From James Baldwin and Maya Angelou to Toni Morrison and Ta-Nehisi Coates, this collection includes a host of America's most celebrated black authors speaking candidly about how race and racism inform their writing.
Legendary writer James Baldwin is the author of modern classics such as "Notes of a Native Son," "Tell Me How Long the Train's Been Gone," and "Go Tell It On the Mountain." Here, Baldwin delivers a lecture and has a "rap" session with students at an event at Lehigh University.
In the author's latest novel, The Devil in Silver, a man is mistakenly committed to a mental hospital where a buffalo-headed monster stalks patients at night. LaValle tells Fresh Air why he picked monsters, about his family history of mental illness and how he had his own brush with psychological problems.
Writer Maya Angelou's newest installment in her series of autobiographical books, called All God's Children Need Traveling Shoes, has just been published. She returns to Fresh Air to talk about the influence her childhood had on her life and career.
Poet Maya Angelou has written a new memoir which details her relationship with her son while she worked as a singer and civil rights activist. She discusses the impact of prominent African American leaders like Billie Holiday, Martin Luther King, Jr., and Malcom X had on her personally and intellectually.
Merchant co-created the British Office and Extras with Ricky Gervais. His new show, The Outlaws, is about people court-ordered to do community service for low-level crimes. He spoke with producer Sam Briger about what inspired the new series, his best writing advice, and how being very tall (6'7") has informed his personality.