onslaught of legal attacks against the trans community, follow Frankie’s journey as she finds her voice, questions her relationship with the community and tries to win an election.
A Monk Who Wears Heels
June 25 on TV
An insight into the life of Kodo Nishimura, a Buddhist monk and LGBTQ+ activist, as he builds on his own experience of harnessing Buddhist teachings to overcome adversity, and raising awareness of sexual discrimination.
First Impressions | Stories from the Stage
June 26 on TV | Available online & on YouTube & Facebook
Sometimes our first impressions are dead on. But snap judgments aren't always the best ones. As a teen, Sage Tyrtle stumbles on a boy in a virtual chat room and decides to travel to the other side of the country to meet him; Dallas Ducar, a psychiatric nurse, must face her fear during a life-saving encounter with a neo-Nazi patient; and unlucky in love, Kevin Allison finds love by coincidence and a twist of fate.
Jack & Yaya | America ReFramed
June 29 on TV, online & on the PBS app | Available now on PBS Passport
From a young age, Yaya and Jack saw each other as they truly were, a girl and a boy, even though most of the world didn’t see them that way. As they grew older, they supported each other as they both came out as transgender. The film follows these two friends for a year and explores their unique, thirty-year relationship.
NEW Casa Susanna | American Experience
June 30 on TV & on the PBS app
In the 1950s and ’60s, an underground network of transgender women and cross-dressing men found refuge at a modest house in the Catskills region of New York. Known as Casa Susanna, the house provided a safe place to express their true selves and live for a few days as they had always dreamed—dressed as and living as women without fear of being incarcerated or institutionalized for their self-expression. Told through the memories of those who visited the house, the film provides a moving look back at a secret world where the persecuted and frightened found freedom, acceptance and, often, the courage to live out of the shadows.
MORE TO WATCH
The Hand That Feeds | America ReFramed
June 8 on TV, online & on the PBS app | Available now on PBS Passport
At a popular bakery café in Manhattan, patrons get served with a smile 24 hours a day. Behind the scenes, some of the undocumented immigrant workers earn far below the minimum wage. Filmed at the onset of the service economy wage wars, it’s a story of the power struggle that turned a single city block into a battlefield.
The Death of My Two Fathers | America ReFramed
June 15 on TV, online & on the PBS app | Available now on PBS Passport
After 20 years, Sol Guy finally watches his late father’s tapes and embarks on a personal journey of healing and reconciliation. At once a conversation between past and present and a letter to Sol’s children, the film reveals the complexities of identity, the persistence of racial trauma, the challenges of fatherhood -- and the liberation that exists in facing our own mortality. Watch an interview with filmmaker Sol Guy.
The Big Payback | Independent Lens
June 19 on TV | Available on PBS Passport
A rookie alderwoman from Evanston, Illinois, led the passage of the first tax-funded reparations for Black Americans. While she and her community struggle with the burden to make restitution for its citizens, a national racial crisis engulfs the country. Will the debt ever be addressed, or is it too late for this reparations movement to finally get the big payback?
NEW Fire on the Hill: The Cowboys of South Central L.A.
June 19 on TV | Available on PBS Passport
A western documentary film that follows three Black cowboys from South Central Los Angeles. In the wake of a stable fire that threatens their way of life, they set out to find purpose, hope and freedom through the cowboy lifestyle. Their journey from the streets of LA to the professional rodeo circuit explores both physical and mental aspects of what it means to be a “cowboy” in the modern world.
Fannie Lou Hamer’s America | America ReFramed
Available on PBS Passport, iTunes and Prime Video
Fannie Lou Hamer's America is a portrait of a civil rights activist and the injustices in America that made her work essential. Through public speeches, personal interviews, and powerful songs of the fearless Mississippi sharecropper-turned-human-rights-activist, explore and celebrate the lesser-known life of one of the Civil Rights Movement’s greatest leaders. Meet the Makers of Fannie Lou Hamer’s America.
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