Alexandra Fuller– “Growing up White in Africa”

This episode was first broadcasted on September 2, 2003.

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Don’t Let’s Go to the Dogs Tonight: An African Childhood

Our guest in this program lived in Rhodesia, Malawi and Zambia from 1972 to 1990. Her father joined up on the side of the white government in the Rhodesian civil war, and was often away fighting against the guerilla factions. Her mother dove into their African life and its rugged farm work. Resilient and self-sufficient she taught her children to have strong wills and opinions, and to embrace life whole-heartedly, despite and because of difficult circumstances. Alexandra Fuller is the author of “Don’t Let’s Go to the Dogs Tonight, an African Childhood.”

Alexandra Fuller recommends “Echoing Silences,” by Alexander Canigone.

Originally Broadcast: September 2, 2003

Nelson, Dr. Alondra: “Race, Reparations, and Reconciliation After the Genome”

This program was originally recorded on February 19, 2016.

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Who we are and where we come from is a crucial question that now we are more able to answer than ever before. The examination and analysis of our individual DNA, in addition to answering a myriad of medical and forensic secrets also reveals the mix of our individual ancestors and the paths they took. This analysis provides significant and untold information about who we are, from where we came and how we may connect with our relatives.

Dr. Alondra Nelson, the Dean of Social Science and professor of sociology and gender studies at Columbia University, in New York City, is our guest in this edition of Radio Curious.

Professor Nelson is the author of The Social Life of DNA: Race, Reparations, and Reconciliation After the Genome. She s also the author of Body and Soul: The Black Panther Party and the Fight Against Medical Discrimination, which she and I have previously discussed on Radio Curious.

To discuss The Social Life of DNA, Professor Nelson and I visited by phone from her office n New York City, on February 19, 2016. We began by noting that although all human beings are members of the human race, people are grouped by skin color and/or facial features and characterized as being of a different race.

The book she recommends is Come Out Swinging, by Lucia Trimbur.

Nelson, Alondra— “Health Care & The Black Panthers”

Originally Broadcast: February 13, 2012

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The exodus of approximately six million black people from the American South between 1915 and 1970 had a significant role in setting the stage of the civil rights movement of the early 1960s. Many of the children of those who left the south participated in desegregation efforts which included the Freedom Rides and lunch counter sit-ins. The Civil Rights Acts of 1964 and 1965 which attempted to resolve employment discrimination and define voting rights, only changed the law. Many young blacks however did not see changes in their everyday life.

The Black Panther Party for Self-Defense was born out of this disillusionment. Although infiltrated and feared by the F.B.I., the Black Panther Party pioneered social and community programs, including free medical clinics, free meals, and educational programs.

Our guest in this edition of Radio Curious is Columbia University Sociology and Gender Studies Professor Alondra Nelson, author of “Body and Soul: The Black Panther Party and the Fight Against Medical Discrimination.”

We visited by phone from her Office in New York City, on February 13, 2012 and began our conversation when I asked her to describe the Black Panther Party.

The book she recommends is “Crave Radiance: New and Selected Poems,” by Elizabeth Alexander.

Professor Nelson’s website is http://www.alondranelson.com.

Randall Kennedy- “Black and White”

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“Interracial Intimacies: Sex, Marriage, Identity, and Adoption,” is a book written by Randall Kennedy, a Harvard University Law School Professor. He takes an in-depth look at the issue of black and white relationships set against the ever-changing social mores and laws of this country.

Fears of interracial relationships, influenced over the centuries by racial biases and fantasies still widely linger in American Society today.

Randall Kennedy, a professor at Harvard University Law School is the author of “Interracial Intimacies: Sex, Marriage, Identity, and Adoption,” in which he takes an in depth look at the issue of black and white relationships set against the ever-changing social mores and laws of this country. From pre-civil war to the present, this book explores the historical, sociological, legal and moral issues that continue to feed and complicate those fears.

Professor Kennedy and I visited by phone in March 2003 and began by our conversation with his description of what he calls a “pigmentocracy” in the United States.

The book Professor Randall Kennedy recommends is “The Biography of Walter White,” by Robert Jankin.

Lerner, Gerda Ph.D. — “The Foremother of Women’s History”

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The history of women has existed as long as humans have, but it was not until the last half of the 20th Century that women’s history received recognized academic attention.  Our guest, Professor Gerda Lerner was a pioneer in the movement to study and record the history of women.

