Streams

To celebrate Black History Month, the New York Public Radio Archives has pulled together some of the department's leading preservation work concerning African-American history.

Previously Unreleased Interviews with The Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

In 1961, a radio reporter named Eleanor Fischer spoke to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. for a CBC called Project 62. As far as we know, these unedited interviews have never been presented in their entirety until now.

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Remembering Malcolm X: Rare Interviews and Audio

Thursday, February 11, 2010

WNYC presents a rare interview with Malcolm X conducted by reporter Eleanor Fischer in 1961 when Malcolm X was still an active spokesman for Elijah Muhammad and the Nation of Islam.

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Richard Wright's Love Letter to Paris

Monday, January 28, 2013

WNYC

In this brief monologue, the novelist Richard Wright sends home the most glowing postcard of France one could possibly imagine. 

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Leadbelly and Lomax Together at the American Music Festival

Friday, August 19, 2011

It's always exciting when we turn up an important long lost recording.  In this case, the unlabeled flip side of one of Mayor La Guardia's talks had half-a-show that's not been heard for 67 years. Hailing from February 14th, 1944, we hear two friends get together to share some music with each other and WNYC's listeners. And what better venue than the station's annual American Music Festival, eleven days of studio performances and concerts around the city dedicated to home-grown music and talent?  Talent indeed. Huddie Ledbetter, better known as Leadbelly, a renowned folksinger and bluesman, performed with pioneering folklorist Alan Lomax.

 

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Whitney Young Provides Depth and Texture to Portrait of Racial Inequality

Friday, February 01, 2013

WNYC

Focused, uncompromising, and yet essentially pragmatic, Whitney Young, executive director of the National Urban League, answers questions at this 1966 meeting of the Overseas Press Club. 

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Marian Anderson Speaks on Empathy, Attainment, and Race

Monday, July 23, 2012

WNYC

As eloquent in her speech as she is in her song, the contralto Marian Anderson addresses the issues of prejudice and segregation head-on in this 1957 Books and Authors Luncheon appearance.

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James L. Farmer Jr. Advocates Revolutionary Freedoms for African-Americans

Friday, September 21, 2012

"America is being forced to face itself," James Farmer proclaims in this 1963 Overseas Press Club appearance, before discussing the upcoming march on Washington and the historical roots of the civil rights struggle.

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The Evolving Motherhood of Josephine Baker

Wednesday, August 01, 2012

WNYC

"It seems strange to have so much enthusiasm at this time of day," Ms. Baker remarks at this 1964 meeting of the Overseas Press Club, where she has been invited to speak about being a mother. 

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Walter White of NAACP Asserts America's 'Race Problem' Undermines Overseas Efforts

Monday, January 21, 2013

WNYC

Walter White, head of the NAACP, ponders race and foreign relations at the Great Hall of Cooper Union, in New York City, in this 1949 recording.

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Scottsboro: A Civil Rights Milestone

Friday, February 01, 2013

Scottsboro: A Civil Rights Milestone
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Ralph Bunche Announces Landmark 1949 Arab-Israeli General Armistice Agreement

Friday, August 10, 2012

WNYC

In the early hours of February 24, 1949, on the Greek island of Rhodes, Dr. Ralph J. Bunche emerged from the Egyptian-Israeli talks to announce the signing of a General Armistice Agreement.

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Sammy Davis Jr. Writes His "Emotional Soul" in Yes I Can

Friday, August 31, 2012

WNYC

Overcoming a life of hardship, Samuel Davis Jr. became a major performer in Las Vegas and a member of the legendary Rat Pack. In a quiet, moving tone, Davis, author of the just-published Yes I Can, speaks at a Books and Authors Luncheon in 1965.

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Jackie Robinson and Dr. Sterling Wade Brown Celebrate Brotherhood Week, 1968

Friday, December 14, 2012

WNYC

Jackie Robinson and Dr. Sterling Wade Brown, representing the National Conference of Christians and Jews, answer questions about the fight for civil rights in this 1968 interview. 

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Teddy Wilson Contemplates the Future of Jazz

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

WNYC

Pianist Teddy Wilson discusses his career and speculates on the future of jazz in this 1950 interview.

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Mary McLeod Bethune and Eleanor Roosevelt Comment on America's Imperfect Democracy

Friday, August 03, 2012

WNYC

Former First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt interviews her friend Mary McLeod Bethune in a 1949 radio broadcast in support of 'interracial understanding.' 

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Freedom's Ladder: WNYC and New York's Anti-Discrimination Law

Saturday, March 12, 2011

On March 12, 1945, when Governor Thomas E. Dewey signed in to law the Ives-Quinn Anti-Discrimination Bill, New York became the first state to enact legislation curtailing the practice of discriminating against job applicants and employees on the basis of race, religion, or creed.

