Oral history interview with Benny Andrews, 1968 June 30

Posted in Arts, Audio, Autobiography, Interviews, Media Archive, Passing, United States on 2016-06-23 20:18Z by Steven

Oral history interview with Benny Andrews, 1968 June 30

Archives of American Art
Smithsonian Institution

Andrews, Benny, b. 1930 d. 2006
Active in New York, N.Y.

Size: Transcript: 29 pages

Format: Originally recorded on 1 sound tape reel. Reformated in 2010 as 2 digital wav files. Duration is 2 hrs., 12 min.

Collection Summary: An interview of Benny Andrews conducted 1968 June 30, by Henri Ghent, for the Archives of American Art.

Andrews remembers his childhood on a sharecropping farm in Georgia, difficulties he faced being light-skinned, and his struggle to get an education. He speaks of the role of the 4-H Club in his escape from that life and his attempts at painting using improvised materials. Andrews describes how he worked his way to college and joined the Air Force. He recalls passing himself off as white in certain situations, the insights into race relations he was able to gain that way, and his consciousness of being black as it affects his art. He notes the importance of other artists who encouraged him, and ends with a general characterization of his work.

Biographical/Historical Note: Benny Andrews (1930-2006) was a painter and lecturer from New York, New York.

This interview is part of the Archives’ Oral History Program, started in 1958 to document the history of the visual arts in the United States, primarily through interviews with artists, historians, dealers, critics and others.

Funding for the digital preservation of this interview was provided by a grant from the Save America’s Treasures Program of the National Park Service.

For more information, click here.

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The Great New Orleans Kidnapping Case

Posted in Articles, Audio, History, Interviews, Law, Louisiana, Media Archive, United States on 2016-06-18 20:36Z by Steven

The Great New Orleans Kidnapping Case

Tripod: New Orleans At 300
89.9 FM WWNO
New Orleans, Louisiana

Laine Kaplan-Levenson, Producer

The Provost Guard in New Orleans taking up Vagrant Negroes. (1974.25.9.190)

It was June. It was hot. Kids were out of school, keeping busy outdoors. Parents were inside. Kind of like how it is now, except it was 146 years ago.

“It is a world turned upside down,” says Michael Ross, historian and author of ‘The Great New Orleans Kidnapping Case: Race, Law, and Justice in the Reconstruction Era.’ He’s talking about the year 1870, at the height of reconstruction. “You have five cities in the South that have integrated their police forces, at a time when not a single police force in the North had integrated.

It’s true. The NOPD first hired black officers in the 1860s. New York City didn’t have an African American in their ranks until 1911. This is one of the many things that makes New Orleans a stage for social change in the U.S. after the Civil War. One crime in particular brought these changes into focus.

Molly Digby is 17 months old and playing outside with her older brother. Two women of color walk up to the kids and start talking to them, until they’re all interrupted by a loud noise down the street. The women tell the boy he can go see what all the excitement is about, and they’ll watch the baby. He runs off, and when he comes back, the women, and baby Molly, are gone.

“A white baby is abducted by two mixed race women called Mulattos at the time,” Ross explains. “That story would have been just one of many terrible stories of that day that would have been buried in the third page of the newspaper. But a number of factors lead to it getting front page attention.”…

Read the story here. Listen to the episode here.

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Inside The Five-Day Stretch When Obama Found His Voice On Race

Posted in Articles, Audio, Barack Obama, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy on 2016-06-13 18:03Z by Steven

Inside The Five-Day Stretch When Obama Found His Voice On Race


The number of Americans “greatly worried” about race relations hit an all-time low, 13 percent, the year after President Obama took office. Last month, Gallup recorded the opposite, an all-time high of 35 percent.

As Obama prepares to leave office, the conversation about his legacy will no doubt include his role in how Americans see race. In the latest in FiveThirtyEight’s podcast documentary series on key election moments, we go back to the first time in Obama’s presidential career that he addressed the country’s debate over race in a big way…

…Who you’ll hear from in the podcast

  • Obama’s Team
    • David Axelrod, Obama’s chief campaign strategist at the time
    • Jon Favreau, Obama’s speechwriter at the time
    • Valerie Jarrett, longtime adviser to the president
    • Marty Nesbitt, one of Obama’s closest friends
  • Media Members
    • Brian Ross of ABC News, whose reporting set off the firestorm
    • Conservative commentator Tucker Carlson
    • Clips of Joe Scarborough, Diane Sawyer, Chris Cuomo, Chris Matthews, Katie Couric, Sean Hannity and Karl Rove
  • Analysts
    • FiveThirtyEight’s Harry Enten
    • The Nation’s Kai Wright

Listen to the podcast here. Download the podcast here.

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Loving Day 2016

Posted in Asian Diaspora, Audio, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, United Kingdom on 2016-06-13 00:17Z by Steven

Loving Day 2016

Hapa Happy Hour

Tune in with Lisa and Hiwa as they discover technology and talk about race, Loving Day, films, and politics! And feel free to contact us through hapahappyhour@gmail.com. Happy Loving Day!

Listen to the podcast here. Download the podcast here.


Becky and Mia – Belonging and Not Belonging

Posted in Audio, Family/Parenting, Media Archive, United Kingdom on 2016-06-06 20:32Z by Steven

Becky and Mia – Belonging and Not Belonging

The Listening Project: It’s surprising what you hear when you listen
BBC Radio 4

Fi Glover introduces a conversation about the surprising challenges facing a mixed race family at home and abroad. Another in the series that proves it’s surprising what you hear when you listen.

