Black History

Airs Sunday, February 23 at 6 pm. The 1970s saw a tidal change in American race relations: for the first time, large numbers of white, black and other children of color began attending school together. It was an experience that shaped them for life. Using first-person accounts of the era of "forced busing," An Imperfect Revolution explores the ways school desegregation changed the nation.

Airs Friday, February 21 at 11 p.m. Brand new one-hour music intensive radio special features legendary bluesman Buddy Guy in his own words and music. Buddy Guy's own comments come from an exclusive interview session, and include many recollections and insights that will heard on your station for the first time.      Hosted by journalist Anthony DeCurtis, this program also features 15 classic tracks from throughout Guy's career. Buddy Guy tells his own story, looking back on his life and career as only he can.

Airs Friday, February 14 at 11 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.     Hosted by Terrance McKnight, WQXR host and former Morehouse professor of music, I, Too, Sing America will dive into the songs, cantatas, musicals and librettos that flowed from Hughes’ pen. As he did with his poetry, Hughes used music to denounce war, combat segregation and restore human dignity in the face of Jim Crow. His musical adventures included writing lyrics for stage pieces such as Black Nativity and Tambourines to Glory, works that helped give birth to the genre of Gospel Play, as well as songs for radio plays and political campaigns, and the libretto for Kurt Weill’s Street Songs.

Airs Wednesday, February 5 at 9 p.m. 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 Wednesday, February 5 at 8 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? Adding to the confusion, there's a movement afoot to recognize their Native-American heritage.