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Playlist: Black History Month: Half-Hours, Segments and Interstitials

Compiled By: PRX Editors

A migrant worker in Belcross, North Carolina, 1940 Credit: <a href="http://www.yesterprints.com">YesterPrints.com</a>
Image by: YesterPrints.com 
A migrant worker in Belcross, North Carolina, 1940
Curated Playlist

Shorter pieces for Feb.

February is Black History Month. Here are pieces under 49 minutes that are recommended by our editorial staff.

For more options, see hour specials and series picks.

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

How we pick our Editors' Picks.

Half-Hour+ (30:01-48:59)

Maya Angelou & Guy Johnson - Mother and Son Poets become themselves

From Sedge Thomson | 44:47

Mother and son poets meet to talk about the courage of poetry, the pleasures of red rice and language.

Angelou3-sized_small The mother is a poet, the son is a poet. She raised him in San Francisco, New York, later, in Egypt, Africa, Paris. She earned her way cooking creole food in a San Francisco restaurant. She found her way raising her son to learn courage, poetry, and manners. She learned how to prepare "my black boy to be raised in a white society." The mother is the renowned poet and memoirist, Dr. Maya Angelou. The son is Guy Johnson, poet and novelist. She travels to the Bay Area from time to time to visit her son and grandchildren. In this program, we hear Guy talk about his writing, his motivation, the energy of his poetry, and the deep emotion of being a parent. Then, his mother comes on stage and she talks about the conditions of raising him as a mother of 17, her own relationships with her mother and her mother's slave antecedents. You can't learn poetry unless you have courage; you must love yourself to find your way, to be somebody; her son Guy made her who she is. It's a joyful, funny, moving and inspiring story of parental and filial love, a memoir of America in a certain time; the influence of a mother on a child; and the importance of knowing how to cook red rice.


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

The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution

From Making Contact | Part of the Making Contact series | 29:00

Journalist Eric Arnold talks with Stanley Nelson, director of the documentary film: The Black Panthers, Vanguard of the Revolution.

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2016 marks 50 years since the founding of the Black Panther Party-a group that’s took the world by the storm, but is still widely misunderstood.   There’s a new documentary film that’s trying to set the record straight. On this edition of Making Contact, journalist Eric Arnold talks with Stanley Nelson, director of The Black Panthers, Vanguard of the Revolution.

 

Featuring:

Stanley Nelson, Director of Black Panthers: vanguard of the Revolution; Eric Arnold, journalist

Martin Luther King Jr. Is Still On The Case!

From Public Radio Exchange (PRX) | Part of the Esquire Classic series | 29:57

In 1968, just hours after Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated, the future Pulitzer Prize–winning author Garry Wills—then a young writer for Esquire—rushed to Memphis, Tennessee, where he watched as King’s body was embalmed at the mortuary; later, Wills traveled twelve hours by bus with mourners to King’s funeral in Atlanta. Nearly fifty years after its publication, Wills’s “Martin Luther King Jr. Is Still on the Case!” remains one of the most revealing and lasting portraits of King and his turbulent era ever written. Writer and director John Ridley—who won an Oscar for his screenplay for 12 Years a Slave—joins host David Brancaccio to discuss why Wills’s wrenching profile of King continues to resonate today, what has changed in America since it was written, and, most important, what still needs to change.

Cover170x170_medium_small In 1968, just hours after Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated, the future Pulitzer Prize–winning author Garry Wills—then a young writer for Esquire—rushed to Memphis, Tennessee, where he watched as King’s body was embalmed at the mortuary; later, Wills traveled twelve hours by bus with mourners to King’s funeral in Atlanta. Nearly fifty years after its publication, Wills’s “Martin Luther King Jr. Is Still on the Case!” remains one of the most revealing and lasting portraits of King and his turbulent era ever written. Writer and director John Ridley—who won an Oscar for his screenplay for 12 Years a Slave—joins host David Brancaccio to discuss why Wills’s wrenching profile of King continues to resonate today, what has changed in America since it was written, and, most important, what still needs to change.

A Shortcut To The Mountaintop

From Peter Bochan | Part of the Shortcuts series | 29:27

This is a tribute to Martin Luther King Jr, and features many of his most famous speeches mixed with music.

Martin_luther_king__jr A tribute to Martin Luther King Jr, featuring many of his most famous speeches mixed with music from Stevie Wonder, The Freedom Singers, Jimmy Cliff, James Taylor, Nina Simone, Bill Lee/Branford Marsalis, Moodswings,U2 and more---

Dear Birth Mother

From Long Haul Productions | Part of the Becoming a Mom series | 28:58

After waiting for Mr. Right (who has yet to arrive) - and after years of fertility treatments - Suzanne, a single woman in her forties, decided to adopt. She chose transracial adoption.

Suz_loretta_small After waiting in vain for Mr. Right - and after years of fertility treatments - Suzanne, a single, white woman in her forties, decided to adopt. She chose transracial adoption. Long Haul Productions documented the entire process - beginning with workshops designed to "teach white people to raise kids of color," baby-shopping trips with Mom at Target, a critical rendezvous with a young mother at a pancake house, and, finally, a magical night at a suburban restaurant chain. Producers Dan Collison and Elizabeth Meister followed Suzanne for several months as she waited to see if she would become a parent; she offered extraordinary access into her home, and really, into every aspect of her life. This piece debuted on May 9, 2005, on WBEZ (Chicago Public Radio), and subsequently aired May 10, 2005, on All Things Considered. "Dear Birth Mother" is a follow-up to "Babyquest," also available on PRX, which documents Suzanne's failed attempt to get pregnant via In Vitro fertilization.

Strike

From With Good Reason | Part of the With Good Reason: Weekly Half Hour Long Episodes series | 29:00

In 1951 a group of African American students at Robert R. Moton High School in Prince Edward County, Virginia, organized a strike to protest the substandard school facilities provided for black students. This is their story.

