Historically Black

9 EpisodesProduced by APM Reports & The Washington Post

Objects hold history. They're evocative of stories stamped in time. As part of The Washington Post's coverage of the Smithsonian's new National Museum of African American History and Culture, people submitted dozens of objects that make up their own lived experiences of black history, creating a "pe… read more

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Black Love Stories

November 7th, 2016


This episode spotlights stories of enduring love among African American couples. We dive into the history of marriage among black Americans -- including the time when it was illegal for slaves to wed. We also explore …

The Path to Founding an HBCU

October 31st, 2016


Born into slavery, William Hooper Councill founded one of the nation's first HBCUs, Alabama A&M University. Negotiating the racial politics of …

The Question of Black Identity

October 24th, 2016


Racial identity in the U.S. is complicated because race is an invented category rooted in slavery. This episode explores the question of black identity in America through the voices of four people who, at one time or …

Harlem Through James Van Der Zee's Lens

October 17th, 2016


James Van Der Zee was a celebrated African American photographer who documented black New York for much of the 20th century. Van Der Zee was New York's leading black photographer during the Harlem Renaissance. His …

The Fiddler who Charmed Missouri

October 10th, 2016


A young musician and actor discovers that his great, great grandfather was Bill Driver, a celebrated fiddler in Missouri. Family members recall how his fiddle playing often brought blacks and whites together at country …

Tracking Down a Slave's Bill of Sale

October 3rd, 2016


Members of an extended Tennessee family talk about their great, great grandfather, a slave owned by his white, biological father. After emancipation, …

The Spirit of the Million Man March

September 26th, 2016


The Million Man March of 1995 is recreated through the conversation between a young woman and her father, who attended it. He talks about how the event changed his life, and she recalls what it meant to see a poster of …

NASA's Human Computers

September 19th, 2016


During World War II, a labor shortage obliged the military to hire African American women with mathematical skills to help make complicated computations for warplane designs. This small team of black women faced …

Trailer: Historically Black

September 14th, 2016


Each week, Historically Black will feature one object in black history and the story behind it.

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