Skip to main content
Michigan State University

African American Studies Research Guide: Left of Black

Left of Black Series

The Left of Black series features weekly interviews with news makers and authorities related to the African American experience in the United States.  The show is taped on Tuesday afternoons and broadcast the following Monday at 1:30 via  UStream . The shows are then archived on Tumblr.  Also check Twitter and Facebook.   

NewBlackman : another blog by Mark Anthony Neal.

Season 1, Episodes, 1-25

Left of Black : Episode 1 (9/13/10).  Host and Duke University Professor Mark Anthony Neal from Duke University's Franklin Hope Center talks with Zelda Lockhart and Stephane Dunn.   Author Zelda Lockhart joins ‘Left of Black’ to discuss her new book ‘Fifth Born II: The One Hundredth Turtle’ and how the issues of homosexuality, violence and shame affect Black communities. Lockhart also discusses her decision to publish independently.  theLoop21.com columnist and Morehouse College professor Stephane Dunn discusses her recent essay ‘When Mega Churchin’ Fails’ and the new ESPN 30 by 30 documentary ‘One Night in Vegas.’

Left of Black : Episode 2 (9/27/10).  Host and Duke University Professor Mark Anthony Neal from Duke University's Franklin Hope Center talks with Joshua Bennett about his spoken word poetry.  Also see Ten Things I Want to Say to a Black Woman.  Brave New Voices slam champion Joshua Bennett performs "Tamaraʼs Opus" at the White House Evening of Poetry, Music, and the Spoken Word on May 12, 2009.

Left of Black : Episode 3 (10/4/10). Host Mark Anthony Neal discusses Sexual Predators with University of Pennsylvania Professor Salamishah Tillet & Florida State University Professor David Ikard. Professor Tillet is Founder of A Long Walk Home, a non-profit organization that uses art therapy and the visual and performance arts to document, to educate and to bring about social change. Professor Ikard is the author of Breaking the Silence: Toward a Black Male Feminist Criticism.

Left of Black : Episode 4 (10/11/10).  Host and Duke University Professor Mark Anthony Neal from Duke University's Franklin Hope Center talks with guests Shayne Lee and Treva Lindsey about what it means to be sex positive.  Professor Lee is the author of three books including Erotic Revolutionaries: Black Women, Sexuality and Popular Culture.  Professor Lindsey's research and teaching interests include U.S. women's history, black popular culture, black feminism, critical race  and gender theory, and African diaspora studies. She blogs at The Diva Feminist.

Left of Black : Episode 5 (10/18/10).  Left of Black host and Duke University Professor Mark Anthony Neal is joined by Wayne State University Historian Danielle McGuire, the author of At the Dark End of the Street: Black Women, Rape, and Resistance -- A New History of the Civil Rights Movement from Rosa Parks to the Rise of Black Power.  Neal also talks with Morehouse College English Professor Stephane Dunn about the recent Vibe Magazine article 'The Mean Girls of Morehouse." Dunn is a regular contributor to theLoop21.com and the author of Baad Bitches and Sassy Supermamas: Black Power Action Films.

Left of Black : Episode 6 (10/25/10). Left of Black host and Duke University Professor Mark Anthony Neal is joined by Bucknell University Professor James Braxton Peterson in a discussion of the legacy of the Million Man March, The Morehouse College dress code, homophobia and bullying, and Hip-Hop Masculinity. Neal also talks with former Baltimore Sun music critic and current pop culture critic for The Virginian Pilot and Jet Magazine Rashod Ollison about the current state of R&B Music and the career of Prince.

Left of Black : Episode 7 (11/01/10).  Left of Black host and Duke University Professor Mark Anthony Neal discusses the mid-term elections and NPR's firing of Juan Williams with journalist Farai Chideya, founder and managing editor of Pop & Politics and former host of NPR's News & Notes. Neal is also joined by Cathy J. Cohen, the David and Mary Winton Green Professor of Political Science at the University of Chicago and author of the new book Democracy Remixed: Black Youth and the Future of American Politics. Cohen is also the author of The Boundaries of Blackness: AIDS and the Breakdown of Black Politics (1999).

Left of Black : Episode 8 (11/08/10).  Left of Black host and Duke University Professor Mark Anthony Neal has a wide ranging conversation with economist and sports talk host, Bomani Jones about the branding of Lebron James, the lack of interest in baseball by African-American youth, the proposed "All-White" basketball league and the travails of rap artist T.I.   Neal is also joined by Nathaniel Friedman aka Bethlehem Shoals, founder of the popular website Freedarko.com  Bomani Jones is the host of ‘The Morning Jones" on Sirrus Channel 98 and a former columnist for ESPN’s Page2.  Nathaniel Friedman is the co-author of FreeDarko Presents: The Undisputed Guide to Pro Basketball History.

Left of Black : Episode 9 (11/15/10).  Host and Duke University Professor Mark Anthony Neal discusses the controversy over Tyler Perry’s big screen adaptation of Ntozake Shange’s For Colored Girls and growing up in the Bronx, New York with writers Joan Morgan and Sofia Quintero.  Joan Morgan is the author of When Chickenheads Come Home to Roost: My Life as a Hip Hop Feminist and a founding contributor to Vibe Magazine. Sofia Quintero is the author of several novels including Explicit Content, Picture Me Rollin’ and most recently, Efrain’s Secret, her first young adult novel.

Left of Black : Episode 10 (11/22/10).  Host and Duke University Professor Mark Anthony Neal talks with William Jelani Cobb about his new book, The Substance of Hope : Barack Obama and the paradox of progress. Mark also speaks with spoken word artist, Bassey Ikpi about her twitter presence.  Cobb is Professor of History and Africana Studies at Rutgers University and the author of To The Break of Dawn: A Freestyle on the Hip Hop Aesthetic and The Devil and Dave Chappelle and Other Essays. The Nigerian born Ikpi, is a Washington, D.C. based mental health advocate and writer who blogs at http://basseyworld.tumblr.com/.

Left of Black : Episode 11 (11/29/10).  Host and Duke University Professor Mark Anthony Neal is on location at the Nasher Museum of Art in Durham, NC with curator Trevor Schoonmaker, who curated The Record: Contemporary Art and Vinyl, which runs at the Nasher Museum until February. Schoonmaker’s previous exhibitions at the Nasher Museum include Barkley L. Hendricks: Birth of the Cool (2008-10) and Street Level: Mark Bradford, William Cordova and Robin Rhode (2007-08). Prior to joining the Nasher Museum his exhibitions included The Beautiful Game: Contemporary Art and Fútbol (2006), DTroit (2003-04), and Black President: The Art and Legacy of Fela Anikulapo-Kuti (2003-05). He edited the book Fela: From West Africa to West Broadway.

Left of Black : Episode 12 (12/06/10).  Host and Duke University Professor Mark Anthony Neal discusses the crisis of Black Males and schooling, the de-skilling of the American Work-force and Social Media with Columbia University Professor Marc Lamont Hill. Neal is also joined by University of Pennsylvania Professor Salamishah Tillet as they discuss the career of Kanye West, the impact of Nicki Minaj and definitions of musical genius. Marc Lamont Hill is Associate Professor of Education at Columbia University. A regular contributor to Fox News and CNN, Hill is the author of Beats, Rhymes, and Classroom Life: Hip-Hop Pedagogy and the Politics of Identity. Salamishah Tillet is Assistant Professor of English at the University of Pennsylvania and the author of the forthcoming Sites of Slavery: Citizenship and Racial Democracy in the Post–Civil Rights Imagination (Duke University Press). Tillet is also Founder of A Long Walk Home, a non-profit organization and a regular contributor to The Root.com.

