WBLT’s Black History Spots

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By Doug Cooper

The Bedford Museum and Genealogical Library continues to provide these Black History spots that were broadcast on WBLT in 1988. Keith Campbell donated several audio tapes from WBLT. We have transcribed these and are publishing them here. In 1988 Rev. Laurie Carrie and Pat Austin read the following on WBLT and they were glad that the tapes had survived. They  recount how they took a large number of children to the station and each child also recorded spots. The Museum has not found the children’s tapes but maybe they will be found and we can use them in the future.

Marcus Garvey

    “This is the Rev. Laura Carey with a profile for Black history:

    Behind the strivings of Black power 1970s style lies the work of Marcus Garvey. Attacked by the Black intelligential of his time and ridiculed by the White press; this Jamaican immigrant, in four years built the largest and most powerful all Black organization this nation had ever seen, The Universal Negro Improvement Association. Garvey sowed the seed a half century ago of a new black pride and determination.”

Benjamin Banaker

    “Are you a star gazer, an innovator or a whiz kid? This famous Black American was. He was born November 9th, 1731 and he loved math so much that he spent hours solving difficult problems and correcting errors in books. His was name, Benjamin Banaker. He loved nature and his observation of the skies resulted in an almanac which was published in 1791. He computed the cycle of the 17 year locust, was appointed to the survey team to layout the city of Washington, DC and constructed the first clock made entirely in America. Banaker was considered to be a genius and his contributions caused a number of common men of his day to change their minds about the ability of Black people to learn; Benjamin Banaker, a mathematician, inventor, astronomer, and surveyor.”

Lawrence C. Chambers

    “Bedford boy, Lawrence C. Chambers is a 1952 graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy. He became a naval aviator and was commanding the aircraft carrier Midway when he was promoted to flag rank in 1976. Bedford salutes you, Rear Admiral Lawrence C. Chambers.”

Benjamin Quarles

    “Hello, this is Pat Austin a teacher from Otter River Elementary with another profile of Black history.

    This person was the chairman of the department of history at Morgan State College in Baltimore, Md. He was the author of Lincoln and the Negro. His name is Benjamin Quarles. He has written a biography of Frederick Douglas, studies on the Negro and the Revolutionary War and Civil War, and also written a general history of Black Americans.”

Dred Scott

    “For generations of school children Dred Scott was the only Black man mentioned in the history book and social studies class room. Because of Scott’s family were slaves kept for years in free western states and territories, Dred Scott sued for the liberty of himself, his wife Harriett, and their two daughters. He had no idea his case would precipitate a major crisis over slavery’s extension to the West nor stoke the fires of the new Republican Party and eventually help plunge the nation into Civil War. Dred Scott, merely another slave trying to free his family.”