The Best of Our Knowledge # 1010


Part Two: Is Black History at Risk? -

Celebrated annually in the U.S. and Canada, Black History Month remembers important people and events in African American history. It was originated in 1926 by historian, Carter G. Woodson. He chose February because it marks the birthdays of two American who influenced the lives and social condition of African Americans - - President Lincoln, and former slave, Frederick Douglass.

Each year, there are some who continue to question the usefulness of dedicating an entire month to the history of just a single race. Even Academy and Golden Globe Award-Winning actor, Morgan Freeman calls is "ridiculous." In a CBS "60 Minutes" interview with Mike Wallace, Freeman said that "black history is American history." When asked how the U.S. can get rid of racism? Freeman responded, "Stop talking about it."

Which brings us to our question is black history at risk?

To discuss this TBOOK spoke with Dr. Russ Wigginton, Vice President of College Relations at Rhodes College in Memphis. Prior to his current position, Dr. Wigginton was a History Professor at Rhodes, specializing in African American and Community History.

Glenn Busby reports. (10:46)

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Part Two: Searching for Life Elsewhere and Turning Fiction into Fact -

In the new blockbuster movie, "Avatar", humans visit the habitable and inhabited alien moon called Pandora. Life-bearing moons like Pandora, or the "Star Wars" forest moon of Endor, are a staple of science fiction.

Now, according to the latest from the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, with NASA's Kepler mission showing the potential to detect Earth-sized objects, habitable moons could soon become science fact, not science fiction. Smithsonian Astronomer, Lisa Kaltenegger, says "if Pandora existed, we potentially could detect it and study its atmosphere in the next decade.

TBOOK talks more about life in the universe with Dr. Wayne Roberge, Professor of Physics, Applied Physics, and Astronomy at RPI.

Glenn Busby reports. (8:29)

The preceding is made possible by the NASA Astrobiology Institute, through support of the New York Center for Astrobiology, located at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute - in partnerships with the University at Albany, the University of Arizona, and Syracuse University.

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