Real Black History A podcast that examines the fight for equality for African Americans and celebrates their triumphs.
Real Black History

Real Black History


A podcast that examines the fight for equality for African Americans and celebrates their triumphs.

Most Recent Episodes

Educators say teaching Black history truthfully is their goal, not indoctrination

Lately, there's been much debate surrounding how America's racist history should be taught in the public school system. Conservative legislators and some mostly white parents have thrown a decades-old framework — critical race theory — into an ongoing struggle to include an accurate accounting of the history of Black people since they arrived on America's shores. For generations, the teaching of Black history has never been accurate or complete. It still isn't.

Educators say teaching Black history truthfully is their goal, not indoctrination

Young artists carry on the legacy of The Sound of Philadelphia

The music of legendary songwriting/production duo Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff helped redefine soul music in the 1970s and 80s. Known as The Sound of Philadelphia, it was rich with strings and horns, and lush arrangements that complemented a thumping groove. It was music about love and music with a message. It was music born out of the pain, suffering, and joy of Black people in America.

How reporting while Black during a summer of uprisings changed us

I've been replaying a memory from last summer for months. It's May 31, 2020, and I'm standing in the ShopRite on 52nd and Parkside, about a mile from my Mill Creek apartment building. I'm there buying red velvet cake for my roommate Shay. It's her birthday weekend, and red velvet cake is her favorite. I'm standing at the self-checkout holding my red cake with my feet planted on the white tile floor that's now red with wine. People who look like me are walking fast and running, carrying grocery items. I remember seeing a man holding a few different things I can't make out in my mind anymore, but one of those things is a pack of diapers. And I hear a woman's voice saying something like: "Why are ya'll doing this?!" Then, I hear a young man's voice say back: "You need to be doing it, too!" To which she responds: "No! I'm not broke. I'm gonna pay for my groceries!" I scan my little cake. Maybe it was about $2.99. I probably don't bag it. I walk to my car, click on my seatbelt. I drive home down Belmont Avenue and see people pushing some heavy looking equipment, obviously from the nearby Lowe's, haphazardly down the street. I wonder, "Is this 'looting?" Six days before, police in Minneapolis had killed George Floyd. One day before this memory, protests had begun in Philadelphia. Reporters of all races and ethnicities deployed to cover the unrest. As a Billy Penn reporter, I was one of those, along with my WHYY colleagues Darryl C. Murphy and Taylor Allen. We're from different parts of the country and we were strangers before meeting at work. Our binding commonality? We are Black people. We live in the neighborhoods most affected when there's police misconduct and subsequent demonstrations. As Black people, we are personally affected, too. This Real Black History episode is a behind-the-scenes look at what it's like for us to cover the issues that we also are living with in our communities. Police violence and the killings of Black Americans, documented on smartphones and virally shared on social media, catalyzed last summer the most intense public display of American resistance seen in a generation.

What the Chauvin verdict does and doesn't change about American policing

It's been a week since a Minneapolis jury found former cop Derek Chauvin guilty on all three counts in the killing of George Floyd, and across the country most people were relieved. But for much of the Black community, it was not a time for celebration, but the start of long-needed accountability for police misconduct. For many, justice is about more than one trial. Some believe the whole system of policing needs examination to determine the conditions that allowed Chauvin to murder Floyd in the first place.

What the Chauvin verdict does and doesn't change about American policing

Honoring The Black Doctors COVID-19 Consortium

In a little over a year since it was first recognized, the coronavirus pandemic has changed the lives of nearly every human being on the planet. And soon it became clear that across the country, Black people were getting sick and dying in disproportionate numbers. In Philadelphia, one Black doctor stepped up to level the playing field. Dr. Ala Stanford, founder of the Black Doctors COVID-19 Consortium, along with her dedicated team of volunteers, turned their anger into action by testing and vaccinating thousands of people in at-risk communities.

African Americans' fight to correct history and preserve voting rights

As we coped with a torrent of sickness, death, and uncertainty in 2020, we also were forced to confront another deadly disease that has formed the bedrock of our country since its inception — white supremacy. The events of the past year compelled many people to deeply reflect on the insidiousness of white supremacy in their own lives, whether it was benefiting from racial privilege, a long-held racist belief, or the systemic racism embedded in our institutions. Some awakened to it for the first time. Last summer's protests and discourse forced urgent calls for a long-overdue "racial reckoning," a viral buzz phrase heard over and over again. The question is, what exactly are we reckoning with? During Black History Month and beyond, WHYY will address that question through "Real Black History," a series looking at the struggle for equality against the forces of systemic racism. Our first episode, scheduled for Feb. 25, features a historian who tries to counter white re-enactors' glorification of the Confederacy by debunking myths about it. Then we turn to a Black man who performed for decades as a Civil War re-enactor, to bring awareness to the contribution of African Americans who served. Also in the episode, we'll take a look at the era of Reconstruction and its impact on voting rights, an important but often ignored piece of American history that begs review.