Left of Black : Episode 13 (12/13/10).  Host and Duke University Professor Mark Anthony Neal is joined by Professor Khalil Gibran Muhammad, the next director of the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture in Harlem and Sociologist Ben Carrington, author of the just published Race, Sports and Politics: The Sporting Black Diaspora.  Khalil Gibran Muhammad is Assistant Professor of History at Indiana University. He is the author of The Condemnation of Blackness : Race, Crime, and the Making of Modern Urban America (Harvard University Press) and will become the Director of the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture in July of 2011. Ben Carrington is Associate Professor of Sociology at the University of Texas at Austin where he teaches courses on the Sociology of Race, Sport and Popular Culture.

Left of Black : Episode 14 (12/20/10). Host and Duke University Professor Mark Anthony Neal is joined by composer T. J. Anderson and Queer media activist and writer Alexis Pauline Gumbs on location at the Beyu Caffe in Durham, NC.  T.J. Anderson is one of the leading composers of his generation. Born in 1928 Anderson received a Ph.D in Composition from the University of Iowa. After serving as Chairman of the Department of Music at Tufts University for eight years, Thomas Jefferson Anderson became Austin Fletcher Professor of Music and in 1990 became Austin Fletcher Professor of Music Emeritus. He now lives in Chapel Hill, North Carolina where he devotes full time to writing music.  A Self-Described "Queer Black Trouble Maker" Alexis Pauline Gumbs holds a Ph.D. from Duke University and is the founder of Broken Beautiful Press. Gumbs is also editor of the blog Eternal Summer of the Black Feminist Mind.

Left of Black : Episode 15 (01/04/11).  Host and Duke University Professor Mark Anthony Neal is joined by Pastor Carl Kenney in a discussion of sex and sexuality in the Black Church, the emergence of the “Prosperity Gospel” and the Bishop Eddie Long controversy. Neal is joined by novelist Zelda Lockhart, who has been using her writing in support of HIV advocacy in Black communities. The episode was filmed on location at the Beyu Caffe in Durham, NC.  Pastor Carl Kenney is the founding Pastor of Compassion Ministries in Durham, NC and former pastor at Orange Grove Missionary Baptist Church in Durham, NC, Kenney is also the author of Preacha Man (on order) and the just published sequel Backslide (on order).  Zelda Lockhart is the author of the recently published Fifth Born II: The One Hundredth Turtle, a sequel to her first novel Fifth Born and Cold Running Creek. As the 2010 Piedmont Laureate, Lockhart has been instrumental in raising HIV/AIDS awareness in Black communities.

Left of Black : Episode 16 (01/11/11).  Host and Duke University Professor Mark Anthony Neal is joined by filmmaker and activist Byron Hurt in a discussion of his recent film Hip-Hop: Beyond Beats and Rhymes and his in-progress film Soul Food Junkies. Neal is also joined in-studio by North Carolina State University historian and critic Blair L.M. Kelley in a wide ranging conversation about social protest in the early 20th Century, social media and contemporary Hip-Hop.  Byron Hurt is an award-winning documentary filmmaker, a published writer, and an anti-sexist activist. His films include the award-winning Hip-Hop: Beyond Beats and Rhymes and I AM A MAN: Black Masculinity in America. Hurt is currently completing his next film Soul Food Junkies, which explores the health advantages and disadvantages of Soul Food.  Blair L. M. Kelley is the author of Right to Ride: Streetcar Boycotts and African American Citizenship in the Era of Plessy v. Ferguson (UNC Press, 2010) and is Associate Professor of History at North Carolina State University.

Left of Black : Episode 18 (01/24/11).  In this episode of Left of Black host Mark Anthony Neal is joined by activist and author Randall Robinson in a conversation about the legacy of Black activism, reparations for African-Americans and growing up in Richmond, VA with his bother, the late television journalist Max Robinson. Neal also talks with Princeton University Professor Imani Perry, author of the new book More Beautiful and More Terrible: The Embrace and Transcendence of Racial Inequality in the United States (NYU Press) Randall Robinson is the author of An Unbroken Agony : Haiti, from Revolution to the Kidnapping of a President  and the national bestsellers The Debt : What America Owes to Blacks; The Reckoning : What Blacks Owe To Each Other; and Defending the Spirit : a Black Life in America. He is also founder and past president of TransAfrica, the African-American organization he established to promote enlightened, constructive U.S. policies toward Africa and the Caribbean. Imani Perry is a Professor in the Center for African American Studies at Princeton University. She is the author of More beautiful and more terrible : the embrace and transcendence of racial inequality in the United States and Prophets of the Hood: Politics and Poetics in Hip Hop (Duke Press).

Left of Black : Episode 19 (01/31/11).  In this special episode of Left of Black host Mark Anthony Neal is joined by conceptual artist Hank Willis Thomas. Thomas’ works include Winter in America (2008), Branded (2008), ReBranded (2008), Black is Beautiful (2009), Fair Warning (2010) and UnBranded (2010) and he is the author of Pitch Blackness (2008). Neal and Thomas engage in a wide ranging conversation about Black masculinity, urban violence, the export of Black popular culture and Michael Jackson as well as a walk-thru of Thomas' Hope Exhibition at the John Hope Franklin Center at Duke University. Hank Willis Thomas is a photo conceptual artist working primarily with themes related to identity, history and popular culture. He received his BA from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts and his MFA in photography and MA in visual criticism from the California College of the Arts.

Left of Black : Episode 20 (02/07/11).  In this 20th installment of Left of Black, host Mark Anthony Neal is joined by author, political analyst and activist Bakari Kitwana in a conversation about the current media landscape including Rap Sessions and Jay-Z. Neal also talks with Baruch College Professor and 2009 TED Fellow Kyra D. Gaunt whose recent essay Black Twitter, Combating the New Jim Crow & the Power of Social Networking examines the social justice potential of Social Media.  Bakari Kitwana is a journalist, activist and political analyst. He’s currently senior editor of newsone.com, the internet news presence of Radio One. He’s also the CEO of Rap Sessions: Community Dialogues on Hip-Hop, which conducts town hall meetings around the country on difficult dialogues facing the hip-hop generation. Kitwana is the author of The Hip-Hop Generation: Young Blacks and the Crisis in African-American Culture (2002) and Why White Kids Love Hip-Hop: Wangstas, Wiggers, Wannabees and the New Reality of Race in America (2005).  Kyra D. Gaunt is a trained ethnomusicologist and classical singer who teaches the study of African American music, cultural anthropology, hip-hop, race and gender studies. A 2009 TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design) Fellow, Gaunt is Associate Professor in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at Baruch College. She is the author of The Games Black Girls Play: Learning the Ropes from Double-Dutch to Hip-Hop (NYU Press, 2007)

Left of Black : Episode 21 (02/14/11).  Host Mark Anthony Neal welcomes artist “extraordinaire” Carrie Mae Weems to the Left of Black studio in the John Hope Franklin Center at Duke University. Later he is joined by Professor Thabiti Lewis (via Skype), author of the new book Ballers of the New School: Race and Sports in America (Third World Press).  Carrie Mae Weems is an award winning photographer and artist. Her photographs, films, and videos have been displayed in over 50 exhibitions in the United States and abroad and focus on serious issues that face African Americans today, such as racism, gender relations, politics, and personal identity. She is perhaps most well known for her “The Kitchen Table Series” (1990) and recently initiated a public art campaign to address gun violence in Black and Brown communities in Syracuse, New York.  Thabiti Lewis is Associate Professor of English at Washington State University Vancouver. He has published widely in the areas of African American literature, African American Studies, and sport and race. His areas of teaching are 20th century American literature, African American literature, Race and Cultural Studies, and Popular Culture. Dr. Lewis has worked as a journalist, talk radio host, and as an editor. His latest book is Ballers of the New School: Race and Sports in America.

