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Smithsonian Folkways Recordings

Smithsonian Folkways Recordings is the nonprofit record label of the Smithsonian Institution, the national museum of the United States. We are dedicated to supporting cultural diversity and increased understanding among peoples through the documentation, preservation, and dissemination of sound. We believe that musical and cultural diversity contributes to the vitality and quality of life throughout the world. Through the dissemination of audio recordings and educational materials we seek to strengthen people's engagement with their own cultural heritage and to enhance their awareness and appreciation of the cultural heritage of others. Our mission is the legacy of Moses Asch, who founded Folkways Records in 1948 to document "people's music," spoken word, instruction, and sounds from around the world. The Smithsonian acquired Folkways from the Asch estate in 1987, and Smithsonian Folkways Recordings has continued the Folkways commitment to cultural diversity, education, increased understanding, and lively engagement with the world of sound.


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1.
by Frederick Douglass
Available on:
Online Audio (Free)

In 1972, renowned actor Ossie Davis brought to sonic life several of Douglass's visionary writings, plying his resonant voice to produce riveting renditions of the Douglass classics…

2.
by Angela Davis
Available on:
Online Audio (Free)

This recording of Gil Noble’s WABC-TV program, "Like It is" features an exclusive interview with Angela Davis done by her lawyer, Margaret Burnham, while she was jailed in NY and awaiting trial on the case of the Soledad Brothers in 1971.

3.
by Buckminster Fuller
Available on:
Online Audio (Free)

The visionary, designer, architect, poet, author and inventor who brought the term "synergy" into the realm of popular speech, Buckminster Fuller shares many of his original ideas in this series of monologues.

4.
by Langston Hughes
Available on:
Online Audio (Free)

In this collection of prose and song, Langston Hughes narrates the history of the African-American people.

5.
by Morris Schreiber
Available on:
Online Audio (Free)

Anachronism, chronology, synchronize: learn how these words are linguistically related on this 1959 Folkways release.

6.
by Harry Fleetwood
Available on:
Online Audio (Free)

Anyone learning American English for the first time will certainly find Mend Your Speech a useful educational tool for understanding the language’s hard to pronounce words.

7.
by W.E.B. Du Bois
Available on:
Online Audio (Free)

This is the extraordinary life of W.E.B. DuBois in his own words. The autobiographical account begins at age seventeen as DuBois left Massachusetts to attend Fisk University in 1885, and ends in the 1940s as DuBois describes his struggles with the NAACP.

8.
by Doreen Rappaport
Available on:
Online Audio (Free)

Volume 2 of this two-part compilation consists of short biographies and famous statements made by 14 influential American women who fought for gender equality in the 19th and 20th centuries.

9.
by Howard Lamar
Available on:
Online Audio (Free)

This is the story of the election of the President of the United States. Out of the confusion and chaos of an election year, emerges the man who will fill the most powerful political office in the world. You are about to hear the living record of the campaign of 1956.

10.
by Eleanor Roosevelt
Available on:
Online Audio (Free)

Originally released in 1959, this Howard Langer–narrated audio documentary traces the creation of the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights.

1 - 10 of 14 Titles
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