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Here's How KOSU Is Celebrating Black History Month

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In honor of Black History Month, KOSU is featuring several hours of special shows celebrating the history and experience of Black people every Sunday in February.

Sunday, February 7 at 3-4 p.m.
Say It Loud: Great Speeches on Civil Rights and African American Identity

Say It Loud traces the last 50 years of Black history through stirring, historically important speeches by African Americans from across the political spectrum. With recordings unearthed from libraries and sound archives, and made widely available here for the first time, Say It Loud includes landmark speeches by Malcolm X, Lorraine Hansberry, Angela Davis, Martin Luther King Jr., Henry Louis Gates, and many others.

Bringing the rich immediacy of the spoken word to a vital historical and intellectual tradition, Say It Loud reveals the diversity of ideas and arguments pulsing through the Black freedom movement.

POSTPONED: Sunday, February 14 at 1-4 p.m.
KANAVAL: Haitian Rhythms and the Music of New Orleans

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UPDATE: This documentary has been postponed due to expected impeachment coverage on Sunday, February 14. We plan to air it at a later date, TBA.

Kanaval: Haitian Rhythms & the Music of New Orleans is a three hour documentary chronicling the history of Haiti and Haitian influences on the music, culture, and community of New Orleans and contextualizing the nation's historical importance through its considerable artistic and musical traditions.

Because of the island's Caribbean location, its history as a Spanish and French colony, and past trade enabled by West African slaves, Haiti's music is richly diverse in styles, incorporating native Taíno, African, French, and Spanish influences. These cultural traditions made their way to New Orleans when more than 10,000 free and enslaved Haitians immigrated to the city after the slave uprising at the turn of the 19th century. Kanaval tells both the story of Haiti's rich history and its influence on the music of New Orleans.

Kanaval celebrates the origins, history, and persistent influence of Haitian culture and features interviews and music from Boukman Eksperyans, Paul Beaubrun, RAM, Lakou Mizik, Chico Boyer, Win Butler & Regine Chassagne of Arcade Fire, Bruce "Sunpie" Barnes, Ben Jaffee of the Preservation Hall Jazz Band and others.

From WXPN in Philadelphia, the show is hosted by Haitian-American and New Orleans based artist and musician, Leyla McCalla, a founding member of Our Native Daughters & alumna of the GRAMMY award-winning Carolina Chocolate Drops.

This show will preempt the repeat airings of Wait, Wait... Don't Tell Me! and Ask Me Another.

Sunday, February 21 at 3-4 p.m.
Focus: Black Oklahoma

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Join us for the second full episode of Focus: Black Oklahoma on KOSU. The monthly news and public affairs program focuses on topics relevant to Oklahomans across the Black diaspora.

The show returned to the radio airwaves last month, following a disruption in production caused by the pandemic. KOSU is proud to be the statewide home for this citizen journalism show for the Black community.

This episode will have a repeat airing on Friday, February 26 at 1 p.m.

Sunday, February 28 at 3-4 p.m.
Focus: Black Oklahoma - Black Plague: COVID In North Tulsa

Focus: Black Oklahoma will present the final episode of a three-part special series focusing on the effects of COVID-19 in the north Tulsa community. This episode will look at the pandemic's effect on evictions and homelessness. Previous episodes examined its effect on youth and domestic violence.

The full three-part series was made in partnership with Solutions Journalism Network, Tulsa Artist Fellowship and Tri-City Collective. It will be made available in the FBO podcast feed soon.

NPR Celebrates Black History Month

NPR is celebrating Black voices with special programming and episodes this months. Several NPR podcasts and radio stories discuss, highlight, and uplift Black voices throughout the year. Last year, Code Switch compiled a variety of episodes that touched on activism, significant historical events, and more. Alt. Latino has highlighted multiple Afro-Latinx artists that do not always fit in the traditional boxes from 'Black, Latino And Proud' in 2014 to 'A Look At New Music With Afro-Latinx Roots' in 2018.

NPR Music will feature 13 Tiny Desk (home) concerts by Black artists like Oklahoma-native Bartees Strange, Rick Ross, Melanie Charles, Wynton Marsalis and more.

Find a full list of ways NPR is honoring this month here.

And finally, Spy hosts Jabee and Don Data curated a playlist celebrating music by Black Oklahomans last year that you can find below. The playlist will be updated throughout the month.

Support this vital reporting with a donation to KOSU.
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