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Category: Black History

Henry Louis Gates, Jr. examines gospel music’s rich history in new PBS docuseries ‘GOSPEL’

A new PBS docuseries, “GOSPEL,” from Henry Louis Gates, Jr. delves into the origins and influence of gospel music on Black spirituality. Host Stephen Henderson talks with Stacey L. Holman, the director and producer of the docuseries, about gospel’s rich history, its impact on the Black church, Detroit’s connection to the genre, and how other music genres have been influenced by gospel.

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Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Symposium | Keynote Memorial Lecture featuring Michelle Alexander

The University of Michigan hosts its 2024 symposium honoring civil rights leader Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The annual symposium’s theme calls on the community to grapple with the nature of ongoing discord around the globe and to examine how society can create a world where harmony is possible. Michelle Alexander, legal scholar, social justice advocate, columnist at The New York Times and visiting professor at Union Theological Seminary, delivers the memorial keynote lecture.

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Two-day tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. shared the arts’ impact on civil rights

Wayne State University’s annual tribute to the life and legacy of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. returns this year with a two-day event showcasing the impact of Detroit’s arts, culture and music on the civil rights movement. Guest host Trudy Gallant-Stokes talks with Wayne State’s Director of Community Affairs Stacie Clayton and the event’s special guest Santita Jackson.

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In The Tradition jazz ensemble brings teachings of Kwanzaa to audiences through music

Two upcoming musical performances will share the seven principles of Kwanzaa with audiences through song. In The Tradition’s annual Kwanzaa performances are a way to make the teaching of the holiday more accessible through jazz music. One Detroit’s Sarah Zientarski caught up with the ensemble ahead of their two performances at the Charles H. Wright Museum and Aretha’s Jazz Cafe.

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Rose Morton unravels her family’s history of slavery in her book ‘Our Family’s Keepers’

For many African Americans, tracing their family’s past can come with challenges. Contributor Daijah Moss talks with author Rose Morton, a local woman who set out to learn about her enslaved ancestors and the families that owned them. Morton shares her quest for identity, talks about her book “Our Family’s Keepers,” and discusses the profound impact of her discovery on the people connected to a South Carolina plantation.

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Rob Edwards’ forthcoming graphic novel details a little-known story in America’s Black history

Detroit-born screenwriter Rob Edwards has a new graphic novel coming out in February 2024 detailing a little-known figure of America’s Black history: Robert Smalls. Edwards joined One Detroit’s Chris Jordan at Comics & More to talk about his forthcoming graphic novel “Defiant,” its Kickstarter support, and why a comic book is a perfect, if unorthodox, way to teach kids Black history.

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Detroit Deltas celebrate 30 years of philanthropy at upcoming gala

The Detroit Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority celebrates the 30-year anniversary of its Minerva Education and Development Foundation with an Oct. 29 gala raising money for scholarships and grants. Event chair Jenice Mitchell Ford talks about the mission of MEDF and the Detroit Deltas’ legacy of philanthropy and helping others.

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African American tenor, trailblazer George Shirley reflects on his storied career

As one of the first African American operatic performers, renowned tenor and trailblazer George Shirley’s contributions to the world of opera and music education have left an indelible mark on the industry. Shirley sat down for an exclusive one-on-one conversation with 90.9 WRCJ’s Cecelia Sharpe about his remarkable entry into the opera scene and his history as a music educator.

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Paving the way for today: How the Black Church supported the Civil Rights Movement

The “Black Church in Detroit” series delves into the contemporary significance of civil rights and the state of civil rights today. Historic King Solomon Missionary Baptist Church’s Senior Pastor, Rev. Charles Williams II, a distinguished figure in civil rights arenas, shares his perspectives on the legacy of the 1963 March on Washington and the present-day state of civil rights advocacy.

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Rhythms of change: Motown Museum reflects on recording civil rights history 60 years ago

As the nation reflects on the 60th anniversary of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom and the Detroit Walk to Freedom, an intriguing connection exists between Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s speeches and the iconic Motown Records. In an exclusive interview, contributor Cecelia Sharpe of 90.9 WRCJ, delves into this significant link with Robin Terry, Chairwoman and CEO of the Motown Museum.

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African World Festival returns for 40th annual celebration in Hart Plaza

Summer is here, and Detroit’s highly anticipated African World Festival is near. The annual festival celebrates 40 years in the city this year from July 14-16 at Hart Plaza. Festival Director Njia Kai shares what attendees can expect from the festival’s 40th annual year celebrating the arts and culture of the African diaspora.

