Race

Tell Me More About Black History

  In 1926, Carter G. Woodson (1875-1950) chose February to honor the accomplishments of African-Amer

In 1926, Carter G. Woodson (1875-1950) chose February to honor the accomplishments of African-Americans, a time originally themed as "Negro History Week." Woodson is commonly credited as the "father of Black history." ton Archive/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption ton Archive/Getty Images

This is Teshima Walker, supervising senior producer for "Tell Me More."

February is Black History Month and TMM is observing the month with the new series "Tell Me More About Black History."

Here's a funny story about the title of the series: During one of our lengthy editorial meetings, I asked how the show plans to acknowledge Black History Month.

The host, Michel Martin, says, "I don't care what we do, but can we please expand the conversation beyond Harriet Tubman and the 'peanut guy' (George Washington Carver).

Wow!

I thought of just the right person to help further our dialog about the contributions of black people to North America — Kai Wright.

Wright is the editor of an amazing new book titled The African American Experience: Black History and Culture Through Speeches, Letters, Editorials, Poems, Songs and Stories. In the coming weeks, he will move us through six centuries of black history and culture (16th through 21st Centuries).

It's not enough time, we know, but please enjoy the selections chosen by Wright for "Tell Me More about Black History."

For yesterday's first installment, we brought you a historic first-person narrative of the slave Olaudah Equiano.

Next time, Wright talks about a statement from a town hall meeting of freed blacks who lived in New York and Philadelphia. He'll tell how they tackled issues of colonization and a very early "back-to-Africa movement." Plus, we'll have two letters from the Civil War era. One such writing is from a white doctor who traveled with Northern troops to refugee camps; he recounts what he sees. The other letter is from a black Union soldier still enslaved who writes to his daughter as his army troop advances to war.

Also to be included in the series, (one of my favorites) a tale of the defiant and legendary blues songstress Bessie Smith.

We'll have at least two additional contributions from Kai Wright to our Web site, too.

Your Turn

We also want to know what you're learning during Black History Month. Is there someone we should know more about?

Are you hosting a celebration? Will you invite us?

We love a good party and, better, food.

Keep listening and blog it out!

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