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African American History

Oprah's Big D.C. Move!

The Huffington Post | Erin Ruberry | Posted 06.11.2013 | DC

WASHINGTON -- Oprah Winfrey has donated $12 million to the Smithsonian's National Museum of African American History and Culture, the museum announced...

LOOK: Race Wall That Once Separated Blacks And Whites Still Standing

AP | JEFF KAROUB | Posted 05.01.2013 | Detroit

DETROIT -- When Eva Nelson-McClendon first moved to Detroit's Birwood Street in 1959, she didn't know much about the wall across the street. At 6 feet...

Can the Blues Rescue the Mississippi Delta? Part 3

Debra Devi | Posted 05.26.2013 | Arts
Debra Devi

On my Mississippi Delta book tour for The Language of the Blues: From Alcorub to Zuzu I met people working together to develop a blues tourism industry with the potential to economically rescue the Delta -- the poorest region in our nation.

Can the Blues Rescue the Mississippi Delta? Part 2

Debra Devi | Posted 05.19.2013 | Arts
Debra Devi

"They say that so-called twelve-bar stuff is the black man's blues and country western of that day was the white man's blues, but there's a very thin line between the two musics. Only difference is the beat, and the bars to some extent, but the stories of happiness, sadness, being lonesome. All that was the same."

Can the Blues Rescue the Mississippi Delta? Part 1

Debra Devi | Posted 05.11.2013 | Arts
Debra Devi

If you haven't paid a visit to the Mississippi Delta yet, plan one now to this starkly beautiful, richly musical place. You'll thank me as you roll down 61, with cotton fields fanning out on either side under an impossibly wide blue sky.

Rumors of Land

Max Ehrenfreund | Posted 04.30.2013 | Black Voices
Max Ehrenfreund

As winter turned into spring, a rumor that all freed slaves had been promised "40 acres and a mule" spread through the South. In the years to come, the phrase came to represent first a promise of a better society for blacks in the South and then a fading memory of what might have been.

Progress Is Still Possible for Workers Battling an Unfair System

Gerry Hudson | Posted 04.21.2013 | Black Voices
Gerry Hudson

Too many working people across the country have to hope for overtime, string together two or three jobs or rely on public benefits to financially stay afloat. Contractors and corporations are reaping the benefits of a productive workforce yet they aren't equitably sharing those rewards.

Veronica Webb Makes Beauty History...

The Huffington Post | Julee Wilson | Posted 02.06.2013 | Black Voices

In celebration of Black History Month we're looking back at groundbreaking moments in fashion, beauty and beyond. There are plenty of firsts, little-k...

Love in the Stacks: Some Thoughts on Black History Month

Mark Anthony Neal | Posted 04.06.2013 | Black Voices
Mark Anthony Neal

Years before Google and YouTube, E 185 was my search engine, and sitting on the floor in that space, Black History Month was indeed every month, everyday.

Glamour's First Black Cover Model!

The Huffington Post | Julee Wilson | Posted 02.01.2013 | Black Voices

In celebration of Black History Month we're looking back at groundbreaking moments in fashion, beauty and beyond. There are plenty of firsts, little-k...

Beyond the N-Word: Falling Over the Cliff Debating Django

Emmett D. Carson | Posted 03.19.2013 | Black Voices
Emmett D. Carson

With all the problems facing African Americans, it is hard to believe the amount of time that is being wasted debating the merits of Quentin Tarantino's hit new "comedy," Django Unchained. What should we be talking about instead?

Why Is the Blues Called the 'Blues'?

Debra Devi | Posted 03.06.2013 | Arts
Debra Devi

The blues invigorated American popular music with African musical techniques and values -- and rock and roll and jazz were born.

Emancipation: January 1, 1863

Ken Blackwell | Posted 03.02.2013 | Black Voices
Ken Blackwell

January 1, 2013, the National Archives places the Emancipation Proclamation on rare public display, the text is hardly legible, the victim of age and light. But Abraham Lincoln stands out clearly.

