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Past Forward: Conversations with American Experience

AMERICAN EXPERIENCE hosts monthly recorded conversations with historians and experts going deeper into enduring themes across our films. Our shared experience today is based on our shared history. These conversations seek to illuminate hidden or less understood history still playing out in today’s America, and advance the conversation to bring us towards a more perfect union.

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    The Roots of Anti-Asian Hate in America

    Historian Erica Lee, actor Hoon Lee, and filmmaker Li-Shin Yu speak with executive director of the Center for Asian American Media Stephen Gong about America’s history of discrimination against Asian Americans, and ways that the AAPI community, their allies, and elected officials can work to put an end to racial violence and discrimination.

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    The Power and Resilience of Black Women

    Opera singer Angela Brown and professor Kira Thurman speak with professor Jessica Marie Johnson about the excellence and power of Black women as they navigate and conquer traditionally white spaces and industries.

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    Breaking the Code

    Author Jason Fagone and CODE-EQUAL co-founders Valeria and Kyara Torres-Olivares speak with professor Adriane Lentz-Smith about pioneering women in STEM—from Elizebeth Smith Friedman, to groups like CODE-EQUAL.

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    FDA at Your Dinner Table

    Author Deborah Blum and culinary historian Sarah Lohman speak with “Origin of Everything” host Danielle Bainbridge about the history of food regulations, how industries are regulated today, what role if any the government should play in ensuring a safe food supply chain, and what consumers can do to protect themselves.

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    Myth of Thanksgiving

    Wampanoag historian Linda Coombs and Narragansett Knowledge Keeper Cassius Spears speak with filmmaker Yvonne Russo about the experiences of Native populations at the time of European settlers’ arrival in New England 400 years ago, and what is actually known about the first Thanksgiving.

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    Documenting the Struggle

    Filmmaker Stanley Nelson and American Experience Executive Producer Cameo George discuss three of Nelson's Civil Rights films, how these stories shaped and advanced the ongoing civil rights movement, and how public media can help elevate filmmakers of color in telling diverse stories.

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    Vanguard

    Author Martha Jones and fellow historian Marcia Chatelain discuss the savvy political maneuvering of Black women from the fight for women's suffrage to the present, through the lens of Martha’s book Vanguard: How Black Women Broke Barriers, Won The Vote and Insisted on Equality for all.