CBC offers special programming in honour of Emancipation Day

CBC will offer special programming this summer in recognition of Emancipation Day, which commemorates the abolition of slavery across the British Empire on August 1.

Watch a series of specials this summer on CBC TV and CBC Gem

In recognition of Emancipation Day, CBC is airing special programming this week, which began Sunday (July 26) with the hour-long special Being Black in Canada  and an encore broadcast of the acclaimed CBC original miniseries The Book of Negroes.

Emancipation Day commemorates the abolition of slavery across the British Empire on Aug. 1.

On Saturday, Aug. 1, watch Free Up! on CBC Gem and on Sunday, Aug. 2 and Monday, Aug. 3, watch Ken Burns' award-winning documentary about famed Black baseball player Jackie Robinson.

The special programming comes along with the launch this week of CBC's expanded Being Black in Canada website.

Being Black in Canada is a CBC-wide project highlighting the stories and experiences of Black Canadians from across the country in one digital space.

Unlike any other mainstream major media space, the website offers a window into the struggles and celebrations of marginalized Black communities.

In addition, a Black Stories Collection is now available on the free CBC Gem streaming service, showcasing Black creators and stories from Canada and around the world.


On Saturday, Aug. 1:


  • CBC Arts will partner with Ngozi Paul and Emancipation Arts to present FREE UP!, the annual youth-led celebration of Emancipation Day featuring music, theatre, spoken word, dance and more.
    Available to watch on CBC Gem.

On Sunday, Aug. 2 and Monday, Aug. 3 at 8 p.m. (8:30 NT) :


The Ken Burns-directed documentary series Jackie Robinson, airing over two nights starting Aug. 2 at 8 p.m. (8:30 NT), tells the story of the famed Black baseball player. (John J. Lent/The Associated Press)
  • Ken Burns' Emmy-Award-winning documentary series JACKIE ROBINSON tells the story of Jack Roosevelt Robinson, who rose from humble origins to break baseball's colour barrier and become a tireless advocate for civil rights.
    Available on CBC TV and CBC Gem.


Watch the special programming live on CBC Television or stream it live on CBC Gem. Download the CBC Gem app from iTunes or Google Play, or watch it in your web browser.  
Sign up for a free membership on CBC Gem to watch the stream live in your region.