Karsonya Wise Whitehead

Host, Today with Dr Kaye

Karsonya (Kaye) Wise Whitehead is an associate professor of Communication and African and African American Studies at Loyola University Maryland and the award-winning author of Notes from a Colored Girl: The Civil War Pocket Diaries of Emilie Frances Davis; a featured Public Commentator for WYPR and Op-Ed columnist for the Baltimore Sun; a K-12 master teacher in African American History; an award-winning curriculum writer and lesson plan developer; an award-winning former Baltimore City middle school teacher; and, a three-time New York Emmy-nominated documentary filmmaker.

 From 2013-2015, Dr. Whitehead was selected as one of only four experts to participate in the White House's Black History Month Panel co-sponsored by President Obama and the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH) on topics ranging from the Emancipation Proclamation to the president’s policies on women and girls. In 2014, she was one of the featured speakers at the Youth Mentoring Summit at the U.S. Capital in celebration of the 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington. She has received various fellowships and grants to support her work including a 2012 Gilder Lehrman Fellowship in American History, a 2011 Lord Baltimore Fellowship from the Maryland Historical Society, a 2010 NEH Summer Stipend, and a 2007 SREB Pre-Doctoral Fellowship for Maryland (only one doctoral fellowship is awarded per state).

 In February 2016, Dr. Whitehead received the Joan B. Kroc’s Institute for International Peace Studies “Distinguished Alumni” Award for her work as a peace activist, scholar, filmmaker, writer, and poet. In 2016, her book, RaceBrave: new and selected works, was selected by the Baltimore Sun as one of the Top Ten Summer Reads. In 2015 her book, Notes from a Colored Girl, was awarded the Darlene Clark Hine Book Award for Best Book in African American women’s and gender history from the Organization of American Historians (OAH) and in 2014, it received the Letitia Woods Brown Book Award for Best Edited Book in African American History from the Association of Black Women Historians. In addition, Dr. Whitehead was awarded the 2014 Lifetime Achievement Award from the Progressive National Baptist Convention (PNBC); was selected as one of the top 25 women professors in Maryland by Online Schools Maryland; and in 2013, she was the recipient of Loyola University Maryland's Faculty Award for Excellence in Engaged Scholarship for her work documenting the stories of women who are temporarily experiencing homelessness. Whitehead has also received the 2006 Gilder Lehrman Preserve America Maryland History Teacher of the Year Award (sponsored by the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History and the Maryland State Department of Education); was one of fifty alumni to receive the Distinguished Black Alumni Award from the University of Notre Dame, Indiana (2005); and, was a winner of both the Langston Hughes, David Diop, Etheridge Knight Poetry Award (1999, 2000) and the Zora Neale Hurston Creative Writing Award (1998) from the Gwendolyn Brooks Creative Writing Center at the University of Chicago.

Dr. Whitehead has trained over 3000 K-12 teachers throughout the country in how to become culturally responsive teachers in diverse environments. She is the author of several book chapters, articles, opinion editorials, and four books, RaceBrave: new and selected works (2016); Letters to My Black Sons: Raising Boys in a Post-Racial America (2015); the award-winning Notes from a Colored Girl: The Civil War Pocket Diaries of Emilie Frances Davis (2014); Sparking the Genius: The Carter G. Woodson Lecture (2014); and, the co-editor of Rethinking Emilie Frances Davis: Lesson Plans for Teaching her 1863-1865 Pocket Diaries (2014). Her forthcoming book, The Emancipation Proclamation: Race Relations on the Eve of Reconstruction (Routledge) is due out in 2017. She is the creator of the #SayHerName syllabus, the Clinton Syllabus, and the Trump Syllabus K12 Syllabus. She is also the guest editor for the fall 2016 special “#BlackGirlActivism” edition of Meridians journal.

 Prior to her work in academia, Dr. Whitehead was a documentary filmmaker with MetroTV, a PBS-affiliate and a senior producer for Music Television Networks (MTV). In 2001, she directed and produced Twin Towers: A History, a documentary film that describes the technical problems that were overcome, including the challenge to the ironworkers and it recounts the daredevil stunts that the buildings attracted. The film was nominated for a New York-Emmy in 2002 (Dr. Whitehead’s third nomination). It has since become the second-largest selling film about 9/11 and airs regularly on PBS stations around the country.She received her Ph.D. from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County in the Language, Literacy, and Culture program, her M.A. from the University of Notre Dame, Indiana in International Peace Studies, her graduate degree in Advanced Documentary and Narrative Filmmaking from the New York Film Academy, and her B.A. from Lincoln University, PA.

 Dr. Whitehead can be reached by e-mail kewhitehead@loyola.edu, via twitter @kayewhitehead, or at her website www.kayewisewhitehead.com. She lives in Baltimore with her family.