The Listening Project is a Radio 4 initiative that offers a snapshot of contemporary Britain in which people across the UK volunteer to have a conversation with someone close to them about a subject they’ve never discussed intimately before. The conversations are being gathered across the UK by teams of producers from local and national radio stations who facilitate each encounter. Every conversation – they’re not BBC interviews, and that’s an important difference – lasts up to an hour, and is then edited to extract the key moment of connection between the participants. Most of the unedited conversations are being archived by the British Library and used to build up a collection of voices capturing a unique portrait of the UK in the second decade of the millennium. You can learn more about The Listening Project by visiting bbc.co.uk/listeningproject.

Producer: Marya Burgess.

Listen to the story here.

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Philanthropy, Jobs for African Youth, Racial Passing

Posted in Audio, History, Media Archive, Passing, United States on 2016-06-03 14:29Z by Steven

Philanthropy, Jobs for African Youth, Racial Passing

Top of Mind with Julie Rose
BYU Radio

Julie Rose, Host

Racial Passing (52:22)

Guest: Allyson Hobbs, PhD, Assistant Professor of American History at Stanford University, Author of “A Chosen Exile: A History of Racial Passing in American Life.”

A 1949 film called “Lost Boundaries” tells the mostly-true story of Albert and Thyra Johnston – a respected doctor and his blue-eyed high-society wife – who passed for “white” in a New Hampshire town, raised their children to believe they were white and then were outed as having African American heritage. The film ends with a minister preaching a sermon about tolerance. The subtext is that this is a town of magnanimous white Christians willing to forgive the Johnstons for deceiving them.

But were the Johnstons really in need of forgiveness? Or did the greater sin lie with the community’s racist conditions that prompted the Johnstons to claim whiteness in the first place?

Stanford history professor Allyson Hobbs explores the long history of racial passing in America in her acclaimed 2014 book, “A Chosen Exile.” It is fundamentally, she says, a book about loss. Those who “passed” as white had a world of privileges opened up to them from the time of slavery through the era of Jim Crow laws. But they lost family and ties to a community. Many even lost themselves.

Listen to the interview (00:52:22) here.

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Multiracial and multicultural community advocacy with Glenn Robinson, Ep. 66

Posted in Audio, Media Archive, United States on 2016-05-29 14:57Z by Steven

Multiracial and multicultural community advocacy with Glenn Robinson, Ep. 66

Multiracial Family Man

Alex Barnett, Host

Ep. 66 – Glenn Robinson is a White guy. He’s married to a Mexican woman, and they have 2 Biracial and Bicultural kids.

Glenn is a devoted advocate for the multiracial and multicultural communities. He aggregates and curates content for several websites aimed at the issues confronting these communities. Those websites are:

Listen to the episode here. Download the episode here.

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Late Night Woman’s Hour (2016-05-27)

Posted in Audio, Economics, Media Archive, Social Science, United Kingdom, Women on 2016-05-28 18:50Z by Steven

Late Night Woman’s Hour (2016-05-27)

Woman’s Hour
BBC Radio 4

Lauren Laverne, Presenter

Lauren Laverne and guests discuss the origins and pitfalls of stereotypes of women.

  • With Joanne Harris, best-selling author of Chocolat who has written about myth and fairy tales.
  • Lisa Mckenzie, a sociologist at the London School of Economics, who has explored portrayals of working class women
  • Emma Dabiri, teaching fellow at the School of Oriental and African Studies in London, who has studied what people mean by the term ‘mixed-race’ in Britain today.
  • Jane Cunningham, founder of advertising and marketing consultancy Pretty Little Head.

Listen to the episode here. Download the episode here.

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Filipino Americans: Blending Cultures, Redefining Race

Posted in Articles, Asian Diaspora, Audio, Census/Demographics, Interviews, Latino Studies, Media Archive, United States on 2016-05-27 16:44Z by Steven

Filipino Americans: Blending Cultures, Redefining Race

Code Switch: Race and Identity, Remixed
National Public Radio

Renee Montagne, Host

There are over 3 million people of Filipino heritage living in the U.S., and many say they relate better to Latino Americans than other Asian American groups. In part, that can be traced to the history of the Philippines, which was ruled by Spain for more than 300 years. That colonial relationship created a cultural bond that persists to this day.

It’s the topic of the book The Latinos of Asia: How Filipino Americans Break the Rules of Race. Author Anthony Ocampo spoke about the book with Morning Edition’s Renee Montagne.

Read the interview highlights here. Read the transcript here. Download the interview here.

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U.S. Poet Laureate (2012-14) and Mississippi Poet Laureate (2012-16) Natasha Trethewey

Posted in Audio, Interviews, Media Archive on 2016-05-16 01:06Z by Steven

U.S. Poet Laureate (2012-14) and Mississippi Poet Laureate (2012-16) Natasha Trethewey

New Letters On The Air
Catalog Number: 20160212

Angela Elam, Producer/Host

In the first part of this interview, Mississippi Poet Laureate (2012-16), Natasha Trethewey talks about her work that deals with history, racism, and family, including her first creative non-fiction book, Beyond Katrina: A Meditation on the Mississippi Gulf CoastTrethewey also reads from her most recent poetry collection, Thrall, which includes an elegy for her now deceased father, the poet Eric Trethewey, in front of an audience as part of the 2015 Humanities Lecture Series at Kansas University’s Hall Center for the Humanities. New Letters on the Air also has an earlier interview that features Trethewey’s first three poetry books, including the Cave Canem Prize winning, Domestic Work, and the Pulitzer Prize winning, Native Guard. The second part of this interview and an earlier 2008 program with Natasha Trethewey are available in our audio archives.

Order the interview here.

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