african american

  As an organizer, writer, publisher, scholar-activist, and elected official, Barbara Smith has played key roles in multiple social justice movements, including Civil Rights, feminism, lesbian and gay liberation, anti-racism, and Black feminism.

Her four decades of grassroots activism forged collaborations that introduced the idea that oppression must be fought on a variety of fronts simultaneously, including gender, race, class, and sexuality.

By combining hard-to-find historical documents with new unpublished interviews with fellow activists, her new book, Ain't Gonna Let Nobody Turn Me Around, uncovers the deep roots of today’s “identity politics” and “intersectionality” and serves as a primer for practicing solidarity and resistance.

    Walter Mosley is the author of more than 43 books, most notably 13 Easy Rawlins mysteries.

His latest, Rose Gold, continues Mosley’s ongoing and unique achievement in combining the mystery/PI genre with a rich social history of post war Los Angeles.

  Mississippi Eyes chronicles the events and the powerful witness of five young photographers in The Southern Documentary Project, working during the pivotal summer of 1964 in the segregated South. Together they captured the sometimes violent, sometimes miraculous process of social change as segregation resisted then gave way to a new beginning toward social justice.

The African American Cultural Center of the Capital Region

This weekend marks the 10th Annual Albany Juneteenth Celebration. The free community event is planned for Sunday, in Washington Park.

Although the Emancipation Proclamation called for the liberation of Confederate slaves on Jan. 1, 1863, its effects weren't immediate.  Two and a half years later, the emancipation took effect—when the Union army rode into Galveston to enforce President Lincoln's executive order.

Juneteenth has been sporadically celebrated in the South as a black independence day ever since June 1865, when slaves in Texas learned of their freedom.

    For twenty-two years, under Founding Conductor and Artistic Director Anna Dubrova, Ne'imah Jewish Community Chorus has served as the voice of Jewish choral music in the Capital District, exploring a rich musical heritage ranging from original works written by contemporary American and Israeli composers to choral arrangements of existing Jewish folk and liturgical music.

For the last few years their annual concert has taken place at The Linda in Albany, NY. This year’s concert is entitled "Songs of Freedom" and will feature guest artist, Peri Smilow. Peri has been touring the world for over twenty years, emphasizing music that promotes social progress and breaks down social barriers. She joins us now to tell us more about her music and her career.

   Today, black-owned barbershops play a central role in African American public life. The intimacy of commercial grooming encourages both confidentiality and camaraderie, which make the barber shop an important gathering place for African American men to talk freely.

But for many years preceding and even after the Civil War, black barbers endured a measure of social stigma for perpetuating inequality: though the profession offered economic mobility to black entrepreneurs, black barbers were obliged by custom to serve an exclusively white clientele.

In his book, Cutting Along the Color Line, Vassar History Professor Quincy Mills chronicles the cultural history of black barber shops as businesses and civic institutions.

Seven Days Of Kwanzaa

Dec 24, 2013
Capital Region Kwanzaa Coalition

The holiday was created in 1966 by Maulana Karenga, professor and chairman of Africana Studies at California State University.

  We speak with United States Congressman, John Lewis, about his new book, Across That Bridge: Life Lessons and a Vision for Change.

Great Barrington to Commemorate Civil Rights Leader

Aug 22, 2013
Jim Levulis / WAMC

At a time when millions of Americans are celebrating the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington, people from the Berkshires are recognizing another civil rights milestone.

    Falling Back is a new book based based on over three years of ethnographic research with black and Latino males on the cusp of adulthood and incarcerated at a rural reform school designed to address “criminal thinking errors” among juvenile drug offenders.

State University at Albany professor Jamie Fader observed these young men as they transitioned back to their urban Philadelphia neighborhoods, resuming their daily lives and struggling to adopt adult masculine roles.

She looks to portray the complexities of human decision-making as these men strove to “fall back,” or avoid reoffending, and become productive adults. Jamie Fader is an assistant professor of criminal justice at the University at Albany, SUNY.

  We are very happy to continue our new regular feature on The Roundtable, entitled – Ideas Matter: Checking in with the Public Humanities. It is our chance to check in with the Humanities Councils throughout our 7-State area to discuss important ideas and why they do indeed matter.

This morning we spotlight MASS Humanities and specifically we’ll talk about Reading Frederick Douglass. Our guests this morning are Pleun Bouricius, Assistant Director, Mass Humanities and Don Quinn Kelley, Founding Co-Chair Lift Ev'ry Voice Festival.

  We are very happy to continue our new regular feature on The Roundtable, entitled – Ideas Matter: Checking in with the Public Humanities. It is our chance to check in with the Humanities Councils throughout our 7-State area to discuss important ideas and why they do indeed matter. This morning we spotlight the Pennsylvania Humanities Council and specifically, The Souls of Black Baseball.

