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African-American History Topics

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Democracy Now! stories, posts and pages that relate to African-American History

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  • Over 2,000 people gathered at Riverside Church in New York on Friday for the funeral of the legendary drummer, educator and activist Max Roach, who died on August 16 at the age of 83. He was credited with helping to revolutionize the sound of modern jazz and for playing a prominent role in the struggle for black liberation at home and in Africa. We speak with two men who have known Roach for decades: Amiri Baraka and Phil Schaap. [includes...
    August 27, 2007 | Story
  • From war and violence to the civil rights movement and hip-hop, from Hurricane Katrina to race politics, Professor Michael Eric Dyson takes it all on. Over the past 14 years he has written 14 best-selling books, including "Come Hell or High Water" and "Debating Race." Ebony magazine has named him as one of the 100 Most Influential African Americans. His latest book is titled "Know What I Mean? Reflections on...
    July 18, 2007 | Story
  • Forty years ago, Newark erupted. Followed by Detroit, then city after city across the United States, spontaneous uprisings by disaffected African-American communities who were met with brutal violence by police and National Guardsmen. In Newark, 26 people were killed, and 43 in Detroit. Thousands more were injured. A presidential commission into the unrest later famously concluded that the United States was "moving toward two societies,...
    July 13, 2007 | Story
  • Today we spend the hour examining the life of Malcolm X–one of the most influential political figures of the 20th century. Saturday would have been his 82nd birthday. We broadcast excerpts of Malcolm X in his own words and speak to Columbia University professor Manning Marable who is working on a major biography titled "Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention" to be published in 2009. Marable is the founding director of the Institute...
    May 21, 2007 | Story
  • Police in California, New York and Florida arrested eight former Black Panthers earlier this week on charges related to the 1971 killing of a San Francisco police officer. Charges were thrown out in 1974 after it was revealed police used torture to extract confessions in the case. We speak with two of the defendants’ attorneys. [includes rush transcript]
    January 26, 2007 | Story
  • Medical scholar Harriet Washington joins us to talk about her new book, "Medical Apartheid: The Dark History of Medical Experimentation on Black Americans from Colonial Times to the Present." The book reveals the hidden underbelly of scientific research and the roots of the African American health deficit. It also examines less well-known abuses and looks at unethical practices and mistreatment of blacks that are still taking place...
    January 19, 2007 | Story
  • Flores Forbes first joined the Black Panther Party when he was 16 years old. He became the youngest member of the Black Panther’s Central Committee and ended up spending nearly five years in prison for an attempted assassination. Flores is now chief strategic officer of the Abyssinian Development Corporation in Harlem. His new memoir is called "Will You Die With Me? My Life and the Black Panther Party." He joins us in our...
    November 22, 2006 | Story
  • 41 years ago today, Malcolm X was gunned down in the Audubon Ballroom in Harlem. Yuri Kochiyama cradled his head as he lay dying on the stage. Kochiyama’s activism began after the bombing of Pearl Harbor, when she and her family were held in an internment camp along with more than 100,000 Japanese in the United States. [includes rush transcript]
    February 21, 2006 | Story
  • We turn now to the words of Malcolm X, who was assassinated 41 years ago today in New York City as he spoke before a packed audience in Harlem’s Audubon Ballroom. He was just 39 years old. This is an excerpt of a speech he gave in Detroit on April 12, 1964–just a year before he was gunned down. It is known as "The Ballot or the Bullet." [includes rush transcript]
    February 21, 2006 | Story
  • February is African-American History Month. To honor it, we bring you a conversation with the renowned author, poet and activist Alice Walker. She is perhaps best known for her book "The Color Purple" for which she won the Pulitzer Prize in 1983, becoming the first African-American woman to win the Pulitzer for fiction. The novel was adapted into an Oscar-nominated feature length film and has been recently made into a Broadway...
    February 13, 2006 | Story