Gerda Lerner led an extraordinary life from April 30, 1920 to January 2, 2013.  She was a historian, author and teacher, and ultimately a professor emeritus of history at the University of Wisconsin.  Her academic work was characterized by the attention she drew to the differences among women in class, race and sexual orientation.

Professor Lerner and I visited by phone in October 2002, began with her description why the distinctions among women of class, race and sexual orientation are important.

Originally Broadcast: October 1, 2002.

 

Randall Kennedy – “Can You Say This Word?”

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Nigger: The Strange Career of a Troublesome Word

Few words in the English language have caused so much pain, hurt and emotion as the N-word. It is arguably the most consequential social insult in American history. The long history of the pejorative use of the N-word has given it an unusual power that extends to the judicial system, literature and social settings.

Randall Kennedy, a professor of Law at Harvard University Law School, is the author of “Nigger-the Strange Career of a Troublesome Word.”  His book chronicles the history of this word, in an effort to diffuse and neutralize it.

At the end of his book he writes, “There is much to be gained by allowing people all backgrounds to yank the N-word away from white supremacists to subvert its ugliest denotation, and to convert the N-work from a negative into a positive appellation.”

I spoke with Professor Randall Kennedy in the winter of 2002 while he was in California and asked him to begin our conversation by explaining this conclusion.

The book Randall Kennedy recommends in “The Negro in the American Revolution,” by Benjamin Quarles, written in 1961.

Originally Broadcast: March 19, 2002

Lynda Koolish, Ph.D. –”African American Writers”

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African American Writers: Portraits and Visions

The voice of a writer can be heard in words, and sometimes seen in the writer’s face. It is unusual to find both in a book in which the creator is both the author and the photographer. Lynda Koolish, our guest on this archive edition of Radio Curious, is a professor of African American literature at San Diego State University and an accomplished photographer. She is the author of a book entitled “African American Writers: Portraits and Visions” in which she reveals the visage of 59 African American writers along with a thumbnail biography and summation of each writer’s vision.

Lynda Koolish, Ph.D. recommends “Dien Cai Dau” and “Neon Vernacular” by Yusef Komunyakaa.

Originally Broadcast: February 19, 2002

“Kennedy, Randall — Can You Say This Word?”

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Few words in the English language have caused so much pain, hurt and emotion as the N-word. It is arguably the most consequential social insult in American history. The long history of the pejorative use of the N-word has given it an unusual power that extends to the judicial system, literature and social settings.

Randall Kennedy, a professor of Law at Harvard University Law School, is the author of “Nigger-the Strange Career of a Troublesome Word.”  His book chronicles the history of this word, in an effort to diffuse and neutralize it.

Originally Broadcast: March 19, 2002

“Wilkerson, Isabel — America’s Great Migration: 1915-1970 Part Two”

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In part 2 of our conversation with Pulitzer Prize winner, Isabel Wilkerson, author of “The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America’s Great Migration,” we continue our discussion of the migration of almost six million black American citizens from the south to northern and western cities between the years of 1915 and 1970. Her book tells the untold experiences of the African-Americans who fled the south over three generations.

Wilkerson interviewed more than 1,000 people for her book. She is the first black woman to win the Pulitzer Prize and is a recipient of the George Polk Award and a John Simon Guggenheim Fellow. Her parents were part of the great migration, journeying from Georgia and southern Virginia to Washington D.C.

The book Isabel Wilkerson recommends is “The Ark of Justice,” by Kevin Boyle.

“Wilkerson, Isabel — America’s Great Migration: 1915-1970 Part One”

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In the years between 1915 and 1970 almost six million black American citizens from the south migrated to northern and western cities seeking freedom and a better life. Our guest is Pulitzer Prize winner, Isabel Wilkerson author of “The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America’s Great Migration.” Her book tells the untold experiences of the African-Americans who fled the south over three generations.

Wilkerson interviewed more than 1,000 people for her book. She is the first black woman to win the Pulitzer Prize and is a recipient of the George Polk Award and a John Simon Guggenheim Fellow. Her parents were part of the great migration, journeying from Georgia and southern Virginia to Washington D.C.

In the first of two interviews recorded from Isabel Wilkerson’s home near Atlanta, Georgia, on September 28, 2012, she begins with a description of the “biggest untold story of the 20th century.”

The book Isabel Wilkerson recommends is “The Ark of Justice,” by Kevin Boyle.