18 episodes

The Black Is America podcast highlights little-known African American figures who helped write the story of America. Join us as we shed new light on lost chapters in our nation's history. Hear the amazing, inspiring accounts of black American inventors, heroes, scientists, entrepreneurs and so much more.

While racism is a common theme, it is not the central theme. These stories focus instead on what black people have contributed in spite of it, and the impact of those contributions shows clearly that African American History is American History.

Black Is America OWLS, LLC

    • History
    • 5.0 • 30 Ratings

The Black Is America podcast highlights little-known African American figures who helped write the story of America. Join us as we shed new light on lost chapters in our nation's history. Hear the amazing, inspiring accounts of black American inventors, heroes, scientists, entrepreneurs and so much more.

While racism is a common theme, it is not the central theme. These stories focus instead on what black people have contributed in spite of it, and the impact of those contributions shows clearly that African American History is American History.

    Alwyn C. Cashe: The American Sergeant

    Alwyn C. Cashe: The American Sergeant

    In this episode of Black is America podcast, delve into the inspiring story of Sergeant First Class Alwyn Cashe, a remarkable African-American hero of Operation Iraqi Freedom. Host Dominic Lawson narrates the gripping account of Cashe’s selfless bravery on a fateful night in October 2005. Learn about his early life in Oviedo, Florida, his distinguished military career, and the extraordinary courage he displayed when his unit was attacked by an IED.
    This episode not only highlights Cashe’s heroic actions but also explores the significant contributions of black non-commissioned officers throughout military history. Drawing parallels to historical figures like John Horse and the Black Seminoles, Lawson provides a rich, contextual narrative that honors the legacy of African-American soldiers.
    Posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor, Alwyn Cashe’s legacy is a testament to the valor and sacrifice of black soldiers. Join us as we celebrate his life, his heroism, and the lasting impact he has made on military history.
    Episode Breakdown:
    Introduction: The episode opens on a moonlit night on October 17, 2005, in the Aladin province of Iraq. Sergeant First Class Alwyn Cashe is on patrol with his unit when their Bradley fighting vehicle is struck by an IED, igniting a series of events that would define Cashe’s legacy as an American hero.
    Background: Listeners are taken through Cashe’s early life in Oviedo, Florida, where he grew up as the youngest of ten siblings. Despite humble beginnings, Cashe’s dedication and adventurous spirit led him to enlist in the United States Army in 1988. His military career spans multiple conflicts, including Operation Desert Storm, where he honed his leadership skills and built a reputation for courage under fire.
    The Heroic Incident: The heart of the episode details the harrowing incident where Cashe’s vehicle is hit by an IED. Despite being drenched in fuel and engulfed in flames, Cashe selflessly rescues his fellow soldiers, displaying unmatched bravery. His actions on that night, pulling each soldier from the burning vehicle while under enemy fire, highlight his extraordinary heroism and dedication.
    Reflection and Legacy: The narrative reflects on the significant role of black non-commissioned officers in the military, drawing parallels between Cashe’s actions and the historical bravery of figures like John Horse and the Black Seminoles. Personal anecdotes and historical context enrich the story, emphasizing the profound impact of African-American soldiers in shaping military history.
    Recognition and Honors: The episode concludes with a tribute to Cashe’s legacy, detailing the posthumous awards and recognitions he received, including the Medal of Honor. The story of Cashe's heroism continues to inspire, and his legacy is honored through various dedications, including military facilities and community spaces named in his memory.
     
    That time Daniel "Chappie" James had to let Moammar Gadhafi know what was up
    Sources for this episode include The United States Army, The Department of Defense, The White House, the Center for Disease Control, the program 60 Minutes courtesy of CBS News, C-Span, ABC 10 Sacramento, Dr. Amy Sturgis of Lenoir-Rhyne University in collaboration with Learn Liberty, The Washington Post, The Atlanta-Journal Constitution, The Los Angles Times The Orlando Sentinel, and the Honolulu Star Advertiser.

