Art & Politics Topics

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  • Amiri-baraka1
    Watch this online-only extended interview on the life and legacy of Amiri Baraka, the poet, playwright and political organizer who died Thursday at the age of 79. We talk to four of his friends and play some of Amiri Baraka in his own words. [includes rush transcript]
    January 10, 2014 | Web Exclusive
  • Amiri-baraka
    We spend the hour looking at the life and legacy of Amiri Baraka, the poet, playwright and political organizer who died Thursday at the age of 79. Baraka was a leading force in the Black Arts Movement of the 1960s and 1970s. In 1963 he published "Blues People: Negro Music in White America," known as the first major history of black music to be written by an African American. A year later he published a collection of poetry titled...
    January 10, 2014 | Story
  • Belafonte
    Singer, actor and civil rights activist Harry Belafonte opened Wednesday’s inauguration for New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio. "Changing the stop-and-frisk law is — as important as it is, the change of a law is only the tip of the iceberg in fixing our deeply Dickensian justice system," Belafonte said. "Bill de Blasio has been overwhelmingly mandated to make many, who for much too long danced with despair, believe...
    January 02, 2014 | Story
  • Bread_and_puppet
    This year marks the 50th anniversary of one of this country’s most beloved theater companies. Founded in New York City in 1963, the Bread and Puppet Theater’s first productions ranged from puppet shows for children to pieces opposing poor housing conditions. The group’s processions, involving monstrous puppets, some about 20 feet high, became a fixture of protests against the Vietnam War. "We don’t have playwrights...
    December 26, 2013 | Story
  • Gondry-amy
    After our interview with Michel Gondry about his new film, "Is The Man Who Is Tall Happy?" featuring Noam Chomsky, the French filmmaker quickly drew an illustration of Amy Goodman. Watch Gondry in action.
    December 03, 2013 | Web Exclusive
  • Shchiffrin
    André Schiffrin, a leading figure in the book publishing world for nearly 50 years, has died at age 78. Watch our 2007 interview with the former editor in chief of Pantheon Books, and founder of the nonprofit publishing house, The New Press.
    December 02, 2013 | Web Exclusive
  • Obama-turkey-pardon
    As President Obama continued a recent tradition of granting a presidential pardon to a pair of turkeys just ahead of Thanksgiving, critics pointed out that he has shown less mercy toward human beings deserving of clemency. Despite the administration’s recent talk of reforming the criminal justice system, Obama has granted the fewest pardons of any modern president. During his presidency, Obama has pardoned 10 turkeys, while he has...
    December 02, 2013 | Story
  • Harburg
    His name might not be familiar to many, but his songs are sung by millions around the world. Today, we take a journey through the life and work of Yip Harburg, the Broadway lyricist who wrote such hits as "Brother, Can You Spare a Dime?" and who put the music into The Wizard of Oz. Born into poverty on the Lower East Side of Manhattan, Harburg always included a strong social and political component to his work, fighting racism and...
    November 28, 2013 | Story
  • Questlove
    On the heels of last month’s historic ruling declaring the "stop-and-frisk" tactics of the New York City Police Department unconstitutional, Ahmir "Questlove" Thompson of the Grammy Award-winning band The Roots joins us to talk about his own experiences being repeatedly racially profiled by police. He describes the first time he was harassed by police, as a young teenager in Philadelphia on his way to Bible study, to...
    September 02, 2013 | Story
  • Willie_nelson-2
    Country music legend Willie Nelson turns 80 years old today. Last night he performed a benefit birthday concert in Austin to raise money for the fire department of West, Texas — the town devastated by a fertilizer plant explosion that killed 14 people earlier this month. Nelson was born just a few miles away in Abbott, Texas, in 1933. In addition to being one of the most celebrated country musicians, Nelson has been politically active...
    April 29, 2013 | Story