To mark today’s celebration of the life and work of Martin Luther King, Jr., the B&N Podcast is featuring recent episodes which explore and celebrate African-American history and America’s struggles for equality.
Ta-Nehisi Coates on We Were Eight Years in Power
Ta-Nehisi Coates talks with us about his new book, We Were Eight Years in Power: An American Tragedy. Knitting together some of the most vital essays the author has published over the past decade — including a profile of President Barack Obama, a searing indictment of destruction of the black family via the justice system, and Coates’s landmark “The Case for Reparations,” We Were Eight Years in Power takes readers along with Coates into a deep consideration of nothing less urgent than the fate of the nation.
Colson Whitehead on The Underground Railroad
In this in-depth conversation, Colson Whitehead talks with Miwa Messer about his dedication to writing from the point of view of “outsiders” and how his award-winning bestseller — and 2016 Oprah’s Book Club pick — The Underground Railroad went from idea to the page.
Yaa Gyaasi on Homegoing
Yaa Gyasi’s sweeping novel Homegoing begins with the divergent fates of two half-sisters in 18th Century Ghana, and weaves in the stories of their descendants across eight generations and three hundred years of history. The author talks with Miwa Messer about how a visit to a slave-trading castle on the West African coast inspired her ambitious and critically acclaimed debut.
Imbolo Mbue on Behold the Dreamers
For the novelist Imbolo Mbue, a scene glimpsed as she strolled through a bustling New York City neighborhood offered the inspiration for her first novel. Six years later, her novel Behold the Dreamers was tapped as the latest Oprah’s Book Club pick. In this episode the Cameroonian-American author talks with Bill Tipper about how her moving, timely tale of two very different families was born.
Kevin Young on Bunk
The poet and essayist Kevin Young joined us to talk about his new book Bunk: the Rise of Hoaxes, Humbug, Plagiarists, Phonies, Post-Facts and Fake News on the history of hoax and fraud — and how, in America, the most memorable of those seem inevitably tied up with our myths about race.
Jesmyn Ward on Sing, Unburied, Sing
Jesmyn Ward’s writing marries a devastating realism with a unique sensitivity to the long echoes of violence and trauma.Her 2017 National Book Award-winning Sing, Unburied, Sing nods to William Faulkner and Toni Morrison with a tale of addiction, imprisonment, love and struggle — told by the living, the dying and by ghosts. Miwa Messer talks with Jesmyn Ward about her electric fiction and the lived experience behind it.
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