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Playlist: Black History Month: Series

Compiled By: PRX Editors

Amistad Memorial in New Haven, CT Credit: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/people/wallyg/">Wally Gobetz</a>
Image by: Wally Gobetz 
Amistad Memorial in New Haven, CT
Curated Playlist

Feb. is Black History Month.

For more options, see pieces under 49 minutes and one-hour specials.

You can also find other options for Black History Month by using our search.

How we pick our Editors' Picks.

Hour (49:00-1:00:00)

Black History Month Specials (Series)

Produced by Joyride Media

One-hour radio shows featuring Buddy Guy, Miles Davis, Nina Simone and more.

Most recent piece in this series:

Love Train: The Sound of Philadelphia

From Joyride Media | Part of the Black History Month Specials series | 59:00

Pirshow2_small In the late 1960's, the world was introduced to the sound of Philadelphia.  Big cities had their own distinct styles, and like Detroit's Motown and Stax from Memphis, Philadelphia INternational Records landed on the musical map.

This one-hour radio special hosted by Jeff Foxx explores the story of Philadelphia International Records, as well as their impact on the future of music through stories and music from many of their artists, as well as Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff

The Power of Nonviolence (Series)

Produced by Humankind

A series of four one-hour documentaries that explore the story of peacemakers in various spiritual traditions.

Most recent piece in this series:

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr- a Rewind series (Series)

Produced by Canadian Broadcasting Corporation

A six-part comprehensive series that explores the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. It's from the CBC Radio archives program, "Rewind."

Most recent piece in this series:

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.- The Christmas Message of Hope

From Canadian Broadcasting Corporation | Part of the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr- a Rewind series series | 54:58

Masssey-king-book_small Today, the fifth of six programs honouring Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. It's the final lecture of Dr. King's Massey lectures- a series that aired on the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation in late 1967. This one is more a sermon than a lecture- it aired on Christmas Eve 1967.  Dr. King used the opportunity to spread his message of non- violence and reconciliation to a wider audience.

Then I'll Be Free To Travel Home-the Legacy of the New York African Burial Ground (Series)

Produced by ERIC V. TAIT, JR.

Account of the long African-American battle against northern slavery and for full, first-class citizenship.

Most recent piece in this series:

Episode 1. "Then I'll Be Free To Travel Home"

From ERIC V. TAIT, JR. | Part of the Then I'll Be Free To Travel Home-the Legacy of the New York African Burial Ground series | 59:00

Family_small Traces the historical arc of the long African-American battle against northern slavery and for full, first-class citizenship. It chronicles the contributions the original Africans who founded the New York African Burial ground - and their descendants - made to the survival and development of New York and the nation from the 1600s to the New York City Draft Riots of 1863. It is also a history of larger-than-life "freedom fighters" on many levels and of many races, who challenged slavery to change the course of this nation from it's earliest Colonial days. This is that story as it unfolded primarily on the eastern part of what would eventually become the United States of America.


Half-Hour (24:00-30:00)

Martin Luther King Jr. Massey Lectures (Series)

Produced by Canadian Broadcasting Corporation

In November 1967 Martin Luther King Jr. delivered the Massey lectures on CBC Radio. The Masseys are a prestigious annual broadcast in which a noted Canadian or international scholar gives a weeklong series of lectures on a political, cultural or philisophical topic. King's title was "Conscience for Change." In the lectures, he talked about race relations, the war in Vietnam, youth and social action and non-violence as a tactic for social change.

Most recent piece in this series:

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Massey Lectures #5

From Canadian Broadcasting Corporation | Part of the Martin Luther King Jr. Massey Lectures series | 29:26

Mlk_small In November 1967 Martin Luther King delivered the Massey lectures on CBC Radio. The Masseys are a prestigious annual broadcast in which a noted Canadian or international scholar gives a weeklong series of lectures on a political, cultural or philisophical topic. King's title was "Conscience for Change." In the lectures, he talked about race relations, the war in Vietnam, youth and social action and non-violence as a tactic for social change.


