FSN is celebrating Black History Month with a series of vignettes under the heading of its "Americans in Focus" diversity initiative.
The sports programmer is airing a dozen new segments, to go along with six encores from its 2008 efforts, throughout locally produced programming, including NBA and NHL telecasts, as well as national fare.
Sponsored by Farmers Insurance Group, the vignettes are the result of a partnership comprising FSN Productions; Beezley Films, Inc., an African-American-owned multimedia production company in Los Angeles; and Loy Plus 4 Productions, an independent sports production group owned by Loy Maxon.
Americans in Focus puts the cameras on those who have excelled in professions that initially were considered outside the realm of possibility for a person of color. Among this year's subjects: Oscar Micheaux, the first African-American to write, produce, and direct a full-length feature film; Robert Smalls, a former slave who became a five-time U.S. Congressman; Melvin B. Tolson, an internationally acclaimed poet who led a group of first-time debaters from Wiley College to a national championship (portrayed by Denzel Washington in the feature, The Great Debaters); and Mary Ann Shadd Cary, the nation's first African-American female attorney.
On a long-form basis, FSN regionals are running Hyde Rugby: A New World, a half-hour show narrated by Terrence Howard that chronicles the extraordinary efforts and determination of students at a Washington D.C. charter school to become the nation's first all-African-American high school rugby team.
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