Playing
Strike
From
With Good Reason

Barbara_johns_small In 1951 a group of African American students at Robert R. Moton High School in Prince Edward County, Virginia, organized a strike to protest the substandard school facilities provided for black students. The walkout, led by 16 year old Barbara Johns, is one of the great stories in the struggle for Civil Rights—a story of courage and persistence against what seemed at the time like overwhelming odds.  Larissa Smith Fergeson  (Longwood University) provides the historical context to the walkout; Lacy Ward Jr. (Moton Museum) interviews two students who participated in the strike and Mildred Robinson (University of Virginia) describes the effects on students and families when the Virginia government closed the schools rather than succumb to the federal mandate to integrate them.

A Conversation with Isabel Wilkerson

From National Endowment for the Arts | Part of the Art Works Podcast series | 25:33

Isabel Wilkerson talks about her book, The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America's Great Migration, focusing on the transfer of Southern culture to the North, creating a new, vibrant culture in the country.

Wilkerson110_small

"I was leaving the South to fling myself into the unknown.

I was taking a part of the South to transplant in alien soil,

to see if it could grow differently,

if it could drink of new and cool rains,

bend in strange winds,

respond to the warmth of other suns,

and, perhaps, to bloom."

That evocative description of leaving one's home in the North for another life in the South was in a footnote in Richard Wright's autobiography, Black Boy. Wright was one of six million African Americans who made that journey in the period following World War I through the 1960s. This mass movement of people became known as The Great Migration, and it's the subject of Isabel Wilkerson's acclaimed new book; which she titled The Warmth of Other Suns.

What's the Word? Two half-hour programs celebrating Black History Month (Series)

Produced by Modern Language Association

John Bugg talks about an eighteenth-century slave narrative, The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano; Russ Castronovo tells us about Frederick Douglass’s novella, The Heroic Slave; and Natasha Barnes explores The Known World by Edward P. Jones.

Pulitzer prize winner David Levering Lewis tells us about W.E.B. Du Bois’s early life and the years that led up to the publication of The Souls of Black Folk; Marlon B. Ross explores some of the social and political factors that Du Bois responded to in the book; and Sheryl Townsend Gilkes discusses the book’s continuing influence.

Most recent piece in this series:

WTW Texts of Resistance

From Modern Language Association | Part of the What's the Word? Two half-hour programs celebrating Black History Month series | 29:00

Knownworld_pb_c_small

Texts of Resistance

Since the late eighteenth century, writers have addressed the issue of transatlantic slavery.  Some of the works are direct calls to abolitionist action; others define resistance more subtly.   On this program, John Bugg talks about an eighteenth-century slave narrative, The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano; Russ Castronovo tells us about Frederick Douglass’s novella, The Heroic Slave; and Natasha Barnes explores The Known World by Edward P. Jones.


Well-suited to Black History Month in February.

Fifteen- and thirty-second promos available.

Home from Home (Series)

Produced by My Lens Media

Home from Home is a radio show and online network, celebrating the diversity of the global black experience, through the stories of the people who live it.

Most recent piece in this series:

The Nigerian Political Crisis/Celebrating International Women's Day

From My Lens Media | Part of the Home from Home series | 30:00

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On this episode of Home, from Home, Christabel Nsiah-Buadi talks to Nigerian commentator, and author Okey Ndibe about the impact the return of President Umaru Yar’Adua has had on the Nigerian social and political system. And he doesn’t hold back on his opinions. He says this administration is ‘manipulating the uncertainty around this man’s [President Yar'Adua's] health.’

And, in the HfH One on One interview, to mark International Women’s Day, Christabel speaks to the CEO of Dash Media, Donnette Dunbar. She talks about the pros and cons of running your own business, the rules she had to learn when she moved to the US from her native Jamaica, Bob Marley and more.

Learning to Live: James' Story

From Long Haul Productions | Part of the Waiting it Out Series series | 28:47

The story of an ex-felon's transition from prison to the free world. James, who narrates, is 38 and has been in and out of prison all his adult life. (Winner: the Edward R. Murrow Award, the Third Coast International Audio Festival Public Service Award, and the 2002 Society of Professional Journalists Sigma Delta Chi Award)

James_small "Learning to Live: James' Story" is the story of an ex-felon's transition from prison to the free world. James, who narrates, is 38 and has been in and out of prison all his adult life. After completing a seven-year prison term for burglary, James comes to live at St. Leonard's halfway house for ex-offenders on Chicago's West side. Over three months, James goes through a rigorous education process that includes job training, drug counseling and twelve-step support meetings. His recovery is tested when his eighteen-year-old son, whom he hadn't seen in fourteen years, is arrested on a drug charge. After landing his "dream job" in customer service for a cable company, James leaves the halfway house having begun to "learn how to live." "Learning to Live: James' Story" won the Edward R. Murrow Award; the Third Coast International Audio Festival Public Service Award; and the 2002 Society of Professional Journalists Sigma Delta Chi Award. Judges in the latter competition called it "a tightly straightforward report that skillfully wove actuality and narration, James telling his story as only he could. It was clear, concise and remarkably comprehensive." The story was originally broadcast on Chicago Public Radio and All Things Considered in 2001.

Movin' Out the Bricks

From Long Haul Productions | Part of the Homeplace Series series | 27:46

A year in the life of Catherine "Coco" Means, as she leaves her long-time home in a Chicago public housing development and moves to her first private-market apartment on the city's South Side.
(Winner: 2003 Sigma Delta Chi Award for Excellence in Journalism)

Coco_small In the fall of 2002, Catherine Means was living on the tenth floor of what she describes as "hell" -- Chicago's Stateway Gardens high-rise housing project. In September, she finally got out from under the "bricks" at Stateway and into her first private-market apartment. Her move was one that thousands of public housing residents are making, as the Chicago Housing Authority systematically demolishes its notorious high-rise projects in favor of redeveloped mixed-income communities and Section 8 apartments. Coco, who, like her mom and grandmother has never had a real job, argues the move will "get me off my behind" and force her to do something with her life. But do things really change when you change your address? Long Haul followed Coco and her kids for over a year, from Stateway to her new apartment on the South Side. Movin' Out the Bricks aired originally in full form on Chicago Public Radio in 2003, and later that year, in a condensed form, on All Things Considered. Movin' Out the Bricks won the Society of Professional Journalists' 2003 Sigma Delta Chi Award for Excellence in Journalism in the radio documentary category.

