This week’s blog post about Black History Month focuses on the spoken word of African Americans. The playlist, available from our streaming music service Music Online, is compiled from the Smithsonian Folkways archive of recorded performances. It features oratory, poetry, selected songs, and prose by African American musicians, writers, speakers, and activists. The selections illustrate the evolution of Black expressive forms and testify to the vitality and spirit of a rich cultural tradition.
I also want to draw your attention to a playlist of 96 African American poems that African American Studies and English Professor, Hans Ostrom, has recorded for YouTube. Images and text are included.
Testimony against Slavery
- I Wonder Where My Brother Gone / Annie Grace Horn Dodson
- What to the Slave to the Fourth of July? / Frederick Douglass, read by Ossie Davis
Reconstruction and Repression
- Atlanta Exposition Address / Booker T. Washington
- Lynching Our National Crime / Ida B. Wells, read by Ruby Dee
Voices of Pride and Protest
The Sounds of Twentieth Century America
Voices of Civil Rights and Black Power
Contemporary African American Voices