Studs Terkel presents a program in honor of the birthday of abolitionist and African American leader Frederick Douglass, including excepts from Terkel's 1964 interview with African-American scholar, author and social historian Lerone Bennett. Terkel reads at length from Douglass' autobiography, "My Bondage and My Freedom," focusing on Douglass' interactions with slave owners Hugh and Sophia Auld.
Ralph Ellison, winner of the National Book Award for Fiction for his book "Invisible Man," discusses his early life and education and his life as a writer and lifetime scholar. He speaks on being a musician (trumpet), the joy of music and the Church and how they fit into the lives of African Americans.
Content Warning: This conversation includes racially and/or culturally derogatory language and/or negative depictions of Black and Indigenous people of color, women, and LGBTQI+ individuals. Rather than remove this content, we present it in the context of twentieth-century social history to acknowledge and learn from its impact and to inspire awareness and discussion. Muhammad Ali discusses his book "The Greatest: My Own Story," touching on topics including his childhood and family, conversion to Islam, stance on the Vietnam War, and experiences in jail.
Part 1 of this program begins with Studs Terkel reading an excerpt from the book "Giants of Jazz" , which describes Dizzy Gillespie's early life. Gillespie discusses the following: the state of jazz; his fellow musicians; jazz contributors; jazz fundamentals; and his tours abroad. Gillespie's "Groovin' High" is played towards the end of this part of the program.