Hog Butchers to the World

From Long Haul Productions | Part of the American Worker Series series | 28:21

Studs Terkel reads excerpts from Upton Sinclair's novel The Jungle in this history of African Americans in the packinghouse industry of Chicago.

Workers_together_small The history of African Americans in Chicago's meatpacking industry and the formation of the Packinghouse Workers Union, featuring Studs Terkel reading excerpts from Upton Sinclair's "The Jungle." Production note: Host introduction can be transcribed and edited and read by station announcer.

The Port Chicago 50: An Oral History

From Long Haul Productions | Part of the American Worker Series series | 25:12

The story of the homefront disaster of World War II — an ammunition explosion that killed more than 300 men — and what happened to the 50 African American men who refused to go back to work loading ammunition after the explosion.

Portchicago_small On July 17, 1944, two Liberty ships anchored at the Port Chicago Munitions Case near San Francisco exploded, killing 320 men and injuring 390. It was the worst homefront disaster of World War II. A majority of the casualties were African-American sailors who loaded ammunition onto the ships at Port Chicago. Shortly after the explosion, the African-American munitions loaders who survived were transferred to a nearby base and ordered back to work. Shaken by the death of their workmates and afraid that another explosion might occur, 50 men refused. In the largest courtmartial in Navy history, they were all convicted of mutiny and sentenced to up to fifteen years of hard labor. In January 1946, only months after the war ended, all convicted men's sentences were suspended as part of a general amnesty. While these men were allowed to return to civilian life, they were left angry, ashamed, and afraid they would be fired from their jobs or worried that they would be seen as unpatriotic. As a result, some did not discuss the case, even with family members, for more than 50 years. Originally broadcast on This American Life in 1996.

Between Civil War and Civil Rights -7a: Lynching's End?: A Texas Whydunnit Murder Mystery (1930)

From Alan Lipke | Part of the Between Civil War and Civil Rights series | 29:30

Mob madness leads to a pivotal feminist protest during the dark days of Jim Crow racism.

Shermancourthouse_small In one of the last incidents of the so-called "race riot era," thousands of white men, women and children besieged, burned, dynamited, [acetylene-] torched and destroyed the stately Grayson County (Texas) Courthouse, to get at a confessed black rapist on trial inside. The mob drove off Texas Rangers and National Guards, then went on to terrorize the town of Sherman's black community and torch the black business district. African-Americans, scholars and citizens alike still struggle to understand why it happened. But one immediate result was the formation of the pivotal Association of Southern [White] Women for the Prevention of Lynching. Based on extraordinary eyewitness oral history interviews by locally-based history professor Donna Kumler and others, this powerful, music-rich 29-minute documentary explores attitudes towards racial violence; mob-rule and mass-psychology; early racist-, feminist-, and pro-civil rights organizations and activities; race and gender relations; faith, endurance, and fate.

Nightfall in Chester County

From Helen Borten | Part of the A Sense of Place series | 29:29

The stories of Penn. Quakers -- who guided slaves to freedom on the Underground Railroad -- and their descendants, locked in a struggle with striking Mexican farm workers.

Default-piece-image-0 In Pennsylvania farmland that was the first stop on the Underground Railroad, a strike by Mexican mushroom pickers polarizes a Quaker community. From historical chronicles of escaped slaves to the present-day inequalities of immigrants who also followed the North Star,this program traces the journey and ordeals of two groups who arrived at the same place,separated in time but connected by their hopes for a better life. One :30 Promo (click "listen" page, promo labeled "Segment 2")

House of the Lord

From Helen Borten | Part of the A Sense of Place series | 29:33

Against the contemporary story of whites fighting to save an antebellum black church from destruction, slave narratives reveal the role religion played in slavery.

Default-piece-image-2 Three days after Christmas in 1993, the new owner of Rosedown, the most famous antebellum mansion in Louisiana, gave the 80 members of Rosedown Baptist Church six months to move so that he could tear down the tiny structure on his newly acquired property. What was a black church doing on an antebellum plantation anyway? Did the institution that has been so vital to African Americans have its roots in the institution that had subjugated them? How did the South reconcile Christianity and slavery? These are questions explored in the story of how black and white citizens in a small Southern town joined to save a historic church from destruction. The words of slaves and masters on religion form a historical counterpoint to the contemporary story. Elderly members of the congregation contribute their own moving memories of growing up on the plantation; a former slaveowner remembers things in a different way and church choir and services add rich ambience,weaving past and present into a tapestry of sound.

Improving Race Relations: An African-American Perspective (Peace Talks Radio Series)

From Good Radio Shows, Inc. | Part of the Peace Talks Radio: Weekly Half Hour Episodes series | 28:55

A panel of three African-Americans reflect on their greatest challenges and successes in resolving racial conflict throughout their lives.

Jameslewis1_small History is filled with examples of conflict between different races. Periodically, Peace Talks Radio will explore efforts to resolve that conflict from different racial perspectives. This time, we get the African American perspective. Our guests are three African Americans ? each born of a different generation and raised in different circumstances and locales. They reflect on their greatest challenges and successes in resolving racial conflict throughout their lives. They also share specific steps that members of all races can take to make peace with each other. Our guests are Tonya Covington, Racial Justice Coordinator for the Middle Rio Grande YWCA in Albuquerque, New Mexico; James Lewis, Chief Operating Officer for the City of Albuquerque (pictured above), and Othiamba Umi, a student at the University of New Mexico. Although the guests are all currently living in New Mexico, the topic and discussion is generic. Suzanne Kryder hosts. -- Tonya Covington on White Privilege: "A lot of whites don?t believe that it exists and don?t believe that they have any privilege in being white. But there are certain things that come to you naturally or come to you easily because of the color of your skin that don?t come to us. Studies have shown that if two people walk into a store, one white, one black, the security guard is going to follow the black person regardless if they do any thing wrong or regardless of what the white person is like." James Lewis on prejudice: "As the only African-American elected state-wide in the state of New Mexico (as State Treasurer), I had a chance to go to New York for a bond closing. We had some bankers to pick us up at the airport...a white American was with me. They had a car to come pick us up and the bankers walked up to him assuming that he is Mr. Lewis, the treasurer, and walked right by me."

