Harlem Renaissance

Airs Thursday, February 21 at 9 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.

Carl Van Vechten

Airs Monday, February 20 at 9:00 p.m.  During the vibrant years of the Harlem Renaissance, music, religion, and spitituality were interconnected -- not just in the religious setting of the church, but in the jazz club, the dance hall, the rent party, even the political street rally.  Writer Carl Hancock Rux, Reverend Calvin Butts of the Abyssinian Baptist Church, historian Farah Griffin, Professors Josef Sorett and Obery Hendricks, and others explore these powerful interconnections.  Includes the voices of Langston Hughes, poet Sterling Brown, Marcus Garvey, as well as read

Airs Monday, February February 13 at 9:00 p.m. From The Columbia University Institute For Religion, Culture and Public Life, and the Luce Group, an exploration in words and music of how music, religion, and politics intersected during this rich period in African American history.

Airs Thursday, February 9 at 8:00 p.m.   As musicians migrated north following the close of Storyville, New Orleans infamous red-light district, many found their way to the newly revitalized city on the north shore of the Harlem River. This program feature a cross section of their music and stories.