Black History Month

Logan Shannon / NHPR

In a series of comic books, Joel Christian Gill shines a light on unsung African American figures from history. On today’s show, he tells us why he’s launched a campaign against Black History Month, and makes the case that #28DaysAreNotEnough.

Then, an outbreak of measles traced to Disneyland has outraged parents and cast anti-vaccine advocates as dangers to the public. We’ll hear about a propaganda tool that targeted anti-vaxxers in 18th Century France: fashionable hats!

Listen to the full show and click Read more for individual segments.

Broadside quoting Marquis de Lafayette, issued 1800-1899 / Rare Books Collection, Boston Public Library, Flickr Creative Commons

Back in 1779, 20 slaves made the case for their freedom before the New Hampshire General Court.  After noting it wasn’t the right time, the body postponed the decision “to a more convenient opportunity.” 

Lawmakers never took that opportunity, and 14 of the petitioners died as slaves. 

But on Wednesday, a Senate committee unanimously passed the bill.  

Adria RIchards via Wikimedia Commons

Host Maya Angelou poetically and historically covers milestones by African Americans in Nobel Peace Prize, Grammy, Academy Awards, and cultural awards. As African Americans continue to be acknowledged by their communities, our country and internationally, this hour-long Black History Month radio program features milestone conversations with Maya Angelou and lauded African Americans from the Grammy's to the Emmy's, Academy Awards, and Nobel Prize categories.

In 1981, playwright, performer and theater company director Carlyle Brown decided on a whim to take a trip to Africa. That launched a journey of self-discovery and an adventure that became the basis for a one-man show called “The Fula from America: An African Journey," which Brown performs tonight at The Music Hall in Portsmouth. It’s a fund-raising event for Portsmouth’s African Burying Ground, and will be followed by a candelight procession to the site where the design for a memorial will be unveiled.

Memories of the Movement

Feb 13, 2012
<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/whsimages/4206412043/sizes/m/in/photostream/">Wisconsin Historical Images</a> via Flickr/Creative Commons

The years of the Civil Rights Movement are counted among the most volatile, yet vibrant, in American history. In our Black History month special, Memories of the Movement, The Tavis Smiley Show celebrates the courage, conviction and commitment of the everyday people who made extraordinary contributions to American social progress. The program holds poignant, humorous, unheard or little known stories from a number of well-known civil rights icons including stories from Dr. Freeman Hrabowski, Danny Glover, Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton, Rev. Jesse Jackson Sr., Dr.

Photo: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/mplemmon/2744598759/"> mattlemmon </a> / Flickr / Creative Commons

Maya Angelou defines Black History, as it is embraced in our popular culture with an emphasis on the civil rights era and a poetic acknowledgement of late activist, Rosa Parks.

This one hour historical trek takes us from the 1950's thru the 1990's. Dr. Maya Angelou renders a poetic portrait of the day-to-day lives of African Americans during the civil rights era, when artists and activists, musicians and ministers joined hands with people from all walks of life to bring about a historic change in our culture. 

Photo by ALA, courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons

Jamal Joseph’s story is unlike many taught in schools during Black History Month. His long list of identifiers includes orphan, activist, FBI fugitive, convict, a drug addict, urban guerilla, and Black Panther. In a speech he made in the 1960s, Jamal urged students to burn down Columbia University. He is now a professor there and a writer, filmmaker, Oscar nominee, youth advocate, drug counselor, and father.