A Time for Burning debuts on DOC, YouTube as part of Black History Month docs

Bill Jersey’s 1966 Oscar-nominated cinema verite documentary A Time for Burning will air on DOC: the Documentary Channel tonight, kicking off the network’s Black History Month documentary programming.

While the network is only available on Dish Network and a couple cable systems, it has put the entire 55-minute documentary on YouTube, along with three other films that the channel will air during February: Have You Seen Drum Recently?, No Short Climb: Race Workers & America’s Defense Technology, and New York Noir: The History of Black New York.

Tonight’s 8 p.m. ET broadcast of A Time for Burning marks “only the second time in more than 40 years the film has been presented to a television audience,” according to the network, which says the film “explores the attempts of the minister of Augustana Lutheran Church in Omaha, Nebraska, to persuade his all-white congregation to reach out to “negro” Lutherans in the city’s north side.” The cinema verite style–no narration, no interviews, no confessionals–makes the material even more raw and engaging, especially because it’s largely just conversations, albeit often intense ones.

On Feb. 11, the Documentary Channel will air No Short Climb: Race Workers & America’s Defense Technology, which explores “the contributions of African-American scientists and technicians who helped shape America’s defense efforts in World War II”; Feb. 18 brings Have You Seen Drum Recently, which “explores the golden era of the South African magazine [Drum] during the 1950s and its contribution to the cultural and political life of the country, before the system of apartheid had been fully implemented”; and Feb. 25’s documentary is New York Noir: The History of Black New York, which the network says “examines the history of New York’s African-Americans … from the early 1600s through to today” and includes “rare historical footage.”