The past is never past. Every headline has a history. Join us every week as we go back in time to understand the present. These are stories you can feel and sounds you can see from the moments that shaped our world.
Levittown: Where the Good Life Begins
In this episode from WNYC's La Brega, Alana Casanova-Burgess traces back the story of the boom and bust of the Puerto Rican Levittown. For many Americans, Levittown is the prototypical suburb, founded on the idea of bringing Americans into a middle-class lifestyle after WWII. But while the NY Levittown was becoming a symbol of American prosperity, there was a parallel story of Levittown in Puerto Rico during a time of great change on the island. Casanova-Burgess (herself the granddaughter of an early PR Levittown resident) explores what the presence of a Levittown in Puerto Rico tells us about the promises of the American Dream. It's a story that reflects and reveals how la brega has defined so many aspects of life in Puerto Rico.
Bayard Rustin: The Man Behind the March on Washington
Bayard Rustin, the man behind the March on Washington, was one of the most consequential architects of the civil rights movement you may never have heard of. Rustin imagined how nonviolent civil resistance could be used to dismantle segregation in the United States. He organized around the idea for years and eventually introduced it to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. But his identity as a gay man made him a target, obscured his rightful status and made him feel forced to choose, again and again, which aspect of his identity was most important.
Octavia Butler: Visionary Fiction
Octavia Butler's alternate realities and 'speculative fiction' reveal striking, and often devastating parallels to the world we live in today. She was a deep observer of the human condition, perplexed and inspired by our propensity towards self-destruction. Butler was also fascinated by the cyclical nature of history, and often looked to the past when writing about the future. Along with her warnings is her message of hope - a hope conjured by centuries of survival and persistence. For every society that perished in her books, came a story of rebuilding, of repair.
Marcus Garvey: Pan-Africanist
Amid banana republics and Jim Crow and decades before MLK and Malcolm X, Marcus Garvey had a simple, uncompromising message: Black people deserved nothing less than everything.
The Lasting Power Of Whitney Houston's National Anthem
Why does Whitney Houston's 1991 Super Bowl national anthem still resonate 30 years later? Listen to this episode from our friends at It's Been A Minute with Sam Sanders where they chat with author and Black Girl Songbook host Danyel Smith about that moment of Black history and what it says about race, patriotism and pop culture.
What Happened After Civilization Collapsed
What happens after everything falls apart? The end of the Bronze Age was a moment when an entire network of ancient civilizations collapsed, leaving behind only clues to what happened. Today, scholars have pieced together a story where everything from climate change to mass migration to natural disasters played a role. What the end of the Bronze Age can teach us about avoiding catastrophe and what comes after collapse.
Customer ReviewsSee All
Speeding through explaining the information is a disservice to listeners.
Hey is not an educated way to address your listeners. Not a horse and don’t eat hay (hey.)
Please consider richer language to address your guests and listening audience.
English teacher in high school, Dr. CG
Enjoy the podcast and have offered it to my high school on line learners for extra credit. Write a review about what was learned. Correct spelling and punctuation is important for higher credit. We all are learning together. Thank you.
Incredibly smart and important
this is one of the best most informative podcasts i’ve listened to in a very long time. Really thankful for this pod and I truly learn something new every time I listen.
It’s about Politics not History
The hosts clearly have a political agenda in their “history podcast” which is very unprofessional. If you’re looking to escape the zeitgeist of modern society and immerse yourself in the past this is not the podcast for you.