Historically Black, Pt. 3

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Wilson Woods’s original bill of sale found in Meigs County courthouse.
From

Objects hold history. They're evocative of stories stamped in time. As part of The Washington Post's coverage of the Smithsonian's new National Museum of African American History and Culture, people submitted dozens of objects that make up their own lived experiences of black history, creating a "people's museum" of personal objects, family photos and more.

Historically Black brings those objects and their stories to life through interviews, archival sound and music. The Washington Post and APM Reports are proud to collaborate in presenting these rich personal histories, hosted by Michele Norris and narrated by Keegan-Michael KeyRoxane GayIssa Rae, and Another Round podcast duo Heben Nigatu and Tracy Clayton

Members of an extended Tennessee family talk about their great, great grandfather, a slave owned by his white, biological father. After emancipation, their ancestor managed to buy a farm. Family members reflect on the strength it took to survive slavery and to prosper in the years that followed.

A young musician and actor discovers that his great, great grandfather was Bill Driver, a celebrated fiddler in Missouri. Family members recall how his fiddle playing often brought blacks and whites together at country dances and fiddle contests, and describe his legacy today. The family's story also highlights the complicated nature of inter-racial mixing in the Jim Crow era.

Born into slavery, William Hooper Councill founded one of the nation's first HBCUs, Alabama A&M University. Negotiating the racial politics of Reconstruction and the dawn of Jim Crow was dangerous work. Councill was a peer of Booker T. Washington's and is remembered for his accommodating stance toward whites. His complicated story helps us understand the times he lived in and the legacy of HBCUs.

Listen Thursday, February 16 at 9pm on 93.9FM

Explore all of our Black History Month programming here

Explore African-American history with the New York Public Radio Archives