No Argument Here

From With Good Reason | 29:00

A college professor is following the footsteps of a civil rights icon James Farmer, by training his students in the art of debate. Lydia Wilson, of the radio program "With Good Reason," has more.

Farmer_small Civil Rights icon James Farmer's skilled oratory was shaped in part as a member of the legendary debate team portrayed in the 2007 film, The Great Debaters. Timothy O’Donnell is furthering Farmer's footsteps by developing high-quality debate teams at historically black colleges and universities.  Also: As entrepreneurs in a largely segregated trade, African-American funeral directors were among the few black individuals who were economically independent.  Suzanne Smith, in her book, To Serve the Living, shows how their financial freedom gave them the ability to support the struggle for civil rights as well as bury the dead.

What's the Word? W. E. B. Du Bois

From Modern Language Association | Part of the What's the Word? Two half-hour programs celebrating Black History Month series | 29:10

An exploration of the life, work, and lasting influence of African American teacher, author, and activist W. E. B. Du Bois.

Webdubois_small

W.E.B. Du Bois

Many consider W.E.B. Du Bois the most important African American leader in the first half of the twentieth century.   A sociologist, historian, author, teacher, activist, and co- founder of the NAACP and its magazine The Crisis, his influence was profound.  His ground-breaking book, The Souls of Black Folk, has been called the foundational text of African American studies.  On this program, Pulitzer prize winner David Levering Lewis tells us about W.E.B. Du Bois’s early life and the years that led up to the publication of The Souls of Black Folk;   Marlon B. Ross explores some of the social and political factors that Du Bois responded to in the book; and Sheryl Townsend Gilkes discusses the book’s continuing influence.

Well-suited to Black History Month in February.
Fifteen- and thirty-second promos available.

Martin Luther King Jr.'s Path To Nonviolence -29:00 Version (Peace Talks Radio Series)

From Good Radio Shows, Inc. | Part of the Peace Talks Radio: Weekly Half Hour Episodes series | 29:01

Martin Luther King Jr.'s journey to a philosophy of nonviolence and his lasting legacy as a peace proponent is recalled in interviews with his daughter, Yolanda King, and one of King's top colleagues in the civil rights movement, Dr. Dorothy Cotton. This program is also available in a 59:00 version.

Yolandaking_small IMPORTANT: Please have your local announcer read the following script before and after this show. "The following (preceding) program, featuring an interview with Yolanda King, the daughter of the late Martin Luther King Jr., was recorded in 2004. Yolanda King died, at the age of 51, May 15, 2007." PROGRAM DESCRIPTION: Two women with very close ties to Martin Luther King Jr. reflect on how King developed into one of the great moral and political philosophers of the 20th century and how his philosophies might still guide the world through troubled times today. Dr. Dorothy Cotton was the highest ranking female in the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, founded by Dr. King. From 1960 to 1972 Dr. Cotton was the educational director for SCLC and worked very closely with Dr. King. The late Yolanda King was the eldest daughter of Dr. King. She was an internationally known motivational speaker and actress whose personal mission in life was to inspire positive social change and world peace. Ms. King died in May of 2007 at the age of 51. Ms. King and Dr. Cotton were interviewed separately in 2004 by phone by show host Carol Boss.  A newscast compatible 59 minute version of this program is available at PRX: http://www.prx.org/piece/3123 Promos for this program are also contained at the site for the 59:00 version.


Segments (9:00-23:59)

Strange Fruit: Voices of a Lynching

From Radio Diaries | Part of the Audio History Project series | 14:35

Poet and songwriter Abel Meeropol wrote that lament after seeing a photograph of two black teenagers hanging from a tree. Strange Fruit was later made famous by Billie Holiday. But a third boy escaped being lynched that fateful day, 80 years ago, in Marion, Indiana. James Cameron was believed to be the only African American to have survived a lynching. Decades later, a box of recordings was found in a basement. They contained the recollections of people who witnessed or took part in the events of that day.

Strange-fruit_001_l_small Poet and songwriter Abel Meeropol wrote that lament after seeing a photograph of two black teenagers hanging from a tree. Strange Fruit was later made famous by Billie Holiday. But a third boy escaped being lynched that fateful day, 80 years ago, in Marion, Indiana. James Cameron was believed to be the only African American to have survived a lynching. Decades later, a box of recordings was found in a basement. They contained the recollections of people who witnessed or took part in the events of that day.

The People Could Fly

From Miles Tokunow | 11:11

This is a telling of Virginia Hamilton's American Black Folktale "The People Could Fly."

651043585_071a57436d_z_small This is a telling of Virginia Hamilton's American Black Folktale "The People Could Fly." This is an uplifiting legend of slaves who fly away to liberty. 

Chasing After the Hurricane: A Personal Look Into the Life of Rubin "Hurricane" Carter - After the Movie.

From N Lorde | 14:07

A personal insight into the life of former boxer Rubin "Hurricane" Carter - his life after the blockbuster hit movie.

Niseanandthehurricane_small On April 20, 2014, Rubin Carter passed away from terminal prostate cancer. This is an in-depth radio documentary on the boxer and how he fought to help those who were wrongfully convicted in North America. The feature delves into Mr. Carter's personal life (i.e. it provides listeners with an interesting tour of his house in Toronto) and reveals the downward struggle many people, specifically young black men, face in North America's criminal justice system. 

Background: 
Rubin's life struggle was portrayed through the 1999 movie "The Hurricane". (Denzel Washington played Rubin.) In 1975, Bob Dylan wrote a song about Rubin's innocence entitled, "Hurricane." In the 1960s, Rubin was one of the world's best, professional, middle-weight boxers. In 1967, he was found guilty of committing a triple murder at the Lafayette Grill in Paterson, New Jersey. He served nearly 20 years in prison. In 1986, Federal Court Judge H. Lee Sarokin exonerated Rubin of the crimes. The judge ruled that the state withheld evidence in its attempt to get the killers.  