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Dedication of Frederick Douglass Circle, 1950

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Community leaders gathered this past Tuesday to dedicate a statue of 19th century social reformer and abolitionist  Frederick Douglass.

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Honoring Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., 1964

Monday, January 16, 2012

On December 17, 1964, Dr. Martin Luther King was honored by the people of New York for his unparalleled contributions to the civil rights movement in a City Hall ceremony presentation of the Medallion of Honor.

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Arthur Ashe at the New York Public Library, 1987

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

WNYC

The largest court in the United States Tennis Association's complex in Flushing Meadows, where the US Open has taken place since 1977, is named after Arthur Ashe, one of tennis's great ambassadors. Today we give you a chance to listen to the late Ashe, in a 1987 installment of WNYC's broadcast of Voices at the New York Public Library, where he spoke about his upcoming book on racism in sports.

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Owa Tagoo Siam! Good Clean Fun in Harlem, 1946

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

WNYC

Harlem Hospitality Club is an audience participation and variety show by and for African Americans. 

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Today in History: Remembering the Day Dr. King Was Killed

Friday, April 02, 2010

Kennedy and King at the White House. June 22, 1963 (Abbie Rowe, National Park Service, in the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, Boston)

Kennedy and King at the White House. June 22, 1963 (Abbie Rowe, National Park Service, in ...

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Malcolm X on WNYC

Friday, December 17, 2010

Malcolm X in front of the Teresa Hotel in Harlem when he was still a spokesperson for the Nation of Islam.

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Today in History: Marian Anderson at the Lincoln Memorial

Thursday, April 09, 2009

American contralto Marian Anderson performs in front of 75,000 spectators. Finnish accompanist Kosti Vehanen is on the piano.

American contralto Marian Anderson performs in front of 75,000 spectators. Finnish accompanist Kosti Vehanen is on the piano.

On April 9, 1939, ...

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Monte Irvin and Recollections on Negro League Baseball

Tuesday, February 05, 2013

WNYC

Hall-of-famer Monte Irvin talks about his time in baseball during a round table discussion led by host Walter James Miller.

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Marcus Garvey: 20th Century Pan-Africanist

Friday, February 15, 2013

Marcus Garvey, the promoter of Pan-Africanism and black pride, had a vision of economic independence for his people. Those who followed him were called Garveyites. He was the founder of the Universal Negro Improvement Association, (UNIA) the single largest black organization ever. In the 1920s and 30s, the UNIA had an estimated six million followers around the world.

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Amiri Baraka Reads "The Revolutionary Theater"

Monday, February 18, 2013

WNYC

Amiri Baraka died January 9th after weeks of failing health. He was 79. A playwright, poet, critic and activist, Baraka was one of the most prominent and controversial African American voices in the world of American letters.  Speaking at the Overseas Press Club ( and airing on WNYC) in 1965 following the release of his Obie award-winning play The Dutchman, Baraka presented himself as a no-nonsense artist who was not about to compromise his message for anyone. The talk catches Baraka (still known as Leroi Jones) at the height of his radical voice in the 1960s and is critical because it was delivered just four days before the assassination of Malcolm X.

 

The writer and activist LeRoi Jones (who would later be known as Amiri Baraka) speaks here on February 17, 1965, four days before the assassination of Malcolm X, an event that catapulted him from a charismatic Greenwich Village maverick into a radicalized black nationalist in Harlem.

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'Apartheid Is Doomed': Listen to Mandela's Historic Speech at NYC City Hall

Thursday, December 05, 2013

In June 1990, Nelson Mandela visited New York City. It was his first visit to the United States after being released from prison. At the end of a ticker-tape parade up Broadway's Canyon of Heroes, he stood on the steps of City Hall and gave this speech.

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Say it Loud: Black, Immigrant & Proud

Monday, February 17, 2014

In 1951, jazz superstar Hazel Scott boldly spoke against Jim Crow. At least a decade before Martin Luther King's "I Have a Dream" speech, the former "Darling of Café Society" talked about her own hopes of a future with "all racial prejudice eliminated."

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Cool School: Miles Davis & Stan Getz

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

In this selection from a February 18, 1950 WNYC broadcast, trumpet player Miles Davis and tenor saxophonist Stan Getz perform "Conception" live from the famous Birdland nightclub. Davis' arrangement for this number would later appear on his seminal "Birth of the Cool" album under the title "Deception," a nod to the song's composer George Shearing who recorded it a year earlier.

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