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Artist Mario Moore’s ‘Midnight and Canaan’ exhibit explores forgotten stories of the Underground Railroad

Detroit artist Mario Moore has a new exhibit, “Midnight and Canaan,” which explores the forgotten stories and figures involved in Detroit’s Underground Railroad. The exhibit was inspired by the story of a young enslaved couple and stories of how Detroit’s Underground Railroad connects to Detroit’s African American population today. One Detroit Arts & Culture host Satori Shakoor sits down with Moore to hear more about his latest exhibit at the David Klein Gallery.

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Making Black Detroit: The importance of The Divine Nine, Black greek letter organizations

Detroit Public Television and WDET-FM host the “Making Black Detroit” Town Hall. The LEE Group’s President & CEO Mark S. Lee moderates a discussion with The Divine Nine fraternities and sororities about the history, contributions and future of the Black Greek Letter Organizations in Detroit. The town hall was hosted in part with PBS’ “Making Black America” documentary.

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Henry Louis Gates, Jr.’s “Making Black America” documentary tells the story of African American resilience, empowerment

“American Black Journal” previews a new PBS documentary series, “Making Black America: Through the Grapevine” by noted historian and storyteller Dr. Henry Louis Gates, Jr., focused on the vast social networks, associations and organizations created by and for African Americans as a means of empowerment in the face of racism. Host Stephen Henderson talks with producer and director, Stacey Holman.

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Detroit Chapter NABJ Celebrates 40th Anniversary With Yearlong Slate of Events

The Detroit Chapter of the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) announces a yearlong slate of events to celebrate its 40th anniversary. Guest Host Trudy Gallant-Stokes talks with anniversary co-chair and Chalkbeat Editor-in-Chief Nicole Avery Nichols about the events planned, NABJ’s history, and a scholarship program for youth.

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Fundraising gala celebrates legacy of WGPR-TV 62, America’s first Black-owned TV station

WGPR Historical Society President Joe Spencer and ESPN commentator Stephen A. Smith join Stephen Henderson to talk about an upcoming fundraising gala celebrating the legacy of WGPR-TV 62, America’s first Black-owned and operated television station. WGPR-TV 62 went on the air in 1975 and launched the careers of several African American media professionals before being sold in 1995.

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Negro Spirituals: The Music That Helped Free Enslaved African Americans

American Black Journal Producer AJ Walker talks with Dr. Brandon Waddles, a composer, arranger, choir director and music instructor at Wayne State University, about how Negro spirituals uplifted enslaved Africans brought to this country and how it served as a universal language that helped lead them to freedom. Plus, they discuss R&B singers, past and present, whose musical roots stemmed from the Black Church.

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Detroit Public Theatre Performs ‘Detroit ’67’ Production Based on Detroit 1967 Riots

As the Detroit 1967 riots began, a revelation was brewing in the city, and what rose from the ashes of the rebellion has ultimately shaped the city and how it functions today. In Dominique Morisseau’s production of “Detroit ’67,” the questions of race, social justice and progress that took center stage during the 1967 riots turn inward to see how the civil disturbance intertwined and impacted the lives of one African American family.

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Black Museums, Historical Institutions Host National Virtual Juneteenth Celebration 

Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History President and CEO Neil Barclay joins “American Black Journal” host Stephen Henderson to share how his museum plans to celebrate the nation’s newest federal holiday, Juneteenth, and how the museum will be involved in the “We the People” national virtual program with other Black museums and historical institutions.

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Collection of Horace Sheffield, Jr.’s Archives Coming to Wayne State University, WCCCD

Stephen talks with Horace Sheffield, Jr.’s son, Rev. Horace Sheffield III, about the influence and impact his father had on the trade unions during the civil rights movement. Plus, Sheffield III talks about upcoming plans to house thousands of items from his father’s archives in a massive collection at Wayne State University and Wayne County Community College District.

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2/08/22: American Black Journal – The History of Black History Month, African American Family Book Expo

Host Stephen Henderson learns more about the history of Black History Month, its founding and its importance today. Then, Stephen talks with the Detroit Book City bookstore about their upcoming African American Family Book Expo meant to further literacy in communities of color. Plus, we’ll share one of the winning performances at this year’s 25th annual Sphinx Competition.

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