Current Event April 19, 2014
On April 15, 1947, African American baseball player Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier in Major League Baseball in his first game for the Brooklyn Dodgers. He was an interesting choice by the Dodgers to break the race barrier in baseball because he was an older player and not seen as the best player in the Negro league. Listen to learn how Robinson’s strong character, as much as his talent, helped to successfully integrate baseball.
Current Event April 10, 2014
Marian Anderson was denied a performance at Constitution Hall, but 75 years ago, she was able to perform to a desegregated crowd at the Lincoln Memorial. Listen to this story to learn more about how she used art and lyrics to fight racism.
Current Event December 5, 2013
Phillis Wheatley lived an extraordinary life. Born in West Africa and sold into slavery in Boston, Massachusetts, Wheatley became the first published African-American woman and poet. In addition to being a poet, Wheatley exchanged letters with religious leaders and philanthropists. Some of her letters have survived, including one in which she reflects on the American Revolution. Listen to learn about this valuable letter, which was auctioned off in 2005.
Current Event December 4, 2013
Slavery is a horror of history. The capture and transportation of human beings from Africa to North America through the Middle Passage is an experience that is hard to imagine. First-person slave narratives were the first honest account of the experience and were used by the abolitionist movements in Britain and the United States to show the reality of slavery. Listen to learn more about the first-person account of freed slave Olaudah Equiano, shared in his autobiography in 1789.
Current Event November 26, 2013
From accents to slang to dialect, people who speak English do not always sound the same. The way people speak reflects a lot of different factors in their lives including region, race, class and education. Some slang is reflective of an era. The word “groovy” will forever be linked to hippies, while other pronunciations reflect a longer history of language, colonization and power. Listen to learn how the pronunciation of the word “ask” has changed over time, and how the black community uses code-switching to adapt to their surroundings.