Black History Month Special Programming


The Invention of Race

Monday, Feb. 6 from 2-3 p.m. and 7-8 p.m.

Tracing the development of racial, and racist ideas from the ancient world — when “there was no notion of race,” as historian Nell Irvin Painter puts it — up to the founding of the United States as, fundamentally, a nation of and for white people — despite the “all men are created equal” language of the Declaration of Independence.

Remembering Jim Crow

Monday, Feb. 13 from 2-3 p.m. and 7-8 p.m.

For much of the 20th Century, African Americans in the South were barred from the voting booth, sent to the back of the bus, and walled off from many of the rights they deserved as American citizens. Until well into the 1960s, segregation was legal. The system was called Jim Crow. In this documentary, Americans—black and white—remember life in the Jim Crow times.

The Sound of 13

Monday through Friday, Feb. 20-24 from 8-9 p.m.

Host Garrett McQueen addresses the racial injustice in our society through the lens of classical music. It’s an historical and contemporary conversation of race with classical music and the 13th Amendment as the guide.

  • Monday, February 20 “Take Me to Church” – An acknowledgment of the unique role of the Black church over the course of the 20th century and beyond with performances by Chicago’s Rize Orchestra, the American Spiritual Ensemble, and others.
  • Tuesday, February 21 “A Musical Founding Father” – The life and times of Duke Ellington, featuring his orchestral suite, “Three Black Kings” and other works that blend “classical” and jazz.
  • Wednesday, February 22 “Women of the Movement” – A celebration of Black women in western classical music, featuring the newly-recorded “Montgomery Variations” by Margaret Bonds and the Grammy-winning recording of Florence Price’s Symphony No. 3.
  • Thursday, February 23 “The Movies” – A look at Black achievement in film and film music featuring works by Quincy Jones, Terrence Blanchard, and more.
  • Friday, February 24 “The Motherland” – A celebration of music that highlights the sights and sounds of Africa, featuring a performance by the Buskaid Soweto String Ensemble and William Grant Still’s “Ennanga”.

Say it Loud: Great Speeches on Civil Rights and African American Identity

Monday, Feb. 27 from 2-3 p.m. and 7-8 p.m.

“Say It Loud” traces the last 50 years of black history through stirring, historically important speeches by African Americans from across the political spectrum. With recordings unearthed from libraries and sound archives, and made widely available here for the first time, “Say It Loud” includes landmark speeches by Malcolm X, Lorraine Hansberry, Angela Davis, Martin Luther King Jr., Henry Louis Gates, and many others.