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courtesy of Erwin C. Smith Collection / Texas State Historical Association

Nat Love was born a slave, but died a free cowboy and a legend of the Old West. After the Civil War freed Love from slavery, he walked to Dodge City, Kansas, and got a job breaking horses - after he could prove that he could rope a bucking horse, climb on its back without a saddle, and ride him without falling off. He got the job. Thus began Nat's life as a cowboy.

We don't typically include Black cowboys as part of the American story of the West,  even though one in four American cowboys are Black. Black cowboys are as American as baseball. 

Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public

Wethersfield’s police department was flagged Thursday as having significant racial disparities in traffic stops for a sixth time. The Connecticut Racial Profiling Prohibition Project has examined nearly 200,000 stops on roads bordering Wethersfield and found that Black and Hispanic motorists were more likely to get pulled over going into the town than coming out.

Tony Spinelli / Connecticut Public

Since April 27, eight nooses have been discovered at the construction site of an Amazon warehouse in Windsor. While Amazon and the companies it has hired to build the massive fulfillment site try to find out who’s responsible for the nooses, local Black social justice leaders are criticizing the e-commerce giant’s efforts.

Betsy Kaplan

Francisco Goldman made a big choice as a young man. He chose to spend a year in Guatemala living with his uncle instead of pursuing the MFA he could have had from a prestigious school offering him a full scholarship. It turned out to be one of the most consequential decisions of his early life. 

Today, Colin talks with Francisco about his new novel, Monkey Boy, a story about the legacy of violence on a family, and much more, including how his decision to go to Guatemala has shaped his life. 

It's been 100 years since the Tulsa Race Massacre — one of the worst episodes of racial violence in U.S. history. An armed white mob attacked Greenwood, a prosperous Black community in Tulsa, Okla., killing as many as 300 people. What was known as Black Wall Street was burned to the ground.

"Mother, I see men with guns," said Florence Mary Parrish, a small child looking out the window on the evening of May 31, 1921, when the siege began.

Alachua County / Creative Commons

'Cancel culture' has become a phrase that means so much that it means nothing at all. It originated in Black culture as a way to hold the powerful accountable, but was eventually appropriated as a political weapon for (mostly White) conservatives and liberal progressives, each group using it in very different ways.

Cancel culture has brought much-needed attention to societal inequities, but also toppled careers - some justifiably, others more questionably. In the end, the most powerful scalawags seem too big to cancel.

We parse out the nuance of 'cancel culture' with three thoughtful people, including one who has been canceled and who now counsels the canceled. 

Magicpiano / Creative Commons

The state Senate has passed a bill declaring racism a public health crisis in Connecticut. However, not every community in the state agrees. The town of Old Lyme just rejected a resolution to do the same.

Witness Stones Project

How should we remember painful events in our history? There are more than 70 Witness Stones installed throughout our state. The markers commemorate the lives of the enslaved people that lived in Connecticut. 

Image from CT-N.

The General Assembly's Public Health Committee has handled some of the most emotional and hotly contested issues of the session. 

Lawmakers held a 24-hour public hearing filled by parents opposed to vaccines.  Some of those same parents rallied outside the state capitol as lawmakers voted to end religious exemptions to school vaccine requirements .

Some legislators on the panel choked up as they described their personal experiences with the loss of loved ones during debate on a failed bill that would have allowed terminally ill patients to request life-ending medication. 

The day before the show, the committee's leader presented a bill to the state Senate that promotes a different way of looking at racism -- As a public health crisis.  

This hour, we speak to that committee leader.

Tanya Miller

Cities around New England have declared racism a public health crisis. Scholar-activist Katharine “Kat” Morris is especially interested in the intersection between racism, health and environmental justice -- something she talked about in her 2019 TEDxUConn talk. Morris noted that a fifth of Connecticut’s pollution is concentrated in five cities where the majority of the state’s people of color reside: Bridgeport, Hartford, New Haven, Stamford and Waterbury.

Tyler Russell / Connecticut Public

One day after the guilty verdicts against Derek Chauvin came down in the murder of George Floyd, Connecticut activists took to the streets looking to address people in the suburbs.

TOONMAN_blchin / Wikipedia

The art of tattooing has been traced back 7,000 years. While the significance or reason behind the oldest-known tattoos are total speculation, we do know that often, they were applied as sacred rites, and awarded as a signifier of adulthood. In Ancient Egypt, it’s likely they were used as a means of safeguarding women during pregnancy and birth.

Thomas Hawk / Creative Commons

One of the harshest punishments you can receive in prison is solitary confinement. Advocates say solitary confinement does more harm than good - leaving the incarcerated with lasting mental health problems that go beyond the duration of their served sentence. 

Ben Gray / AP Photo

After the killings of eight people in Atlanta, including six Asian women, Caroline H. Lee wrote a commentary for WBUR’s blog Cognoscenti, responding directly to news reports that said it was “unclear” whether the killings were motivated by racism. Her commentary is titled, “Call The Shootings In Atlanta What They Were: Targeted Violence Against Asian American Women.”

Candice Choi / Associated Press

In the wake of the March 16 mass shootings in Georgia, communities across the country, and here in Connecticut, have been mourning the loss of eight people -- six of whom were women of Asian descent. 

The shootings have sparked a national outcry against anti-Asian violence and further exacerbated longtime fear felt by Asian American communities. 

Douglas Fernandes / Creative Commons

After a year of pandemic, we're all itching to break from the restrictions of the pandemic. We want to travel and explore. It makes sense; we're hard-wired to explore. Our ancestors would not have survived absent the drive to seek food and safety from the dangers of the day. Safe and satiated, they later sought new lands to conquer and later still, to escape the constraints and cruelties of rapid industrialization.

If the recent pandemic left you yearning to explore, you might be inspired by this show we first aired in 2017. 

Ben Gray / AP

A recent shooting in the Atlanta area killed eight people. Six of them were women of Asian descent.

It's one of the nearly 4000 hate incidents against this group over the last year.

Marcela McGreal / Wikimedia Commons

Last week's violence at three spas in Georgia, followed a year of escalating violence against Asian Americans, some of it captured on videos that went viral. Despite visual evidence, New Yorker writer Hua Hsu, writes that this current moment stresses the "in-between space Asian Americans inhabit." It's hard to prove bias when we lack a historical understanding of what Asian American racism looks like. 

Deborah Cheramie/iStock / Thinkstock

The Connecticut Supreme Court wants to ensure that jury pools are diverse and representative of our communities. That could mean striking restrictions of who is allowed to serve on a jury. This hour, Chief Justice Richard Robinson joins us to answer our questions and yours about jury duty in our state.

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.  

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.

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.  

Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public

Students from Naugatuck High School, along with some of their parents and supporters, staged a demonstration in town Wednesday after racist social media posts from a fellow student were revealed.

Sate Capitol
Joe Amon / Connecticut Public

As dignitaries filed into their seats for President Joe Biden’s inauguration in Washington, D.C., roughly a dozen people affiliated with the Black Lives Matter movement in Connecticut marched to the front of the state Capitol in Hartford.

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.

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.

A Wisconsin court commissioner on Monday set bail at $2 million for Kyle Rittenhouse, the 17-year-old accused of killing protesters in Kenosha, in his first court appearance in the state after being extradited from Illinois last week.

Rittenhouse is accused of fatally shooting two demonstrators and injuring a third during protests on Aug. 25 that followed the shooting of Jacob Blake, a Black man who was shot several times at close range by Kenosha police and is now paralyzed.

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.

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