This episode is part of Dr. Alex Gee’s “Our Madison” series, looking at the history of Madison, WI from the perspective of different generations born in the city. Dr. Richard Harris, Betty Banks, Billy McDonald share their extensive history of being black in Madison as the city has grown. Listen to hear if anything has changed much for race relations through the years and learn more about the Stoney the Road project.
This is the first episode in Dr. Alex Gee’s “Our Madison” series, looking at the history of Madison, WI from the perspective of different generations born in the city. First, Dr. Richard Harris shares stories from his book Growing Up Black in South Madison: Economic Disenfranchisement of Black Madison.
Dr. Harris was born in 1937 in Madison, Wisconsin, grew up in South Madison and attended the Madison public schools. He graduated from the University of Wisconsin with a BS in 1961, the University of Illinois-Chicago with a MSW in 1964 and later received his Ph. D. in Educational Administration from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
NOTE: This episode aired prior to the 2019 Madison Mayoral Election.
Dr. Alex Gee talks to Joseph Rogers about his experience of bringing his ancestors and historical figures to life. Rogers does living historical interpretation work by acting as slaves at public and private historical sites around the country. Recently, he took part in a federal 1619 commemorative event at Fort Monroe.
He is also the new Education Programs Manager for the American Civil War Museum.
To see the NBC News article referenced in the interview, click here.
To learn more about James Apostle Fields, click here.
Joseph also recommends looking at the Sacred Ground Historical Reclamation Project website which seeks to “reclaim “Gabriel’s Rebellion” and Richmond’s African Burial Ground, the Sacred Ground Project seeks to expand and promote community access to and understanding of its public history resources: http://www.sacredgroundproject.net/
Dr. Alex Gee interviews Ben Wikler, Chair of the Democratic Party of Wisconsin, about the power of Wisconsin politics for America and the world. The discussion covers the potential of the Black vote, the need for Black wealth, and practical ways to make an impact.
Ben has spent his life fighting for economic, social, and racial justice. In his work, most recently for the progressive group MoveOn.org, Ben has played a leadership role in some of the most critical political fights of recent years. From a young age, Ben has been driven by a passion for change and inspired by Wisconsin’s progressive tradition. Ben worked nationally for climate change, peace, human rights, and many other issues. As MoveOn’s Washington, DC director, Ben worked closely with the Obama White House, served as a surrogate for Bernie Sanders, and helped raise millions of dollars for grassroots organizing to elect Hillary Clinton.
Dr. Alex Gee answers listener questions with podcast producer Tyler Nylen. Their conversation addresses the complex work of racial reconciliation and justice. Keep listening for the most honest discussions of race and the African American experience.
To hear the music piece by Marquis Hunt, click here.
Dr. Alex Gee continues the conversation connected to the anniversary of the 1619 African slave trade and his trip to Ghana. On this episode, he gets the perspective on the relationship between Africans and African Americans with Dr. Kwasi Obeng. Dr. Obeng grew up in Ghana, studied in England, and now works in the U.S. Currently, Dr. Obeng is the Madison Council Chief of Staff who is responsible for coordinating the execution of strategic initiatives, assisting the program development and policy responsibilities of 20 elected City Council members, and manage the Council office and staff.