Left of Black : Episode 22 (02/21/11).  Left of Black host Mark Anthony Neal welcomes Professor S. Craig Watkins (via Skype), author of the book The Young and the Digital: What the Migration to Social Network Sites, Games, and Anytime, Anywhere Media Means for Our Future (Beacon Press). Craig Watkins is a Professor of Radio-Television-Film and Sociology at the University of Texas at Austin. He is the author of several books including Hip Hop Matters: Politics, Pop Culture and the Struggle for the Soul of a Movement (Beacon Press 2005), Representing: Hip Hop Culture and the Production of Black Cinema (The University of Chicago Press 1998) and most recently The Young and the Digital: What the Migration to Social Network Sites, Games, and Anytime, Anywhere Media Means for Our Future. Currently, Watkins is launching a new digital media research initiative that focuses on the use and evolution of social media platforms. For updates on these and other projects visit http://www.theyoungandthedigital.com.

Left of Black : Episode 23 (02/28/11).  Left of Black host Mark Anthony Neal welcomes independent artist and cellist Shana Tucker into the Left of Black studio at the John Hope Franklin Center. Tucker and Neal discuss her new fan-financed CD SHiNE and a style of music that Tucker calls “Chamber Soul.” Shana Tucker is a “ChamberSoul” cellist and singer/songwriter from New York currently based in North Carolina. Her music is a sultry pastiche of acoustic pop and soulful, jazz-influenced contemporary folk. Tucker’s debut solo project, SHiNE, outlines a musical journey that celebrates the major influences of everyday life: relationship, laughter, love…loss, rediscovery, and the never-ending journey towards heightened levels of peace, understanding and self-acceptance.

Left of Black : Episode 24 (03/07/11).   Left of Black host Mark Anthony Neal is joined via Skype by filmmaker and conceptual artist Pierre Bennu and his partner Jamyla Bennu.  Latter writer Rebecca Walker joins Neal, also via Skype, from her home in Hawaii.  Pierre Bennu is a filmmaker and conceptual artist.  Among his work is the full length film Red Bone Guerillas (2003) and film shorts including “Sun Moon Child” (2007) and the “Black Moses Barbie” (2011) series.  Bennu is also the author of BS or Fertilizer.  Bennu runs the small business, Oyin Handmade, making natural skin and hair care products and the production company ExittheApple.com with his wife and partner Jamyla Bennu. Rebecca Walker is an award-winning speaker, teacher, and bestselling author. She presents ideas about race, class, culture, gender, and the evolution of the human family that challenge ideological rigidity and encourage fresh approaches to enduring conflicts. Time Magazine named her one of the fifty most influential leaders of her generation.  Walker is the author of two memoirs, Black White and Jewish: Autobiography of the Shifting Self (2002) and Baby Love: Choosing Motherhood After A Lifetime of Ambivalence (2008).

Left of Black : Episode 25 (03/14/11).  Host Mark Anthony Neal is joined via Skype by musician, author, professor and curator Guthrie Ramsey, Jr. Later Black indie digital media pioneer and SeeingBlack.com founder Esther Iverem, joins Neal, also via Skype.  Guthrie Ramsey, Jr. is the Edmund J. and Louise W. Kahn Term Professor of Music at the University of Pennsylvania and co-curator of Ain’t Nothing Like the Real Thing: How the Apollo Theater Shaped American Entertainment, currently exhibited at the Museum of the City of New York. Ramsey is the author of Race Music:  Black Cultures from Bebop to Hip-Hop ( University of California Press, 2003) and the forthcoming In Walked Bud: Earl “Bud ” Powell and the Modern Jazz Challenge. Esther Iverem is founder and editor of SeeingBlack.com, which celebrates its 10th anniversary this year.  A journalist, poet and author, Iverem’s most recent book is We Gotta Have It: Twenty Years of Seeing Black at the Movies, 1986-2006 (Thunder’s Mouth Press). A former staff writer for several newspapers, including The Washington Post and New York Newsday, she is the recipient of numerous honors, including a USC Annenberg/Getty Arts Journalism Fellowship, a National Arts Journalism Fellowship and an artist’s fellowship from the D.C. Commission on the Arts and Humanities. She is also a member of the Washington Area Film Critics Association and the Alliance of Women Film Journalists.

Season 1, Episodes, 26-35

Left of Black : Episode 26 (03/21/11).  Left of Black host Mark Anthony Neal is joined via Skype by Professor Ebony Utley, who examines the proliferation of religious conspiracy theories about prominent hip-hop artists. Later Neal is joined by activist and hip-hop artist Jasiri X, in wide ranging conversation about socially conscious hip-hop in the age of Social Media. Ebony Utley, an assistant professor of Communication Studies at California State University, Long Beach author of the forthcoming book Rap and Religion: Understanding The Gangsta’s God (Praeger 2012) as well as the co-editor of Hip Hop’s Languages of Love (2009). She has published in several journals including Black Women Gender & Families, Critical Studies in Media Communication, Rhetoric and Public Affairs, The Western Journal of Black Studies, and Women and Language. Follow her on Twitter @U_Experience.  Jasiri X is a Pittsburgh based hip-hop artist, activist and entrepreneur, who burst on the national and international Hip-Hop scene with the controversial “Free the Jena 6″ which was named “Hip-hop Political Song of the Year,” and won “Single of the Year” at the Pittsburgh Hip-Hop Awards. His recent videos include “What if the Tea Party was Black?,”  “American Workers Vs Multi-Billionaires,” and “Wandering Strangers.”

Left of Black : Episode 27 (03/28/11).  Left of Black host Mark Anthony Neal talks with New Orleans artist Bruce Davenport, Jr. about surviving Hurricane Katrina, the cultural significance of New Orleans’ high school marching bands, and using his sketches to keep New Orleans’ culture vibrant. Born and raised in New Orleans’ Lafitte housing projects, artist Bruce Davenport, Jr. lives and works in the now-infamous Lower Ninth Ward, devoting his time to meticulous graphic reenactments of the local musical culture of junior high and high school marching bands, those that were decimated by the levees breech and those that survive. His current exhibition “All I Need is 1 Pen” at the John Hope Franklin Center at Duke University was curated by Diego Cortez.

Left of Black : Episode 28 (04/04/11).  Left of Black host and Duke University Professor Mark Anthony Neal is joined by Rosa Clemente (via Skype), the 2008 Green Party Vice-Presidential candidate in a conversation about the historic Green Party ticket in 2008, contemporary Black activism and Hip-Hop. Later Neal is joined in-studio by producer, label head and educator 9th Wonder (Patrick Douthit). Rosa Alicia Clemente is a community organizer, journalist Hip Hop activist and the 2008 Vice-Presidential candidate with the Green Party. She has been a featured keynote speaker, panelist, and political commentator all over the United States. In 1995, she developed Know Thy Self Productions, a speaker’s bureau for young people of color.. Clemente is currently working on her first book, When A Puerto Rican Woman Ran For Vice-President and Nobody Knew Her Name and will begin pursuing her doctorate degree in Black Studies this upcoming fall. Patrick Douthit aka 9th Wonder is a Grammy Award winning music producer, who has worked with artists like Erykah Badu, Jay Z, David Banner, Destiny’s Child, Jean Grae, MURs and was a founding member of the group Little Brother. Douthit is currently the head on the Jamla Record label and It’s A Wonderful World Music Group (IWWMG). The Wonder Year, a film directed by Kenneth Price, featuring a year in the life of 9th Wonder will debut later this month at the RiverRun International Film Festival in his hometown of Winston-Salem. In the fall, he will co-teach the course “Sampling Soul” with Mark Anthony Neal at Duke University.

