Sister Souljah (the rap singer denounced by President Clinton for remarks she allegedly made following the LA riots) has written a memoir titled "No Disrespect" which chronicles her early life in a Bronx housing project. She tells Steve Paulson that it felt like a war zone. Also, Henry Louis Gates, chairman of Afro-American Studies at Harvard and one of the country's foremost Black academics, tells Judith Strasser about growing up in Piedmont, West Virginia, at the end of segregation.SEGMENT 2:
We hear brief excerpts from interviews with two African- American writers heard recently on TO THE BEST OF OUR KNOWLEDGE: John Edgar Wideman, author of the memoir "Fatheralong," and Nathan McCall, author of "Makes Me Wanna Holler." Also, Craig Werner, who teaches Afro-American Studies at the University of Wisconsin in Madison, talks with Margaret Andreasen about the popularity and variety of Black autobiography.SEGMENT 3:
Supreme Court Justice Hugo Black was the driving force behind the landmark Brown v. Board of Education decision that desegregated American schools. Yet earlier in his life, Black was a member of the Ku Klux Klan and a powerbroker in Alabama's ole boy network. Black's biographer, Roger Newman, tells Jim Fleming how he reconciles the apparent contradictions in his subject.For cassette copies of this hour, call 1-800-747-7444, and ask for program number 2-5-A.
Theodore X. Barber is director of the Research Institute for Interdisciplinary Science, and the author of "The Human Nature of Birds." He tells Jim Fleming that bird intelligence and communication is seriously under-appreciated.SEGMENT 2:
Paleontologist Mark Norell tells Margaret Andreasen why the dinosaur egg he found in the Gobi Desert supports the claim that birds are the descendents of dinosaurs. It seems T-Rex and turkeys have more in common than either one does with any other animal. Norell is associate curator of vertebrate paleontology at the American Museum of Natural History. Also, our feathered friends are still evolving -- Jonathan Weiner, author of "The Beak of the Finch: A Story of Evolution in Our Time," tells Steve Paulson about Peter and Rosemary Grant, whose work with the finches that made Darwin famous is the focus of Weiner's book.SEGMENT 3:
Peter Matthiessen's nature writing combines natural science with spiritual pilgrimage. He tells Steve Paulson about his latest project, which concerns rare and endangered cranes. Matthiessen's classic work in the nature-writing genre is "The Snow Leopard."For cassette copies of this hour, call 1-800-747-7444, and ask for program number 11-27-B.
Music historian Peter Guralnick profiles the young Elvis in his book "Last Train to Memphis." He tells Steve Paulson that Elvis Presley was a sweet, shy Southern kid who reinvented himself as a teenager and had a unique musical talent.SEGMENT 2:
Music critic and media producer Martha Bayles tells Judith Strasser that she thinks today's popular music is basically soulless and degenerate. Given a taste of Nine Inch Nails, Jim Fleming's inclined to agree. Bayles makes her case in a book called "Hole in Our Soul." On the other side, historian Tricia Rose thinks popular music is thriving. She's written "Black Noise," about the music that she tells Steve Paulson captures the essence of post-industrial urban culture.SEGMENT 3:
William Bunch hit the road in search of the perfect jukebox before this icon of America disappears forever. He tells Jim Fleming that he found it - in Detroit.For cassette copies of this hour, call 1-800-747-7444, and ask for program number 1-8-C.