Feb 3 at 6pm
Maya Angelou's Black History Month Special
Host Maya Angelou poetically and historically covers milestones by African Americans in Nobel Peace Prize, Grammy, Academy Awards, and cultural awards. As African Americans continue to be acknowledged by their communities, our country and internationally, this hour-long Black History Month radio program features milestone conversations with Maya Angelou and lauded African Americans from the Grammy's to the Emmy's, Academy Awards, and Nobel Prize categories. Host Maya Angelou, Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient, Tony and Grammy award winner and Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award nominee, offers a unique, poetic and historical context of African Americans telling their own stories of success, community and ascent into the larger world society.
Feb 10 at 6pm
An Imperfect Revolution: Voices from the Desegregation Era
Nearly everyone who experienced school desegregation has a story to tell about crossing racial lines. Together they reflect an era marked by struggle and hope, anger and idealism. The 1970s saw a tidal change in American race relations: for the first time, large numbers of white, black and other children of color began attending school together. American RadioWorks travels to Charlotte, NC to talk with people about their memories of integration. With first-person accounts of the era of "forced busing," An Imperfect Revolution explores the ways school desegregation changed the nation.
Feb 17 at 6pm
Thurgood Marshall: Before the Court
Thurgood Marshall is best known as the first African American appointed to United States Supreme Court in 1967, and as the lead attorney in the landmark school desegregation case, Brown v. Board of Education. Just as remarkable, Marshall was an instrumental figure in striking down the legal framework of segregation and establishing the foundation for modern civil rights law. In the 1940s and '50s, Marshall was one of the most recognized black leaders in the country. He was often called "Mr. Civil Rights."
This comprehensive documentary project highlights contributions made by Marshall and key legal partners, and by the courageous African Americans across the South who risked their jobs and safety to press their grievances in local courts.
Feb 24 at 6pm
Let Freedom Sing: The Music of the Abolitionists
Let Freedom Sing chronicles the idealistic artists, uncompromising personalities and powerful music of the era, and looks at how these forces combined to turn abolitionism from a scorned fringe movement into a nation-changing force. An original WGBH-Classical New England production hosted by Noah Adams, Let Freedom Sing will profile such powerful figures as Henry Russell, the barnstorming Anglo-Jewish pianist and singer dubbed the master of "chutzpah and huzzah;" the Milford, New Hampshire-based Hutchinson Family Singers, remembered as America's first protest singers; and abolitionist leader and newspaper publisher William Lloyd Garrison, whose "Song of the Abolitionist" (set to the tune of "Auld Lang Syne") literally set the tone for the entire movement. Garrison believed strongly in setting stanzas to familiar melodies—for poetry, he held, was "naturally and instinctively on the side of liberty."
And the program will explain how "My Country, 'Tis of Thee" evolved from a patriotic ditty penned in a half-hour by Reverend Samuel Francis Smith to a stirring anthem of equality famously sung by Marian Anderson in 1939 on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial…and reprised by Aretha Franklin on the West Lawn of the US Capitol for the inauguration of President Barack Obama in 2009.