African American writer, educator, and activist Dr. Maya Angelou is scheduled to host her first-ever public radio program in honor of this year’s Black History Month. The program, called ‘A Black History Month Special’ will be broadcast free of charge on all Public Radio affiliated stations.
Intimate and provocative stories, poems and conversations will illuminate African American history including comedy, film and family life, rounding out the hour with memories of “mother and sister friend,” the late civil rights activist Dorothy Height. The producer of the show is RCW Media Productions.
On comedy Maya Angelou observes, “Often in the black culture it is said, we laughed to keep from crying.” Joined by comedian Chris Rock, they discuss Rock’s childhood in Brooklyn, rise to Saturday Night Live and his view on comedy. As Rock defines the comic currents of our time, Maya Angelou offers historical perspective, reflecting on the 1930’s and 1940’s including Dusty Fletcher’s “Open the Door Richard” and the brilliance of early comedians who literally set the stage for African American comedy.
A film director in her own right of Down in the Delta (1988), Angelou explores African American films with a focus on the work of director Lee Daniels. Daniels and Angelou discuss the success of his movie “Precious” and how work from this filmmaker can impact and change dialogue in American Culture.