    • 53 min
    Ann Lowe: An American Original

    Ann Lowe: An American Original

    This episode explores the life and career of Anne Lowe, a pioneering African American fashion designer who dressed high society elites in the early to mid 20th century. We learn about her early life in Alabama, training in New York, moving to Harlem during the Renaissance, and most famously designing Jacqueline Kennedy's wedding dress.
    Timeline:
    Early Life & Training
    Born in Clayton, AL in 1898
    Learned sewing from her mother and grandmother
    Moved to NYC in 1917 to formally train at S.T. Taylor Design School
    Segregated at school but still excelled and finished early
    Building Her Brand
    Opened successful dress salon in Tampa, FL from 1919-1928
    Saved $20,000 to move to Harlem, NYC during the Renaissance
    Quickly built clientele among NYC elites and socialites
    Designed Olivia de Havilland's Oscars dress in 1947
    Peak Years
    Client list included Rockefellers, Roosevelts, duPonts and more
    Hired to design 1953 wedding dress for Jacqueline Kennedy
    Water pipe disaster destroyed original dress 10 days before wedding
    Remade it in 5 days with help of employees and community
    Late Career Struggles
    Focused more on artistry than business side, fell into debt
    Wealthy clients anonymously paid off $13k in back taxes she owed
    Died in 1981 at age 82 after inspiring new generation of designers
    Key Quote: "I love my clothes and I'm not interested in sewing for café society or social climbers. I sew for the families of the Social Register." - Anne Lowe
    Impact: Lowe's elegant designs broke racial barriers in high fashion. She paved the way for future Black designers through her perseverance and excellence.
    Subscribe, review & learn more at www.blackisamericapodcast.com
     
    The Black Is America podcast, a presentation of OWLS Education Company, was created and is written, researched, and produced by Dominic Lawson.
    Executive Producer Kenda Lawson
    Cover art was created by Alexandria Eddings of Art Life Connections. 
    Sources to create this episode include Ebony Magazine, The Saturday Evening Post, The JFK Library, The Academy, C-Span, History.com, and  Blackpast.com 
    Special thanks to fashion designer Ayeshia Smith of Ayeshia.com. Follow her on IG at Ayeshia.appareal
    Also pecial thanks to Elizabeth Way, Associate Museum curator at the Fashion Institute of Technology. 
    Special thanks to first Chutney Young for suggesting Ann Lowe as a topic.
    And lastly thank you Lisa Woolfork, founder of Black Women Stich and host of the Stitch Please Podcast. We collaborated with her on this espisode and she introduced us to Elizabeth Way. Follow on IG At Black Women Stitch.  
     

    • 47 min
    Guion Bluford: The American Astronaut

    Guion Bluford: The American Astronaut

    This episode of the Black is America podcast tells the story of Guy Bluford, the first African American astronaut in space. We'll explore his early life and inspirations, his path to NASA, the historical significance of his achievement, and his spaceflights.
    Guy Bluford's Upbringing and Early Inspiration
    - Guy Bluford was born in 1942 in Philadelphia, PA and became fascinated with aviation and engineering from a young age. 
    - He was inspired by the Tuskegee Airmen and other pioneering African American aviators who were breaking barriers in the 1940s and 50s.
    - Bluford joined the Air Force, became a pilot, and flew combat missions during the Vietnam War, further fueling his passion for aerospace.
    Becoming an Astronaut
    - In the late 1970s, Bluford was selected for NASA's astronaut training program along with other African Americans like Ron McNair and Fred Gregory.
    - This was part of the first class of Space Shuttle astronauts as NASA prepared to launch a new era of spaceflight.
    Making History in Space
    - On August 30, 1983, Bluford launched into space aboard the Space Shuttle Challenger, becoming the first African American astronaut in space.
    - Original Tuskegee Airmen and other African American aviation pioneers attended the launch in recognition of Bluford's achievement.
    - Bluford flew a total of four Space Shuttle missions between 1983 and 1992, logging nearly 700 hours spent in space.
    Inspiring Future Generations
    - Bluford's accomplishment built on the struggles of earlier pioneers like Ed Dwight Jr. and inspired future African Americans to pursue careers in the space program.
    - After retiring from NASA, Bluford remained committed to encouraging youth, especially minorities, to pursue STEM careers. 
    - His pioneering journey from Philadelphia to the cosmos opened doors for future African American astronauts, scientists, and engineers.
    Conclusion
    - In conclusion, Guy Bluford broke barriers as the first African American in space, both symbolically and literally reaching new heights. 
    His achievement highlighted the perseverance and talent within the African American community and paved the way for greater diversity in space exploration. The Black Is America podcast, a presentation of OWLS Education, was created and is written, researched, and produced by Dominic Lawson.
     
    Executive Producer Kenda Lawson
     
    Cover art was created by Alexandria Eddings of Art Life Connections. 



    Sources to create this episode include NASA.gov,History.com’s program Military Heroes,The New York Times,The History Makers.org,The International SciEd Center and Space Museum in Hutchinson Kansas,The Television Academy Foundation, Arcfireld Weather,ABC News, Smithsonian Magazine, and CBS News.   
     

