Panhandle PBS aims to create equality with new ‘Living While Black’ series

“If we don’t get this thing right, America is not going to be the same”

Panhandle PBS aims to create equality with new ‘Living While Black’ series
Panhandle PBS talks with people in the Amarillo community about the different realities of 'living while black' (Source: KFDA)

AMARILLO, Texas (KFDA) - Starting this week, Panhandle PBS will be launching the first episode in it’s local news magazine series “The Handle: Living While Black”.

The six episode series will bring to light the discussion of racism in our community. A topic that some say needs to be addressed head on.

“It’s not a shock to me to walk beside a car, you know just entering a grocery store or a retail store, and have someone immediately you know, you hear the click of the lock, or the window roll up as if I’m going to try and reach in or grab the door handle,” said Patrick Miller, an interviewee.

Issues like this and more are what Panhandle PBS addresses in its new series “Living While Black”.

“It’s about how many situations there are in which things are different and people respond to them differently than they would a white person,” said Karen Welch, senior content producer, Panhandle PBS.

Welch says after the murder of George Floyd , Panhandle PBS brainstormed what they could do to help.

They quickly realized the main thing was to listen.

“We found more than 20 people that were willing to be raw and emotional and vulnerable with us in interviews,” said Welch.

The interviews consist of Amarillo neighbors, family and friends who are living with a different reality because of their skin color.

“We need to have this conversation. We’ve danced around this conversation. We’ve started this conversation many times but we have not done the listening and the deep in depth discussion that we need to,” said Welch.

The ‘Living While Black’ series is expected to do more than just air on Panhandle PBS.

“A team of educators will be using ‘Living While Black’ clips as source content for writing curriculum that will meet state standards,” said Welch.

Welch and her team want this series to be a starting point for businesses, schools and anyone around the country.

Welch says whether we realize it or not, racism exists, even here in the panhandle.

“We all learn and grow up with some internal biases. We’ve internalized those and they’re often unconscious,” said Welch.

“If we don’t get this thing right, America is not going to be the same,” said one of the interviewees.

The first episode will air Thursday, March 11 at 7 p.m. on Panhandle PBS.

The following episodes will air every Thursday night from March 11th to April 15th at 7 p.m. on Panhandle PBS.

These episodes will also be available to stream anytime through the Panhandle PBS website, their social media or you tube channel.

Panhandle PBS will make everything able to be downloaded as well.

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