black history

The Motherhood of Mamie Till-Mobley

The reason Emmett Till's murder played such a consequential role in the Civil Rights movement is because of choices of his mother, Mamie Till-Mobley. For more than 45 years after his murder, she continually worked to make sure he did not die in vain.

Interview: Dr. Henry Louis Gates, Jr.

Dr. Gates joins Holly to talk about history's impact on our future, Black History Month, and his upcoming PBS series "Africa's Great Civilizations."

Jamaica's Maroon Wars

Maroons are Africans and people of African ancestry who escaped enslavement and established communities in the Caribbean and parts of the Americas. In the 17th and 18th centuries, Jamaica's Maroon communities clashed with British colonial government.

Ira Frederick Aldridge, Famous Unknown Shakespearean

He was one of the first Americans to achieve fame as a Shakespearean actor — and the first black man to do so, becoming a famous figure on the Victorian stage. But Aldridge has largely been excluded from biographies of Shakespearean actors.

Edmonia Lewis

The American sculptor was a celebrated artist in her day, but she receded from the spotlight; her final years remained a mystery for quite some time. Her marble works are striking examples of the neoclassical style popular at the end of the 19th century.

Belinda Sutton's Post-enslavement Petitions

After she became a free woman, Belinda Sutton successfully petitioned for compensation for her years of enslaved labor. This was one of many legal efforts of enslaved and formerly enslaved people to advocate for themselves in Massachusetts courts.

The Attica Prison Uprising (Part 2)

The riot at Attica Correctional Facility in September 1971, demanding better living conditions and basic human rights, remains a significant moment in the history of the U.S. prison system. But many of the problems that catalyzed it persist.

Life at Attica, 1971 (Part 1)

Attica Correctional Facility originally opened in rural, upstate New York in 1931. In 1971, conditions at the prison were at a point where they were humiliating, dehumanizing and counterproductive to rehabilitation.

Preliminary Emancipation Proclamation with John B. King

Secretary of Education Dr. John B. King Jr. discusses the Preliminary Emancipation Proclamation, which gave rebelling states 100 days to return to the Union or have their enslaved population freed during the U.S. Civil War.

U.S. Contraband Camps

When three escaped slaves showed up at a Union position during the U.S. Civil War, the decision of how to handle the situation fell to Maj. Gen. Benjamin Butler. His actions led to a situation for which the government was simply not prepared.