Black History Month Specials

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.

Press Image / Langston Hughes: I Too Sing America

Airs Thursday, February 15, 2018 at 7 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 Wednesday, February 14, at 11 a.m. Join the world renowned Mormon Tabernacle Choir as they celebrate Black History month with The Power of Dreams & Heart and Soul featuring Alyson Cambridge. Featured works include Peace Like a River, I'm Runnin' On African, Great Day African, I Want Jesus to Walk with Me African, My Country, 'Tis of Thee, Gently Raise the Sacred Strain, As the Dew from Heaven Distilling, Ev'ry Time I Feel the Spirit, The Battle of Jericho, Down By the Riverside, Sometimes I Feel Like a Motherless Child, He's Got the Whole World in His Hands.

Press Image / A Beautiful Symphony of Brotherhood

Airs Monday, February 12, 2018, at 11 a.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.

Nijs, Jac. de / Anefo / This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Netherlands license.

Airs Friday, February 9, at 11 p.m. Nina Simone was as powerful and complex a person as the music she played. She called it “Black Classical Music,” and it resists all definitions. Its jazz, rhythm and blues, folk, and gospel.  It’s a combination as Rich as the culture. Like any legend, Nina Simone became a symbol for People and movements through the years, but she was first and foremost a performer. She acted out the story of each song as if it happened to het just yesterday.

Richard Ziglar / Still Singing the Blues

Airs Friday, February 9, at 10 p.m. Still Singing the Blues features musicians in New Orleans and South Louisiana who continue to perform both traditional blues and rhythm-and-blues—often despite poverty, ill health, and the impacts of natural disasters like Hurricane Katrina. The hour-long, music-rich documentary burrows into the lives of three outstanding older performers: Carol Fran of Lafayette, Harvey Knox of Baton Rouge, and Little Freddie King of New Orleans.