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PBS Studios releases new LPB collaboration to nationwide audiences

In a collaboration with PBS Digital Studios and Houston Public Media, the Louisiana Public Broadcasting (LPB) produced series Ritual is now streaming on PBS Voices, a documentary-focused YouTube channel.

Ritual explores the depths and varieties of rituals across the American South alongside the series’ host, musician, poet, and New Orleans culture bearer, Tarriona “Tank” Ball. Throughout the series, Tank examines the various layers of meaning contained in various Southern rituals. Each episode focuses on a different ritual that contributes to a larger conversation around a community's relationship between the past and present, and how perpetuating a ritual resonates in the collective regional consciousness.

In the premiere episode, Tank explores the hidden history of Black burial in Louisiana. From a man caretaking for an ancestral cemetery to a woman fighting to protect the sacred burial sites of her enslaved ancestors from exploitative industries, we learn how one of the oldest rituals in history -- taking care of the dead -- is an ongoing thread of resistance in the American South.

LPB Digital Media Director Donald Washington heads the project for LPB. “Working with PBS Digital Studios and Houston Public Media has been a great experience. They’ve been very enthusiastic about the project. This collaboration provides LPB with another avenue to put Louisiana in the national spotlight.” RITUAL is also available on and the PBS app, and will be included in The Block Party, a streaming collection and social campaign presented by PBS’s Black Culture Connection aimed at amplifying Black stories and content across platforms.

The series was funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. More information is available by contacting Colleen Spillane, public information officer at Louisiana Public Broadcasting at (225)-767-4453 or 1-800-272-8161 ext. 4453 or by email at

Fredrick Louis is a native of Monroe, Louisiana and has worked in and around Northeast Louisiana for more than 40 years. He graduated from Wossman High School and then went on to the University of Louisiana at Monroe to graduate with a B.S. in Mathematics. Following that, he attended Grambling State University where he received his M.A.T. He loves the city of Monroe and is always looking for a way to serve in the community. That love for community has led him to a 10-year career in teaching. He has worked in both the Monroe City and Ouachita Parish school systems. He was also a candidate for mayor in 2020 and has used that experience to show his students that you can do anything you want and that the only failure is not trying.