Main content

America in Black and White: Looking Ahead

How are black Americans represented and what does it mean to be black in America today? Rajini Vaidyanathan discusses with those involved in politics, culture and activism.

How are black Americans represented and what does it mean to be black in America today? Rajini Vaidyanathan discusses with those involved in politics, culture and activism.

Travelling widely across the country she hears from families in Atlanta, activists in Missouri and academics in New York City. She speaks to the artist Kehinde Wiley about his subversive attempts to literally paint power differently; to the poet Tracy K. Smith about the vital role stories can play in encouraging empathy and hears from the civil rights icon John Lewis why he is using comic books to tell his story.

Rajini discusses what is taught in schools, what is shown on TV, and how the reality of being black in America means new black migrants to the United States are increasingly retaining their immigrant identity to avoid being considered ‘African American’. She discusses the next generation of leadership, who can authentically lead the Black Lives Matter movement, and attends a remarkable convention in Baltimore encouraging Americans to have ‘courageous conversations about race.’

Image: Eyshana Webster (L) and other students from John McDonogh Senior High School in New Orleans, Louisiana. Credit: Mario Tama/Getty Images

Available now

27 minutes

Last on

Sun 31 Jan 2016 10:06GMT

Broadcasts

  • Thu 28 Jan 2016 02:06GMT
  • Thu 28 Jan 2016 03:06GMT
  • Thu 28 Jan 2016 04:06GMT
  • Thu 28 Jan 2016 05:06GMT
  • Thu 28 Jan 2016 07:06GMT
  • Thu 28 Jan 2016 13:06GMT
  • Thu 28 Jan 2016 14:06GMT
  • Thu 28 Jan 2016 20:06GMT
  • Thu 28 Jan 2016 21:06GMT
  • Sat 30 Jan 2016 19:32GMT
  • Sun 31 Jan 2016 05:32GMT
  • Sun 31 Jan 2016 10:06GMT

Featured in...

Ocean Stories

Ocean Stories

The people whose home is the seashore and how they're tackling environmental challenges

The Documentary Podcast

The Documentary Podcast

More global stories to download and keep

Podcast