Best known for being the man behind Madea, Perry recently starred in the action thriller Alex Cross which is now out on DVD. We listen back to an October interview, in which he told Fresh Air's Terry Gross that his Madea character is a cross between his mom, his aunt and Eddie Murphy.
In 1951, Henrietta Lacks died after a long battle with cervical cancer. Doctors cultured her cells without permission from her family. The story of those cells and of the medical advances that came from them, is told in Rebecca Skloot's book, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks.
Last year, Gates uncovered a manuscript of a novel purportedly written in the 1850s by an African American woman who had been a slave. It is the first known work of its kind and has great historical and literary significance. The Bondwomans Narrative by Hannah Crafts, edited by Henry Louis Gates, has just been published (Warner Books). Well talk with Gates about the process of finding, authenticating and publishing the novel. Gates is the W.E.B. DuBois Professor of Humanities and chair of the Department of African-American Studies at Harvard University.
Writer Alice Randall is the author of the controversial new parody of Gone with the Wind. Her book The Wind Done Gone (Houghton Mifflin). Randall retells the story of the antebellum South from the viewpoint of Cynara, a beautiful illegitimate mulatto woman, the daughter of a plantation-owning father, and a slave mother.