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Lifetime celebrates Black History Month

Gail Choice | 1/30/2013, 5 p.m.

It's that time of the year again when African American heritage is front and center.

Black History Month is my favorite time of the year. And now Lifetime is apparently making it one of their favorite times of the year, too. Lifetime Network will be presenting three world premiere movies featuring some of Hollywood's top performers. You're guaranteed to be entertained, and enlightened.

Kicking it off Saturday, Feb. 2, Angela Bassett and Mary J. Blige star in "Betty & Coretta," the true life story of two women who forged a life-long friendship following the tragic deaths of their husbands in the battle for civil rights. Bassett stars as Coretta Scott King, wife of Dr. Martin Luther King, played by Malik Yoba and Blige as Dr. Betty Shabazz, wife of Malcolm X, played by Lindsay Owen Pierre.

With both of their husbands assassinated, their deaths led to more questions than answers.

Faced with a broken and angry America, the two held each other up. Raising children on their own, the two fought to keep the honor and the legacy of their husbands alive.

Don't miss this powerful story of two of America's most outstanding women, in "Betty & Coretta" Saturday, Feb. 2, at 8 p.m. on Lifetime.

Saturday, Feb. 9, Toni Braxton stars in "Twist of Faith," an interfaith love story about a single Christian mother (Braxton) and an Orthodox Jewish widower (David Julian Hirsh), whose mutual passion for music and singing draws them together.

Jacob Fisher (Hirsh), a cantor and amateur songwriter living in Brooklyn, N.Y., witnesses the senseless murder of his wife and three children. In a state of shock, he walks out on his life. After wandering aimlessly, he finds himself in smalltown USA, namely Brent, Ala., where he is embraced by Nina (Braxton), a single mother who happens to be a Gospel singer.

Gospel music, and Nina's special attention to the brokenness of Fisher's challenges are the keys to reviving his spirit while at the same time making a difference in her life.

Be prepared to sing praises to "Twist of Faith" Saturday, Feb. 9, at 8 p.m.

Rounding out Lifetime's world premiere movie lineup for Black History Month is "Pastor Brown" Feb. 16, at 8 p.m. Salli Richardson-Whitfield stars as a young woman with a past who returns home to take over as pastor of the family church after her father's (Keith David) death. She is forced to face her sordid past and mend fences with her son (Michael B. Jordan) and sister (Nicole Ari Parker).

Just one look at this cast of characters and you instantly know she's in big trouble, and she's got to convince a lot of folks that she is the one to lead the congregation.

It's a host of saints and sinners when "Pastor Brown" comes to town on Saturday, Feb. 16, at 8 p.m.
"Pastor Brown," "Twist of Faith" and "Betty and Coretta" boasts outstanding casts and deliver riveting performances. What an excellent way to celebrate Black History Month!

Lifetime received 10 NAACP Image Award nominations, more than any other basic cable network, for "Steel Magnolias," 2012's No. 1 cable movie telecast among key demographics (excluding miniseries), and "Abducted: The Carlina White Story," which averaged more than 4 million total viewers.

The network's nominees include "Steel Magnolias" and "Abducted: The Carlina White Story" for Television Movie, Mini-Series or Dramatic Special; "Steel Magnolias' Alfre Woodard, Jill Scott, Phylicia Rashad and Queen Latifah, as well as Keke Palmer of "Abducted: The Carlina White Story," for Actress in a Television Movie, Mini-Series or Dramatic Special; Tory Kittles and Afemo Omilami of "Steel Magnolias" for Actor in a Television Movie, Mini-Series or Dramatic Special; and Elizabeth Hunter ("Abducted: The Carlina White Story") for Writing in a Motion Picture--(Theatrical or Television).

Contact Gail Choice at gail@hollywoodbychoice.com