playlist

Little-known big history

A collection of histories the textbooks left out ...

  1. 18:13
    David Ikard The real story of Rosa Parks — and why we need to confront myths about Black history

    Black history taught in US schools is often watered-down, riddled with inaccuracies and stripped of its context and rich, full-bodied historical figures. Equipped with the real story of Rosa Parks, professor David Ikard highlights how making the realities of race more benign and digestible harms us all — and emphasizes the power and importance of historical accuracy.

  2. 17:33
    Elizabeth Lev The unheard story of the Sistine Chapel

    The Sistine Chapel is one of the most iconic buildings on earth — but there's a lot you probably don't know about it. In this tour-de-force talk, art historian Elizabeth Lev guides us across the famous building's ceiling and Michelangelo's vital depiction of traditional stories, showing how the painter reached beyond the religious iconography of the time to chart new artistic waters. Five hundred years after the artist painted it, says Lev, the Sistine Chapel forces us to look around as if it were a mirror and ask, "Who am I, and what role do I play in this great theater of life?"

  3. 6:50
    Stephen DeBerry Why the "wrong side of the tracks" is usually the east side of cities

    What do communities on the social, economic and environmental margins have in common? For one thing, they tend to be on the east sides of cities. In this short talk about a surprising insight, anthropologist and venture capitalist Stephen DeBerry explains how both environmental and man-made factors have led to disparity by design in cities from East Palo Alto, California to East Jerusalem and beyond — and suggests some elegant solutions to fix it.

  4. 14:26
    Douglas Thomas How a typeface helped launch Apollo

    When humanity first landed on the moon in 1969, the typeface Futura was right there with them. In this fascinating history of typography, designer Douglas Thomas shares Futura's role in launching the Apollo 11 spacecraft — and how it became one of the most used fonts in the world.

  5. 13:48
    Steve Silberman The forgotten history of autism

    Decades ago, few pediatricians had heard of autism. In 1975, 1 in 5,000 kids was estimated to have it. Today, 1 in 68 is on the autism spectrum. What caused this steep rise? Steve Silberman points to “a perfect storm of autism awareness” — a pair of psychologists with an accepting view, an unexpected pop culture moment and a new clinical test. But to really understand, we have to go back further to an Austrian doctor by the name of Hans Asperger, who published a pioneering paper in 1944. Because it was buried in time, autism has been shrouded in misunderstanding ever since. (This talk was part of a TED2015 session curated by Pop-Up Magazine: popupmagazine.com or @popupmag on Twitter.)

  6. 13:17
    T. Morgan Dixon and Vanessa Garrison The most powerful woman you've never heard of

    Everyone's heard of Martin Luther King Jr. But do you know the woman Dr. King called "the architect of the civil rights movement," Septima Clark? The teacher of some of the generation's most legendary activists — like Rosa Parks, Diane Nash, Fannie Lou Hamer and thousands more — Clark laid out a blueprint for change-making that has stood the test of time. Now T. Morgan Dixon and Vanessa Garrison, the cofounders of GirlTrek, are taking a page from Clark's playbook to launch a health revolution in the US — and get one million women walking for justice. (This ambitious idea is part of the Audacious Project, TED's initiative to inspire and fund global change.)

  7. 11:00
    Amy Padnani How we're honoring people overlooked by history

    Since its founding in 1851, the "New York Times" has published thousands of obituaries — for heads of state, famous celebrities, even the inventor of the sock puppet. But only a small percentage of them chronicle the lives of women and people of color. In this insightful talk, "Times" editor Amy Padnani shares the story behind "Overlooked," the project she's leading to recognize people from history whose deaths were ignored — and refocus society's lens on who is considered important.

  8. 4:36
    Camille A. Brown A visual history of social dance in 25 moves

    Why do we dance? African-American social dances started as a way for enslaved Africans to keep cultural traditions alive and retain a sense of inner freedom. They remain an affirmation of identity and independence. In this electric demonstration, packed with live performances, choreographer, educator and TED Fellow Camille A. Brown explores what happens when communities let loose and express themselves by dancing together.

  9. 17:42
    Yoruba Richen What the gay rights movement learned from the civil rights movement

    As a member of both the African American and LGBT communities, filmmaker Yoruba Richen is fascinated with the overlaps and tensions between the gay rights and the civil rights movements. She explores how the two struggles intertwine and propel each other forward — and, in an unmissable argument, she dispels a myth about their points of conflict. A powerful reminder that we all have a stake in equality.

  10. 14:00
    Cheyenne Cochrane A celebration of natural hair

    Cheyenne Cochrane explores the role that hair texture has played in the history of being black in America — from the heat straightening products of the post-Civil War era to the thousands of women today who have decided to stop chasing a conventional beauty standard and start embracing their natural hair. "This is about more than a hairstyle," Cochrane says. "It's about being brave enough not to fold under the pressure of others' expectations."

  11. 13:15
    Alexander MacDonald How centuries of sci-fi sparked spaceflight

    Long before we had rocket scientists, the idea of spaceflight traveled from mind to mind across generations. With great visuals, TED Fellow and NASA economist Alexander MacDonald shows how 300 years of sci-fi tales — from Edgar Allan Poe to Jules Verne to H.G. Wells and beyond — sparked a culture of space exploration. A fascinating look at how stories become reality, featuring a goose machine sent to the Moon.

  12. 12:01
    Kelly Richmond Pope How whistle-blowers shape history

    Fraud researcher and documentary filmmaker Kelly Richmond Pope shares lessons from some of the most high-profile whistle-blowers of the past, explaining how they've shared information that has shaped society — and why they need our trust and protection.

  13. 22:40
    Leah Chase and Pat Mitchell An interview with the Queen of Creole Cuisine

    Leah Chase's New Orleans restaurant Dooky Chase changed the course of American history over gumbo and fried chicken. During the civil rights movement, it was a place where white and black people came together, where activists planned protests and where the police entered but did not disturb — and it continues to operate in the same spirit today. In conversation with TEDWomen Curator Pat Mitchell, the 94-year old Queen of Creole Cuisine shares her wisdom from a lifetime of activism, speaking up and cooking.

  14. 10:40
    Amma Y. Ghartey-Tagoe Kootin A historical musical that examines black identity in the 1901 World's Fair

    In this lively talk and performance, artist and TED Fellow Amma Y. Ghartey-Tagoe Kootin offers a sneak peek of her forthcoming musical "At Buffalo." Drawing on archival material from the 1901 Pan-American Exhibition, a world's fair held in Buffalo, New York, the show examines conflicting representations of black identity exhibited at the fair — highlighting unsettlingly familiar parallels between American society at the turn of the century and today, and asking: Are we all still part of the show?

  15. 8:48
    Lauren Sallan A brief tour of the last 4 billion years (dinosaurs not included)

    In this hilarious, whirlwind tour of the last four billion years of evolution, paleontologist and TED Fellow Lauren Sallan introduces us to some of the wildly diverse animals that roamed the prehistoric planet (from sharks with wings to galloping crocodiles and long-necked rhinos) and shows why paleontology is about way more than dinosaurs.