3 Reasons This Black Man Loved Django Unchained

Dr. Boyce Watkins | Posted 02.26.2013 | Entertainment
Dr. Boyce Watkins

No matter how we feel about Django Unchained, we should be sure to remember that the best way to have our stories told is to tell them ourselves.  

A Letter To My Enslaved Ancestors On The 150th Anniversary Of The Emancipation Proclamation

Rev. Wil Gafney, Ph.D. | Posted 02.22.2013 | Black Voices
Rev. Wil Gafney, Ph.D.

I don't know your names or from where you were stolen. I don't know how many of you freed yourselves or died in bondage. Yet I claim you all and I honor you.

The John Hope Franklin Papers: A Historian Becomes History

Naomi Nelson | Posted 12.17.2012 | College
Naomi Nelson

The only way we can know our past is through the records we keep and pass on. No one was more keenly aware of this than groundbreaking American historian John Hope Franklin, whose papers were recently acquired by Duke University and will soon be open to the public.

An Open Letter To Rev. Bernice King

Michael G. Long | Posted 12.11.2012 | Religion
Michael G. Long

Please be assured that the LGBT community and its allies stand ready to work with you in advancing your mother's inclusive legacy. Would you be kind enough to include us at every step along the way as you lay plans to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington?

PHOTOS: 19th Century Letters Depict African-American's Lives

The Huffington Post | Jessica Cumberbatch Anderson | Posted 08.03.2012 | Black Voices

Life for an African-American southerner was a mixed bag of "troubles" and personal success circa 1841, experiences revealed in a series of 27 handwrit...

The Politics of Power and the Precious Right to Vote

Marian Wright Edelman | Posted 09.12.2012 | Politics
Marian Wright Edelman

This year, let's all be alert. Be active. Use your power as one citizen and vote. Don't let anyone take it away from you. Let's mount an urgent and systematic state-by-state fight against the latest kinds of disenfranchisement.

Robert Johnson and the Myth of the Illiterate Bluesman

Debra Devi | Posted 08.28.2012 | Home
Debra Devi

How often have you heard that old saw about Robert Johnson selling his soul to the devil at midnight on a Delta crossroads? It all started because of Johnson's uncanny mastery of the guitar.

Take the Juneteenth Challenge

Lois Leveen | Posted 08.19.2012 | Black Voices
Lois Leveen

The Civil War and the abolition of slavery are neither white history nor black history. Today is Juneteenth. This holiday, which commemorates the end of slavery, tells us as much about what America means as the Fourth of July, Presidents Day, or Memorial Day.

The White Right TAPP Dances Black Truths Out of American History

Leonce Gaiter | Posted 08.07.2012 | Black Voices
Leonce Gaiter

The right's strength is its ability to immerse itself in tribal warmth of sexist, racist, homophobic waters, while simply sprinkling the rest of us with their refreshing mists. And they are refreshing. Admit it.

Possessed: Voodoo's Origins and Influence from the Blues to Britney

Debra Devi | Posted 05.16.2012 | Home
Debra Devi

This was the religion of many slaves brought from West Africa to the Americas and the Caribbean. Vodun was brutally repressed by slave-owners, yet its powerful beats, ethics and aesthetics endured. We owe our concepts of cool, soul and rock and roll to it.

Bessie Smith: Music's Original, Bitchinest Bad Girl

Debra Devi | Posted 04.25.2012 | Arts
Debra Devi

What hugely popular female singer beat a rival unconscious, slept with her musical director, seduced her female backup dancers, frequented live sex shows and mortified New York society by telling a wealthy fan to "get the f*ck away from me"? 1920s blues singer Bessie Smith.

Bringing the 20th Century Civil Rights Movement Into 21st Century Classrooms

Charlayne Hunter-Gault | Posted 06.12.2012 | Education
Charlayne Hunter-Gault

How do we encourage young people at home and abroad, in South Africa and now those young people heavily invested in the as yet unsettled Arab Spring, to "keep on keepin' on," as the footsoldiers of the Civil Rights Movement used to pledge?