Segments (9:00-23:59)

Mandela: An Audio History (Series)

Produced by Radio Diaries

The story of South Africa's struggle against apartheid.

Most recent piece in this series:

From Prison to President

From Radio Diaries | Part of the Mandela: An Audio History series | 17:44

Mandela-and-tutu_small

It’s 1995, in South Africa. After four decades of apartheid, Nelson Mandela is now president of the country. And one of the things he decides to do as president is to contact all the wives of the former apartheid leaders. These are the leaders he had fought against. Who had put him in prison and killed so many of his people. So, Mandela invites their wives…to lunch.

Nelson Mandela is remembered today as an icon of reconciliation. He brought peace to a country where peace had seemed unlikely. And he did it partly through symbolic staged media events, like this lunch.

Another thing about Mandela’s legacy – he is remembered today as the personification of non-violence. Like Ghandi. One youth leader in South Africa told me Mandela’s example inspired the current student movement in the country to protest using non-violence.

Which… is interesting.

Because Mandela was the guy who started the armed wing of the African National Congress (ANC) in South Africa. It was called Umkonto Wi-Sizwe, which meant Spear of the Nation. They even bombed government buildings. By the time Mandela went to prison in 1964, he was considered a terrorist. Not just in South Africa but in many countries around the world. Including the United States.

Mandela served 27 years in prison. And over that time, he came to be seen not as terrorist but as an international symbol for the struggle against apartheid.

For those 27 years, the public never saw a photograph or heard his voice. He was invisible.  Preserved in amber. So when was released in 1990, nobody really knew what they were going to get. The apartheid regime thought that once people saw this old frail and fallible man – he was 72 years old when he was freed – Mandela would be as they said: ‘demythologized.’

So…yeah…they got that part wrong.

Four years after Mandela was released from prison, he was president. And yet, those four years were also among the bloodiest and most painful for all South Africans – black and white – as they struggled toward the transition to majority rule.

"Going Black: The Legacy of Philly Soul Radio" Companion Pieces (Series)

Produced by Mighty Writers

These short segments are stand-alone companion pieces to the documentary special, "Going Black: The Legacy of Philly Soul Radio" (http://www.prx.org/series/33464-going-black-the-legacy-of-philly-soul-radio). Starting in the 1950s, Black radio stations around the country became the pulse of African-American communities around the country, and their megaphone during the Civil Rights and Black Power movements. These sound-rich, non-narrated pieces profile some of the documentary's main characters and explore the legacy of African-Americans on the radio in Philadelphia.

Most recent piece in this series:

Jerry Blavat

From Mighty Writers | Part of the "Going Black: The Legacy of Philly Soul Radio" Companion Pieces series | 04:29

Jerry_blavat_small This is one of the short non-narrated pieces that are standalone companion pieces to the documentary special, "Going Black: The Legacy of Philly Soul Radio ." Starting in the 1950s, Black radio stations around the country became the pulse of African-American communities, and served as their megaphone during the Civil Rights and Black Power movements. A generation of Black disc jockeys across the nation rapped and rhymed on the radio and played the hippest records that you couldn't hear on mainstream radio. In Philadelphia, there were two Black radio stations at the far right end of the dial that had a sound you couldn't hear anywhere else: WDAS and WHAT.

Like with the documentary special, these sound-rich companion pieces explore the legacy of Black radio in Philadelphia — which is actually the story of Civil Rights, the story of Black music, and the story of how media has changed in the last century.

This installment in the series features Jerry Blavat, the Geator with the Heator. Early in his career, Blavat was a disc jockey at WHAT, one of the two Philadelphia Black AM radio stations at the far right end of the dial. Here, the Geator with the Heator, still rockin’ the big tick-tock today, talks about how he ended up in radio and the influence pioneering disc jockeys like Jocko and Georgie Woods had on his radio style.