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At a time when few white Americans had regular contact with their fellow African-American citizens, Studs regularly used his show as a platform to broadcast African-American stories and experiences. From Martin Luther King and Rosa Parks to Toni Morrison and James Baldwin to Mahalia Jackson and Big Bill Broonzy to Sidney Poitier and Ruby Dee, the Studs Terkel Radio Archive features voices of the most bold and adventurous African-Americans talking with depth and candor about the intersections of social justice, art, economics, education and the very meanings of American democracy. Terkel was ahead of his time in grasping the degree to which the experiences of African-Americans were key understanding what makes our culture unique and his conversations offer blunt, painful, humorous and passionate examples of how complex the struggle has been for American-American perspectives to be heard and given a more central place in American society and the world at-large.  Terkel also often went out of the radio studio to make recordings with non-celebrated Black Americans, whether talking to teenagers in Chicago neighborhoods about their dreams and struggles or documenting Civil Rights events in places like Washington, D.C. or Selma, Alabama. What makes the programs on African-American History and Culture found here especially unique is how they transcend the mainstream media's coverage of Black lives in order to relate specific experiences and places while also speaking of universal human aspirations.

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Introduction

At a time when few white Americans had regular contact with their fellow African-American citizens, Studs regularly used his show as a platform to broadcast African-American stories and experiences.