Black History Month at NPR
February is Black History Month
This month reminds us and allows us to highlight all of the great contributions that Black people have made to our society in the past and present. This year at NPR, we are celebrating with NPR Music, NPR Podcasts, NPR Extra and our Member stations.
Check out NPR's Black History Month 2022 Special Series for stories, musical performances, podcasts and other content which highlight this year's theme, Black Health and Wellness.
Tiny Desk Concerts:
2/4: El Debarge Tiny Desk
2/16: Too $hort Tiny Desk
2/18: Patti LaBelle
"For this year's celebration of Black History Month, we delve deeper into the true history of music and culture. Each of our five Tiny Desk home concerts is by an artist who has helped define Black music as we know it today," said NPR Music's Bobby Carter, who is producing the month of concerts. "We have some unique pairings for our limited video series to discuss pertinent topics in the Black community like food justice and Black hair. Lara Downes, Alexis Nikole Nelson, and our star of last year's celebration, the great Kirk Franklin, will curate special playlists for us. Jazz Night In America has always made it part of its mission to uplift Black music and social justice. In February, they continue that mission, concluding the month with a brand new episode featuring Damien Sneed. Set your reminders for all that we have in store this month!"
See more details here.
From the Top features the amazing performances and captivating personal stories of extraordinary classically-trained young musicians from across the country.
February 21, 2022: A new Highlights Show will celebrate some outstanding performances by young Black musicians selected out of From the Top's archives.
This radio show from WXPN celebrates Black gospel music's profound and under acknowledged influence on early rock and soul music.
From NPR and WGBO, Jazz Night In America's radio program is a rich presentation of the uniquely American art form that strives to reinvigorate public media jazz programming for audiences today. Check out some of the upcoming plans the show has throughout the month of February.
Feb 3, 2022: The Movement Revisited [Re-run]
Former All Things Considered host Audie Cornish guest hosts this week's Jazz Night in America episode. The tables turn as JNIA host Christian McBride — Grammy Award winning bassist and composer — talks about and performs his suite, The Movement Revisited, inspired by the words of Rosa Parks, Malcolm X, Muhammad Ali and Martin Luther King, Jr. The performance was captured live at the Kimmel Center in Philadelphia, McBride's hometown.
Feb 10, 2022: Samora Pinderhughes: The Transformations Suite [Re-run]
Samora Pinderhughes says that jazz has the power to reflect "radical imagination." To the Bay Area-native pianist and composer, that means challenging the status quo with his multi-movement "Transformations Suite." The suite combines theater, music and poetry to examine and explore the history of African American protest movements. Jazz Night travels to Berkeley, CA to showcase the "Transformations Suite" and explore Samora's journey into forming his musical life around activism from his parents to his peers, pupils and mentors.
Feb 17, 2022: Jazzmeia Horn [Re-run]
Maybe you became aware of Jazzmeia Horn when she took first prize at the Sarah Vaughan International Jazz Vocal Competition. Maybe you got hip when her debut album, A Social Call, was released in 2017. Or maybe this is the first you're hearing of Jazzmeia, which means you have something to look forward to. A singer of ironclad capability, creative drive and irrepressible panache, she has emerged as the breakout new talent in a formidable jazz-vocal tradition. This is her moment, and Jazz Night in America has her story.
Feb 24, 2022: Damien Sneed
Jazz Night goes to church. Leading us in services this week is gospel pianist and vocalist Damien Sneed. We hear him live at Dizzy's Club at Jazz at Lincoln Center with his trio plus special guest vocalist Anitra McKinney. We take a tour of the legendary Abyssinian church in Harlem and learn about Sneed's upbringing in Augusta, GA to working with the legendary Aretha Franklin.
Jazz Night Video Series: Concerts - (Jazz Night Video dates are still being nailed down, pending the footage of the concert.) Past video episodes and features for the show can be found here.
Feb. 1: Jazz Night "On the List" playlist - the best new jazz released in January.
Feb. 10: Immanuel Wilkins Concert. (the following are 60 second mini-docs)
Feb. 16: Exploring Jazz Nicknames
Feb. 23: Attica Blues Album
Mar. 2: Hazel Scott
This radio series produced by WXPN explores and investigates the historical and present day ties between the nation of Haiti and the city of New Orleans with a focus on the music that bonds together the places and people.
From West Virginia Public Radio and NPR, Mountain Stage offers its listeners the best seats in the house for performances captured in front of a live audience by established stars and emerging artists. The show features seasoned legends and emerging stars in genres ranging from folk, blues, and country to indie rock, pop, world music, alternative, and beyond
The show has compiled some digital and video pieces of Black musicians that have been featured:
Serving up a blend of blues, rock, world, folk, and alternative country, live performances, and intimate interviews, this program from WXPN has several plans set to showcase Black musicians and art throughout the month of February. Check out the schedule here.
Sam talks with musician and director Questlove about the making of Summer of Soul. They discuss how Black history is remembered– or forgotten– in the archive.
Faces of NPR: HBCU Edition
Historically Black colleges/universities are essential to the Black community. They provide us a place of education, community and growth in times we were often turned away from these necessities. HBCUs have always bred excellence within their students, for example Oprah, Kamala Harris, Thurgood Marshall, Stokley Carmichael and Martin Luther King. The buck doesn't stop with them. Here are a few HBCU alum at NPR that are contributing their creativity, intelligence and authenticity every day:
Anais Laurent - Senior Marketing Manager
Sommer Hill - Social Media Associate
Taylor Ash - Recruitment/Employment Branding Coordinator
Kia Miakka Natisse - Host, Invsibilia
Ayesha Rascoe - White House Correspondent
Whitney Maddox - Manager, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
Nikki Jones - VP, Change Management & Transformation
HBCU Member Stations
Did you know that there are many NPR Member stations who are licensed to HBCUs? You can check out the wide variety of programming they provide, such as jazz and gospel music, news, and how they serve their communities overall:
WSNC-FM Winston-Salem State University
WSSB-FM South Carolina State University
WPRL-FM Alcorn State University
WCSU-FM Central State University
WNCU-FM North Carolina Central University
WEAA-FM Morgan State University
WVAS-FM Alabama State University
KPVU-FM Prairie View A&M University
WJAB-FM Alabama A&M University
WURC-FM Rust College, Inc.
WRVS-FM Elizabeth City State University
WCLK-FM Clark Atlanta University
WJSU-FM Jackson State University
WESM-FM University of Maryland- Eastern Shore
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