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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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  • Lumumba2
    In Mississippi, the city of Jackson is grieving today following the sudden death of Mayor Chokwe Lumumba, less than a year after he was elected. He suffered from heart failure on Tuesday. A longtime black nationalist organizer and attorney, Lumumba had been described as "America’s most revolutionary mayor." Working with the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement, Lumumba advocated for participatory democracy and the creation of new...
    February 26, 2014 | Story
  • Spiesof_ms4
    In part two of our interview about the new film, "Spies of Mississippi," we continue our look at how the Mississippi state government spied on civil rights activists in the 1950s and 1960s. [includes rush transcript]
    February 25, 2014 | Web Exclusive
  • Spies_of_mississippi1
    A new documentary reveals how the Mississippi state government spied on civil rights activists in the 1950s and 1960s. A little-known state agency called the Mississippi Sovereignty Commission hired spies to infiltrate the civil rights movement and squash attempts to desegregate the state and register African Americans to vote. Some of the spies were themselves African-American. The Commission generated more than 160,000 pages of reports, many...
    February 25, 2014 | Story
  • Screen_shot_2014-02-17_at_9.20.00_am
    As the country marks Presidents’ Day, we turn to an aspect of U.S. history that is often missed: the complicity of American presidents with slavery. "More than one-in-four U.S. presidents were involved in human trafficking and slavery. These presidents bought, sold and bred enslaved people for profit. Of the 12 presidents who were enslavers, more than half kept people in bondage at the White House," writes historian Clarence...
    February 17, 2014 | Story
  • Slaveship01
    In his new book, "The Empire of Necessity: Slavery, Freedom, and Deception in the New World," acclaimed historian Greg Grandin examines how the transnational slave trade transformed the world, causing mass economic, social and political upheaval in ways that continue to reverberate today. Grandin tells the true story of a slave insurrection aboard a ship named the Tryal in 1805, in which West African men and women rose up and seized...
    February 06, 2014 | Story
  • Peekskill_car
    Watch an exclusive excerpt from our 2004 interview with the legendary folk singer and activist Pete Seeger, who died Monday at the age of 94. Seeger recalls the Peekskill Riots of 1949, when he and the singer and actor Paul Robeson were attacked after they performed.
    January 31, 2014 | Web Exclusive
  • Seeger_with_guitar
    The legendary folk singer and activist Pete Seeger died Monday at the age of 94. For nearly seven decades, Seeger was a musical and political icon who helped create the modern American folk music movement. We air highlights of two appearances by Seeger on Democracy Now!, including one of his last television interviews recorded just four months ago. Interspersed in the interviews, Seeger sings some of his classic songs, "We Shall...
    January 28, 2014 | Story
  • Billmoyers1
    Legendary broadcaster Bill Moyers joins us to discuss his latest investigation, which explores how the influence of large, untraceable political donations known as "dark money" have become the greatest threat to democracy in the United States. In "State of Conflict: North Carolina," Moyers and his team explore how wealthy right-wing donors are greatly influencing state politics. "This is more than North Carolina,"...
    January 27, 2014 | Story
  • Freedom_summer2
    Hundreds of people marched in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, on Wednesday to mark the 50th anniversary of Freedom Day. On Jan. 22, 1964, Fannie Lou Hamer and other civil rights activists marched around the Forrest County Courthouse in support of black voting rights. The rally was the beginning of a historic year in Mississippi. Months later, civil rights groups launched Freedom Summer. More than 1,000 out-of-state volunteers traveled to Mississippi...
    January 23, 2014 | Story
  • Dark_lens2
    A new film explores how African-American communities have used the medium of photography to shape how they are represented. "Through a Lens Darkly: Black Photographers and the Emergence of a People" is directed and produced by Thomas Allen Harris, who shares his own family’s history in the film. Allen Harris is also the creator of the related project, the Digital Diaspora Family Roadshow. Both were inspired in part by the book,...
    January 23, 2014 | Story