Left of Black : Episode 29 (04/11/11) Left of Black host and Duke University Professor Mark Anthony Neal is joined by Pittsburgh based scholar, activist, and artist Kimberly Ellis aka Dr. Goddess in a conversation about Pittsburgh’s Hill District and the release of the new DVD Dr. Goddess Goes to Jail. Later Neal talks with Randal Jelks, Professor of African-American Studies at the University of Kansas, about the recent ESPN 30 for 30 documentary The Fab 5. Named one of the “Most Influential Black Women on Twitter” by “For Harriet” Digital Magazine, Kimberly Ellis aka Dr. Goddess is a writer, an entertainer, an entrepreneur, a scholar, and activist. Dr. Goddess is also an award-winning poet, playwright and performing artist, who is presently on tour with, Dr. Goddess!: A One Woman Show and screenings of its sequel, the ensemble production of Dr. Goddess Goes to Jail: A Spoken Word, Musical Comedy (Unfortunately) Based on a True Story, now on DVD. Follow her on Twitter @DrGoddess. Randal Jelks is an Associate Professor of American Studies at the University of Kansas with a joint appointment in African and African American Studies. He is the author of African Americans in the Furniture City: the Civil Rights Struggle in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He is currently finishing a book on Martin Luther King Jr.’s mentor titled Benjamin Elijah Mays, schoolmaster of the movement : a biography to be published by the University of North Carolina Press.

Left of Black : Episode 30 (04/18/11). Left of Black host and Duke University Professor Mark Anthony Neal is joined by Fordham University Historian and activist Mark Naison in a wide ranging discussion about growing up as a White American embracing Black culture, the emergence of Black Studies on predominately White college campuses, the Bronx African American History Project and his infamous appearance on Chappelle’s Show.  Mark Naison is a Professor of African-American Studies and History at Fordham University and Director of Fordham’s Urban Studies Program. He is the author of two books, 'Communists in Harlem During the Depression' and 'White Boy: A Memoir'. Naison is also co-director of the Bronx African American History Project (BAAHP). Research from the BAAHP will be published in a forthcoming collection of oral histories 'Before the Fires: An Oral History of African American Life From the 1930’s to the 1960’s'.

Left of Black : Episode 31 (04/25/11). Left of Black host and Duke University Professor Mark Anthony Neal is joined by fellow Duke University Professor Karla F. C. Holloway, author the new book Private Bodies, Public Texts: Race, Gender, and a Cultural Bioethics (Duke University Press). Neal and Holloway discuss medical racism, the Tuskegee experiments and the new biography of Malcolm X. Karla F. C. Holloway is James B. Duke Professor of English at Duke University. She also holds appointments in the Law School, Women’s Studies and African & African American Studies. Her research and teaching interests focus on African American cultural studies, bicultural studies, gender, ethics and law. Professor Holloway is the author of eight books, including Passed On: African-American Mourning Stories (2002), BookMarks—Reading in Black and White, A Memoir (2006) and the recent Private Bodies, Public Texts: Race, Gender, and a Cultural Bioethics.

Left of Black : Episode 32 (05/02/11). Left of Black host and Duke University Professor Mark Anthony Neal is joined via Skype by filmmaker Aishah Shahidah Simmons in a discussion of sexual violence in Black communities, homophobia, and popular culture controversies surrounding Ashley Judd, Kobe Bryant and DJ Mister Cee. Later Neal talks with historian Zaheer Ali, one of the lead researchers on the late Manning Marable’s Malcolm X: A Life of Re-invention. Aishah Shahidah Simmons is an award-winning African-American feminist lesbian independent documentary filmmaker, television and radio producer, published writer, international lecturer, and activist based in Philadelphia, PA. Simmons is the writer, director and producer of NO! the Rape Documentary, a ground-breaking film that explores the issues of sexual violence and rape against Black women and girls. Zaheer Ali is a doctoral student in history at Columbia University, where he is focusing his research on twentieth-century African-American history and religion. His dissertation examines the history of the Nation of Islam’s Temple/Mosque No. 7 in Harlem, New York. Under the direction of Dr. Manning Marable, he served as project manager and senior researcher of the Malcolm X Project (MXP) at Columbia University, a multi-year research initiative on the life and legacy of Malcolm X and was a lead researcher for Dr. Marable’s Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention (2011), a comprehensive biography on Malcolm X.

Left of Black : Episode 33 ((05/09/11). Left of Black host and Duke University Professor Mark Anthony Neal is joined via Skype by scholar and playwright Lisa B. Thompson. Neal and Thompson discuss the images of Black middle class women, the Tony Award nominated musical The Scottsboro Boys and the role of Black men in the production of Black women’s art. Lisa B. Thompson is a playwright and associate professor of English at the State University of New York, Albany where she teaches courses in African American literature, drama, theory, and cultural studies. Her book, Beyond the Black Lady: Sexuality and the New African American Middle Class (2009), explores black middle class female sexuality through works by African American women authors. Her critically acclaimed off-Broadway play, Single Black Female, which was nominated for a 2005 LA Weekly Theatre Award for best comedy, has been produced throughout the US; in 2010 the play received its international debut in Toronto.

Left of Black : Episode 34 (05/16/11). Left of Black host and Duke University Professor Mark Anthony Neal is joined via Skype by Washington State University Professor David J. Leonard, co-editor of Commodified and Criminalized: New Racism and African-Americans in Contemporary Sports. Later he is joined by Chicago Public Radio reporter Natalie Y. Moore, who is also the co-author of The Almighty Black P Stone Nation: The Rise, Fall and Resurgence of An American Gang. David J. Leonard is Associate Professor of Comparative Ethnic Studies at Washington State University, Pullman. He has written on sport, video games, film, and social movements, appearing in both popular and academic mediums. His work explores the political economy of popular culture, examining the interplay between racism, state violence, and popular representations through contextual, textual, and subtextual analysis. He is the author of Screens Fade to Black: Contemporary African American Cinema and the forthcoming After Artest : the NBA and the Assault on Blackness (SUNY Press). Natalie Y. Moore is a reporter for Chicago Public Radio’s South Side bureau. Prior to joining the Chicago Public Radio staff in May 2007, Natalie was a city hall reporter for the Detroit News. As a freelance journalist, Natalie’s work has been published in Essence, Black Enterprise, the Chicago Reporter, Bitch, In These Times, the Chicago Sun-Times and the Chicago Tribune. She is co-author of the book Deconstructing Tyrone: A New Look at Black Masculinity in the Hip-Hop Generation (Cleis Press, 2006) and The Almighty Black P Stone Nation: The Rise, Fall and Resurgence of An American Gang. She is an adjunct instructor at Columbia College Chicago and is the former program chair for the Association for Women Journalists.

Left of Black : Episode 35 (5/23/11). On the season finale of Left of Black, Princeton Professor Cornel West joins host and Duke University Professor Mark Anthony Neal in a conversation about the “Image of Black Males in the Age of Obama.” The discussion was recorded at the Baptist Grove Church in Raleigh, NC and sponsored by the Cornel West Academy for Excellence. Cornel West is the Class of 1943 University Professor at Princeton University. He graduated Magna Cum Laude from Harvard in three years and obtained his M.A. and Ph.D. in Philosophy at Princeton. He has taught at Union Theological Seminary, Yale, Harvard and the University of Paris. He has written 19 books and edited 13 books. He is best known for his classic Race Matters, Democracy Matters, and his memoir, Brother West: Living and Loving Out Loud (on order). West has recorded three spoken word albums including Never Forget, collaborating with Prince, Jill Scott, Andre 3000, Talib Kweli, KRS-One and the late Gerald Levert.

