Black History

Benjamin Banneker

Despite having almost no official schooling and being a man of color in Colonial America, Benjamin Banneker turned out to be such an accomplished scholar that schools and professorships are named after him today.

Loving v. Virginia, Part 2

Mildred and Richard Loving's relationship went all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court when they were arrested for breaking Virginia's anti-miscegenation laws. On June 20, 1963, Mildred wrote a letter to the ACLU asking for help. Tune in to learn more.

Loving v. Virginia, Part 1

Mildred and Richard Loving's relationship went all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court when they were arrested for breaking Virginia's anti-miscegenation laws. On June 20, 1963, Mildred wrote a letter to the ACLU asking for help. Tune in to learn more.

The Victorian age offered few opportunities for Black-Britons, making Pablo Fanque's circus all the more impressive. Born William Darby, he was a talented equestrian performer, acrobat and show-runner. In fact, one Fanque's playbills inspired John Lennon.

Double Agent: James Armistead and the American Revolution

James Armistead was a slave in Virginia, but got his master's approval to enlist when the Revolutionary War came. Armistead worked as a spy, and his story is one of many free and enslaved African-Americans who fought in the Revolutionary War.

The Nazi Games and Jesse Owens

Most people associate the 1936 Berlin Olympics with African-American sprinter Jesse Owens. Yet the games were successful in terms of Nazi propaganda: More nations than ever participated, and the Olympic torch was used for the first time.

The Pulitzer-winning play "Clybourne Park" took inspiration from Lorraine Hansberry's "A Raisin the Sun." In this episode, we talk to Clybourne Park's Tony-nominated director Pam MacKinnon about the work and historical research that went into the play.

Bessie Coleman: Daredevil Aviatrix

Bessie Coleman knew that becoming a pilot was her dream. Because she was a black woman, no American flight schools would admit her. Despite the obstacles, Bessie managed to become the first African-American woman in the world to earn a pilot's license.

Leading the Charge: The Massachusetts 54th

A 1792 law prevented African Americans from taking up arms in the Civil War. As attitudes against blacks serving changed, black regiments were formed. But prejudices remained until the heroism of black soldiers won the attention of the nation.

Who was the real Lone Ranger?

The Lone Ranger has traditionally been portrayed by white actors, but many believe this character is based on an African-American named Bass Reeves. A former slave, Reeves became one of the most successful lawmen in U.S. history. Tune in to learn more.