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Live From the Vault: Rare Recordings of James Baldwin

Nina Revoyr and Melvin L. Rogers
In Conversation With Brian DeShazor, Host of From the Vault, KPFK 90.7 FM
Thursday, July 14, 2016
Episode Summary

Join us for a live broadcast (on KPFK 90.7 FM) dedicated to the voice of the author and civil rights activist James Baldwin. Brian DeShazor, host of From the Vault radio program, will air rare recordings of Baldwin from 1963-1968, including an oration called the Artist’s Struggle for Integrity, a reading from Giovanni’s Room; Baldwin’s fiery speech after the murder of four girls in Birmingham, Alabama; and his introduction of Dr. Martin Luther King (taped in the home of Marlon Brando) weeks before King’s assassination. DeShazor is joined by two writers who’ve thought deeply about Baldwin’s work—novelist Nina Revoyr and Melvin L. Rogers, Associate Professor of Political Science and African-American Studies at UCLA—to reflect on Baldwin’s impact on literature and society.

Co-presented with Pacifica Archives

Participant(s) Bio

Nina Revoyr is the author of five novels, including The Age of Dreaming, a finalist for the 2008 Los Angeles Times Book Prize; Wingshooters, winner of an Indie Booksellers’ Choice Award, one of O: Oprah Magazine’s “Books to Watch For,” and a Booklist Editors’ Choice for 2011; and Southland, which was a Los Angeles Times "Best Book" of 2003 and was recently named by the LAist as one of "20 Novels That Dared to Define a Different Los Angeles." Her most recent novel, Lost Canyon, was described by Booklist as “a gripping tale of unintended adventure and profound transformation” and was one of the San Francisco Chronicle’s "Recommended Reads" for 2015. She is also co-editor, with poet X.J. Kennedy and poet and former National Endowment for the Arts Chairman Dana Gioia, of the college textbook Literature for Life: A Thematic Introduction to Reading and Writing. Revoyr is the executive vice president and chief operating officer of a large nonprofit organization serving children affected by violence and poverty in Central and South Los Angeles. She has been a Visiting Professor at Cornell University, Occidental College, and Pitzer College, and an Associate Faculty member at Antioch University, where she has taught a seminar on James Baldwin.

Melvin L. Rogers is the Scott Waugh Chair in the Division of the Social Sciences and Associate Professor of African American Studies and Political Science at UCLA. He is the author of The Undiscovered Dewey: Religion, Morality and the Ethos of Democracy as well as editor and contributor to John Dewey, The Public and Its Problems (forthcoming in 2016). He has published numerous scholarly articles in such places as American Political Science Review, Political Theory, European Journal of Political Theory, Boston Review, and Dissent. Presently he is at work on a project titled Democracy and Faith: Race and the Politics of Redemption in American Political Thought as well as a co-editing (with Jack Turner) a volume titled African American Political Thought: A Collected History.

Brian DeShazor, former Director of the Pacifica Radio Archives and award-winning radio broadcaster, is host/producer of From the Vault, now in its 10th season on the Pacifica network. Brian is a champion of public radio as a historic medium to be preserved and made publicly accessible and has been recognized for his work by the National Archives, the Library of Congress’s National Recording Preservation Board, the National Radio Preservation Task Force, and the American Archive of Public Broadcasting. In 2010 he received the Bader lifetime achievement award from the National Federation of Community Broadcasters. His over 700 radio productions include: John Hersey’s Hiroshima with Tyne Daly and Ruby Dee and The Quentin Crisp Memorial.