© 2024 WBGO
Discover Jazz...Anywhere, Anytime, on Any Device.
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

MLK - Activism and the Arts on WBGO


It's the 16th Annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day celebration, “MLK – Activism and the Arts".

This year’s discussion will focus on how Dr. King leveraged the influence of artists in the civil rights movement and how that legacy of activism in the arts continues today. Focusing on the long-standing connection between activism and artistry, participants will discuss how the struggle for social justice affected icons from Nina Simone to John Legend and how they, in turn, helped drive the struggle for social justice.

Co-led by a roster of WNYC and WQXR hosts: Melissa Harris-Perry, host of WNYC Studios and PRX’s The Takeaway; WQXR host and author Terrance McKnight; Jami Floyd of WNYC’s Race and Justice Unit; Brian Lehrer, Host of WNYC’s Brian Lehrer Show; Alison Stewart, host of WNYC’s All of It; and Kai Wright, host of The United States of Anxiety.

Guests include:

Reverend Al Sharpton - Host of MSNBCs “Politics Nation,” President of National Action Network, internationally renowned civil rights activist

The Honorable Andrew Young - Former mayor of Atlanta, first black UN Ambassador, member of U.S. House of Representatives, activist during 1960’s civil rights movement

Contributing a special video message Trezana Beverly - First African-American actress to receive a Tony Award for "Best Featured Actress in a Play" (for the 1977 Broadway play For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide / When the Rainbow Is Enuf)

Najee Dorsey - Founder of Black Art in America (BAIA) and visual artist Jacqueline Woodson, American Author and 2020 MacAuthur Fellow

Jonathan McCrory - Director, National Black Theatre of Harlem Garrett McQueen – Advocate for diversity in classical music

Rashad Robinson - President, Color Of Change

Damion Thomas - Curator, Museum of Sports for Smithsonian National Museum of African American History & Culture

Airs Saturday, January 15 at 6pm on 88.3 FM

Brooklyn born Stevan Smith graduated from the exceptional Boys and Girls High School and attended the Earl G. Graves School of Business and Management at Morgan State University (Baltimore, MD), where he decided to switch to a path that would allow him to follow his passion for music. Introduced to Jazz music via Hip-Hop, Stevan started a radio programming internship at the MSU owned WEAA 88.9 FM, where he rose to Assistant Program Director. He then spent 12 years at WBGO as Traffic and Continuity Manager, where he contributed to the station's digital efforts, produced features for broadcast, and filled in as a guest announcer. For three years, Smith then served as Assistant Program Director at WNYC, during which time he continued to produce podcasts for himself and others. He returned to WBGO in 2021 as Chief Content Officer.