Black History Month Programming

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To celebrate Black History month, WNYC will air five special programs during the week of February 8-12 at 8PM on both 93.9FM and AM820. We will also offer three additional programs on consecutive Sundays (February 7, 14 and 21) at 9PM on AM820 and 10pm on 93.9FM.

Full listings:

February 7, 9PM AM820 & 10pm on 93.9FM:

"Can Do: Stories of Black Visionaries, Seekers, and Entrepreneurs" From The Kitchen Sisters and PRX, "Can Do: Stories of Black Visionaries, Seekers, and Entrepreneurs," with host, Golden Globe and Emmy Award-winning actress, Alfre Woodard. These stories of black pioneers, self-made men and self-taught women, neighborhood heroes and visionaries. People who said "yes we can" and then did.

February 8, 8PM AM820 & 93.9FM:

American RadioWorks "Say It Plain - A Century of Great African American Speeches" This program highlights a selection of landmark sermons, speeches and broadcasts by African American orators over the past century. From Booker T. Washington and Marcus Garvey, to Fannie Lou Hamer and Malcolm X, to Shirley Chisholm and Julian Bond. Listeners will hear the stirring words of African American figures as they call for action on civil rights and the unmet promise of democracy.

February 9, 8PM AM820 & 93.9FM:

American RadioWorks: "Remembering Jim Crow" Jim Crow gripped the South for 80 years and race relations today are still deeply marked by its system of repressive laws and customs. Producers Stephen Smith and Kate Ellis examine the neglected "middle years" of America's segregation story, through the voices of people - both black and white - who lived through it. "Remembering Jim Crow" draws on new, original field work and on interviews conducted by the Center for Documentary Studies' Behind the Veil oral history project.

February 10, 8PM AM820 & 93.9FM:

State of the Re: Union: "Who Is This Man" Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream Speech” is an iconic moment in the history of civil rights. But this historic moment may have never happened if it weren’t for a man standing in King’s shadow, Bayard Rustin, a man with a number of seemingly incompatible labels: black, gay, Quaker. Although he had numerous passions and pursuits, his most transformative act, was to counsel Dr. King on the use of non-violent resistance. Rustin also helped to engineer the March on Washington and frame the Montgomery bus boycott. Why is Rustin not synonymous with Civil Rights? This program is from Public Radio Talent Quest winner Al Letson.

February 11, 8PM AM820 & 93.9FM:

"Race and the Space Race" The Space Age began when America was going through a wrenching battle over Civil Rights. And because the heart of the old Confederacy was chosen as its base, NASA played an unintended role in Civil Rights history. In this program, we hear how this happened and we hear stories of the people who broke the color line at NASA. From Soundprint, producer Richard Paul and hosted by astronaut Mae Jemison, the first African American woman in space.

February 12, 8PM AM820 & 93.9FM:

American RadioWorks: "An Imperfect Revolution: Voices from the Desegregation Era" 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. It was an experience that shaped them for life. Using first-person accounts of the era of forced busing, "An Imperfect Revolution" explores the ways school desegregation changed the nation.

February 14, 9PM AM820 & 10PM on 93.9FM:

BackStory - "Black & White: The Idea of Racial Purity" We tend to see race in black & white. And for much of our history a single drop of African blood has been enough to label you "black." But dig a little deeper and things quickly get mixed up. Annette Gordon-Reed shares some of her research about Thomas Jefferson's relationship with his slave, Sally Hemings. And Daryl Scott brings us closer to the present, arguing that despite all the progress we've made, pre-20th-century ways of thinking about race persist into the present.

February 21, 9PM AM820 & 10PM on 93.9FM:

American RadioWorks: "King’s Last March" Although it was one of the most challenging and controversial chapters of his career, the final year of Dr. King's life has not been the focus of significant public attention. This dramatic and illuminating documentary uses a rich mix of archival tape, oral histories and contemporary interviews to paint a vivid picture of what may have been the most difficult year of Dr. King's life.

Also, as part of the regular broadcast of The Tavis Smiley Show on February 21 and 28 at 4PM on AM820, the program will be dedicated to their own production of the two-part series “Memories of the Movement.” From known icons, to lesser known leaders, hear from the men and women who served on the frontlines or behind the scenes share their painful, poignant and personal memories of the Civil Rights Movement. Hosted by Tavis Smiley.

Additional WNYC segments/programs:

Studio 360 will broadcast their American Icon segment on the Lincoln Memorial for the weekend of February 20-21.

Related Segments and Programs:

A Beautiful Symphony of Brotherhood. WNYC host Terrance McKnight interweaves musical examples with Dr. King's speeches and sermons to illustrate the powerful place that music held in his work--and examines how the musical community responded to and participated in Dr. King's cause.

Martin Luther King Day Gospel Hour. WNYC host Leonard Lopate hosts his annual Martin Luther King Day gospel show.

MLK Generations Speak . On Martin Luther King Day WNYC hosts Brian Lehrer and Celeste Headlee hosted a forum at the Brooklyn Museum on generational changes and the civil rights movement with a distinguished panel of educators, politicians, activists, and artists.

Events in The Jerome L. Greene Space:

February 16, 7PM:

Malcolm X (1972) Narrated by James Earl Jones, Ossie Davis, and Steve Benderoth, this 1972 documentary tribute to the life and work of Malcolm X was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Feature Documentary.

February 17, 7PM:

Malcolm X (1992) This 1992 biopic was directed by Spike Lee, who billed the film as part labor of love, part declaration of conscience and every frame his own creation about the African-American activist and black nationalist Malcolm X.

February 18, 7PM:

Malcolm X: Speaking in the 21st Century Malcolm X is considered to be one of greatest, most influential, yet controversial 20th Century figures in African American history. The Greene Space presents MALCOLM X: SPEAKING IN THE 21ST CENTURY, bringing together individuals connected to various facets of Malcolm X’s life who have never before shared a stage.

February 24, 10:45AM:

The Brian Lehrer Show: Re-Imagining Black History In her young adult novel A Wish After Midnight, Zetta Elliott examines the African American experience in Civil War-era Brooklyn through the eyes of a contemporary girl. And she explores how our understanding of history is shaped by interpretation, memory and place.