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New Letters on the Air: Bonnie and Melvin Tolson

Kansas City poet Bonnie Tolson
Kansas City poet Bonnie Tolson

For the final day of Black History Month, we'll listen to an archive recording of the late Melvin B. Tolson, who was the subject of the recent movie, The Great Debaters. By Angela Elam, host of New Letters on the Air


Kansas City, MO – Born in Moberley, Missouri, Melvin Tolson started Lincoln High School in Kansas City in 1916 where he was the captain of the football team and the class poet. He moved to go away to college, but still has extended family and a legacy here, as you'll discover in this excerpt from our literary program, New Letters on the Air. But first, here's Melvin B. Tolson reading one of his poems.

To hear more of this interview with New Letters on the Air host Angela Elam, visit the New Letters on the Air website.

To listen on your own schedule, subscribe to the New Letters on the Air Podcast.

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