Vermont Humanities
Engraving of Frederick Douglass

David Blight on “Writing the Life of Frederick Douglass”

Video: Yale historian David Blight, winner of the 2019 Pulitzer Prize in History for his biography “Frederick Douglass: Prophet of Freedom,” tells Douglass’s story: an escaped slave who became one of the leading abolitionists, orators, and writers of his era.

Duke Ellington at the piano

Daybreak Express: Reuben Jackson on Duke Ellington

Many Vermonters know Reuben Jackson as the host of Vermont Public Radio’s Friday Night Jazz. In this episode, Jackson shares some evocative Duke Ellington recordings, and discusses Ellington’s love for trains. He also describes the Ellington orchestra’s work in the segregated United States. 

Girl in front of old car during Great Migration.

How the Great Migration Changed American History

In the early 20th century, black southerners fled racial violence and sharecropping for steady work in northern cities like New York and Chicago. But these migrants still faced challenges once they arrived. In this talk, Dr. Harvey Amani Whitfield explores the Great Migration and its great influence on American history.

Before Your Time: Princes and Free Men

It’s well-known that Vermont is one of the whitest states in the Union. And so the stories of African American Vermonters can sometimes get forgotten, no matter how important they have been to our state’s and our nation’s history.

Jose before barbed wire fence by Marek Bennett

Before Your Time: After the Crossing

Many different groups of people, from many different continents, have helped build our state. But from the 19th century through 2019, the stories of immigrants have largely been excluded from the popular image of Vermont.