Season 2, Episodes 1-20

Left of Black, Season 2, Episode 1 (9/12/11) : Host Mark Anthony Neal, is joined by Georgetown professor and public intellectual Michael Eric Dyson via Skype® for the season premiere of Left of Black.   The two scholars assess President Obama’s agenda, accomplishments, and challenges, as well as Cornel West’s perspective of the Obama administration so far.  Dyson also discusses the importance of presenting critical analysis to the broader public.  The show finishes off with a discussion of Kanye West and Jay-Z’s recent album Watch the Throne. Michael Eric Dyson, named by Ebony as one of the hundred most influential black Americans, is the author of sixteen books, including Holler if You Hear Me, Is Bill Cosby Right? and I May Not Get There With You: The True Martin Luther King Jr. He is currently University Professor of Sociology at Georgetown University. He lives in Washington, D.C.

Left of Black, Season 2, Episode 2 (9/19/11) : Left of Black host Mark Anthony Neal is joined by noted economist William “Sandy” Darity, the Arts & Sciences Professor of Public Policy, Professor of African and African-American Studies and Economics at Duke University. Darity discusses the Obama Administration’s methods of tackling the economic crisis and reveals his own approach to combating unemployment, via a guaranteed jobs program. Darity then delves into Project Bright Idea, a program that aims to educate youth by providing “gifted-quality education.”...Neal also talks with Duchess Harris, associate professor of American studies at Macalester College in Minnesota and author of Black Feminist Politics from Kennedy to Obama. In her book, Harris tours the movements of black feminist women and tells the story of the formation of the National Black Feminists Organization and Combahee River Collective, while highlighting how the face of feminism has changed. Harris also discusses the current controversy surrounding the film The Help.

Left of Black, Season 2, Episode 3 (9/26/11) : Left of Black host and Duke University Professor Mark Anthony Neal is joined by Lester Spence, Assistant Professor of Political Science at Johns Hopkins University and author of Stare in the Darkness: The Limits of Hip-Hop and Black Politics. Spence discusses why people are still apprehensive about hip-hop culture, the role of the “neo-liberal hustler entrepreneur,” and grassroots hip-hop organizations. Spence also talks about the challenges of studying hip-hop and politics. Later Neal is joined by Professor Lawrence P. Jackson, Professor of English and African American Studies at Emory University, author of The Indignant Generation: A Narrative History of African American Writers and Critics, 1934-1960 and Ralph Ellison: Emergence of Genius. Jackson considers the period between the Harlem Renaissance and the Black Arts Movement, and addresses the debates among black authors during this period. Jackson also discusses readers’ initial reaction to Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man and the challenges of publishing scholarly non-fiction with contemporary trade presses.

Left of Black, Season 2, Episode 4 (10/3/11) : Filmmaker Julie Dash joins host and Duke University Professor Mark Anthony Neal on Left of Black. This year marks the 20th Anniversary of the release of Dash’s ground-breaking film Daughters of the Dust which was the first feature by an African-American woman to gain national theatrical release. The film draws on Dash's South Carolina heritage and focuses on three generations of women with roots in the Sea Islands and Gullah culture. Dash discusses how she became a filmmaker and the challenges she faced along the way. Dash also reveals her surprising view of filmmaker Tyler Perry.... In the second segment, musical artist and vocalist Lizz Wright joins Neal. The Georgia born singer discusses how her family’s tradition in storytelling inspired her career as a vocalist. Wright, whose music is difficult to place in one genre, talks about incorporating religion into her music as well. Wright also identifies the musicians who influenced her and the inspiration her album artwork. Finally Wright explains how she’s maintained control of her music. Wright has released four full-length recordings, including the recent Fellowship. She performs at Duke University’s Reynolds Industries Theater on October 7th.

Left of Black, Season 2, Episode 5 (10/10/11) : Left of Black, host and Duke University Professor Mark Anthony Neal is joined by Scott Poulson Bryant, one of the founding editors of Vibe Magazine and author of the 2005 book Hung: A Meditation on the Measure of Black Men in America and the just published novel The VIPs. The two scholars speak to the book's setting in Sag Harbor, a black elite leisure space in Long Island, New York comparable to Martha's Vineyard.   The Long Island bred author and journalist, who is currently enrolled in Harvard University’s doctoral program in American Civilization, crowned the name Vibe Magazine tells and Left of Black about the impact of hip-hop and black popular culture on contemporary journalism. Neal is later joined by Anne-Marie Makhulu, professor of Cultural Anthropology and African & African-American Studies at Duke University.   Professor Makhulu is currently teaching a class on the HBO series The Wire. Makhulu compares and contrasts the urban American inner-city portrayed in The Wire with that of South African cities. Makhulu talks about the series’ depiction of the decline of the American city and how the series, a favorite of President Obama, might impact public policy.

Left of Black, Season 2, Episode 6 (10/17/11) : Dr. Kenneth Montague, a Toronto-based dentist and the curator of Becoming: Photographs from the Wedge Collection, joins Left of Black host Mark Anthony Neal at the Nasher Museum in Durham, Carolina. The Windsor, Ontario born Montague has collected contemporary art since the 1990s, and was influenced by African American culture from across the Detroit River. Neal and Montague discuss some of the featured artists in the collection including Jamel Shabazz, Carrie Mae Weems, Malick Sidibé, and James VanDerZee, and the importance of collecting Black Art....Later in the episode, Neal is joined via Skype© by Columbia University Art Historian Kellie Jones, author of the new book Eyeminded: Living and Writing Contemporary Art. Neal and Jones discuss her famous parents, Hettie Jones and Amiri Baraka, and her work as curator of the new exhibit, Now Dig this! Art and Black Los Angeles, 1960-1980 at the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles.

Left of Black, Season 2, Episode 7 (10/24/11) : Jonathan Gayles, professor of African American Studies at Georgia State University and writer, director, and producer of the film White Scripts and Black Supermen: Black Masculinities in American Comic Books joins host and Duke University Professor Mark Anthony Neal on Left of Black. Gayles discusses reaction to his movie, which won best documentary feature at the 2010 Urban Media Makers Film Festival and remembers the impact of the late Dwayne McDuffie founder of Milestone Media. Neal and Gayles also discuss Black Entertainment Television’s ill-fated attempt to bring the animated series Black Panther to television....Neal is also joined by Alondra Nelson, Associate Professor of Sociology at Columbia University and author of Body and Soul: The Black Panther Party and the Fight Against Medical Discrimination. Nelson reveals the historical relationship between the Black Panther Party and medicine. Nelson reminds audiences of the real danger Civil Rights activists faced while marching and sitting-in, and how issues of healthcare were of practical concern given the threats of violence.  Nelson highlights the how the work of the Black Panther Party continues to inform community medicine movements.

Left of Black, Season 2, Episode 8 (10/31/11) : Host and Duke University Professor Mark Anthony Neal is joined via Skype© by E. Patrick Johnson, author of Sweet Tea: Black Gay Men of the South; an Oral History. A Professor of Performance Studies at Northwestern University, Johnson’s ethnographic work on this book evolved into a play called Pouring Tea: Black Gay Men of the South Tell Their Tales. Johnson shares his motivation to turn his book into a play, and also discusses how his journey through these projects helped him better come to terms with his own personal issues. He shares his reactions to the different responses he’s gotten so far from to the stage performance. Johnson, whose play premiered in Chicago’s About Face Theater and was recently staged at The Signature Theater in Arlington Virginia, also discusses the significance of the title.... Later Neal is joined by Honoreé Fannone Jeffers, poet, commentator, satirist, blogger and professor of English at the University of Oklahoma. Jeffers, author of several collections of poetry including The Gospel of Barbecue and Red Clay Suite, discusses her blog Phillis Remastered and her work-in-progress on the 18th century poet Phillis Wheatley. In a wide ranging conversation, Neal and Jeffers also discuss the legacy of Aishah Shahidah Simmons’ groundbreaking film NO! The Rape Documentary, the Slut Walk protest & the concept of Post-Black.

