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February 26, 2014

Famous Books and Speeches of People from Black History

To celebrate Black History Month this February, we've scoured the LearnOutLoud archives in search of the best free videos, audio books, speeches, and podcasts we can find as a primer on the subject. To that end, we've come up with a content-rich selection of historical books, important memoirs, key speeches and other resources that will give you a well-rounded introduction to African-American history. Included in this list, you'll find material that covers the legacy of slavery in America up to the Civil Rights Movement, with special attention given to important figures such as Frederick Douglass, W.E.B. Dubois, Rosa Parks, Martin Luther King, Jr, Malcolm X and more. We think after trying these ideas out you'll have a great jumping off point in your exploration of a vital, evolving story that has indelibly shaped the American experience from the very beginning.

1) African-American History: Modern Freedom Struggle

This course introduces the viewer to African-American history, with particular emphasis on the political thought and protest movements of the period after 1930, focusing on selected individuals who have shaped and been shaped by modern African-American struggles for freedom and justice. Clayborne Carson is a professor in the History Department at Stanford University.

2) Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, An American Slave

First published in 1845, the Narrative of the life of Frederick Douglass became Frederick Douglass's most well known work. It is as the name implies his autobiography. Frederick Douglass was born a slave and underwent horrendous treatment at the hands of his owners. He later escaped to the north and became an outspoken abolitionist. Not only did he have a great life story to tell, his skill in telling it has long been admired. Douglass traveled throughout Europe lecturing about slavery.

After publication, the Narrative of the life of Frederick Douglass quickly became a best seller and within three years there were over 11,000 copies published in the United States, had been reprinted nine times and had been translated into two languages (Dutch and French). The book was so well written that some argued that an ex-slave could not be as articulate as Frederick Douglass demonstrated himself to be. Of course, Douglass did write the book and it stands today as a monument to the human spirit and what may be achieved with hard work no matter where in society somebody may begin.

3) Twelve Years a Slave

Download the audio book version of the memoir Twelve Years a Slave by Solomon Northup, a free black man who was kidnapped in Washington, D.C. in 1841 and sold into slavery. This book has now been adapted into the major motion picture 12 Years a Slave, and the movie has received widespread critical acclaim. Solomon Northup's slave narrative covers the 12 years he was kept in bondage in Louisiana and provides a factual first-person account of slavery at that time. The book was a bestseller when it was published, but it fell into obscurity for almost 100 years before it was rediscovered in the 1960s. This book is read by Rob Board at Librivox.

4) Uncle Tom's Cabin

Listen to Harriet Beecher Stowe's classic American novel Uncle Tom's Cabin. One of the bestselling novels of its time, the book vividly depicts African American slavery and it had a profound influence on the abolitionist movement. This unabridged 18-hour audio book is dynamically narrated by John Greenman and available on MP3 download through LibriVox.org.

5) The Souls of Black Folk

Listen to an unabridged recording of W.E.B. Du Bois' classic work of African-American literature The Souls of Black Folk. Published in 1903, Du Bois begins his collection of essays on race with the statement that "the problem of the Twentieth Century is the problem of the color line." The essays that followed were instrumental to the intellectual argument for the black freedom struggle in the twentieth century.

6) American RadioWorks presents Say It Plain: A Century of Great African-American Speeches

This hour-long audio documentary from American RadioWorks is an excellent introduction to great African American speakers of the last century. In chronological order it covers speeches all the way back to Booker T. Washington's address at the Atlanta Cotton States and International Exposition up to Barack Obama's recent speech at the Democratic National Convention. The hour-long documentary features excerpts of the speeches with interviews and commentary on their significance, and if you liked a particular speech American RadioWorks offers each speech individually as streaming audio so you can listen to it in its entirety. The hour-long audio documentary is free to listen to on streaming audio from the American RadioWorks site. They also have a follow up audio documentary entitled Say it Loud which highlights ideas and debates pulsing through the black freedom struggle from the 1960s to the present.

7) BMA: Black Media Archive Podcast

Listen to hundreds of podcasts from notable African and African-American speakers. The Black Media Archive Podcast has collected a wide range of multi-media including speeches, archival video, movies, music, and more. They feature speeches from Malcolm X, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Fannie Lou Hamer, James Baldwin, Barbara Jordan, Ossie Davis, Langston Hughes, and dozens of other influential black leaders over the course of the past 100 years.

8) Martin Luther King Speeches and Sermons from the King Institute

Building upon the achievements of Stanford University's Martin Luther King, Jr., Papers Project, the King Research and Education Institute provides an institutional home for a broad range of activities illuminating the Nobel Peace laureate's life and the movements he inspired. The Institute's endowment supports programs that serve as an enduring link between Stanford's research resources and King's dream of global peace with social justice. Now Stanford University's King Research and Education Institute freely provides streaming audio of over 20 of Dr. King's most famous speeches and sermons.

