Black History

Airs Sunday, February 1, at 6 p.m. In this episode Al Letson and guest producer Lu Olkowski 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. Racial lines have been blurred to invisibility, and people inside the same family can vehemently disagree about whether they are black or white. It can be tense and confusing. As a result, everyone's choosing: Am I black? Am I mixed race? Or, am I white?

Airs Friday, February 28 at 11 p.m. Insightful review of the life of legendary blues guitarist Robert Johnson and his enduring musical legacy. Includes 20 of his legendary recordings and brand-new, exclusive interviews with contemporary blues musicians and historians.

Airs Tuesday, February 25 at 9 p.m. Hosted by Charles Dutton, this one-hour special examines the relevance and meaning of civil rights in the 21st century and the relationship between the Civil Rights Movement and the efforts of women, other people of color, and the LGBT community to expand our traditional definitions of equality. Like “Moments of the Movement” it features first-person narratives culled from hundreds of hours of never-before-broadcast video and audio footage to provide a rich, detailed history of the nation during an important and tumultuous period.

Airs Monday, February 24 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 her just yesterday. This hour we’ll hear about the music and life of Nina Simone from colleagues and friends including Odetta, Camille Yarbrough, Guitarist Al Schackman, Patti Smith journalist David Nathan and more.

Airs Monday, February 24 at 9 p.m. So Many musical artists weighed in during the decades of the Civil Rights and Black Consciousness Movements... Nina Simone, Max Roach, Gil Scott-Heron, Archie Shepp, James Brown, John Coltrane, Bob Dylan, Sly Stone, Art Blakey, Curtis Mayfield... The list goes on!  The Music of the Civil Rights and Black Consciousness Movements Radio Special takes us back to a time when the social revolution taking place in America was reflected in the popular music that was all around us.

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