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Poet of Bronzeville "The Story of Gwendolyn Brooks


POET OF BRONZEVILLE” The Story of Gwendolyn Brooks

Featuring Oscar Brown Jr., Fred Pinkard and Studs Trekel

Oscar Brown Jr was an original cast member of the series in 1948 performing in about 90% of the shows. He is a native of Chicago and has earned a legendary reputation as a major artist for his work as writer and a performer over a span of more than half a century. He made his professional acting debut at age 15 in a national network radio series called “Secret City” with Studs Terkel. At 21 became the first to broadcast news about “America’s largest minority” at the time with his daily “Negro Newsfront” radio program. He has written several classic Jazz and Blues pieces including the lyrics to “Dat Dere,” Work Song,” “Watermelon Man” and “The Entertainer” (the latter a bittersweet biography of Scott Joplin. He also put music to Ms. Brooks poem called “DeWitt Williams on his way to the Cementary” or “Black Boy” later titled “Elegy”. He will perform this piece for the play.

Studs Terkel is master of the oral interview. He is the author of eight oral histories, including “The Spectator,” “The Good War,” and “Working”. He is also the recipient of a National Humanities Medal and the Pulitzer Prize. He performed in many of the original Destination Freedom broadcasts.

Fred Pinkard is an original cast member of Destination Freedom performing in about 90% of the shows. He still performs in his own one-man show and has appeared on such TV shows as Seinfield.

Gwendolyn Brooks was born in Topeka, Kansas but her family moved to Chicago when she was four. Brooks began rhyming by the age of seven and had her first published poem at the age of thirteen. She became a weekly contributor to the Chicago Defender (one of the nation’s oldest Black newspapers) and then graduated from Wilson Junior College. By the tender age of twenty, her work appeared in two anthologies.

Gwendolyn Brooks won her first major award in 1943 at the Midwestern Writers’ Conference. Among her many other awards most notable are two Guggenheim awards, the National Endowment for the Arts Lifetime Achievement Award and her appointment as Poet Laureate of Illinois. Brooks was the first African American writer to both win the Pulitzer Prize (1950) and to be appointed to the American Academy of Arts and Letters (1976). Some of her writing includes, A Street in Bronzeville, The Bean Eaters, We Real Cool, The Near-Johannesburg Boy and other Poems and many others. We will be speaking to Ms. Brooks after the broadcast.

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  • Model: ISBN-1-931180-14-8
  • 17 Units in Stock

This product was added to our catalog on Saturday 07 August, 2010.

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