The film, titled "Slavery by Another Name," is based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning book by Douglas A. Blackmon.
PBS on Thursday announced Fishburne's role as narrator of the documentary that will debut Feb. 13, 2012, on public TV stations nationwide.
"Slavery by Another Name" examines the labor practices and laws "that effectively created new forms of slavery" after emancipation, subjecting blacks to brutal forced work, according to the filmmakers.
The 90-minute film, produced by a division of the PBS affiliate for Minneapolis-St. Paul, will air as part of PBS' Black History Month programming.
Fishburne's other TV work has included "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation," which he left last season, and the movie "Thurgood."