Black History

with The Knowledge Ark and The Voices CD

In 1915, Dr. Carter G. Woodson and Rev. Jesse E. Moorland co-founded the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History (ASNLH). Their goal was to research and bring awareness to the largely ignored, yet crucial role black people played in American and world history. The following year, Woodson published and distributed his findings in The Journal of Negro History. He founded the publication with the hope that it would dispel popular mistruths. He also hoped to educate black people about their cultural background and instill them with a sense of pride in their race. The son of former slaves and the second black person to receive a degree from Harvard University, Carter Woodson understood the value of education. He also felt the importance of preserving one's heritage and, upon his urgings, the fraternity Omega Psi Phi created Negro History and Literature Week in 1920.

This year, 2013 is a watershed year in Black history. Not only was the first African-American president of the United States inaugurated for a second term, it is 150 years since the Emancipation Proclamation, and the 50th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s seminal “I Have a Dream” speech. Black people in this country have literally moved from the auction block to the 1600 block of Pennsylvania Avenue.

Dr. King and President Obama are two men whose words have elevated the presence, power, and possibility of the human spirit. Although separated by almost 40 years they are part of the continuum of great orators in the Black tradition. A tradition that originated with the African griot, the village historian and story teller. In the words and speeches of Dr. King and President Obama we hear this tradition continue to provide vision and HOPE.

A drum major for justice, Dr. King's words and Dream still resonate in our hearts and minds. The march along the arc of history toward the founding fathers’ vision of freedom, justice, and equality, though not always swift, has led us past the ignoble practice of slavery, the failed experiment of Reconstruction, the brutality of Jim Crow, Bull Conner’s dogs and hoses, and the white hooded perpetrators of terror. Yet, there remains significant work to be accomplished.

Unfolding before our eyes are the dreams of a King who had been to the mountaintop in a President who embraces citizens of all races, colors, and creeds, inspiring them with HOPE for a brighter future and better tomorrow with three simple words--“yes we can.”

Listen to the speeches of Dr. King and President Obama on Voices – the Journey from the auction block to the 1600 block of Pennsylvania Avenue.

The Journey From The Auction Block To The 1600 Block Of Pennsylvania Avenue

Preview Track Title Time Artist
1. Africa II - He's Sweet I Know 5:24 Nikki Giovanni
2. Ship Ahoy (edit) 4:15 The O'Jays
3. Sun Up to Sundown 0:41 Sounds of Blackness
4. The Beginning of a Movement 9:28 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
5. Precious Lord 2:12 Gladys Knight
6. I Have a Dream 16:15 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
7. A Change is Gonna Come 4:16 Otis Redding
8. On Signing the Civil Rights Bill 3:45 President Lyndon Johnson
9. I Am Somebody 0:32 Rev. Jesse Jackson
10. Interlude: Precious Lord, Take My Hand 2:12 Hank Crawford
11. If I Had Sneezed 4:19 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
12. I've Been to the Mountaintop 2:09 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
13. 95 South (All of the Places We've Been) 4:09 Gil Scott-Heron
14. Yes We Can (excerpt) 4:01 Barack Obama
15. America the Beautiful 3:35 Ray Charles
16. Obama Victory Speech (excerpt) 5:48 Barack Obama

Listen to the speeches of Dr. King and President Obama on Voices – the Journey from the auction block to the 1600 block of Pennsylvania Avenue.

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