December 22, 2017

Credit: Alistair Grant / AP Images

“The past is never dead. It's not even past.” 

This week on Innovation Hub, we prove Faulkner right. We’ve got stories about how history still affects our daily lives, in a myriad of different ways.

We start by taking a look at the origin of the debates over human rights. The Declaration of Independence’s second paragraph begins with the immortal phrase: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” But when did those rights become self-evident? According to historian Lynn Hunt, the very concept of human rights wasn’t really talked about until the 18th century. She explains how the idea sprung into being, and why we’re constantly changing our definition of equality.

Then, our own histories of trauma can affect our health today. Vincent Felitti is a doctor whose research has shown that patients who experienced childhood trauma were more likely to be sick when they grew up. He tells us how clinicians can use Adverse Childhood Experience scores to help people get better.

And finally, a newspaper that changed America. Journalist and author Ethan Michaeli traces the rise of The Chicago Defender, a legendary black newspaper that began in 1905. From the Great Migration, to the desegregation of the military, to the rise of Barack Obama, we’ll learn how it reinvented American life. Also, as we promised in the show, here are some photos taken by Bobby Sengstacke, a photojournalist and the last Sengstacke to edit The Defender.

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