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Tim Fielder is among the artists placing new emphasis on Afrofuturism in comic books and graphic novels, laying out historical timelines in which African-descended peoples and their cultures play a central role in the creation and direction of the world.
When President Franklin Roosevelt signed a 1941 executive order banning discrimination in the military and all other government agencies “because of race, creed, color or national origin,” the then-Commandant of the Marine Corps made his objection clear. “If it were a question of having a Marine Corps of 5,000 whites or 250,000 Negroes,” Maj. Gen.
Like most industries of the era, television in the 1940s and ‘50s was largely a male monopoly. Four visionary women nonetheless began carving out singular legacies, overcoming sexism, racism, and red-scare McCarthyism to help shape the TV we watch today. In a discussion of her newly released book When Women Invented Television: The Untold Story of the Female Powerhouses Who Pioneered the Way We Watch Today, author and TV cultural critic Jennifer Keishin Armstrong recounts the careers and contributions of four trailblazers.
While conducting research on facial recognition technology at the MIT Media Lab, Ghanaian-born Joy Buolamwini was startled to discover that it failed to detect women or dark-skinned faces with accuracy. Machine-learning algorithms designed to eliminate bias were only as unbiased as the humans and historical data behind them. The documentary Coded Bias chronicles the dramatic journey that followed.
In commemoration of the bicentennial anniversary of the Santa Fe Trail, historian Joy L. Poole examines the stories of five wives who traveled the Trail between 1830 and 1870. These women recorded their adventures in memoirs, diaries, or letters sent back home. Drawing from the firsthand accounts, Poole introduces these devoted frontier brides, who vowed to take a husband for better or for worse, for richer or poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, ‘til death they do part – no matter how long and arduous the journey before them. This Missouri Valley Sundays program is co-presented by the Kansas City Athenaeum in celebration of Women’s History Month.
Alvin Brooks’ mark on civil rights history in Kansas City – on the city’s history in total – is indelible. Born into poverty and a racist society, he became a trailblazing police officer and detective, city councilman, and mayor pro tem.
While his story is not widely known, Kansas City civil rights leader Leon M. Jordan was among the most influential African Americans in Missouri before being shot to death in 1970. He lent a powerful presence as a co-founder of Freedom Incorporated and three-term state legislator, paving the way for other Blacks in politics.
For five years in the late 1960s and early ’70s, Ellis Haizlip presided over one of the most culturally significant television shows in U.S. history. SOUL!, on PBS, probed and celebrated the African American experience, from interviews with Harry Belafonte, Muhammad Ali, and James Baldwin to performances by Patti LaBelle, Al Green, and Stevie Wonder.