Left of Black, Season 2, Episode 9 (11/07/11) : Host and Duke University Professor Mark Anthony Neal is joined via Skype© by Vijay Prashad, George and Martha Kellner Chair in South Asian History and Professor of International Studies at Trinity College and author of the recent award winning book The Darker Nations: A People's History of the Third World (The New Press, paperback 2008). Neal and Prashad, discuss the impact of the #Occupy Movement and what role Left academics and intellectuals have to play in the movement.... Later Neal is joined by Leyla Farah, author of Black Gifted and Gay which profiles the lives and accomplishments of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community’s living icons—who just happen to be of African descent. Farah is a Founding Partner at Cause+Effect, a PR firm focused exclusively on the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community.

Left of Black, Season 2, Episode 10 (11/14/11) : Left of Black Host and Duke University Professor Mark Anthony Neal is joined via Skype© by veteran journalist Amy Alexander, the author of Uncovering Race: A Black Journalist’s Story of Reporting and Reinvention (Beacon Press). Alexander, who has worked at the Miami Herald, Boston Globe, National Public Radio (NPR) and Africana.com, shares her inspirations and reasons for writing her book, and highlights the importance of a diverse newsroom. Neal and Alexander also discuss the ways internet culture and social media have impacted quality journalism and they share the triumphs and pitfalls of the writer-editors relationship. Alexander uses compelling personal stories to illustrate the challenges she faced as a journalist....Later, Neal is joined in the Left of Black Studios at Duke University by British filmmaker John Akomfrah. A founding member of the Black Audio Film Collective, Akomfrah’s films include Handsworth’s Song (1987), Seven Songs for Malcolm X (1993), The Last Angel of History (1996), Urban Soul (2004), which features Neal as a commentator, and The Nine Muses (2010). Neal and Akomfrah discuss the implications of migration across the Black Diaspora, the Black Cultural Studies movement and go in depth about the contributions of political leaders Malcolm X and Britain’s Michael X’s as critical thinkers.

Left of Black, Season 2, Episode 11 (11/21/11) : Left of Black host and Duke University Professor Mark Anthony Neal is joined via Skype© by Bill Banfield, the author of Representing Black Music Culture: Then, Now, and When Again? Banfield is a composer, recording artist, musical director, scholar and the Professor in the Music and Societies program at the Berklee School of Music. The Detroit native talks about growing up in the city that bred the Motown sound, and highlights the significance of his relationships with communities of artists including composer T.J. Anderson. Neal and Banfield also contemplate why younger generations are not knowledgeable of great music in history....Later Neal is joined by Nicole Fleetwood , Professor of American Studies at Rutgers University and the author of Troubling Vision: Performance, Visuality, and Blackness. Fleetwood and Neal discuss the promises and pitfalls of black iconic images, the photography of Charles “Teenie” Harris, and the role that her grandmother played in having her consider how “blackness” is seen. Lastly, Fleetwood discusses the importance of a realist aesthetic in black art.

Left of Black, Season 2, Episode 12 (11/28/11) : Left of Black host and Duke University Professor Mark Anthony Neal is joined by Steve Stoute, author of The Tanning of America : How Hip-Hop Created a Culture That Rewrote the Rules of the New Economy and founder and chief creative officer of Translation Consultation + Brand Imaging. Neal and Stoute discuss Hip-Hop Culture’s ascent into the mainstream as well as signature advertising campaigns that he worked on for McDonald’s (“I’m Lovin’ It”) and Hewlett-Packard (“Hands”). Finally Stoute suggest ways that President Barack Obama might re-brand himself for the 2012 election. The conversation was recorded with a live studio audience on October 19, 2011 at the John Hope Franklin Center.

Left of Black, Season 2, Episode 13 (12/05/11) : Left of Black host and Duke University Professor Mark Anthony Neal is joined in-studio by Professor Karolyn Tyson, Associate Professor of Sociology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and author of Integration Interrupted: Tracking, Black Students, and Acting White After Brown (Oxford University Press). Neal and Tyson discuss the prevalence of the “Acting White” myth as it relates to Black high school students and how the myth obscures the more insidious practice of “Racialized Tracking” in Public Education....Later Neal is joined via Skype© by Ytasha Womack, journalist and author of Post-Black: How a New Generation is Redefining African American Identity (Lawrence Hill Books). Neal and Womack discuss the concept of “Post-Black” and what impact it has had on identity formation among the so-called “Post-Black” generation.

Left of Black, Season 2, Episode 14 (12/12/11) : Left of Black host and Duke University Professor Mark Anthony Neal is joined via Skype© by Koritha Mitchell, Professor of English at The Ohio State University and author of Living with Lynching: African American Lynching Plays, Performance, and Citizenship 1890-1930 (University of Illinois Press). Neal and Mitchell discuss how black playwrights during the early 20th century used one-act plays to offer response to racial trauma and violence. Neal and Mitchell also contemplate why black artists are often misunderstood in their intent, where their art is often labeled “protest art” when it instead functions as a form of community expression. Lastly, Mitchell analyzes the first generation of black cross-over stars and distinguishes between Tyler Perry the stage performer and the filmmaker....Later Neal is joined via Skype© by Leslie Brown, Associate Professor of History at Williams College and a researcher on the project Behind the Veil: Documenting the African-American Experience in the Jim Crow South which has been recently digitized at Duke University. Brown discusses the ethnographic research she did to prepare for the archive and the remaining accessibility gap to materials such as these. Brown also discusses the recent interest in the Jim Crow era and what lack of knowledge of that era says about American democracy.

Left of Black, Season 2, Episode 15 (01/09/12) : Left of Black host and Duke University Professor Mark Anthony Neal is joined via Skype© by Eddie Glaude, Jr., the William S. Tod Professor of Religion and African American Studies, Department of Religion, and Chair of the Center for African American Studies at Princeton University.  Glaude is the author, most recently, of In a Shade of Blue: Pragmatism and the Politics of Black America (University of Chicago Press) available in print and online.   Neal and Glaude discuss the current state of Black Studies and the unique challenges of Black academics in balancing their roles as activists, scholars, and pundits. ... Later Neal is joined, also via Skype, by Mignon Moore, author of the new book Invisible Families: Gay Identities, Relationships and Motherhood among Black Women (University of California Press) available in print. Moore is associate professor of Sociology at UCLA.

Left of Black, Season 2, Episode 16 (01/16/12) : Host and Duke University Professor Mark Anthony Neal is joined in person by activist, hip-hop artist, and architect Omar Offendum, and jazz, hip-hop artist, and educator Pierce Freelon.  Recorded in October as part of the John Hope Franklin Center’s Wednesdays at the Center programming, Offendum and Freelon discuss the role that hip-hop has played and continues to play in activism.  Offendum, a Syrian American artist, and Freelon, whose parents are Jazz artist Nnenna Freelon and architect Philip Freelon, discuss the importance of authenticity, and reflecting one’s community and background in their work.

