Black History in Two Minutes (or so)

Black History in Two Minutes (or so)

It’s Black History delivered in short, lively, fact-packed stories accessible to people of all ages and education levels. It’s fast, accurate U.S. history available in free video podcast recordings describing major historical events and introducing less well-known experiences involving Black Americans.

Episodes

May 27, 2022 3 min

Black contributions in the volunteer and civic space have been around since the Revolutionary War. Out of those spaces came formal organizations aimed at redefining American democracy.

One of the leading figures in creating a Black fraternal organization was Prince Hall. He, along with 14 other Black men, brought Freemasonry to the United States after being inducted into a regimental lodge of the British Army in 1775. With this kno...

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In November 1870, four Black students created their own safe space to study in a Washington D.C. church. That space would eventually become the first Black public school, Paul Laurence Dunbar High School.

Dunbar High became the standard for academic excellence as Black students in attendance were exposed to more than just industrial education. The excitement spread, leading to Black educators finding unique ways to elevate the acce...

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May 13, 2022 3 min

As the nation dealt with the darkness of the Great Depression, a Black leader by the name of Father Major Jealous Divine rose from the shadows. His message resonated with many as he identified himself as God in the human flesh.

Preaching the power of the mind and positive thinking, the Peace Mission Movement was created. Followers would give their life to Father Divine, relinquishing all worldly possessions as the entered communal ...

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May 6, 2022 3 min

In 1955, Charles Diggs Jr. became the first Black person from Michigan elected to the House of Representatives. His election paved the way for more Black politicians to enter an arena that often times represented them by district but never really looked like them in session.

As the numbers grew, Diggs created what would be known as the precursor to the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC), the Democratic Select Committee. Diggs realize...

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April 29, 2022 3 min

In 1967, the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. expanded the Civil Rights Movement by creating a sweeping economic and healthcare care plan aimed at the poor. While he would not be around to see the efforts of his movement come to light, his wife, Coretta Scott King, and the Reverend Ralph Abernathy, picked up where he left off.

On Mother’s Day 1968, thousands of women marched in Washington D.C. and set up shop in the mall. Those...

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April 22, 2022 3 min

College campuses became integral in the quest for social reform in the 1960s. With large numbers of Black students already present, campuses allowed young people an opportunity to ensure their voices were not only heard, but that their abilities to march were possible.

Unfortunately, peaceful protests were met with extreme violence from the police. Two historically black colleges and universities made national headlines as a result...

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Even though slavery ended in the 1860s, free Black Americans made up 10% of the United States Black population. While the rest of the population was made up of slaves, those who escaped quickly learned that freedom didn’t mean access.

As the United States expanded, many now western states passed rules and regulations that made it difficult for Black citizens to successfully enter society. Ultimately, Black people opted to stay in t...

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April 8, 2022 3 min

America entered a special moment where freedom rang high and many of the promises of the constitution appeared to — in some ways — allow Black people to enjoy freedom and rights that were never seen before. From running for office, to voting and purchasing land, Black families had what appeared to be a real chance at thriving.

However, by 1877, the costs became too much and white government officials began to figure out ways to wor...

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Baseball is one of America’s staples that dates back to the 1800s. And while the culture of catchy tunes and snacks are shared from coast to coast, the journey to inclusivity was a long, hard, and well-earned fight for Black athletes.

Prior to the formal creation of the National Baseball League in 1876, Black and White players played baseball together. But, as separate but equal became the law of the land, restrictions and limitati...

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March 25, 2022 3 min

The 1893 World Fair took place in Chicago, Illinois, welcoming countries from around the world to feature their contributions for everyone to see. With the festival’s arrival stateside, key Black leaders, such as Ida B. Wells and Frederick Douglas, joined forces to highlight the advancement of Black people post-Civil War.

However, the organizers refused to give the duo a formal exhibition space. As a result, Wells and Douglas used ...

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March 18, 2022 2 min

After the Civil War, Black women recognized the opportunity to become wage workers and contributors to society. However, decent wages and respect was fleeting. Black women in the workforce realized quickly that while times were changing, their white employers were staying the same.

Work conditions paralleled that of slavery, and wages weren’t aligned with the work they were expected to do. As a result, Black women gathered in their...

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Nothing seemed more urgent than the collective quest of Black freedom after the assassination of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Although Black men and women shared the same mission and skin color, their commitment to the cause manifested in very different ways.

James Cone, a highly regarded professor, preached about Black liberation at the center of the gospel. His elevated teaching not only inspired followers but it also provide...

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March 4, 2022 3 min

Black women have been no stranger to organizing since America’s earliest inception. But it would be during the Reconstruction era that Black women were able to elevate their messaging and form their own group called the Women’s Club.

Focused on holding America to its founding principles, women across the country gathered to highlight injustices like lynching. The success of these meetings led to the formation of the National Associ...

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February 25, 2022 3 min

While more Black students sought formal education in a university setting, white organizations were not as open to embracing them into their space. Seeing a need, Black students formed their own fraternities and sororities aimed at creating community and celebrating key principles of success.

With education, community service, and philanthropy as their focal point, these organizations were able to foster academic and personal excel...

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February 18, 2022 2 min

Brenda Travis of McComb, Mississippi, encountered the dangers of merely existing in Jim Crow’s America as a child after witnessing her brother’s unlawful arrest in the middle of the night. It would be that event that inspired a young Travis to enter the arena, ready and willing to fight for injustice.

After partnering with a civil rights organizer in town, 16-year-old Travis led a sit-in at the local Greyhound bus station. She beca...

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Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination not only further ignited the civil rights movement, but it also inspired students in the collegiate setting to revolutionize the spaces that didn’t fully accept their existence.

From coast to coast, Black students demanded more, not only of their educational institutions, but also of themselves. Focused on self-determination and control, Black student activists followed the Black Powe...

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February 4, 2022 3 min

While the Civil Rights Movement continued to spread across the US and the feminist movement evolved, one group felt neither movement really addressed their existence: Black women. As a result, the National Black Feminist Organization (NBFO) was formed.

The NBFO sought to meet at the intersection of racism and sexism, all the while pushing an agenda that created policies and protections for Black women. Even as they grew, another gr...

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January 28, 2022 3 min
Be Woke Presents Black History in Two Minutes (or so)

Despite continued exclusionary practices, Black Americans slowly but surely made their way into the workforce after the Civil War. With continued persistence and perseverance, they earned greater opportunities to advance professionally as the years progressed.

In 1972, Vernon Jordan became the first Black person to sit on a corporate board in the United States. As a result of hi...

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January 21, 2022 3 min
Be Woke Presents Black History in Two Minutes (or so)

From the inception of the United States, Black soldiers have answered the call to serve on the front lines. And in 1944, the US government created the GI Bill, providing benefits and offerings like job training, loans for school and access to mortgages for soldiers who serve their country.

The bill should have changed the landscape for Black soldiers returning home. However, spe...

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January 14, 2022 2 min
Be Woke Presents Black History in Two Minutes (or so)

In 1730, Job Ben Solomon  — a Senegalese man and active slave trader — was captured during an excursion in the Gambian River region. Once stateside, he was imprisoned for attempting to escape from Maryland.

After writing a letter to his family back home, it was intercepted by a prominent US figure, James Oglethorpe, who arranged Job’s freedom and sent him to London. From there, ...

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