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African Americans--Social life and customs

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03:49

On Being the First.

Commentator Gerald Early reflects on his wife's work with the Junior League of St. Louis. She is the first African-American woman to be elected president of that city's chapter.

16:43

Race, Music, and Culture.

Greg Tate is an African-American journalist who writes for the Village Voice. Under the guise of writing about a single subject, often a musician or artist, Tate's essays branch out and explore culture, politics and economic issues. He's written about topics as diverse as African musician King Sunny Ade ("ah-DAY"), the crisis of the black intellectual, and the cultural significance of writer Don DeLillo. A collection of his essays is now available. It's called "Flyboy in the Buttermilk: Essays on Contemporary America." (Fireside/Simon & Schuster)

22:33

Poet Maya Angelou "Shall Not Be Moved"

The writer, known for her ongoing series of autobiographies, is one of this country's leading black female poets. She talks with Fresh Air guest host Marty Moss-Coane about how she switches between prose and poetry, and the formal, respectful modes of communication she prefers in the classroom and other professional contexts -- which Angelou says is an integral part of the African American community.

41:34

A Class Jazz Song Spurs a Spiritual Awakening

Author and poet Al Young reads some of his autobiographical writing about the African American experience in the 1930s, and the cultural impact Coleman Hawkins' recording of "Body and Soul" had on his family.

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