Reflections in Black

Weekly at noon and 7 p.m. on Ozarks at Large
  • Hosted by Raven Cook

Reflections in Black is a weekly segment on Ozarks at Large, hosted by Raven Cook. Reflections in Black is dedicated to exploring the legacy of Black Americans, both in the United States and around the globe, by providing resources for understanding and hope for all people.

You can learn more about Raven and the segments you hear on the Foundations: Black History Education Programming facebook page. 

Diahann Carroll was born Carol Diann Johnson in the Bronx in 1935. At a young age, she won a music scholarship and began modeling as a teen. While studying at New York University, she won a TV talent show and sang at the famed Latin Quarter nightclub in 1954. She soon started acting in Hollywood and Broadway productions, and received a Tony award for Best Actress in a Musical for her work in No Strings. She would later perform on Hollywood variety shows such as The Tonight Show and others.

Born in 1898, Septima P. Clark was a civil rights activist and educator. She worked with the NAACP and other civil rights organizations, and she was a teacher for more than 40 years. This is her story. This segment originally aired on March 6, 2019.

Courtesy / THE NEW YORK TIMES

James Hal Cone, born in Fordyce, Ark. in 1938, grew up in Bearden and earned a Master's of Divinity from Garrett Theological Seminary as well as a Master's and Ph.D. from Northwestern University. He developed the concept of Black Liberation Theology, which is defined as a theological identity that was accountable to the life, history, and culture of African-American people. He also wrote Black Theology and Black Power in 1969 as well as other critical texts. This is his story. This segment originally aired on April 17, 2019.

Courtesy / Fisk University Library, Special Collections

Born in 1851, Ella Sheppard was enslaved on the Hermitage Plantation in Hermitage, Tenn. After learning that her daughter was being trained to spy on her, Ella's mother went to the river to drown both of them to escape the bonds of slavery. On approaching the river, Ella's mother was stopped by an elderly enslaved woman who insisted that no harm come to the child. Ella was eventually bought by her father and sent to Nashville. They then eventually moved to Cincinnati, where she began her musical training. She worked with distinguished music teachers to learn piano and singing.

Courtesy / John Mathew Smith

Sonia Sanchez was born in Birmingham, Ala. in 1934. She got her bachelor's degree from Hunter College in 1955 and pursued a graduate degree under the mentorship of poet Louise Bogan. In the 1960s, she worked with the Congress of Racial Equality before hearing Malcolm X and taking a separatist posture instead. She began a career as a professor at Downtown Community School in New York, later moving to San Francisco State College. As a professor, she pioneered in the fields of Black Studies and Women's Studies.

Courtesy / Stacey Abrams

Stacey Abrams was born in Madison, Wis. in 1973, but her family eventually settled in Atlanta, Ga. While she was in high school, Abrams was hired as a typist and speechwriter for a congressional campaign. She attained various higher degrees, culminating in a J.D. from Yale Law School in 1999, and worked as a tax attorney. At 29, Abrams was appointed Deputy City Attorney for Atlanta and in 2007, she was elected to the Georgia House of Representatives. In 2011, Abrams became the first African American minority leader in the Georgia House.

Courtesy / University of Missouri Archives

Lloyd Lionel Gaines was born in Mississippi in 1911, but his family later moved to St. Louis, Mo.. He graduated with a degree in history from Lincoln University in 1935 and considered law school, but school segregation limited his options. He sought legal counsel from the NAACP to apply to the University of Missouri Law School. The resulting Supreme Court case, Gaines v. Canada, found that the school denied Gaines' 14th Amendment Rights when they refused him admittance to the school. This is his story. This segment originally aired on Sept. 11, 2019.

We continue our suggested reading series on "Reflections in Black" with selections from Toni Morrison's The Origin of Others. This segment originally aired on July 8, 2020.

Courtesy / Biography

Richard Wright was born in 1908 in Roxie, Miss., and would go on to become one of the most important literary voices in the 20th century. He began writing short stories before moving to Chicago in 1927 and became part of a new wave of Black urban intellectuals joining, and later abandoning, the Communist Party. Wright eventually moved to New York City in 1937 where he received federal funding to write through the Works Progress Administration.

Born in Ohio in 1833, Joseph Carter Corbin was one of 11 children born to freed slaves William and Susan Corbin. His early education mainly took place during winters in the 1840s. He worked as a teacher in Kentucky before enrolling at the University of Ohio at Athens, graduating with a degree in art in 1853 and attaining his master's degree in art in 1856. Joseph married in 1866, and the family moved to Arkansas in 1872 where Joseph worked as a reporter for the Arkansas Republican before serving as chief clerk in the Little Rock post office.

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