BALTIMORE, MD (WEAA) — The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advisory committee is scheduled to vote Wednesday on the use of Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine for children. 


The Food and Drug Administration recently cleared the expanded use of Pfizer's shots, stating the shots worked as well in those 12 to 15 years old as those 16 and older.


If the CDC approves, states will begin shipping doses of the vaccine to pediatricians and even schools. 


BALTIMORE, MD (WEAA) — Idaho officials say a sixth grade girl brought a gun to her middle school on Thursday and injured 3 people before being disarmed by a teacher. 

According to Jefferson County Sheriff Steve Anderson, the student pulled a handgun from her backpack and fired multiple rounds inside and outside Rigby Middle School. 

“Our children are being exposed right now to another type of world”, says Dr. Kaye. “Who should be held responsible?”


BALTIMORE, MD (WEAA) — Tonya Aikens, President and CEO of Howard County Library System joins Dr. Kaye to discuss how the county is addressing racism, discrimination and racial equity. 

BALTIMORE, MD (WEAA) — Governor Larry Hogan recently commented on the increase in violence in Baltimore City.

The governor said, “The increase of violent crime in Baltimore City is unacceptable. Rather than defunding our police, we need to invest more in law enforcement, pass better laws to hold violent criminals accountable, and we need prosecutors who will actually prosecute those laws”.

Photo credit: @boatwright12

BALTIMORE, MD (WEAA) — Sergeant Clyde Boatwright, President of the Maryland State Fraternal Order of Police joins Dr. Kaye to share his perspective on policing in America. 

“We are not tone-death to what we see on camera and what we see locally here… where our police officers have dishonored the badge and violated members of our community…"


Boatwright also says police have made the profession "so unattractive" that agencies are having trouble keeping and hiring law enforcement officers.


Aisha Flowers particpating in a Black Lives Matter protest weeks after the killing of George Floyd.

BALTIMORE, MD (WEAA) — “This system is not broken, this system is racist, it's built on the foundation of white supremacy and whiteness. This system is unfair. This system is designed to terrorize us, to force us to subdue and submit. This system sees us as property, as less than human. This system is not broken therefore we must break it...” - Dr. Kaye


BALTIMORE, MD (WEAA) —U.S Congressman Kweisi Mfume and former Baltimore Mayor Sheila Dixon join Dr. Kaye and Dean Kim Sydnor for WEAA’s COVID-19: All in This Together series. 


The congressman and former mayor discuss vaccination mandates, herd immunity, the Tuskegee Study, concerns regarding the Johnson & Johnson vaccine and more.


BALTIMORE, MD (WEAA) — Dr. Sharon Henry, Professor of Surgery at University of Maryland School of Medicine joins Dr. Kaye for WEAA’s COVID-19: All in This Together series. 


Dr. Henry was among the first people in Maryland to receive a COVID vaccine. 


Click below to hear the conversation

Photo credit: CNN

BALTIMORE, MD (WEAA) —Ma’Khia Bryant, a 16-year-old Black girl, was fatally shot by a Columbus officer after calling police for help, according to family. 


Family says, Bryant called 911 Tuesday afternoon after a group of “older kids” threatened to assault her. 


Police killed Ma’Khia just as the verdict was being announced in the trial for the killing of George Floyd. 


The teen allegedly had a knife in her hand at the time of the shooting. 


BALTIMORE, MD (WEAA) — As part of WEAA’s COVID-19: All in This Together series, Dr. Kaye talks to health experts and community leaders who share why they believe the vaccine is crucial in stopping the spread of the coronavirus. 

David Satcher, the 16th Surgeon General of the United States and former Secretary for Health in the Department of Health and Human Services, addresses concerns surrounding the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, vaccine passports and discusses additional preventive measures to help slow the spread of the virus. 

BALTIMORE, MD (WEAA) — What does it mean to deal with policing in 2021? 

Following the guilty verdict of Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis police officer charged in the killing of George Floyd, Dr. Kaye holds a conversation about systemic racial injustice in America. 

For the second hour of the show, click here. 

BALTIMORE, MD (WEAA) — Dr. David Wilson, President of Morgan State University and Kim Dobson Sydnor, Dean of the School of Community Health and Policy at MSU, join Dr. Kaye for WEAA’s COVID-19: All in This Together series.


Dean Sydnor and Dr. Wilson discuss the spike in coronavirus infections in Baltimore, the concept of herd immunity and concerns related to the COVID-19 vaccination. 


BALTIMORE, MD (WEAA) — Baltimore City State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby joins Dr. Kaye to address policing in America. 

“What we have to do in this country, is we have to recognize that we have been willfully ignorant to the injustice and the overly dominant policing of ‘Black criminals’...” says Mosby.