Black History Month Specials 2016

Various Times

Join us as we celebrate the incredible achievements and contributions in the arts, literature, sciences, and humanities that African Americans have achieved through the centuries.

Airs Tuesday, February 9, at 11 p.m. Let Freedom Sing chronicles the idealistic artists, uncompromising personalities and powerful music of the era, and looks at how these forces combined to turn abolitionism from a scorned fringe movement into a nation-changing force. This one-hour special will be hosted by NPR contributing correspondent Noah Adams.

Airs Tuesday, February 9 at 10 p.m. Langston Hughes, an enduring icon of the Harlem Renaissance, is best-known for his written work, which wedded his fierce dedication to social justice with his belief in the transformative power of the word. But he was a music lover, too, and some of the works he was most proud of were collaborations with composers and musicians.

Airs Monday, February 8, at 9 p.m. Gospel Greats is a 3-Part Special Program Hosted by jazz pianist Cyrus Chestnut. Today's Modern Gospel has evolved into a distinct art-form as musical legends incorporated the popular music of their day (i.e. blues, soul, jazz and hip-hop) into Gospel performances, making the message accessible to each new generation.  In some cases, Gospel hits lived for months at the top of Pop Charts and Gospel Charts simultaneously. Gospel Greats shares the stories and music of some of the artists who have had the greatest impact on the evolution of the art-form.

Airs Monday, February 8, at 1 p.m. In this hour-long special from WQXR and WNYC, host Terrance McKnight interweaves musical examples with Dr. King's own 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, Jr. grew up listening to and singing church songs, and saw gospel and folk music as natural tools to further the civil rights movement.

Airs Sunday, February 7, at 6 p.m. In this one-hour special, Homemade Stories: The Struggle is Real, award-winning storyteller Shannon Cason (The Moth, Snap Judgment) takes us on a journey that finds hope in struggle. From navigating Detroit’s overwhelmed criminal justice system, to searching for work and finding closed doors, to being a father after failing in marriage, to finding anchors in a sea of uncertainty, Shannon's stories are heartfelt, heartbreaking and hilarious all at once. But above all else, his stories are honest.

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