Left of Black, Season 2, Episode 17 (01/30/12) : Left of Black Host and Duke University Professor Mark Anthony Neal is joined via Skype© by University of Pennsylvania professor, author, and musician Guthrie Ramsey. Neal and Ramsey discuss the release of The Colored Waiting Room, a new recording from Ramsey’s band Dr. Guy’s MusiQology. The two scholars discuss the idea of “colored waiting rooms” as metaphors for the private aspects of Black culture and how critical such spaces were to the cultivation of Black culture....Later, Neal is joined in the Left of Black studio by Cathy Davidson, professor of Interdisciplinary studies and English at Duke University. Davidson is the author of Now You See It: How the Brain Science of Attention Will Transform the Way We Live, Work, and Learn The Duke colleagues discuss the impact of digital technology in the classroom and whether infants are aware of race.

Left of Black, Season 2, Episode 18 (02/06/12) : Left of Black host and Duke University Professor Mark Anthony Neal is joined via Skype© by Tulane University political science professor Melissa Harris Perry, author of Sister Citizen: Shame, Stereotypes, and Black Women in America (Yale University Press). Perry discusses the “politics” of Black women and what she terms a “mis-recognition” of Black women as citizens. Neal and Harris Perry contemplate the recent fascination with Black women’s “unmarriagability” and her soon to be launched weekend news show on MSNBC....Later, Neal is joined via Skype© by Marc Lamont Hill, Associate Professor of Education at the Teachers College of Columbia University. Hill is co-author, with celebrated political prisoner, Mumia Abu Jamal, of the new book The Classroom and the Cell: Conversations of Black Life in America. Neal and Hill discuss the importance of black independent publishing, of communicating to broader publics beyond the Academy. Lastly, Hill talks about the importance young people engaging Abu-Jamal’s incarceration in order to form a long-lasting movement against injustice.

Left of Black, Season 2, Episode 19 (02/13/12) : Host and Duke University Professor Mark Anthony Neal is joined in-studio by Laurent Dubois, the Marcello Lotti Professor of Romance Studies and History at Duke University   A co-director of the Haiti Lab at the Franklin Humanities Institute,  Dubois discusses his new book Haiti: The Aftershocks of History (Metropolitan Books).  Dubois gives historical context to the longstanding relationship between the U.S. and Haiti.  Also the author of Soccer Empire: The World Cup and the Future of France, Dubois also talks about how he uses athletics as a gateway into political and cultural engagement....Later, Neal is joined via Skype© by University of Pennsylvania professor of anthropology Deborah Thomas  The author of Exceptional Violence: Embodied Citizenship and Transnational Jamaica and co-director and co-producer of the film Bad Friday: Rastafari After Coral Gardens, Thomas discusses common misconceptions and stereotypes against Jamaican people.  Thomas dives into the history of the Rastafarian Movement and their oppression.  Lastly, Thomas talks about her film, and how her background as a dancer inspires her scholarship.

Left of Black, Season 2, Episode 20 (02/20/12) : Host and Duke University Professor Mark Anthony Neal is joined via Skype© by journalist Joanne Griffith, editor of the new book Redefining Black Power: Reflections on the State of Black America (City Lights - on order). Griffith discusses the observations of several of the book’s contributors including historian Vincent Harding, Professor Michele Alexander and MOVE member Ramona Afrika, who cites Fred Hampton Jr.’s recent quote that “Barack Obama is the new crack.” Griffith also shares about the interview she had with Rev. Jeremiah Wright that was not included in the book, and points out the unfair images of Blacks in the media....Later, Neal is joined via Skype© by Shaun Harper, Associate Professor of Education at the University of Pennsylvania and Director for the Center for the Study of Race and Equality in Education. Recently, Harper released a study entitled “Black Male Student Success in Higher Education.” Harper discusses the importance of looking at achievement rather than failure, and describes one example of an exceptional Black male role model. Lastly Harper shares some of the experiences of Black male students in higher education as they navigate through racial hardships.

Season 2, Episodes 21-33

Left of Black, Season 2, Episode 21 (02/27/12) : Host and Duke University Professor Mark Anthony Neal is joined in-studio by Professor Orin Starn and via Skype© by Professor Thabiti Lewis. Authors of The Passion of Tiger Woods: An Anthropologist Reports on Golf, Race, and Celebrity Scandal (Duke University Press) and Ballers of the New School: Essays on Racism and Sports in America (Third World Pressr) respectively, Starn and Lewis analyze how Tiger Woods has differed from many other Black male athletes in terms of how he is un-racialized and re-racialized at various moments. Later the scholars discuss the meaning of Woods’ identification as Cablinasian.... Later, Neal is joined also in-studio by poet Darrell Stover who currently is a program director at the North Carolina Humanities Council, a position her formerly held at the St. Joseph’s Historic Foundation| Hayti Heritage Center. Author of the new collection of poetry Somewhere Deep Down When, Stover considers how history has shaped the meaning of being a poet, shares his poetic influences, and discusses the importance of reaching out to the larger community through poetry. Stover and Neal talk about Amiri Baraka’s immersion in multiple art forms, and discuss the legacy of Gil Scott Heron.

Left of Black, Season 2,  Episode 22 (03/05/12) : Host and Duke University Professor Mark Anthony Neal is joined in-studio by actress and playwright Chaunesti Webb, creator and director of the new play I Love My Hair When It's Good: & Then Again When It Looks Defiant and Impressive. Neal and Webb discuss the relationship that Black women have with their hair and the broader cultural meanings associated with Black women’s hair. Webb also talks about her play, which opens at the Manbites Dog Theater in Durham, North Carolina on March 8th....Later, Neal is also joined in-studio by Yale University anthropologist Jafari Sinclaire Allen. Neal talks with Allen about his new book ¡Venceremos?: The Erotics of Black Self-making in Cuba (Duke University Press). Neal and Allen also discuss the political and cultural significance of Cuba to Blacks in the United States and the power of the Erotic, per the work of the late Audre Lorde.

Left of Black, Season 2, Episode 23 (03/12/12) : Host and Duke University Professor Mark Anthony Neal is joined via Skype© by Professor Obery M. Hendricks, author of The Universe Bends Towards Justice (Orbis Books) and visiting scholar at The Institute of Research and African American Studies in the department of Religion at Columbia University. Hendricks shares his recent experience at singer Whitney Houston’s home going ceremony, and explains how it gave people access to traditions in the Black church. Neal and Hendricks discuss why gospel music does not get the same kind of criticism as contemporary R&B and hip-hop for not being conscious and engaged in the world. Lastly, Hendricks discusses the biblical vision of economic society....Later, Neal is joined via Skype© by Rev. Osagyefo Uhuru Sekou who is a documentary filmmaker, public intellectual, organizer, pastor, theologian, and author of the book Gods, Gays, and Guns: Essays on Religion and the Future of Democracy (Campbell & Cannon Press). Rev. Sekou discusses the Prophetic Tradition of the Black Church and its role in holding President Barack Obama accountable. Rev. Sekou also addresses homophobia and hip-hop in the context of the Black church.

Left of Black, Season 2, Episode 24 (03/19/12) : Host and Duke University Professor Mark Anthony Neal is joined via Skype© by filmmaker Ron Chepesiuk, who discusses his new film The Frank Matthews Story: The Rise and Disappearance of America’s Biggest Kingpin. The film will be screened March 23, 2012 at the Hayti Heritage Center in Durham, NC. Chepesiuk talks about the 1970s drug trade, describes why Matthews is one of America’s lesser known gangsters, despite his successful and brilliant operation, and shares some of the D.B. Cooper-like details of Matthews’ disappearance in 1974....Later, Neal is joined via Skype© by Jonathan Gayles, professor of African American Studies at Georgia State University and writer, director, and producer of the film White Scripts and Black Supermen: Black Masculinities in American Comic Books (California Newsreel). Gayles discusses reactions to his movie, which won best documentary feature at the 2010 Urban Media Makers Film Festival and remembers the impact of the late Dwayne McDuffie, founder of Milestone Media. Neal and Gayles also discuss Black Entertainment Television’s ill-fated attempt to bring the animated series Black Panther to television.

