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About Catherine Ellis
Catherine Ellis is a producer for American RadioWorks®, the documentary unit of American Public Media. She lives in Arlington, Massachusetts.
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In “full-throated public oratory, the kind that can stir the soul”, Say It Plain collected and transcribed speeches by some of the twentieth century’s leading African American cultural, literary, and political figures. Many of the speeches were never before available in printed form (Minneapolis Star-Tribune).
Following the success of that groundbreaking volume, the Say It Loud! book adds new depth to the history of the modern struggle for racial equality and civil rights—focusing directly on the pivotal questions black America grappled with during the past four decades of resistance. With recordings unearthed from libraries and sound archives, and made widely available here for the first time, Say It Loud! includes powerful speeches by Malcolm X, Angela Davis, Martin Luther King Jr., James H. Cone, Toni Morrison, Colin Powell, and many others.
Bringing the rich immediacy of the spoken word to a vital historical and intellectual tradition, Say It Loud! illuminates the diversity of ideas and arguments pulsing through the black freedom movement.
A stunning collection of previously unpublished interviews with key figures of the black freedom struggle by the Pulitzer Prize–winning author
In 1964, in the height of the civil rights movement of the 1960s, Pulitzer Prize–winning author and poet Robert Penn Warren set out with a tape recorder to interview leaders of the black freedom struggle. He spoke at length with luminaries such as James Baldwin, Martin Luther King Jr., Stokely Carmichael, Ralph Ellison, and Roy Wilkins, eliciting reflections and frank assessments of race in America and the possibilities for meaningful change. In Harlem, a fifteen-minute appointment with Malcolm X unwound into several hours of vivid conversation.
A year later, Penn Warren would publish Who Speaks for the Negro?, a probing narrative account of these conversations that blended his own reflections with brief excerpts and quotations from his interviews. Astonishingly, the full extent of the interviews remained in the background and were never published. The audiotapes stayed largely unknown until recent years. Free All Along brings to life the vital historic voices of America's civil rights generation, including writers, political activists, religious leaders, and intellectuals.
A major contribution to our understanding of the struggle for justice and equality, these remarkable long-form interviews are presented here as original documents that have pressing relevance today.