African American

State of the Re:Union

As Black As We Wish To Be

Saturday, February 08, 2014

Visit a tiny town in the Appalachian foothills of Ohio where, for a century, residents have shared the common bond of identifying as African-American despite the fact that they look white. As a result, everyone’s asking: Am I black? Am I mixed race? Or, am I white?

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The Brian Lehrer Show

An Alternate Kennedy History; NJ Property Taxes; Henry Louis Gates

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

This year is the 50th anniversary of the assassination of John F. Kennedy. In his new book, Jeff Greenfield considers an alternate history of the Cold War if Kennedy had lived, and news of the day. Plus: Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates stops by to talk about this new PBS series, “The African Americans: Many Rivers to Cross”, and how history can inform our understanding of current events. And reporter Matt Katz discusses New Jersey property taxes as part of our “30 Issues in 30 Days” election series.


FULL VIDEO | August Wilson Talk Series: Bringing Black Works to Broadway

Wednesday, September 25, 2013


Of the roughly 33 plays and musicals to open in the 2011-2012 Broadway season, only five featured prominent African-American characters, actors or story lines. 


Annotations: The NEH Preservation Project

Whitney Young Provides Depth and Texture to Portrait of Racial Inequality

Friday, February 01, 2013


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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The Brian Lehrer Show

Open Phones: African-Americans and Swimming

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

As we watch the U.S. Olympic swimming team, which includes a record three swimmers with African-American roots, we wanted to explore the still low number of African-American youth who learn to swim. According to a 2010 study, about 70% of African-American youth have little or no swimming ability as compared to about 40% of white youth.  

So we want to hear from our African-American listeners: Call us and tell us why you think a high percentage of African-American kids don't learn to swim, whether you're making a point of learning to swim or making sure your children learn to swim, and if you or your children are inspired by the Olympic athletes. Call us at 212-433-9692 or comment here. 

Joining us to discuss are journalist Tetsuhiko Endo and the executive director of the Bedford-Stuyvesant YMCA Dordy Jourdain

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The Takeaway

Seeking an Endgame for AIDS in Black America

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

It took a celebrity to break the silence inside black America about HIV/AIDS. The celebrity was basketball legend, Magic Johnson, who announced that he was HIV-positive back in 1991. Now a new documentary explores what it will take to end the epidemic in the African American community.

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The Takeaway

Trayvon Martin Case Prompts Reflections on Law, Order, and Community

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

By now, most of us have heard of Trayvon Martin, the 17-year-old African-American boy who was shot and killed while walking through a friend’s gated community in Sanford, Florida. The shooter was George Zimmerman, a neighborhood watchman who is not black, and who thought Martin looked suspicious. Martin had no weapons on him — only a bag of Skittles and a can of iced tea.

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The Takeaway

Remembering Don Cornelius, Creator of Soul Train

Thursday, February 02, 2012

Don Cornelius, the creator of "Soul Train," died Wednesday of a self-inflicted gunshot wound. He began his career as a journalist who wrote passionately about the civil rights movement.  After noticing the lack of African American music on popular television, he created the Chicago-based show "Soul Train" in 1970 to showcase the funky blending of gospel and R&B that is soul music. It quickly gained an audience and went into syndication nationally a year later. Celeste Headlee looks back on why "Soul Train" was groundbreaking and reflects on the may ways that Cornelius' legacy lives on. 

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The Takeaway

Celebrating the 50th Anniversary of 'The Snowy Day'

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

In 1961, Ezra Jack Keats wrote and illustrated his first children’s book. It was called "The Snowy Day" and it told the story of Peter, a young, African-American boy in Brooklyn, enjoying the season's first snowfall. The book was immediately popular. Prior to its publication, no other mainstream children’s book had featured a black hero in a non-caricatured way.

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The Takeaway

Rewriting History, One Family Photo at a Time

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

They say that history is written by the people in power. And for centuries in the Western world, that meant that stories by and about people descending from Africa were barely touched upon in the history books. The Digital Diaspora Family Reunion (DDFR) is trying to change that. A web-based multi-media project, the DDFR encourages people with African ancestry to submit family photos, along with stories, from their own attics and shoeboxes.

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