Black History

Dred Scott vs. Sandford part 1

Dred Scott v. Sandford is one of the most notorious Supreme Court cases of all time. It wasn’t just about Dred Scott. It was also about his wife Harriet and their daughters Eliza and Lizzy. This episode covers Dred and Harriet, how they met, and what their lives were like before petitioning for their freedom in 1846.

Elizabeth Jennings Graham

Today’s topic is a person who is sometimes called a 19th-century Rosa Parks. When Elizabeth boarded a horse-drawn streetcar in Manhattan in 1854, a chain of events began which became an important moment in the civil rights of New York's black citizens. 

Ida B. Wells-Barnett

Ida B. Wells-Barnett connects to a lot of episodes in our archive. She fought against lynching for decades, at a time when it wasn’t common at all for a woman, especially a woman of color, to become such a prominent journalist and a speaker.

The Life and Magic of Henry 'Box' Brown

Brown was born into slavery and escaped in an astonishing way. His story of gaining his freedom was so sensational that he basically spent the rest of his life making a living talking about it in one form or another.

Phillis Wheatley

Perceptions and interpretations of Phillis Wheatley's life and work have shifted since the 18th century. This episode examines Wheatley's published writing while enslaved, and how her place in the world of black literature rose, fell, and rose again.

Three Astonishing Belles

This episode features three unique women, all of whom are notable in their own way. The two things they have in common: They each have a surprising aspect to their stories, and they each have the name Belle.

Six Impossible Episodes by Request

This installation of Six Impossible Episodes is a bit of a hodge podge, with several oft-requested topics. Included are Olive Yang, the Silent Parade of 1917, Glencoe Massacre, Marion Downs, Lena Himmelstein and the Great Windham Frog Fight of 1754.

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.

Frederick Douglass

Frederick Douglass was an orator, writer, statesman and social reformer. His early life shaped the truly remarkable advocate he became, and the two primary causes he campaigned for — the abolition of slavery and women's suffrage.

The Philadelphia MOVE Bombing

The MOVE organization is often labeled as a black liberation group or a black power group, but it’s more complex than that. After a protracted, contentious relationship with Philadelphia police, MOVE’s home was bombed in 1985.