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African American History

Alvin Ailey at the Auditorium Theater - The Celebration Continues

Regina Fraser and Pat Johnson | Posted 04.14.2015 | 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 03.27.2015 | 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 03.19.2015 | 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 03.05.2015 | 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 03.03.2015 | 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 02.27.2015 | 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.

How We Can Achieve a More Inclusive History

National Trust for Historic Preservation | Posted 03.18.2015 | Black Voices
National Trust for Historic Preservation

This long weekend, as we reflect on his life and legacy, we also renew our dedication to a cause Dr. King held dear: ensuring the story we tell ourselves as a nation is an inclusive one, which does justice to all our communities and captures the full spectrum of the American past.

A Letter from Lupita: Why Shockoe Bottom Deserves - and Demands - Protection

National Trust for Historic Preservation | Posted 03.17.2015 | Black Voices
National Trust for Historic Preservation

How do you treat the land on which men, women and children were bought, sold, and tortured? By building a major league ballpark upon it, which is exactly what Richmond Mayor Dwight C. Jones is proposing in his "Revitalize RVA" plan.

The Art of Gift Exchange: Christmas for Slaves' in the Deep South

Reverend William E. Flippin, Jr. | Posted 02.27.2015 | Black Voices
Reverend William E. Flippin, Jr.

The art of gift giving was also defined slave owners' displays of Christmas paternalism. During the holiday season, they conferred an assortment of presents to slaves such as blankets', shoes, frocks, pants and hats.

A Dance Celebration in Chicago at the Auditorium Theater

Regina Fraser and Pat Johnson | Posted 02.04.2015 | Arts
Regina Fraser and Pat Johnson

The return of the company to Chicago after almost 17 years was a gift to lovers of dance.

Maryland's Emancipation and the Homecoming of Frederick Douglass

Paul Kendrick | Posted 01.20.2015 | Books
Paul Kendrick

Frederick Douglass had escaped slavery 26 years before, but when Maryland ended slavery, it took him only 16 days to return to Baltimore.

Why We Must Tell the Untold Story

Shannon Schuyler | Posted 01.10.2015 | Education
Shannon Schuyler

Many, if not most of us, believe that President Barack Obama and high-profile sports, media, and entertainment personalities, such as LeBron James, Beyoncé, Robin Roberts, are exceptions -- the only African Americans making great contributions. Many of us are wrong.

All Appropriation Everything: IHOP Joins List of Cultural-Appropriation Offenders

Janessa E. Robinson | Posted 01.05.2015 | Black Voices
Janessa E. Robinson

Over the last few months, corporations have found a new way to gain attention on Twitter: tweeting rap lyrics and other allusions to hip-hop culture. The culprit that has most popularly surfaced across Twitter timelines is IHOP, which tweets edited versions of lyrics from songs by artists such as Drake, Trinidad James, and Bobby Shmurda.