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African American History

Jacob Lawrence Migration Series at MOMA

Brian D. Cohen | Posted 08.21.2015 | Arts
Brian D. Cohen

At age 23 Jacob Lawrence undertook this encompassing and ambitious series. The tradition of narrative history painting, the highest ideal of European painting since Giotto, but largely dormant since the early 1800's, had been revived in the contemporary mural cycles of Diego Rivera and José Clemente Orozco.

Music History: James Brown at the Apollo Theater

National Trust for Historic Preservation | Posted 07.30.2015 | Arts
National Trust for Historic Preservation

From jazz and blues to R&B and Motown, from plays to comedians and from Amateur Night to Showtime at the Apollo, the theater has been among the most important cultural and entertainment institutions for not only the African-American community, but the world.

Ending Apathy from African-American Entertainers

Cierra Lockett | Posted 07.28.2015 | Black Voices
Cierra Lockett

As we move forward as a people, it is important that those with power and platforms remember to not only entertain the community, but to enlighten and empower those in it; not only with their art, but with their actions.

Hate Symbols Are Barriers to Progress

Iván Espinoza-Madrigal | Posted 06.25.2015 | Latino Voices
Iván Espinoza-Madrigal

Preserving a symbol of slavery and black subjugation sends a threatening and terrifying message that black lives -- and the lives of other oppressed individuals -- do not matter.

Author Beverly Jenkins' Romance With the Past

National Trust for Historic Preservation | Posted 05.08.2015 | Black Voices
National Trust for Historic Preservation

Thirty-one books later, Jenkins is known for introducing readers to little known histories of African-Americans in the 19th century, amid tales of complicated and strong heroines and the men who they grow to love.

I Found My Blackness: I Didn't Know It Was Missing Until It Came Back

Regina Fraser and Pat Johnson | Posted 05.04.2015 | Black Voices
Regina Fraser and Pat Johnson

During my childhood I was aware that I was different in color from the majority of people around me, but my father and mother emphasized brainpower, not color. Color was what you were, but not using your brain was a choice.

Five Historic Sites with Fresh Perspectives on Interpreting Slavery and Freedom

National Trust for Historic Preservation | Posted 06.30.2015 | Education
National Trust for Historic Preservation

Using different approaches, all of the five sites work to spark a dialogue that will lead to understanding and reconciliation.

Alvin Ailey at the Auditorium Theater - The Celebration Continues

Regina Fraser and Pat Johnson | Posted 06.14.2015 | Arts
Regina Fraser and Pat Johnson

The 125 Anniversary celebration of Chicago's illustrious Auditorium Theater continued last month with a two-week residency of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. And boy was I ready.

Strengthening the Connections Between African Americans and National Parks

Michael Sainato | Posted 05.27.2015 | Black Voices
Michael Sainato

The arches of Yellowstone National Park at the park entrance displays the Theodore Roosevelt quote, "for the benefit and enjoyment of the people." Despite Roosevelt's rhetoric, the national parks' missions have lacked focus towards African Americans for decades.

Rocka My Soul

Robert Koehler | Posted 05.19.2015 | Entertainment
Robert Koehler

This great inner wanting yearned for a freedom we don't much talk about these days, in our relative affluence and comfort, but the music and the movement of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, with its roots in Africa, in Gospel revival -- in growing up black in America -- went so much deeper than that.

White Terrorism

Robert Koehler | Posted 05.05.2015 | Politics
Robert Koehler

The president doesn't "love" America? Would that it were true. Would that the president felt a responsibility to the global future and, at the same time, could summon our real past, grieve for its victims and vow with every fiber of his being to atone for our history of slavery and conquest: the "white terrorism" of manifest destiny. Would that the president didn't "love" our myths.

Natchez, Mississippi Up Close

Regina Fraser and Pat Johnson | Posted 05.02.2015 | Travel
Regina Fraser and Pat Johnson

I looked forward to my first visit to Mississippi. During decades of travel across the USA, I have covered much of the South, but had not wandered through or made any forays into the great State of Mississippi.

10 Must-See Black Landmarks At Your Fingertips

The Huffington Post | Jessica Dickerson | Posted 02.27.2015 | Black Voices

Google Maps can do so much more than just getting you to the nearest gas station. For lovers of Black History Month, the innovative platform can a...

Ne Me Quitte Pas

Diedre A. Ware | Posted 04.28.2015 | Fifty
Diedre A. Ware

Nina Simone's music stirs the soul. I liken it to one awash in the Holy Spirit in a Baptist church on a Sunday morning. Her classical piano finesse infused with her jazzy and bluesy gospel voice is heard in all of her music, especially in all of her civil rights protest songs.

