Morehead State Public Radio will offer a variety of programming to celebrate Black History Month in February.
Among the specials are:
“Moments of the Movement” will be aired daily. Daily segments of recordings of the personal histories and testimonials of foot soldiers from the Civil Rights Movement. Some of these stories are harrowing, others are uplifting, but they all convey our collective journey as a nation toward new heights of equality.
Sunday, Feb. 4, 8 p.m. - Sunday Night Jazz Showcase: Sammy Davis, Jr. – The 1950’s. Sammy Davis Jr. was born on Dec. 8, 1925, in New York City. He overcame racism to establish himself as an entertainment legend, becoming a successful comedian, actor, dancer and singer. As part of the “Rat Pack” with Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin, Davis was known for films like “Ocean's 11” and “Sergeants 3.” As his fame grew, his refusal to appear in any clubs that practiced racial segregation led to the integration of several venues in Miami Beach and Las Vegas. A Tony-nominated performer, Davis was also associated with popular recordings “I've Gotta Be Me” and “The Candy Man.” He died of throat cancer on May 16, 1990. On this program, Paul Hitchcock hosts an hour of music featuring Sammy Davis, Jr. recordings from the 1950’s.
Friday, Feb. 9, 9:30 a.m. – “Make a Better Way” - This Music and the Spoken Word Heritage special features performances by Alex Boye, Alyson Cambridge, Robert Simms and more. Music includes "I Gotta Home in-a Dat Rock," "I want Jesus to Walk with Me," “He's Got the Whole World in His Hands."
Friday, Feb. 9, 10 a.m. – “The Freed People” - The Freed People examines one of the most fascinating chapters of American history, when Congress established The Freedmen’s Bureau as the Civil War drew to a close. Its mission was to assist four million African American slaves in the transition to freedom — the government’s first social welfare agency. A truly absorbing story, including resistance faced in Reconstruction, is told by historians drawing from letters written in this period and performances of “Negro Spirituals” sung in that era.
Friday, Feb. 9, 8 p.m. and Saturday, Feb. 10, 3 p.m. – “Muddy Bottom Blues: Guy Davis” - Davis is a blues guitarist, singer, songwriter and actor. Davis taught himself guitar, influenced by the music of Blind Willie McTell, Skip James and Mississippi John Hurt. As an actor, he had roles on Broadway in productions of “Mulebone” and “Robert Johnson – Trick the Devil,” which earned him the Blues Foundation's W.C. Handy Keeping the Blues Alive Award. As a composer, Davis has written music for several television and film projects including the PBS series “The American Promise” and “To Be A Man.” Davis developed “Routes of the Blues,” an informational program for children incorporating storytelling, history and music.
Friday, Feb. 16, 9:30 a.m. - “A Legacy of Hope” - Pam Laws joins the Mormon Tabernacle Choir for this Music and the Spoken Word Heritage special. Music includes "The Gospel Train,” "Swing Low, Sweet Chariot," “Sometimes I Feel Like a Motherless Child" and more.
Friday, Feb. 16, 10 a.m. – “Civil Rights in America: Seneca Falls, Selma, Stonewall and Beyond” - Hosted by Charles Dutton, this one-hour special examines the relevance and meaning of civil rights in the 21st century and the relationship between the Civil Rights Movement and the efforts of women, other people of color, and the LGBT community to expand our traditional definitions of equality.
Sunday, Feb. 18, 3 p.m. – “A Time For Tales: African-American Storytellers from The Moth” - Carolyn Franzini is your host for an hour of stories by African-American storytellers recorded live at The Moth. Founded by novelist George Dawes Green in 1997, The Moth has presented thousands of stories told live and without notes. Moth shows are renowned for the great range of human experience they display. The stories often blend documentary and theater, creating a unique, intimate, and often enlightening experience for the audience.
Friday, Feb. 23, 9:30 a.m. -“The Power of Dreams” - The program features African-American spirituals like "Peace Like a River," “I'm Runnin' On,” "I Want Jesus to Walk with Me" and more. This program shares a message that reminds us to embrace one another as equal persons and citizens of this great land.
Friday, Feb. 23, 10 a.m. - “Raw Truth! - An MLK Tribute with the Boston Children’s Chorus” - The Boston Children’s Chorus is back with a new Martin Luther King Jr. tribute concert — available to PRI affiliates. The BBC’s top three choirs join voices with Grammy-winning artist Roomful of Teeth in songs linking the past to the present, rage to activism, and injustice to truth.
Morehead State Public Radio broadcasts 24-hours a day from the MSU campus. WMKY (90.3 FM) serves as the flagship station for the network. MSPR serves more than 20 counties in Kentucky, Ohio and West Virginia.