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Elizabeth Norman

Venture Smith was enslaved when he was just a boy. He was eventually able to buy his freedom and the freedom of his family. His iconic story of will, perseverance and strength, is central to Connecticut’s history.

This hour, we dive into to the biography of Venture Smith and the history of slavery here in Connecticut.  

January 22, 2021: Resident Austin Anglin 67, is given the vaccine by Nurse Practitioner Geriann Gallagher as Hartford HealthCare launched a mobile vaccine clinic to get the COVID-19 vaccine to vulnerable populations starting at The Open Hearth in Hartford
Joe Amon / Connecticut Public

Grocery store employees and other essential workers had expected to soon be eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine. Now, Governor Lamont says the state’s vaccination plan will focus on age groups.

Today, we talk with Dr. Deidre Gifford, Acting Commissioner of the state Department of Public Health.  We ask: how does this new plan impact vaccine equity?

City of New Haven

The City of New Haven Department of Arts and Cultural Affairs is hosting a one-day virtual event to foster anti-racism in arts and culture.

Saturday’s event is titled "Unapologetically Radical" and is intended for Black, Indigenous, and People of Color, as well as community activists, and arts organizations doing anti-racism work.

Yehyun Kim / CT Mirror

When Gov. Ned Lamont got his first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine earlier this week, he asked local leaders to go to communities of color and tell them to “step up and do the right thing.”

Since the racial reckoning last summer after the police killings of Breonna Taylor and George Floyd, people are talking more openly about racism and inequality. Many workplaces are prioritizing training around diversity, equity and inclusion, and some people are feeling more comfortable talking about experiencing microaggressions. 

“Microaggressions are things that people often experience daily. And the people who commit microaggressions often don’t realize they’re doing so," said Renee Wells, director of education for equity and inclusion at Middlebury College in Vermont.

Julianne Varacchi / Connecticut Public

John Henry Smith will host Cutline: Everyday White Supremacy, which will air on Thursday, Feb. 18, at 8 p.m. on Connecticut Public Television. This hourlong special features frank discussions with thought leaders from around Connecticut -- and the country -- on the depth to which both violent and nonviolent white supremacy infects modern society, why people espouse these views and what everyone can do to make for a more equitable world.  

Elizabeth Norman

Venture Smith was enslaved when he was just a boy. He was eventually able to buy his freedom and the freedom of his family. His iconic story of will, perseverance and strength, is central to Connecticut’s history.

This hour, we dive into to the biography of Venture Smith and the history of slavery here in Connecticut.  

John Minchillo / AP Photo

Images of the mob that attacked the Capitol in Washington on Jan. 6 show a dizzying array of political and religious symbols among the crowd. There were flags, logos, sweatshirts and tattoos. Philip Gorski is a professor of sociology and religious studies at Yale University and author of American Babylon: Christianity and Democracy Before and After Trump. He spoke recently with Connecticut Public Radio’s Diane Orson.

While still just a law student, Brittany K. Barnett met Sharanda Jones, a single mother, business owner and a woman serving a life sentence without parole for a first time drug offense.

This hour, Brittany K. Barnett, author of A Knock at Midnight: A Story of Hope, Justice, and Freedom joins us to discuss her fight for Sharanda’s freedom and our country’s continued struggle with a racially challenged criminal justice system.

Coming up, we talk about the War on Drugs and the policies that resulted in the disproportionate mass incarceration of people of color.

Marc Tavernier / flickr creative commons

2020 was ... not great.

But, from a pop culture point of view, it wasn't so bad either. I mean, we got the Hamilton movie, The Queen's Gambit, the final season of Schitt's Creek, David Byrne's American Utopia, the Borat sequel, "WAP," I May Destroy You, Tiger King, two new Taylor Swift albums, Ma Rainey's Black Bottom...

The list goes on.

This hour, The Nose looks back at the year in pop culture that was 2020.

Brian Cornelius

At the start of this year, Jericho Brown addressed the graduates of the Bennington Writing Seminars Class of January 2020. 

He said, “If you can’t imagine these last few days without trees, I know you can’t imagine life without poetry. Literature fills needs we did not know we had. Poems and stories plant seeds for things we did not know we needed.”

While still just a law student, Brittany K. Barnett met Sharanda Jones, a single mother, business owner and a woman serving a life sentence without parole for a first time drug offense.

Updated at 9:45 p.m. ET

California Sen. Kamala Harris will become the next vice president of the United States, shattering another racial and gender barrier in American politics, at the end of a bruising presidential race that further exposed a bitterly divided electorate.