The Book of Negroes and the Ongoing Fight for Equality in America

Cierra Lockett | Posted 04.25.2015 | Black Voices
Cierra Lockett

Though The Book of Negroes will undoubtedly serve as one of the newest cinematic educational tools, awareness is only the beginning. In order for history not to repeat itself further, Americans have to take a long, hard look in the mirror.

A Salute to the African American Playwright August Wilson

Regina Fraser and Pat Johnson | Posted 04.21.2015 | Black Voices
Regina Fraser and Pat Johnson

This film is a beautiful legacy. It sheds light on a very gifted man who, like many creative people, was raised under difficult circumstances in an underserved area of Pittsburgh. All of his plays were "doors" into the black experience, and from many eras of the American story.

The Riot That Sparked the Selma March

The Daily Beast | Gary May | Posted 02.18.2015 | Black Voices

President Lyndon Johnson called “Bloody Sunday” a turning point in American history, comparing it to Lexington and Concord and Appomattox. This wa...

The Dream Lives

J. Randall O'Brien | Posted 04.19.2015 | Black Voices
J. Randall O'Brien

You may say Dr. King was a Dreamer, but he's not the only one. Do we not dream of a just society, too? Do we not dream of a day of better opportunity, full equality, and hope for all?

By Any Dreams Necessary, Malcolm X and the Problem of High Stakes Testing

Yohuru Williams | Posted 04.12.2015 | Black Voices
Yohuru Williams

Malcolm X faced the kind of racial determinism that many students of color have become accustomed to today. Proponents of high stakes testing resurrect such determinism, presumably without the racial overtones, by reducing students, their hopes and dreams for the future, to test scores.

American History Is Not Black History; Black History Is Not America's

Leonce Gaiter | Posted 04.11.2015 | Black Voices
Leonce Gaiter

American history is not black history, and our history is not America's to dictate. Until we understand that and begin teaching our history to ourselves in ways that serve our own cultural needs instead of the majority's, we will continue to internalize this nation's prejudices against us, instead of arming ourselves to appropriately demonize and deflect them.

The Fiery Cage and the Lynching Tree, Brutality's Never Far Away

Bill Moyers | Posted 04.08.2015 | Politics
Bill Moyers

Jesse Washington was just one black man to die horribly at the hands of white death squads. Between 1882 and 1968 -- 1968! -- there were 4,743 recorded lynchings in the U.S. About a quarter of them were white people, many of whom had been killed for sympathizing with black folks. My father, who was born in 1904 near Paris, Texas, kept in a drawer that newspaper photograph from back when he was a boy of thousands of people gathered as if at a picnic to feast on the torture and hanging of a black man in the center of town. On a journey tracing our roots many years later, my father choked and grew silent as we stood near the spot where it had happened. Yes, it was hard to get back to sleep the night we heard the news of the Jordanian pilot's horrendous end. ISIS be damned! I thought. But with the next breath I could only think that our own barbarians did not have to wait at any gate. They were insiders. Home grown. Godly. Our neighbors, friends, and kin. People like us.

Black History Month: From Slavery to Obama and Beyond

Clarence B. Jones | Posted 04.06.2015 | Black Voices
Clarence B. Jones

For those who genuinely believed the election of Barack Obama was the arrival of a post-racial America, I hope their examination of the significant opposition to the legitimacy of his first term as president and the continued intransigent opposition to him by a Republican-controlled Congress might provide some degree of a reality check on their belief.

Historic Black LGBTQ Intergenerational Discussion on Selma

Irene Monroe | Posted 04.01.2015 | Gay Voices
Irene Monroe

For the first time ever, an intergenerational and interracial gathering of LGBTQ voices of color and our allies came together, creating the paradigm of how future discussions should take place.

Foner's Underground Railroad on Time for African American History Month

Jonah Raskin | Posted 03.22.2015 | Books
Jonah Raskin

Over the past half century, Foner has carved out a significant place for himself in the field of history by writing history from the bottom up, by tracing over-arching themes, such as freedom, and by recognizing that all history is contemporary history.

Historic Places as Sites of Conscience: Shockoe Bottom's Potential to Change Society

National Trust for Historic Preservation | Posted 03.22.2015 | Black Voices
National Trust for Historic Preservation

In Richmond, a new alliance of social justice activists and historic preservationists has formed to protect Shockoe Bottom against incompatible development. Leadership of the alliance includes Preservation Virginia; Defenders for Freedom, Justice & Equality; and a working group of preservationists from nearby Church Hill.