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.
In his book, The Sword and the Shield: The Revolutionary Lives of Malcolm X and Martin Luther King Jr., Peniel Joseph braids together the lives of the two civil rights leaders. He says that King and Malcolm X had "convergent visions" for Black America — but their strategies for how to reach the goal was informed by their different upbringings.
In his new book, It Was All a Lie: How the Republican Party Became Donald Trump, Stuart Stevens argues that the party's support for Trump isn't just a pragmatic choice. Instead, he says, it reflects the party's complete abandonment of principles it long claimed to embrace, such as fiscal restraint, personal responsibility and family values.