On Being producers traveled to Great Barrington, Massachusetts to explore the W.E.B. Du Bois archives. We gathered enlightening correspondence, seminal essays and exchanges, photographs, and ideas for a deeper and broader exploration of Du Bois' legacy for the present. This is part of a series funded, in part, by the National Endowment for the Humanities.
One of the most extraordinary minds of American and global history, W.E.B. Du Bois penned the famous line that "the problem of the 20th century is the problem of the color line." He is a formative voice for many of the people who gave us the Civil Rights Movement. But his passionate, poetic words speak to all of us navigating the ever-unfolding, unfinished business of civil rights. We bring Du Bois' life and ideas into relief for the 21st century — featuring one of the last interviews the great Maya Angelou gave before her death.
A collection of essays on the spiritual, political, and social thinking of W.E.B. Du Bois. In lyrical, magnetic prose he writes here on the color line, double consciousness, and more.
In 1929, W.E.B. Du Bois was invited by the Reverend A. J. Helm to speak at Bethel Evangelical Church, the former pastorate of Reinhold Niebuhr, on "Religion on the Color Line." This series of little-known letters displays in painful detail the embattled conversation on racial integration and the white church in the early 20th century.
A gallery of eighty handwritten prayers W.E.B. Du Bois wrote for his students at Atlanta University, which he called "Prayers, A Litany and Diverse Prayers Set Down for the Worship of the Darker Americans."
Many count W.E.B. Du Bois' seminal text The Souls of Black Folk as a formative influence in their lives. We ask for your stories about W.E.B. Du Bois and the impact of his writing on your life. Read others' stories; we'd like to hear yours as well.
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This unpublished list of books written by W.E.B. Du Bois in 1923 might be a list of favorites, or it might be a to-read list, or a list of recommendations for a friend. In any case, it's a window into the mind of a terrific writer, through the books he loved.
Eddie Long's "anti-homosexual" theology, power, and news coverage. One inside view of the black church.
A photoquote from W.E.B. Du Bois on education.
What better way to follow up our show with poet Elizabeth Alexander than to listen to the redemptive words of his second inaugural poet, Richard Blanco. A true pleasure.
As we begin Black History Month, here’s a letter from 1865 making the rounds. In it, Jourdan Anderson, a former slave, responds to his former master Colonel P.H. Anderson, who had written to invite him back to the plantation.
A moving performance of Frederick Douglass' "The Meaning of July Fourth for the Negro" in Howard Zinn's history roadshow.
Voices on the Radio
was a poet, educator, and activist. She was awarded the Presidential Medal of Arts in 2000. She is most well-known for her series of seven autobiographies, including I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings.
is the Thomas E. Donnelley Professor of African American Studies at Yale University. She wrote and delivered "Praise Song for the Day" at Barack Obama's presidential inauguration. Her most recent book of poems is Crave Radiance: New and Selected Poems, 1990-2010.
Host/Executive Producer: Krista Tippett
Executive Editor: Trent Gilliss
Senior Producer: Lily Percy
Technical Director: Chris Heagle
Associate Producer: Mariah Helgeson
Production Intern: Julie Rawe
An hour with the extraordinary humanity of Congressman John Lewis. The civil rights movement he helped animate was — as he tells it — love in action. He opens up the art and the discipline that made nonviolence work then — and that he offers up for our common life even today.
Poetry is something many of us seem to be hungry for these days. We're hungry for fresh ways to tell hard truths and redemptive stories, for language that would elevate and embolden rather than demean and alienate. Elizabeth Alexander shares her sense of what poetry works in us — and in our children — and why it may become more relevant, not less so, in hard and complicated times.