Black History

The Incredible Escape of Robert Smalls

Robert Smalls was born into slavery in Beaufort, South Carolina in 1839. He escaped from enslavement during the U.S. Civil War, in a particularly dramatic fashion.

The Vanport Flood

On May 30, 1948, a flood destroyed Vanport, Oregon. What really makes the story more than a historical footnote is how it tied in to the racial makeup of both Portland and Oregon at the time.

Our Most-requested Episodes (We Already Have)

We often get episode requests, but because there are so many episodes in the back catalog, some of the most common requests have already been covered. So in today's podcast we're going to hit the highlights on the episodes people ask for again and again.

The Harlem Hellfighters and Henry Johnson

In WWI, a black U.S. Army unit became one of the most decorated of the war. When these soldiers returned home, they were greeted as heroes, but were still targets of segregation, discrimination and oppression.

A Brief History of Redlining, Part 2

Part two of this discussion of redlining explores the language that assessors used when making color-coded maps of neighborhoods in segregated cities. These maps were used to determine whether mortgage lending in those neighborhoods was desirable.

A Brief History of Redlining, Part 1

Redlining is a word used to describe a lot of different patterns of economic discrimination. But during the Great Depression, real estate-related discrimination included systemized grading of neighborhoods based on the races that lived there.

Dahomey and the Royal Palaces of Abomey

The Royal Palaces of Abomey are a series of earthen palaces in what is now Benin. The complex is culturally and historically important to West Africa, but the source of much of the wealth that built those palaces was the Atlantic slave trade. Read the show notes here.

Frankie Manning and the Lindy Hop, Part 2

Once Manning became a professional dancer and choreographer, his work took him all over the world. After WWII derailed his swing dancing, he had a hard time returning to a world where musical tastes had changed. Read the show notes here.

Frankie Manning and the Lindy Hop, Part 1

Frankie Manning grew up loving dance, learning and practicing in ballrooms and private parties in New York. His innovations in creating new moves for the Lindy hop led him from dancing as a hobby to a career as a performer.

The Aftermath of Brown v. Board

Though the Brown v. Board ruling overturned Plessy v. Ferguson, it didn't suddenly solve the segregation problem and end racism in the United States.