African-American History Topics

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Search our vast archive of interviews with scholars, journalists, activists, key political figures, and authors.

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  • A series of protests are scheduled outside the New York Post today to condemn the publication of a cartoon that critics say depicts President Obama as an ape. We speak to New York State Senator Eric Adams and Institute for Policy Studies organizer and researcher, Dedrick Muhammad, the former national field director for Rev. Al Sharpton’s National Action Network. [includes rush transcript]
    February 19, 2009 | Story
  • At 12:04 p.m. on Tuesday, before a record crowd of more than one million people, Barack Hussein Obama was sworn in, becoming the nation’s first African-American president. Obama laid his hand on the same Bible used by Abraham Lincoln at his inauguration in 1861. [includes rush transcript]
    January 21, 2009 | Story
  • Reverendjosephlowery2009inauguration
    Rev. Joseph Lowery gave the benediction at the inauguration of President Barack Obama. Lowery is a towering figure in the civil rights movement. In 1955, he helped lead the Montgomery Bus Boycott. Two years later, he and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. founded the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. In 1965, Lowery led the march from Selma to Montgomery. At Tuesday’s inauguration, he began the benediction with the opening lines of the...
    January 21, 2009 | Story
  • More than 80 gala events took place across Washington, D.C. on Wednesday to celebrate the inauguration of President Obama. One of them was the Peace Ball, sponsored by Busboys and Poets and the Smithsonian National Postal Museum. The highlight of the night was special guest host, the legendary singer, actor and humanitarian, Harry Belafonte. We air his full remarks. [includes rush transcript]
    January 21, 2009 | Story
  • At Sunday’s massive concert at the Lincoln Memorial, Queen Latifah introduced the story of contralto Marian Anderson, who was banned by the whites-only Daughters of the American Revolution from performing at DAR Constitution Hall. Anderson got to sing at the Lincoln Memorial with an assist from First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt. [includes rush transcript]
    January 20, 2009 | Story
  • Bob Moses is one of the leading civil rights icons from the 1960s. He was the former field secretary for the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, or SNCC. The New York Times once wrote, "In Mississippi, Bob Moses was the equivalent of Martin Luther King." Moses is also the founder of the Algebra Project, a foundation devoted to improving minority education in math. The author, poet and activist Alice Walker won the 1983...
    January 20, 2009 | Story
  • On Sunday, a half-a-million people turned out on the National Mall for a star-studded two-hour inaugural event that featured actors Jamie Foxx, Marisa Tomei, Denzel Washington, Queen Latifah, Tom Hanks and many more. There were special performances by Stevie Wonder, Pete Seeger, Bruce Springsteen, U2, Mary J. Blige and others. Barack Obama was the highlight of the day. He spoke at the climax of the two-hour event. [includes rush transcript]
    January 20, 2009 | Story
  • Later today, the first African-American president in U.S. history, Barack Obama, and wife Michelle and two daughters, Malia and Sasha, will be taking up residence in the White House, a house built by slaves. The U.S. Capitol, too, was built by slaves, as was the U.S. Supreme Court. Last night, I spoke with Associated Press reporter Jesse Holland. He is author of Black Men Built the Capitol: Discovering African-American History In and Around...
    January 20, 2009 | Story
  • Despite Obama’s ban on corporate funding, Public Citizen has found nearly 80 percent of inaugural contributions have been raised by just over 200 wealthy donors, including executives from Citigroup, Lehman Brothers, UBS Americas, Goldman Sachs, Wachovia. [includes rush transcript]
    January 20, 2009 | Story
  • Considered the “Queen of American Folk Music,” Odetta introduced audiences worldwide to American roots music and especially African American folk, blues and gospel. She died earlier this month. When Rosa Parks was asked which songs meant the most to her, she replied, “All of the songs Odetta sings.” We hear Odetta in her own words and speak to Dr. Bernice Johnson Reagon, original member of the SNCC Freedom Singers and founder of Sweet Honey in...
    December 30, 2008 | Story