Here are the speeches you can listen to there:

28 February 1954 - Rediscovering Lost Values
5 December 1955 - Address to the first Montgomery Improvement Association (MIA) Mass Meeting
4 November 1956 - "Paul's Letter to American Christians"
7 April 1957 - The Birth of a New Nation, Sermon delivered at Dexter Avenue Baptist Church
17 May 1957 - "Give Us the Ballot," Address at the Prayer Pilgrimage for Freedom
17 November 1957 - "Loving Your Enemies," Sermon Delivered at Dexter Avenue Baptist Church
16 April 1963 - "Letter From Birmingham Jail"
23 June 1963 - Speech at the Great March on Detroit
28 August 1963 - I Have a Dream, Address at March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom
18 September 1963 - Eulogy for the Martyred Children
10 December 1964 - Acceptance Speech at Nobel Peace Prize Ceremony
25 March 1965 - Address at the Conclusion of the Selma to Montgomery March
4 July 1965 - "The American Dream"
5 June 1966 - "Guidelines for a Constructive Church"
4 April 1967 - Beyond Vietnam
9 April 1967 - "The Three Dimensions of a Complete Life"
11 June 1967 - "A Knock at Midnight"
16 August 1967 - "Where Do We Go From Here?," Delivered at the 11th Annual SCLC Convention
27 August 1967 - "Why Jesus Called A Man A Fool"
4 February 1968 - "The Drum Major Instinct"
3 March 1968 - "Unfulfilled Dreams"
31 March 1968 - "Remaining Awake Through a Great Revolution"
3 April 1968 - I've Been to the Mountaintop


February 12, 2014

5 Free Relationship Advice Resources

With Valentine's Day coming up, many people are turning their hearts and minds towards that special someone. For many, this time is not only a celebration of love, but it also gives us a chance to ponder how we might further cultivate romance in our lives. We've decided it was a great time to collect some of our favorite videos, audiobooks and podcasts centered around the search for lasting love. Whether you are still trying to find your soul mate, need some pointers on how to communicate with your partner, want to energize your intimacy, or pine for a commitment that will last, these selections can guide you along the path to true romantic fulfillment.

1) John Gray Relationship Advice Videos

Bestselling "Mars and Venus" author John Gray presents a series of short relationship advice videos on his YouTube channel. Each segment takes on a specific topic and dissects what the basic emotional underpinnings are that might be causing trouble. Whether you are looking for advice with unrequited love, feel bored in a current relationship, or are facing a communication problem that has stopped you from growing with your significant other, Gray's videos provide a warm outlet for guidance. In all John Gray has over 140 videos currently to choose from, all lasting about 5 to 10 minutes.

2) Understanding Conversations Between Women and Men

In this lecture linguistics professor and bestselling author Deborah Tannen describes many of the basic differences between in communication between men and women. She starts with an example she discovered when examining the conversations of kids and teenagers. Girls tended to talk to each other face to face while boys generally sat at angles or parallel and looked around the room while they talked to each other. She mentions many other general patterns of behavior in the communication habits of men and women and hopes that by becoming more aware of these differences we can become more understanding in our communication with the opposite sex.

3) This is Your Brain on Love

Helen Fisher, one of the world's leading experts on romantic love, identifies four broad personality types, each governed by different chemical systems in the brain. Love is no longer blind, thanks to pioneering scientific research, based on her unique study of 40,000 men and women. Fisher explains each type, shows you how to identify your own type, and helps you use nature's chemistry to find and keep your life partner.

4) The Love Language Minute Podcast with Dr. Gary Chapman

Noted relationship counselor Gary Chapman hosts these short daily insights based on his bestselling book The Five Love Languages. Each episode is under a minute and touches on the various barriers people face in the way they communicate their feelings with one another. Framed within a spiritual perspective, these podcasts offer valuable tips on how to speak more freely and love more fully.

5) Deepening Intimacy: A Free Course from Sounds True

Just in time for Valentine's Day, Sounds True has launched a new FREE video event series entitled "Deepening Intimacy: Essential Insights for the Most Important Relationship of Your Life". This 16-part series features Sounds True founder Tami Simon speaking with relationship experts like John Gray, Harville Hendrix, and many more. In the first interview which lasts about 50 minutes, Tami interviews Harville Hendrix and his wife Helen Hunt as they discuss ways to keep a relationship vital. Their emphasis is on bringing zero negativity to a marriage and the ways they worked with negativity in their own relationship. Join in on watching this 16-part video series to help you enhance your intimate relationships.