Rockabilly and Swamp Rock. Blues and Cajun. Country and Gospel. Old-time country musician Mike Seeger once famously remarked that folk music is “all the music that fits between the cracks.” The quote could be extended to the traditional country music of the American South, a rich tapestry of folk, mountain music, early country, the Delta blues, gospel, fife and drum, and other styles.
July 26, 2016: Howard Thurman and Sue Bailey Thurman Collections
Sometimes, the most influential people are the least visible. Philosopher, theologian, and educator Howard Thurman (1899-1981), the so-called “spiritual godfather of the Civil Rights Movement,” encouraged Martin Luther King, Jr. in his philosophy of nonviolence.
July 19, 2016: Vision of the Mountains: Films of Mountaineering in the West
Mountains tower over much of the Pacific Northwest. The majestic Cascades, Olympic, and Coastal ranges have fascinated and enticed the members of the Mountaineers Club, an organization established in Seattle in 1906 to explore, preserve, and document the natural environment.
The ethnic heritage and immigration history of the Upper Midwest (Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, Illinois, Iowa, and Indiana) is richly expressed through the region’s varied musical cultures. The many languages and cultures of indigenous and immigrant peoples have frequently sustained, abandoned, altered, invented, revived, extended, combined, and consumed a multitude of musical traditions and practices.
July 5, 2016: Voices of Change: Preserving Radio Haiti
Founded in 1935, Radio Haiti was the first independent radio station in Haiti, a country unique as the only nation ever established by a successful slave rebellion and the first independent nation in Latin America and the Caribbean.
June 28, 2016: Berkeley Indigenous Language Resources
The third biggest state in the United States, California is also historically the most linguistically diverse: two centuries ago, people living in what is now California spoke about 90 languages, a third of the language families identified in all of North America.
Music producer Chris Strachwitz began collecting recordings of Mexican and Mexican-American music nearly six decades ago, gathering the music of the southwestern United States and Mexico. The Strachwitz Frontera Collection of Mexican and Mexican American Recordings is now the world’s largest and most complete collection of Mexican American vernacular music, containing some 150,000 recordings from small regional recording labels.
June 14, 2016: The Yiddish Memories Project
Yiddish words such as chutzpah, schlep, klutz, nosh, schmooze, and schmeer are now familiar additions to the English lexicon. Although millions of people once spoke it, the Yiddish language nearly died out as a result of the Holocaust, Communist repression, and assimilation.
June 7, 2016: Fox Movietone News Collection
Before television and the Internet, newsreels were most people’s only opportunity to see moving images of world events. Movie theaters showed newsreels—short, 5-10 minute programs focusing on political, cultural, and natural events—before every feature film, and there were even dedicated “all-newsreel theaters” like the Embassy Theater in New York City.