Water Woman

From Queen Mother Imakhu MuNefert | Part of the True Urban Legends series | 12:57

Popular storyteller Imakhu Mwt Shekemet's contemporary version of Afro-Brazillian folktale, "Mae de Agua."

Imakhu_by_sammie_signature_clean_edit_small Veteran, popular storyteller brings a contemporary, comical twist to the mystical Afro-Brazillian folktale,"Mae de Agua." Stories about the mysterious "mer" people, who live in the water, have been told since their African origins. Another popular story inspired by the Water Woman stories was Hans Christian Anderson's,"Little Mermaid," which has a tragic ending. The story "Water Women" has a moral of comical comeuppance. This story has been a popular part of Imakhu's repertoire.

Jeff's Diary: Halfrican

From Radio Diaries | Part of the Teenage Diaries series | 35:20

Jeff finds himself thinking about race and being forced to answer the question "What are you?"

Jeff_small More and more these days Jeff finds himself thinking about race and being forced to answer the question "What are you?" "When I was younger - you know my father's black, my mother's white - that's the way it was supposed to be: father meant black person, mother meant white person. Race had no bearing on anything. To me, two Asian people could just have a black kid. It made perfect sense when I was younger."

This story is part of the Teenage Diaries series produced by Radio Diaries for NPR. Since 1996, Executive Producer Joe Richman has been giving tape recorders to young people around the country to document their lives. In December of 2012, Radio Diaries will revisit five of the original diarists 16 years after their first recordings. The series is broadcast on NPR's All Things Considered. 


Cutaways (5:00-8:59)

Pete Seeger on "We Shall Overcome"

From Blank on Blank | Part of the Blank on Blank series | 06:34

Folk music legend Pete Seeger explains the history behind the civil rights anthem, "We Shall Overcome", and why this famous song has many brothers and sisters, fathers and mothers. And he sings, too.

Peteseeger590w400h_small Interviewer: Josh Baron, Editor-in-Chief Relix Magazine

The Scene: By phone, Seeger on the way to perform in 2009

The Source: Digital recorder

Toilet Paper Scrap Chronicles Civil Rights Ordeal

From Wisconsin Public Radio | 07:23

A six-foot piece of jail-grade toilet paper from 1963 captures Civil Rights struggle.

Tpsmall_small Simply put, toilet paper is not considered much of a keepsake. Yet within the archives of the Wisconsin Historical Society in Madison, rests a carefully-preserved six-foot swatch of toilet paper. Its relevance in chronicling the civil rights struggle can best be told by Miriam Real, who used it as stationery while incarcerated in a Port Allen, Louisiana Jail, in September 1963. Real -- then Miriam Feingold -- was one of hundreds of people arrested during a voter registration drive coordinated by the Congress of Racial Equality, or CORE. In this feature, Real describes her fateful assignment.

Martin Luther King Jr.'s Secret Advisor

From WNYC | 07:38

The names of many of Reverend Martin Luther King Junior’s associates are well known: Harry Belafonte, Jesse Jackson, Andrew Young. But one of his most important confidants, a Jewish business man from New York named Stanley Levison, has remained largely hidden from public view. From what we know about him, Levison probably would have wanted it that way.

Default-piece-image-0 The names of many of Reverend Martin Luther King Junior’s associates are well known: Harry Belafonte, Jesse Jackson, Andrew Young. But one of his most important confidants, a Jewish business man from New York named Stanley Levison, has remained largely hidden from public view. From what we know about him, Levison probably would have wanted it that way.

The Quander Quality

From Rebecca Sheir | 05:17

Meet the oldest African-American family in Washington, D.C. - and, perhaps, the United States.

_12 Meet the Quanders: the oldest African-American family in D.C., and, possibly, the United States. Records show the family has been in the D.C. region since the late 1600s, and as Rebecca Sheir tells us, the Quanders have a few secrets on how to keep the family line going strong.

Black Tension

From Hana Baba | 07:41

A look at the sometimes tension-filled relationship between African immigrants and Black Americans.

Playing
Black Tension
From
Hana Baba

Blackart_small Over the past decade, the African immigrant population in the United States has increased rapidly. Their numbers doubled in the 1990s, and the latest estimates say there are over one million US residents from the African continent today. The majority of them come from countries like Nigeria and Ethiopia. Most end up on America’s coasts - New York and California being among the top choices - places which are also home to large numbers of African Americans. A common assumption many people make is that the two groups share a natural inclination towards one other. But often, that is not the case. It's a look at the sometimes tension-filled relationship between African immigrants and black Americans.

Living Flag

From Dmae Roberts | 04:02

Street performance piece with Artist Damali Ayo as she panhandles around the country to create dialogue about reparations for slavery.

Playing
Living Flag
From
Dmae Roberts

Ayo2683074 Exploring the issues surrounding race, class and gender is at the heart of the work of Artist damali ayo. As a conceptual artist, she uses visual art, the web, performance and audio to generate experience and dialogue for her audience. In her ongoing street performance called living flag , she collects reparations for the enslavement of African Americans by taking to the street as a panhandler. There she accepts reparation payments from white people and distributes these reparations to black people. Her stage is a busy street corner anywhere in the U.S. You might even find her one day on a street in your home town. damali ayo presents the images and text of her performance art piece and teamed up with Producer Dmae Roberts to document this audio of ‘the street’. First aired on Studio 360 in 2004.

The '63 March : Convergence on the Capitol

From WGBH Radio Boston | 07:17

The second in a five-part radio series (view all) focusing on the 1963 March on Washington. The demonstrations were viewed suspiciously by Congress and by some members of the American public, but the demonstrators were determined to be seen and heard.

March_small Buses crowded the early morning highways leading into Washington D.C. on the morning of August 28, 1963. The passengers on the buses -clergy, auto workers, teachers, nuns, lawyers and laborers - seemed fully aware that they were about to play an important role in United States civil rights history. President John F. Kennedy was only reluctantly welcoming the marchers to the nation's capital. Many members of Congress and many Americans viewed the civil rights demonstrators with suspicion. But they came anyway and were determined to push the fight for racial equality to a new level. In the second of a five-part series, independent producer Phillip Martin brings us historic radio coverage of August 28th in the nations capital, and the start of a new era.