Illustration by Chion Wolf, candy corn photo by Skeeze on Pixabay

This hour, visit a West Hartford history professor’s eye-opening Halloween display about Black Lives Matter and Covid-19, and hear what passersby think of it.

Michael Winters / flickr creative commons

Secession is in the air. Britain withdrew from the European Union, Scotland wants out of the U.K., Catalonia from Spain, and, wait for it, California from the U.S. Yes, the days of our country's states being united may soon come to an end.

Yale University
Pixabay

The U.S. Justice Department is suing Yale University, claiming it discriminated against Asian and white students in its college admissions process. The lawsuit, filed Oct. 8, accuses Yale of violating federal civil rights laws by making admissions decisions based on a candidate’s race. 

Right-Wing Extremism

Oct 15, 2020
Anthony Crider / Creative Commons

The pandemic, coupled with Black Lives Matter protests, and incendiary rhetoric from President Trump, has riled up anti-government militias across the US, most evident in the recent foiled plot by militia groups in Michigan, to kidnap Governor Gretchen Whitmer. 

Elodie Reed / Vermont Public Radio

What we don’t learn in school can matter as much as the lessons we do learn. In this fourth and final episode of a special radio series on “Racism In New England,” we talk to teachers and students about the harm of omitting stories and cultures from curricula — and how we can do better.

Joe Amon / Connecticut Public/NENC

Racism is trauma. But racism’s impact on mental health can be hard to talk about. In this third episode of a special radio series on “Racism In New England,” we hear about the stressors to mental health in the region and ways to get relief. 

Frankie Leon / Creative Commons

At a news briefing last week, President Trump refused to commit to a peaceful transition. Now, we're all talking about it.

Joe Amon / Connecticut Public/NENC

Despite New England's progressive reputation, residential segregation still exists in communities throughout the region. 

In this second episode of a special radio series on "Racism In New England," we look at how housing laws and discrimination influence where we live — from the predominantly white states of northern New England to cities and suburbs in Massachusetts and Connecticut.

Hartford Police (screen grab)

A video featuring a police encounter with a Black person -- this time a Hartford woman -- is again highlighting the tense relationship between law enforcement and the communities it serves.

Joe Amon / Connecticut Public/NENC

Here’s the story that New England tells itself: Racism is a Southern problem.

But our region’s abolitionist past hides a darker history of racism, slavery and segregation. It’s a legacy that lives with us today. 

Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public/NENC

From suburban Connecticut to rural Maine, demonstrators occupied highways and town greens over the summer with banners and calls for racial justice. 

The vast majority of children dying from COVID-19 are Hispanic, Black or Native American, according to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Researchers analyzed the number of coronavirus cases and deaths among people under the age of 21 that were reported to the CDC between Feb. 12 and July 31 of this year. They found more than 390,000 cases and 121 deaths.

Joe Amon / Connecticut Public

Black Americans are more likely to be infected from COVID-19, be incarcerated, live in poverty, and/or be killed by the police than white Americans. It took a pandemic and the killing of George Floyd to crystallize those facts.

Joe Amon / Connecticut Public

In the wake of resistance to Black Lives Matter protests against racial injustice in cities like Portland, Oregon; Kenosha, Wisconsin; and others, we decided to take a look at race relations in the small towns and suburbs of Connecticut. What we found was disturbing. 

Maggie Hallahan / Wikimedia Commons

Hillary Clinton has spent a lot of time in the spotlight. We know her as a First Lady, a U.S. Senator from New York, President Obama's Secretary of State, a candidate in the 2016 presidential election, and as the wife of former President Bill Clinton. 

Yet most everything we know about Hillary as an individual separate from Bill has been filtered through the media, through President Trump's Twitter feed, and through the many conspiracy theories linked to her name. 

Netflix, Inc.

This week, the NBA, the WBNA, MLB, MLS, tennis, and eventually the NHL all postponed games and matches in response to the shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wisconsin.

And: A Tweet listing the "Top 7 Warning Signs In a Man's Bookshelf" -- including "Too Much Hemingway," you see -- caused a bit of a fuss on the Twitter.

Darnell Crosland Calls for Independent Investigation in Barrier Case
Ali Warshavsky / WNPR

Two Connecticut attorneys are demanding that local law enforcement do better in handling mental health issues while responding to calls. This comes against the backdrop of a Black man’s death in police custody last year, even though the man’s family claims the department knew about his health issues. 

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