On This Occasion...

Some of our favorite shows come from holidays and commemorations that get us thinking about history -- and our places in it. Here’s a sampling.

  • Face the Darkness, Welcome the Light

    Dec 20, 2021
    Do you need a revival? On the longest night of the year, join us to celebrate Yalda, a poetic Persian tradition. Then, a conversation about those we’ve lost with artist Gregory Porter.
  • How the Dead Still Speak to Us

    Nov 1, 2021
    This Halloween, we reveal its history and why connecting to the dead is important to so many, from Ireland, to Mexico, to NYC. Plus a guided meditation to help you connect, too.
  • Can America Be Redeemed?

    Jul 5, 2021
    Eddie Glaude and Imani Perry consider the question through the work of James Baldwin and Richard Wright. Plus: How our country could enter a period of “post-traumatic growth.”
  • The ‘Big Bang’ in Jazz History

    May 31, 2021
    Composer Jason Moran takes Kai on a musical journey back to 1918, when a group of Black soldiers reinvented American music.
  • No More ‘Selfless’ Moms

    May 10, 2021
    Erased from history. Ignored in public policy. This Mother’s Day, we ask how to truly value “motherwork.” Plus: The story of one “woke birth.”
  • The Origin Story of Black History Month

    Feb 1, 2021
    We’ve got complicated relationships with this annual celebration -- from joy to frustration. So to launch our Future of Black History series, we ask how it began and what it can be.
  • Lessons From a Year in Isolation

    Dec 28, 2020
    A first draft of history for 2020, told through three very personal efforts to find -- and keep -- human connection amid a pandemic.
  • Juneteenth, an Unfinished Business

    Jun 26, 2020
    As the nation grapples with a reckoning, we pause to celebrate Juneteenth. Our holiday special, for Black liberation and the ongoing birth of the United States.
  • America's Fourth: Beyond Pie and BBQs

    Jul 4, 2017
    As we come to celebrate the independence of America on the Fourth of July, we talk about the holiday's past, present, and future.