Programming Notes: February 2015

Jan 29, 2015

A Celebration of America’s History

February is here and so is our winter Fund Drive. Now is the time to let us know which shows you love and which ones you’re not all that fond of. Whether you call in your pledge or make it on line, we do read every comment that you make as well as take note of your favorite programs. Your comments help us see what you’re most interested in so don’t be shy, take those extra seconds to help us better serve you!

On that note, by now you’ve heard the hype about Invisibilia. Invisibilia is about the unseen forces that control human behavior -- things like ideas, beliefs, assumptions, and thoughts. Co-hosted by Lulu Miller and Alix Spiegel, who helped create Radiolab and This American LifeInvisibilia interweaves narrative storytelling and fascinating new psychological and brain science, in a way that ultimately makes you see your own life differently. The pilot season of six episodes will begin on Sunday, February 15th at 6AM.

We also have some wonderful President’s Day programming coming up. Not only will we be commemorating our Commanders in Chief, but we’ll also be celebrating the people and events that have helped shape the black American movement and history. Our day of specials will begin at 9AM with Re:Defining Black History. During a month selected to celebrate “history” we will revisit familiar stories -- the battles won for Civil Rights, the glory of Martin Luther King Jr.’s words, the hardships endured by slaves. We’ll also take a look at some stories that are not as well remembered.  In this hour,  State of the Re:Union zeroes in some of those alternate narratives, ones edited out of the mainstream imagining of Black History, deconstructing the popular perception of certain celebrated moments. From a more complicated understanding of the impact of the Civil Rights Act of ’64 on Jackson, Mississippi… to a city in Oklahoma still trying to figure out how to tell the history of one particular race riot… to one woman’s wrangling with her own personal racial history.

Langston Hughes, an enduring icon of the Harlem Renaissance, is best-known for his written work, which wedded his fierce dedication to social justice with his belief in the transformative power of the word. But he was a music lover, too, and some of the works he was most proud of were collaborations with composers and musicians. At 10AM, we will air Langston Hughes - I Too Sing America, which shines a light on Hughes' lesser-known musical compositions.

Then at 11AM we’ll bring you The Power of Words, which focuses on President Dwight D. Eisenhower’s Farewell Address. WAMC's Alan Chartock and Author and Historian James Ledbetter discuss President Dwight D. Eisenhower's Farewell Address. In addition, listeners will have an opportunity to actually hear the speech as it was delivered to a joint session of Congress on January 17th, 1961.

Noon will bring you your daily helping of news with Midday Magazine, which is followed by RadioLab at 1PM.

Rounding our day of specials, tune in at 2PM for Who Is This Man? from State of the Re:Union. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech has become the shorthand of the Civil Rights Movement - but we might never have heard it, if it were not for another man, who’s largely been forgotten by history: Bayard Rustin. In this program hour, we explore the life and legacy of Mr. Rustin, a black, gay, Quaker who brought Gandhian non-violent protest to the Civil Rights movement in America.