59 episodes

Interviews with people who were there at key moments in black and civil rights history

Witness History: Witness Black History BBC

    • History
    • 4.6 • 75 Ratings

Interviews with people who were there at key moments in black and civil rights history

    Three Strikes Law

    Three Strikes Law

    One man's experience of the controversial US law that saw thousands locked up for life. Under the law in California, a third conviction for a felony offence would lead to a life sentence. At times in California, 45% of "three strikers" were African American. Many were sentenced to life in prison for non-violent or minor offences. Alex Last hears the story of Bilal Chatman, and his hopes for reform.

    Photo credit: Getty Images

    • 14 min
    Rodney King and the LA riots

    Rodney King and the LA riots

    People took to the streets of Los Angeles in fury after police, who had assaulted a black driver called Rodney King, were acquitted in 1992. His assault had been captured on video and played repeatedly on US television. In 2012 Nina Robinson spoke to Rodney King about the beating, the trial of the police, and the anger and mayhem that followed their acquittal.

    Photo: Rodney King in 2012. Credit: REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton

    • 8 min
    Black basketball pioneers - Texas Western

    Black basketball pioneers - Texas Western

    In 1966, an all-black team went head-to-head with an all-white team for the National College Basketball championship - one of the biggest prizes in American sport. To much surprise, the African-Americans of Texas Western College defeated the University of Kentucky, then the number one team in the country. The game is now regarded as breaking the colour barrier in US basketball. In 2016 Nija Dalal-Small spoke to Nevil Shed, one of that groundbreaking Texas Western team. The programme is a Sparklab Production for BBC World Service.

    PHOTO: Texas Western celebrate their victory in 1966 (Getty Images)

    • 8 min
    The 16th Street church bombing

    The 16th Street church bombing

    Four young black girls were killed in a racist attack on a church in Birmingham, Alabama in 1963. The 16th Street Baptist Church was a centre for civil rights activists in the city. One of the girls who died was Addie Mae Collins, her sister, Sarah Collins Rudolph was badly injured but survived. In 2013 she spoke to Eddie Botsio about the bombing.

    Photo: men carrying the coffin of Addie Mae Collins at her funeral. Copyright: BBC

    • 8 min
    Brown v the Board of Education

    Brown v the Board of Education

    In 1954 the US Supreme Court ruled that the segregation of public schools on the basis of race was unconstitutional. The case was a turning point in the long battle for civil rights in America. In 2017 Farhana Haider spoke to Cheryl Brown Henderson, the youngest daughter of Oliver Brown, who was the named plaintiff in the class action against the local board of education.

    Photo: African American student Linda Brown, Cheryl Brown Henderson's eldest sister (front, C) sitting in her segregated classroom. Credit: GettyArchive

    • 8 min
    Ann Lowe - African American fashion designer

    Ann Lowe - African American fashion designer

    Ann Cole Lowe designed Jackie Kennedy's wedding dress in the 1950s. As a black woman working in high fashion she was a groundbreaking figurein New York. Sharon Hemans has been speaking to Judith Guile who went to work with Ann Lowe in her Madison Avenue studio in the 1960s.

    • 8 min

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5
75 Ratings

75 Ratings

Contraryan ,

Excellent coverage

Excellent coverage of events that deserve more attention than they get. At 10 minutes or so, a good length.

JAZZZ LOVER ,

Wow!!!

Please keep them coming! Absolutely love the content and delivery.

Engetschwiler ,

AWESOME

thank you so so much for making this podcast. It is so important to learn more detailed history about black America that we are just not taught in school and this podcast does it !

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