Negro History Week 1962

This week on From the Vault we continue our celebration of Black History Month by revisiting an early Pacifica recording titled Special Program Commemorating Negro History Week. KPFA’s famed Public Affairs director Elsa Knight Thompson and producer Mike Tigar, taking a cue from Dr. Carter Godwin Goodson (who created Negro History Week in February 1926 to coincide with the Birthdays of Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass), celebrated Negro History Week on public radio for the first time in 1962. This KPFA special broadcast featured a brief history of blacks in the United States with an emphasis on the Civil Rights Movement, audio from a Folkways recording narrated by influential writer Langston Hughes called The Glory of Negro History, and a statement by Mary McLeod Bethune – famed Educator, early civil rights activist, personal friend of Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Eleanor Roosevelt, and the only Black woman present at the founding of the United Nations in San Francisco in 1945.

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