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VPR Black History Month Programming

An NPR graphic with the red, black and blue NPR logo and a gold design with the words "Gospel Roots of Rock and Soul"
Courtesy, NPR

Throughout February, VPR will air several programs during Black History Month in honor and celebration of the lives, accomplishments and challenges of African Americans in our country.

Monday, Feb. 17 through Thursday, Feb. 20 at 10 pm:

The Gospel Roots of Rock and Soul

This four-part documentary series, hosted by Grammy-winning gospel singer CeCe Winans, will uncover and celebrate the influence of black gospel on rock and soul music.

Saturday, Feb. 22 at 10 p.m.:


Witness from the BBC


This hour-long edition of Witness delivers first-person interviews on the African American experience. We'll hear from the people who were there at key moments in black and civil rights history.

A collage of photos with the text "Witness: Black History Month"
Credit Courtesy, BBC Witness

Sunday, Feb. 23 at 10 p.m:

With Good Reason: Giving Birth While Black from Virginia Humanities              

Black women are three and a half times more likely to die in childbirth than white women. Even highly educated, wealthy black people are at a greater risk than white people. To combat the disparity, Dr. Rochanda Mitchell advocates hiring more black nurse educators and providing anti-bias training for medical professionals.

Thursday, Feb. 27 at 10 p.m:

With Good Reason: The Conflicting Ideals In Jefferson's Architecture from Virginia Humanities

The most important architectural thinker of the young American republic was Thomas Jefferson. He also held captive more than 600 enslaved men, women, and children in his lifetime. Architects Mabel O. Wilson and Louis Nelson discuss Jefferson’s conflicting ideals. Phillip Herrington says the white-columned plantation house is one of the most enduring and divisive icons of American architecture.

Also: The history of segregation is not just in our architecture, but in other public arts. John Ott is studying how early-20th-century artists represented integration in their works, particularly in public murals and sculptures.

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