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Updates about new and special programming and changes to NHPR's program schedule.

Special Programming: Black History Month on NHPR and ClassicalNH

Writer Clint Smith, one of the guests on a Black History Month special from Live Wire
Carletta Girma
Writer Clint Smith, one of the guests on a Black History Month special from Live Wire

In honor of Black History Month, NHPR and ClassicalNH will air several special programs in February.

You can find the full schedule below, which includes a celebration of the life of American novelist Toni Morrison from Selected Shorts, and the launch of a new 13-week program on ClassicalNH that uses the 13th Amendment and classical music as the guide for an historical and contemporary conversation on race.

Friday, Feb. 4, 7-8 pm

BBC Witness: Black History Month

A special hour-long edition of Witness History from the BBC World Service, bringing together some incredible interviews looking at the African-American experience. Told by people who were there, we hear stories that are fascinating, harrowing, and inspiring.

Segments include: The Tuskegee Syphilis Study, American new pioneer Dorothy Butler Gilliam, Nelson Mandela in Detroit, Nasa's pioneering black women, The "Godfather of Gospel Music" and what the Confederate flag represents in America's battle over race.

Friday, Feb. 11, 7-8 pm

Past Lives, Present Learnings: Preserving Black History Through Grave Sites 

In this special rebroadcast of NHPR's The Exchange from February 2021, we learn what a graveyard can tell us about civics, race, history and memory. We also explore how gravesites of Black Americans in New Hampshire can help us deepen our state and national history. This episode discusses a partnership between NHPR’s Civics 101 and the Black Heritage Trail of New Hampshire that explored the state’s Black history through the stories of local graveyards.


Friday, Feb. 18, 7-8 pm

Selected Shorts: Celebrating Toni Morrison 

Guest host Tayari Jones (New York Times bestselling author, most recently of the novel An American Marriage) helps us to celebrate Toni Morrison, the American master who died in 2019. Morrison’s novels, including Beloved, Jazz and Song of Solomon, have become an indelible part of the American canon. Her fierce, poetic visions earned her the Pulitzer Prize, the Nobel Prize, and the Presidential Medal of Freedom. She was also an editor, advocate, teacher, and mother.

This program features her essay “A Knowing So Deep,” read by Jones; an excerpt from The Bluest Eye, read by Tony Award-winner Anika Noni Rose; an excerpt from Jazz, read by Emmy and Golden Globe winner S. Epatha Merkerson; “Sweetness,” read by NAACP Image Award winner Phylicia Rashad, and a tribute by Morrison’s close friend Fran Lebowitz.

Friday, Feb. 25, 7-8 pm

Live Wire: A Black History Month Special 

Clint Smith, staff writer at The Atlantic, unpacks his latest book "How the Word Is Passed," which tours landmarks and monuments that have shaped the collective conversation around slavery; writer Hanif Abdurraqib discusses his new book "A Little Devil in America," in which he unpacks the cultural and historical impact of Black performance; and genre-bending powerhouse Melanie Charles performs a “reimagining” of Marlena Shaw’s “Woman of the Ghetto” from her new album Y’all Don’t (Really) Care About Black Women.

Classical New Hampshire 

The Sound of 13

Beginning Wednesday, Feb. 2, at 8 pm, we’ll air The Sound of 13. Each week, host Garrett McQueen opens an historical and contemporary conversation of race in a 13-week classical music series with the 13th Amendment as the guide.

The Sound of 13 will replay Saturdays at 9 am.

The Sound of 13 is produced by KVNO, Omaha’s Classical Radio, and distributed by PRX.

Saturday, Feb. 26, 8-9 am

From The Top: Black History Month Highlights

NPR’s From the Top showcases the music, stories, and unique humor of America’s best young classical musicians. This new Highlights Show will celebrate some outstanding performances by young black musicians selected out of From the Top’s archives.

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