Bob Allen, a former Philosophy Instructor at Penn State has spent the last ten years traveling in the United States, visiting and interviewing every surviving player of the Negro Leagues in an effort to preserve the history and stories of Negro League Baseball.

He is currently working on an oral history project titled, The Souls of Black Baseball.

    When America inaugurated its first African American president, in 2009, many wondered if the country had finally become a "post-racial" society.

In Ghosts of Jim Crow, F. Michael Higginbotham argues that America remains far away from that imagined utopia.

Members of MCLA’s The Allegrettos sang to welcome the announcement that the Lift Ev’ry Voice Festival is returning for its second season beginning in June.

The festival, which will again feature special events and performances celebrating the African-American culture and heritage in the Berkshires, was first held in 2011, and was attended by more than 30,000 people.

Festival co-chair Don Quinn Kelly said that the festival will focus on making the special programs and events accessible to attendees of all racial and economic backgrounds.

  The African American Cultural Center of the Capital Region is committed to educating, enriching, and empowering residents of the Capital Region through a variety of programs that raise the collective consciousness of all ethnicities to the rich and vibrant history, contribution, and culture of African Americans.

This Thursday, April 18th, The African American Cultural Center of the Capital Region will hold a Gala fundraiser in the Swyer Theater at The Egg in Albany, New York.

The evening will include performances of scenes from A Soldier's Play, by Pulitzer Prize winning playwright, Charles H. Fuller, a conversation with -and award presentation to- Fuller – and more.

  This Friday, Saturday, and Sunday – The Sage Colleges will host The 12th Public History Conference on the Underground Railroad Movement.

The conference is entitled “Milestones on the Road to Freedom: The Emancipation Proclamation, Harriet Tubman, and the March on Washington - a Legacy and a Future" – it is organized by the Underground Railroad History Project of the Capital Region, Inc. and Co-sponsored by: The Sage Colleges and The Department of History and Society, Russell Sage College.

Here to tell us all about it are Mary Liz Stewart and Paul Stewart - co-founders and directors of the Underground Railroad History Project of the Capital Region and conference organizers and Andor Skotnes, professor and chair of Sage's Department of History and Society, event organizer, and conference keynote speaker.

Eslanda "Essie" Cardozo Goode Robeson lived a colorful and amazing life. Her career and commitments took her many places: colonial Africa in 1936, the front lines of the Spanish Civil War, the founding meeting of the United Nations, Nazi-occupied Berlin, Stalin's Russia, and China two months after Mao's revolution. She was a woman of unusual accomplishment—an anthropologist, a prolific journalist, a tireless advocate of women's rights, an outspoken anti-colonial and antiracist activist, and an internationally sought-after speaker.

unisonarts.org

  Actor, singer, athlete, scholar, and social activist, Paul Robeson, was born in 1898 and died at 77 years old in 1976 having been blacklisted during the Second Red Scare in the 1950s but – until the end of his life sticking to his political stances and his beliefs.

To celebrate Black History Month, Unison Arts in New Paltz, NY has partnered with the Black Studies and Fine and Performing Arts Departments at SUNY New Paltz to present Phillip Hayes Dean’s play Paul Robeson.

The exhibit Pride & Passion: The African-American Baseball Experience opens tomorrow at the Poughkeepsie Public Library.

This nationally touring exhibition, which chronicles the remarkable history of baseball’s Negro leagues and the challenges and successes of African-American baseball players, opens today in Library’s Rotunda area.

An accompanying program series features lectures that relate the history of pre-integration baseball and the days leading to Jackie Robinson’s efforts to break the color barrier in America’s national pastime.

WAMC

Kwanzaa, the seven day African American cultural celebration is underway. The city of Springfield Massachusetts Friday held its third annual official observance at city hall.    WAMC”s Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief Paul Tuthill reports.

Leaders of Springfield’s African American community stressed the seven principles that are the foundation of Kwanzaa  and the significance of each principle in building a stronger family and city. The audience, which included about 50 young children were encouraged to continue, or in some cases, begin a tradition of celebrating Kwanzaa at home.

Underground Railroad: Escape to Freedom is a book + audio + boardgame for children. The book and audio were researched and recorded on location following routes of the UGRR.

With action and adventure as key elements, the experiential boardgame uses UGRR lore, nature signs, survival skills, and African-American spirituals (now known to be secret codes) to engage children in history, foster understanding, and sharpen critical thinking skills.

Civil rights leaders in Springfield Massachusetts, where a black church was burned four years ago, are urging local churches to be on guard as election day approaches.  WAMC”s Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief Paul Tuthill reports.

   The Springfield branch of the NAACP has sent a 19 page security guide to more than 100 churches in western Massachusetts. The Springfield NAACP president, Rev. Talbert Swan said the organization is concerned that African American churches  could be the targets of hate crimes should President Obama be re-elected.

Jamal Joseph speaks with us about his life - from the streets of Harlem to Riker’s Island and Leavenworth to the halls of Columbia University.

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