February 5, 2014
Music—jazz, gospel, R&B, and hip-hop—has been a crucial vehicle of African American cultural expression, but the contributions to classical music by people of African descent is rarely given its due.
This year, The Grio recognized the contributions of WQXR host Terrance McKnight to this effort by naming him as one of The Grio’s 100 in the arts category. As a pianist, a former professor at Morehouse, and now as a host at WQXR, the most listened-to classical music station in the country, McKnight is committed to making classical music accessible to everyone. Likewise, he champions jazz and gospel as “American classical music.”
In celebration of Black History Month, WQXR will air McKnight’s one-hour specials that explore music in the life of prominent African Americans, including Langston Hughes, Hazel Scott, and Florence Price. All specials can be heard on demand or streamed live at WQXR.org. (On-air schedule below)
In addition WQXR has created a quiz and informative timeline about African Americans in classical music.