Featured Producer: California Newsreel


Charles Johnson 28 min.

This program shows how Charles Johnson, a quintessential multicultural novelist, blends black folk tales, Zen parables, 18th-century picaresque novels, and 20th-century philosophy into storytelling of remarkable vitality. Here, Johnson explains that he explores metaphysical questions against the backdrop of black American life. Oxherding Tales and Middle Passage are odysseys in search of individua...

Formats: DVD Copyright Date: 1994

John Wideman 27 min.

This program focuses on the author of Sent for You Yesterday, Damballah, and Hiding Place, the man who, perhaps better than any other, epitomizes the painful split between middle-class blacks and the black urban underclass. In discussing his Brothers and Keepers-his memoir of a brother now serving a life term in prison-Wideman explores the factors that condemn one man to imprisonment, while anothe...

Formats: DVD Copyright Date: 1994

Alice Walker 32 min.

"Being black, being a woman, and being a writer is just the most wonderful challenge. It's like having three eyes, three hearts, rather than one," says the author of The Color Purple in this profile, as she relives her journey from an impoverished childhood in rural Georgia to the peace and creativity of her present life in northern California. Alice Walker describes how the Civil Rights movement...

Formats: DVD Copyright Date: 1992

August Wilson 22 min.

Filmed on the set of Two Trains Running, one of America's leading playwrights traces his work back to a troubled childhood in a Pittsburgh ghetto. His ongoing project to write a play on African American life set in each decade of the 20th century is one of the most ambitious endeavors in American theatrical history. In this program, he describes his award-winning plays Joe Turner's Come and Gone a...

Formats: DVD Copyright Date: 1992

Gloria Naylor 23 min.

In this program, one of the most astute observers of contemporary African American life discusses the value and difficulty of maintaining an African American identity in a world dominated by whites, urging viewers "to celebrate voraciously that which is yours." The breadth of her vision-from rural South to urban ghetto to the black middle class-is revealed as she reads from The Women of Brewster P...

Formats: DVD Copyright Date: 1992

Toni Morrison 26 min.

This program introduces one of the greatest contemporary American authors: winner of the 1993 Nobel Prize in Literature, "a literary Moses stripping away the idols of whiteness and blackness that have prevented blacks from knowing themselves." Readings from Beloved and Jazz show how she returns to the pain of slavery and segregation to restore wholeness to the black psyche. "The past," Morrison sa...

Formats: DVD Copyright Date: 1992