African American History

Eddie Wise on the day of his eviction from his family farm.
Courtesy John Biewen

Eddie Wise comes from a family of farmers who worked the land for three generations. He and his wife Dorothy had dreams of raising animals together, so they decided to start their own farm near Whitakers, North Carolina. 

Stories from the President's Kitchen Cabinet

Mar 16, 2017

When Adrian Miller was researching his book on the history of Soul Food, he kept coming across references to African-American cooks who had served in the White House.

John Hope Franklin, African American History, Books
Leoneda Inge / WUNC

Collectors, historians and everyday people packed the Durham, North Carolina, home of the late John Hope Franklin last weekend.

Frank C. Curtin / Associated Press

Note: This segment originally aired February 19, 2016.

Pauli Murray and Eleanor Roosevelt could not have come from more different backgrounds. Murray was the granddaughter of a mixed-race slave, while Roosevelt’s ancestry gave her membership in the Daughters of the American Revolution.

Image of 'Forsaken' cover by Ross Howell Jr.
New South Books

Virginia Christian is the only African-American juvenile woman ever executed in the state of Virginia. She was executed the day after her 17th birthday in 1912.

This fact is the backdrop for the historical novel "Forsaken" (New South Books/2016). The book tells the story of Christian through the lens of a young, idealist reporter Charles Mears. It's a tale woven with historical fact and fictional narrative that combines racial prejudice with hope and redemption.

Image of miner loading coal in Portal 31 in Lynch, Ky. in the 1920s.
Southeast Kentucky Community and Technical College and the Appalachian Archives. These photos are part of the U.S. Coal & Coke and International Harvester Image Collection.

Note: This is a rebroadcast from last year.

Tens of thousands of African-Americans called Appalachia home in the early 20th century, yet most popular representations of the region rarely include details about the black experience.

Starting from the middle-top and moving clockwise, Thomasi McDonald as Dad, Amy White as Kimber, TJ Swann as Flip, Tosin Olufolabi as Cheryl, Marcus Zollicoffer as Kent and Moriah Williams as Taylor.
Curtis Brown Photography

When the LeVay family gathers at its Martha’s Vineyard home for the weekend, brothers Kent and Flip are excited to introduce their new partners to their parents. But like many planned family vacations, things quickly go awry—tensions rise and secrets are revealed.

This is the premise for Lydia Diamond’s play “Stick Fly,” that examines race, privilege, and the lesser-known history of affluent African-American culture on Martha’s Vineyard.

Animation still artwork
Ammar Nasri and Zhou Quan

During the Jim Crow era, many businesses and establishments were not friendly to African-Americans which made traveling both inconvenient and dangerous for black families.

Stock photo of a book
Horia Varlan / Flickr Creative Commons

When producer Sonja Williams began researching for the radio series, Black Radio: Telling It Like It Was, she found very little African-American radio drama from the 1940s. What little she found reinforced negative stereotypes.

A colleague eventually suggested she look into Destination Freedom, a series of weekly broadcasts created by journalist and activist Richard Durham that featured African-American leaders and heroes of the day.

Image of miner loading coal in Portal 31 in Lynch, Ky. in the 1920s.
Southeast Kentucky Community and Technical College and the Appalachian Archives. These photos are part of the U.S. Coal & Coke and International Harvester Image Collection.

Tens of thousands of African-Americans called Appalachia home in the early 20th century, yet most popular representations of the region rarely include details about the black experience.

One young researcher sought to change that through an archival project that examines the history and culture of coal mining communities in eastern Kentucky. Karida Brown grew up in New York, but both of her parents are from Lynch, Ky.

Image of Damon Tweedy, who is a professor psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Duke.
Stock Photography

When Damon Tweedy was in his first year of medical school, he learned a number of startling statistics that led him to the conclusion that being black is somehow bad for your health.

He heard over and over how black patients were faring worse than other patients in almost every field of medicine, but nobody seemed to be talking about the reasons for this disparity.

Patrik Henry Bass is from Laurinburg, North Carolina and now he's the editorial projects director for Essence Magazine.
http://www.essence.com/

Patrik Henry Bass has spent the last 49 years searching for the extraordinary moments in life. 

As a child he found those moments in the books he devoured at the library—the stories he read carried him far beyond his hometown of Laurinburg, North Carolina. His love of literature led him to a career in journalism. Today he's an award winning writer and the editorial projects director of Essence Magazine.Host Frank Stasio talks with Bass about his life journey and the many careers that led him to his dream job in New York City as a curator in the literary world. 

A photo from Grenada, Miss., where Nan Elizabeth Woodruff studies the legacies of terror and violence against people of color.
Matthew Nichols / Flickr Creative Commons

  This year marks the 50th anniversary of many monumental moments of the civil rights movement.

And a group of scholars and activists gather today at the National Humanities Center to push for increased dialogue about how the historical violence against people of color continues to resonate today.

    

2015 marks the 50th anniversary of key moments in the civil rights movement, including Bloody Sunday and the passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

Center for the Study of the American South

  

Anne Spencer's Lynchburg, Virginia house was a sanctuary for African-American artists, writers and intellectuals during the Harlem Renaissance.