Navigating in Nebraska

From Lawrence Lanahan | 05:24

Two years ago, 166 Hurricane Katrina evacuees from New Orleans ended up in Omaha, Nebraska. Two years out, one man is trying hard--perhaps too hard--to help them get back on their feet.

Thumbneb_small Two years ago, 166 Hurricane Katrina evacuees from New Orleans ended up in Omaha, Neb., and most of them have decided to stay. Building a new life is never easy, but it's especially difficult when you have to deal with various bureaucracies. Producer Lawrence Lanahan brings us a story about one man's mission to help himself by helping other evacuees get back on their feet.

Black Classical Masters series: "Lift Every Voice and Sing"

From David Person | 19:53

A series of four short programs that examine the song known as the Black national anthem.

Classicmastercollage_small "Lift Every Voice and Sing" is known as the Black National Anthem or Hymn in the black community. It arguably is the most revered song in the community. This four-part series, part of the larger Black Classical Masters series, documents the history of this song and explores its cultural and political impact. It features interviews with Yale University Professor Willie Ruff, NAACP Chairman Julian Bond, Fisk Jubilee Singers Director Paul Kwami and gospel singer Kelli Williams as well as music by Imani Winds, the Oakwood College Aeolians, the Harmonizing Four and Kellie Williams. The Black Classical Masters series is an on-going examination of black history and culture that has not been relegated to one month out of the year. Black Classical Masters explores black culture and history by focusing on contributions made to classical music by people of African descent. The 5-minute programs combine music and interviews with artists and experts in music, history or culture. Black Classical Masters has been a long-running series on WLRH-FM in Huntsville, Alabama.

Shakespeare In Black and White

From Richard Paul | 07:01

The African-American experience with Shakespeare.

Pictureofaldridge_small This is an excerpt from "Shakespeare in American LIfe," a documentary being produced with the Folger Shakespeare Library. At countless times in America, and for countless groups of citizens, the question has come up: Who "owns" Shakespeare? This is a particularly poignant question in the case of African-Americans. This story looks at minstrel show parodies of Shakespeare, color-blind casting of Shakespeare and the African-American experience with Shakespeare. RELATED WEBSITES -------------------------------------------- Program Director's Preview of "Shakespeare In American LIfe" White People Do Not Know How to Behave at Entertainments Designed for Ladies and Gentlemen of Colour (book about the African Grove theater company) "Stories of Freedom in Black New York" by Shane White Video of a conference on "The Legacy of Public Theater's Joe Papp" at Columbia University The Ground on Which I Stand (Dramatic Contexts) by August Wilson Maya Angelou says "Shakespeare was a black woman"

Barbara Jordan Speech on Watergate and the Constitution

From KUT | 08:44

July 25th marks the anniversary of one of the great speeches in American history. It was given by a freshman Congresswoman from Texas, Barbara Jordan, the first black woman from the South elected to Congress.

Default-piece-image-0 July 25 marks the anniversary of one of the great speeches in American history. It was given by a freshman Congresswoman from Texas, Barbara Jordan, the first black woman from the South elected to Congress…It was also a defining moment in the national crisis known as Watergate. Within two weeks President Nixon would resign. Barbara Jordan would become an icon: a symbol for what is right about America, and the most sought-after public speaker until her death in 1996. Wayne Bell begins our tale, with Barbara Jordan’s own recollections.

The Fire This Time

From Christopher Sprinkle | 06:04

Spoken-word poetry detailing memories of the 1991 Los Angeles Uprising

Default-piece-image-1 Moving spoken word poem from Los Angeles-based poet Imani Tolliver, giving light to her vivid memories of living through the 1991 LA Uprising as an African American woman. Imani Tolliver is a poet from Los Angeles. She studied English and African American Studies at Howard University. She is a co-host at Anaisi Writer’s Workshop at the World Stage in Leimert Park. Currently she works for the Salvation Army, serving high-risk youth in Hollywood. Her recent publications are Burn Rush the Nova Page; A Global Anthology of New Black Literature, Def Poetry Jam, and Beyond the Frontier.


Drop-Ins (2:00-4:59)

The Hair Struggle

From Syracuse University Broadcast Journalism | 03:28

A piece that explains how African-American students across the country are struggling to find stylists capable of doing their hair, and what lengths certain students are going to to address this "hair-raising" problem.

Photo_on_11-13-15_at_12 A piece that explains how African-American students across the country are struggling to find stylists capable of doing their hair, and what lengths certain students are going to to address this "hair-raising" problem.

"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. 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.

Mary McAnally

From This Land Press | Part of the The Sound of Our Land series | 04:06

Mary McAnally shares the story of how she organized the only Freedom Bus from Oklahoma during the Civil Rights Movement. She went with 40 University of Tulsa students and participated in sit-ins in Montgomery, Ala.

Hear more Black History Month pieces from This Land Press here

Sitting_in_3_small Mary McAnally shares the story of how she organized the only Freedom Bus from Oklahoma during the Civil Rights Movement. She went with 40 University of Tulsa students and participated in sit-ins in Montgomery, Ala. She was arrested alongside Dr. Martin Luther King for her civil disobedience. As King told her, "You might get arrested, but you'll be in good company."

Tulsa's Slow Integration

From This Land Press | Part of the Just Passing Through series | 04:53

John W. Franklin is the grandson of an African American lawyer who survived the 1921 Tulsa race riot. Here, Franklin shares his grandfather’s memories of the race riot, his father’s memories of racism and his own memories of the beginnings of racial healing.

Hear more Black History Month pieces from This Land Press here

John_franklin_s_grandfather_small John W. Franklin is the grandson of an African American lawyer who survived the 1921 Tulsa race riot. He’s been coming back to Tulsa since infancy, visiting family in Greenwood. Here, Franklin shares his grandfather’s memories of the race riot, his father’s memories of racism and his own memories of the beginnings of racial healing in our city.

Questions for Martin Luther King, Jr.

