Randall Kennedy is a Harvard Law professor. His new book, Nigger: The Strange Career of a Troublesome Word (Pantheon Books) is based on a series of classroom lectures he prepared exploring the history and use of the word "nigger." He found the word in literature, political debates, cartoons and songs. And he explores the use of the word from a hateful slur to a term of endearment. Kennedy is a Rhodes Scholar and he served as a law clerk to Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall. Kennedy also the author of Race, Crime and the Law.
Comedian Chris Rock. His HBO show "The Chris Rock Show" just won an Emmy for writing for a Variety or Music Program. Rock grew up in Brooklyn. He got his start in show business performing stand-up comedy routines in Manhattan. He spent three years on "Saturday Night Live" and appeared in a few films, including the recent "Beverly Hills Ninja." (REBROADCAST from 2/6/97)
Actress and Comedian Whoopi Goldberg. She's just written "Book," (Rob Weisbach Books) a collection of life observations, insights, and Whoopi-isms in 25 vignettes. Goldberg received a Grammy for 1985's Best Comedy Album, as well as an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress in 1990.
Richburg is the Hong Kong bureau chief for the "Washington Post," the paper's former Africa bureau chief, and has won awards for his reporting, including being selected as a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. In his new book "Out of America," he reflects on his three years experience in Africa and questions the connections made between the identity of African-Americans and their African roots.
Rock is 26 years-old and grew up in Brooklyn. He got his start in show business performing stand-up comedy routines in Manhattan. He spent three years on "Saturday Night Live" and appeared in a few films, including the recent "Beverly Hills Ninja." He has a new comedy and talk-show series, "The Chris Rock Show," premiering February 7 on HBO.
Author and daughter of Jackie Robinson, Sharon Robinson. Her new book is "Stealing Home: An Intimate Family Portrait by the Daughter of Jackie Robinson" (Harper Collins). She grew up highly privileged in a comfortable Connecticut suburb in the 1950s. Despite the celebrity of her father, Robinson was not immune to racism and was often conflicted over her father's role in the civil rights movement. The book traces Robinson's search for her own success and identity.
Los Angeles prosecutor Christopher Darden. He'd been a Deputy District Attorney with the Los Angeles County District Attorney's office for fifteen years before being selected to be on the team that prosecuted O.J. Simpson. He's written his memoir, "In Contempt," (Regan Books, written with Jess Walter.