    • 38 min
    Black Is America: The Final Chapter

    Black Is America: The Final Chapter

    A preview of season 3

    • 12 min
    Barbara Jordan: The Protector of American Democracy

    Barbara Jordan: The Protector of American Democracy

    This special Juneteenth episode of the Black Is America podcast delves into the life and legacy of Barbara Jordan, an American lawyer, educator, and politician who was a leading force in the Democratic Party. Known as a "Protector of American Democracy," Jordan left an indelible mark on American history.
    Part 1: The episode begins with an introduction to Barbara Jordan, a trailblazer born and raised in Houston, Texas. Her early life, educational pursuits, and initial political career are examined. 
    Part 2: The second part dives deeper into Jordan's historic term as a U.S. Congresswoman, marking the first African-American woman from the South to serve in the House of Representatives. Key highlights include her impactful role in President Nixon's impeachment proceedings. Her notable speech at the DNC convention two years later is also discussed, which further increased her prominence and set out a new vision for America.
    Part 3: The final part brings attention to Jordan's legacy, especially her impact on subsequent generations of politicians and public figures. Despite challenges, Jordan continued to advocate for an America true to its principles. The episode closes with a reflection on the progress made since Jordan's time and the importance of remembering and honoring her contributions.
    Episode Highlights:
    Introduction and Early Life of Barbara Jordan Barbara Jordan's Political Career Barbara Jordan's Role in Nixon's Impeachment Barbara Jordan's Speech at the 1976 DNC Convention Impact and Legacy of Barbara Jordan Reflection on the Progress Made Credits: Created, written, researched, and produced by Dominic Lawson. Executive producer is Kenda Lawson. Cover art by Alexandria Eddings of Art Life Connections.
    Resources: The New York Times, CBS News, U.S. House of Representatives Archives and the Texas Southern University Barbara Jordan Archives.
    Connect: Subscribe to the Black Is America Podcast on Apple Podcast, Spotify, or your preferred podcast platform. For a full transcript of this episode and other resources, visit www.blackisamericapodcast.com.

    • 25 min
    Doris Miller: The American Defender

    Doris Miller: The American Defender

    In this special Memorial Day presentation of the Black Is America podcast, we explore the extraordinary life and enduring legacy of Doris "Dorie" Miller. From his humble beginnings in Waco, Texas, to his decision to join the Navy during a time of racial segregation, Dorie's story captivates and inspires.
     We first set the stage for his extraordinary path. Next, we delve into the events leading up to World War II and examine the impact of his choices. Then we highlight his heroic actions during the attack on Pearl Harbor, showcasing his bravery and resilience in the face of adversity. Lastly, we explore the recognition he received and the ultimate sacrifice he made aboard the USS Liscome Bay. We also introduce you to Charles Jackson French and his heroic actions aboard the USS Gregory during the attack. There's also the exploration of a "what if" scenario with Jackie Robinson at Pearl Harbor (yep, he was there too!)
    This Memorial Day, we pay tribute to Dorie Miller's unwavering courage and honor his legacy as an American defender. Join us for this powerful and enlightening episode of the Black Is America podcast.
    More information on what happened to Jesse Washington
    The Black Is America podcast, a presentation of OWLS Education, was created and is written, researched, and produced by Dominic Lawson.
    Executive Producer: Kenda Lawson
    Cover art was created by Alexandria Eddings of Art Life Connections. 
    Sources to create this episode include Naval History and Heritage Command, CBS News, Infographics Show, ESPN’s Down and Distance Podcast with Ivan Maisel,  the Brookings Institute, Waco History.com
    Scenes from the movie Peal Harbor are courtesy of Touchstone Films and Jerry Bruckheimer Films and is distributed by Buena Vista Pictures.
    Be sure to Like, review and subscribe to the Black Is America Podcast on Apple Podcast, Spotify, where ever you like to listen to podcasts. Also, let people know about the podcast, we would appreciate that very much. 
    For a full transcript of this episode and other resources, go to www.blackisamericapodcast.com. There you can read our blog, leave us a review, or you can leave a voicemail where you can ask a question or let us know what you think about the show that we may play in an episode. 
     
     

    • 41 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
30 Ratings

30 Ratings

Soda Popped ,

Immersive and Intense

Listening to Dominic tell little known history is unlike anything I’ve ever listened to ✨ His enthusiasm, storytelling structure, and use of sound effects helps you see what he is saying. You cling onto every word he says and makes you want to study more American history, especially our Black heroes :)

Sistahs Connect Podcast ,

Stellar!

BLACK IS AMERICA should be part of every school curriculum in America! It’s beautifully produced. Absolutely STELLAR! Congratulations on all the accolades you’ve received and for all those to come. Dominic, YOU ARE BLACK EXCELLENCE! ✊🏾

Paula Mulamula ,

Deserves all the AWARDS!!

Story Telling like no other!! If this was the hostroy class i had back in school i probably would have loved/enjoyed and participated. It feels like your back in time when all this was going on… insane production. Tune in and learn in a way you never would.

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