From David Green | 02:20

After learning about Martin Luther King, a class of Chicago-area third graders (and one visiting student from South Korea) wrote down the most important questions they would have asked Dr. King if they could have interviewed him.

Mlk_small After learning about Martin Luther King, Jr. - and about how to be good radio reporters and interviewers -  a class of Chicago-area third graders (and one visiting student from South Korea) wrote down the most important questions they would have asked Dr. King if they could have interviewed him. The resulting audio collage captures the curiosity, empathy, wisdom and innocence of eight and nine-year old children.

Third Grade Audio
"See" the world through third grade ears



Aha Moment: Underground Railroad

From Zak Rosen | 04:29

Therese Peterson started volunteering as an actor in the the Underground Railroad Reenactment tour in late 2005. She says that if she wasn't given the opportunity to play the part of the conductor, she might not be with us today. Therese takes us through the tour, and tells us how being a conductor changed her forever.

Fccd_img_small

The Underground Railroad was an informal but vast network of people who helped slaves escape from their holders in the 1800's.  It's estimated that during its height…between 1810 and 1860…The Underground Railroad helped over 30-thousand people escape enslavement. 

 

The First Congregational Church of Detroit was known for being a safe house for escaped slaves to sleep and eat along their journey.  Today the church, which has since moved to midtown Detroit, plays host to the Underground Railroad Living Museum. 

 

Volunteer actors lead tours Monday through Saturday in the church's basement.  The walking tours from slavery to Freedom last about 40 minutes, but they represent a grueling and profoundly dangerous yearlong journey from Oak Alley Louisiana to the Canadian border, northeast of Detroit, Michigan.  The tours are lead by conductors, which are in the case of this reenactment, escaped slaves as well. 


Therese Peterson started volunteering as an actor in the Confrontational Church's tour in late 2005.  She says that if she wasn't given the opportunity to play the part of the conductor…she might not be with us today.  Therese takes us through the tour…and tells us how being a conductor changed her forever. reenactment

 

A Prohibition

From Terin Mayer | 04:27

Three students reflect on what it means to be "Black" at Carleton College.

Playing
A Prohibition
From
Terin Mayer

Terinandkayeen_small Originally curated for a temporary museum installation at Carleton College, "A Prohibition" is a poetic contemplation of campus race relations. What do you mean when you say the word "black"? Why can't you say the word "nigger"? Three African American students navigate the language of identity.

Keeping Poverty on the Front Page

From WNPR | Part of the Janensch on the Media series | 02:21

Why were experienced journalists so stunned that most of those left behind in flooded New Orleans were poor and black?

Default-piece-image-2 Why were experienced journalists so stunned that most of those left behind in flooded New Orleans were poor and black? Media commentator Paul Janensch examines this issue in a short commentary that makes a perfect drop-in for a news program, or special on poverty. This can be used in conjuction with features from the program "After the Flood: New Conversations About Poverty." Media commentator Paul Janensch is a former newspaper editor who teaches journalism at Quinnipiac University in Hamden, Connecticut. You can read his column in the Hartford Courant.

Can Assassins Really Kill You?

From Paul McDonald | 02:02

One white boy's recollections of Dr. King and Malcolm X.

Mlk_small Two minutes, two seconds. Straight commentary

Experiences With The "N" Word

From Paul McDonald | 03:33

A double standard still exists for this racial epithet.

Richard_pryor_small February 10, 2005; WFPL, Louisville, KY.

Katrina, Race, and High School

From Blunt Youth Radio Project | Part of the Blunt Responds to Hurricane Katrina series | 04:15

Hurricane Katrina led Blunt Youth Radio Project producer, Bly Lauritano-Werner to take a second look at the roles race and class play in her high school.

Default-piece-image-2 The mishandled evacuation following Hurricane Katrina brought up a national dialogue on social inequalities like race and class. Some people have criticized the government's slow disaster response as a form of racism against Southern Black communities. The controversy led Blunt Youth Radio Project producer, Bly Lauritano-Werner to take a second look at the roles race and class play in her high school.

"Identity in this Society" by Sean Reed

From WBEZ | Part of the Louder Than a Bomb 2005 series | 02:09

The first performance by Chicago teenager Sean Reed, here he reads about his perception of integrity and how it relates to identity - a wonderful poem about the complexities of identity in America, especially for a young black male.

Ltablogo_small Louder Than a Bomb brings you the 2005 finalists from this nationally-renowned teen poetry slam, hosted by Young Chicago Authors. Featuring remarkable work about identity, race relations, gun violence, police brutality, relationships with parents, God, Islam, cancer, HIV/AIDS, and gentrification these young writers hold very little back. Each piece included in the series is a titled performance piece. Without introduction, a template for host-introduction is offered here (under additional materials). These pieces would work well aired independently or as a series in locally produced programming that is looking to add a youth perspective. This is debut series. The Young Chicago Authors - Louder Than a Bomb teen poetry slam is now in it’s fifth year, bringing poets ages 13-19 years-old together in a safe space that emphasizes community building, education, and youth empowerment. By carrying on the rich tradition of oral storytelling and the spoken word, the 2005 Louder Than a Bomb teen poetry slam engaged over 400 youth participants representing over 30 schools and community organizations. The eight teams that were invited to the final round, each presenting one group piece and two individual pieces, are presented here. Louder Than a Bomb is produced by Breeze Luetke-Stahlman and distributed directly to public radio stations through PRX.

"Peaches" by Langston Kerman

From WBEZ | Part of the Louder Than a Bomb 2005 series | 02:26

A young Chicago poet explores his understanding of the ridicule his parents faced for being a mixed couple, and how his bi-racial identity has been shaped by his parent's experience.

Ltablogo_small Louder Than a Bomb brings you the 2005 finalists from this nationally-renowned teen poetry slam, hosted by Young Chicago Authors. Featuring remarkable work about identity, race relations, gun violence, police brutality, relationships with parents, God, Islam, cancer, HIV/AIDS, and gentrification these young writers hold very little back. Each piece included in the series is a titled performance piece. Without introduction, a template for host-introduction is offered here (under additional materials). These pieces would work well aired independently or as a series in locally produced programming that is looking to add a youth perspective. This is debut series. The Young Chicago Authors - Louder Than a Bomb teen poetry slam is now in it’s fifth year, bringing poets ages 13-19 years-old together in a safe space that emphasizes community building, education, and youth empowerment. By carrying on the rich tradition of oral storytelling and the spoken word, the 2005 Louder Than a Bomb teen poetry slam engaged over 400 youth participants representing over 30 schools and community organizations. The eight teams that were invited to the final round, each presenting one group piece and two individual pieces, are presented here. Louder Than a Bomb is produced by Breeze Luetke-Stahlman and distributed directly to public radio stations through PRX.

Black word nerds

From Will Wright | 02:58

Can people of African descent be word nerds? Can we avoid people's expectation that "black people" talk "black?" A few University of Minnesota students sound off.

Chris_rock_small Can people of African descent be word nerds?  Can we avoid people's expectation that "black people" talk "black?"  A few University of Minnesota students sound off.

Everybody's Green

From Youth Radio | 01:59

Youth Radio's Ahmina James is on a mission to make "being green" colorless.

Default-piece-image-2 High School student Ahmina James is tired of environmentalism being considered a "white thing." Her new passion is to makie recycling, energy saving, and concieceness about the earth, popular in the black community as well.   She wants the world to know that green issues really do have a diverse movement behind them, and its time to hop on the bandwagon.

Virtuoso Voices - Awadagin Pratt (Role Model)

From Listener Directed Productions, Inc. | Part of the Virtuoso Voices(tm) series | :28

Athletes are often role models, as are some politicians and teachers. And musicians, like pianist Awadagin Pratt, can be considered role models as well. Use this 28 second clip to introduce pianist Awadagin Pratt playing any of his recordings.

Awadaginpratt_small Use this clip to enhance your introduction of Awadagin Pratt playing any of his recordings. Your options include his 4 Bach recordings on EMI Classics and the Brahms Ballades on EMI Classics (55025)

SUGGESTED HOST INTRO
Athletes are often role models, as are some politicians and teachers. And musicians, like pianist Awadagin (ah-wah-DAH-gin) Pratt, can be considered role models as well.

CLIP TRANSCRIPT
"It's important to me to be recognized as an African-American pianist, that young people can see me, and see that it's an aspiration that they can have - that it's not something that's excluded from them. And, you know, as well for other young musicians just to see that there are some people out there that look a little bit differently, and you know it doesn't matter what their race is, or gender, that you don't have to only look a certain way to have a career."

SUGGESTED HOST OUTRO
Pianist Awadagin (ah-wah-DAH-gin) Pratt. You can learn more about him on his website: awadagin.com (spell out a-w-a-d-g-i-n), including information on the Pratt Music Foundation and some of his favorite puzzles and games. We'll get to know Awadagin Pratt right now on a musical level. This is (insert music title).

(Special thanks to WBHM PD Michael Krall for sharing his interview with Awadagin Pratt. The interview was originally heard on his program, "Tapestry." http://www.wbhm.org/Tapestry/index.html)

(To download a .txt file of this suggested copy, look under the "Additional Files" for this piece.)


WHAT IS VIRTUOSO VOICES™?

Virtuoso Voices™ is a performer interview service that provides short interview segments to radio stations, their websites and other online platforms.

Virtuoso Voices provides stations with a new strategy for presenting classical music on the radio by directly involving the performer in the introduction of the music.  These topical and evergreen clips enable announcers to bring an additional insider's perspective to the music they introduce and play on their shifts.

Program content is taken from interviews with internationally recognized classical music performers, such as Gil Shaham, Yo-Yo Ma, Marin Alsop, Lorin Maazel, Joshua Bell, Hilary Hahn and Michael Tilson Thomas.

For more information and to see additional ways to use these clips, please visit our website, www.virtuosovoices.org.


Virtuoso Voices™ Fundraising Service

Virtuoso Voices(tm) is also Public Radio's primary source for classical music fundraising messages.

Please visit the fundraising page of our website for examples and further information.  www.virtuosovoices.org/fundraising.


VIRTUOSO VOICES

"Classical Music's Virtuosos Want a Word with Your Listeners."

Virtuoso Voices is a trademark of Listener Directed Productions, Inc.

Remembering "I Have a Dream"

From Rebecca Sheir | 05:41

We know what history books say about Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" speech - but what about the people who were there?

_01 Rebecca Sheir talks with Washington, D.C., locals -- including activist/politician/professor Julian Bond -- about how it felt watching Dr. King's "I Have a Dream" speech, live, at the Lincoln Memorial on August 28, 1963.

Willie McGee and the Traveling Electric Chair (30 Min Special)

From Radio Diaries | Part of the The Radio Diaries Podcast series | 28:11

In 1951, Willie McGee was executed in Mississippi's traveling electric chair for raping a white woman. Six decades later, his granddaughter is on a quest to unearth everything she can about his life - and his death.

Bridgette_small

Bridgette McGee grew up knowing nothing about her grandfather, Willie McGee. Now she is on a quest to unearth everything she can about his life – and his death.

In 1945, Willie McGee was accused of raping a white woman. The all-white jury took less than three minutes to find him guilty and McGee was sentenced to death. Over the next six years, the case went through three trials and sparked international protests and appeals from Albert Einstein, William Faulkner, Paul Robeson, and Josephine Baker. McGee was defended by a young Bella Abzug arguing her first major case. But in 1951, McGee was put to death in Mississippi’s traveling electric chair. His execution was broadcast live by a local radio station. Today, a newly discovered recording of that broadcast provides a chilling window into a lost episode of civil rights history. Narrated by Bridgette McGee, this documentary follows a granddaughter’s search for the truth about a case that has been called a real-life To Kill A Mockingbird.

Note: This is the 30 minute special version. The 23 minute piece is also available on PRX: http://www.prx.org/pieces/54258-willie-mcgee-and-the-traveling-electric-chair-a-g#description

Madame C. J. Walker

From Brian Hawkins | Part of the Heroes in Black History series | 02:02

America's first African American female millionaire.

Madame_cj_walker_small America's first African American female millionaire.