Left of Black, Season 2, Episode 25 (03/26/12) : Host and Duke University Professor Mark Anthony Neal is joined via Skype© by R.L’Heureux Lewis, Professor of Sociology and Black Studies at the City University of New York and Mary Morten, consultant for the Morten Group in Chicago and producer of the new film Woke Up Black which examines the lives of five Black youth. Lewis and Morten examine the recent shooting death of Trayvon Martin, taking into account the stereotyping of young black men. Lewis discusses the devastating effects that the criminalization of Black men has on women. Lastly, Morten shares reactions to her film....Later, Neal is joined via Skype© by Erica Edwards, Professor of English at the University of California at Riverside and author of the new book Charisma and The Fictions of Black Leadership. Edwards discusses the inspiration for her book – a speech made by singer Erykah Badu at the Million Man March in 2005. Edwards examines why the leadership of a singular Black male has been deemed so important to the Black community, and explains how different time periods create a yearning for charismatic leadership.  

Left of Black, Season 2, Episode 26 (04/02/12) : Host and Duke University Professor Mark Anthony Neal is joined in studio by AfroLez®femcentric Cultural Worker Aishah Shahidah Simmons and her father, International Human Rights Activist Michael Simmons. The director of the groundbreaking film No! The Rape Documentary, Simmons and her father discuss her coming-out process, the critical importance of fathers in the lives of their daughters and the impact of their shared work addressing Violence Against Women....Later Neal is joined via Skype© by Meta DuEwa Jones, Associate Professor of English at the University of Texas at Austin, who discusses her new book The Muse is Music: Jazz Poetry from the Harlem Renaissance to Spoken Word (University of Illinois Press). Jones discusses how Langston Hughes often “queered” gender in his recorded performances, John Coltrane’s role in inspiring generations of poets, and the importance of collectives like the Dark Room Collective and Cave Canem to the emergent Spoken Word Movement.

Left of Black, Season 2, Episode 27 (04/09/12) : Host and Duke University Professor Mark Anthony Neal is joined in person by Philadelphia’s own Derrick Hodge, bassist for the Robert Glasper Experiment and longtime musical director for R&B artist Maxwell at the John Hope Franklin Center for International and Interdisciplinary Studies. Hodge discusses working as a musician in high school with few resources, and recounts his experiences working with various artists including Lupe Fiasco, Bilal, J-Dilla, Common, and Kanye West. Hodge’s talks about his biggest influences as a musician, including that of the Philadelphia sound, and the significance of the Experiment’s new recording Black Radio. Hodge may be most well known, among Hip-hop fans, for the bass solo that open Common’s “Be.”

Left of Black, Season 2, Episode 28 ((04/16/12) : Host and Duke University Professor Mark Anthony Neal is joined via Skype by Wizdom Powell, professor of Health Behavior and Health Education at the Gillings School of Public Health at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Neal and Professor Powell discuss her article “Taking It Like a Man: Masculine Role Norms as Moderators of the Racial Discrimination–Depressive Symptoms Association Among African-American Men,” recently published in the American Journal of Public Health. In the article Professor Powell details the connections between Black male mental health issues and increased health care disparities....Later, Neal is joined, also via Skype, by Dr. Micah Gilmer, specialist in applied research and social enterprise, and a Senior Partner at Frontline Solutions—a social change organization and Joe Branch, former associate brand manager for Nike and the Senior Manager of Global Marketing Partnerships for the NBA, and founding partner of UWANTGAME Ventures. UWANTGAME and Frontline Solutions have collaborated on GameBreakers, a nationwide effort to transform youth via Sports and mentoring. GameBreakers launched its first event in New Orleans at HBCU Dillard University during the Final Four Weekend.

Left of Black, Season 2, Episode 29 (04/23/12) : Host and Duke University Professor Mark Anthony Neal is joined via Skype by Professor Christopher Emdin, Assistant Professor in the Department of Mathematics, Science and Technology at Teachers College—Columbia University, where he also serves as Director of Secondary School Initiatives at the Urban Science Education Center. The author of Urban Science Education for the Hip-Hop Generation, Emdin and Neal discuss pedagogical strategies for making S.T.E.M. Research interesting and attractive for urban students, and the role of urban environments in inspiring such research....Later, Neal is joined in the Left of Black studios by Professor Gary Bennett, a clinical psychologist and social epidemiologist. Bennett is Associate Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience at Duke University where he is Director of the Duke Obesity Prevention Program (DOPP) & member of the Duke Global Health Initiative. Bennett and Neal discuss the obesity epidemic in Black communities and its impact on health disparities. Also, Bennett and Neal converse about the increased importance of mobile technology in allowing patients to have better outcomes with regards to their health. Finally Bennett addresses the importance of HBCUs in creating a pipeline for the next generation of S.T.E.M. researchers.

Left of Black, Season 2, Episode 30 (04/30/12) : April 29th marks the 20th Anniversary of the week-long civil unrest popularly known as the LA Riots. Violence erupted throughout the city of Los Angeles in the aftermath of the acquittal of four LAPD officers who were accused of beating African American motorist Rodney King. The beating was famously captured on a held-held video device. In this special episode of Left of Black, scholars, activists and artists reflect on the 20th Anniversary of the LA Riots including Marc Lamont Hill, Lynne d Johnson, Kimberly C. Ellis, Allison Clark, Kim Pearson, Moya Bailey, Christopher Martin (Play of Kid N’ Play), Treva Lindsey, Jasiri X, Blair LM Kelley, Michelle Ferrier, Jay Smooth and host Mark Anthony Neal.

Left of Black, Season 2, Episode 31 (05/07/12) : Host and Duke University Professor Mark Anthony Neal is joined via Skype by writer and filmmaker Dream Hampton. Neal and Hampton discuss her passions for writing and visual art, the cultural importance of the city of Detroit, directing her first music video for THEESatisfaction and her collaboration with Jay Z on Decoded (2010) and the unpublished The Black Book....Later, Neal is joined via Skype by Ohio State University Professor Elaine Richardson aka Dr. E.. An nationally regarded expert on literacy among Black youth, Richardson is also an accomplished vocalist. Neal and Richardson discuss balancing her academic career with her artistic career, her forthcoming memoir, PGD 2 PHD, which details her transition from a life on the streets, and the 2012 HipHop Literacies Conference (Ohio State University, May 9-11) which she curated.

Left of Black, Season 2, Episode 32 (05/14/12) : Host and Duke University Professor Mark Anthony Neal is joined via Skype by Professor Matthew Delmont (Scripps College), author of the just published The Nicest Kids in Town: American Bandstand, Rock N’ Roll and the Struggle for Civil Rights in 1950s Philadelphia. (University of California Press) Neal and Delmont discuss the racial politics in the city of Philadelphia in the 1950s that informed American Bandstand’s early practices of limiting the presence of Black kids in the show’s early years as well as the role of the show in constructing an idealized image American youth. Delmont also highlights the role of Black media personalities Mitch Thomas and Georgie Woods in the success of American Bandstand....Later, Neal is joined, also via Skype by designer, curator, illustrator, cartoonist, and award-winning graphic novelist John Jennings, author (with Damien Duffy) of Black Comix: African American Independent Comics Art & Culture. Jennings, a Professor of Visual Studies at the University of Buffalo, discusses the importance on visual literacy, the challenges within the comic industry to address race, the labor of racial stereotypes, and the recent Tupac hologram.

Left of Black, Season 2, Episode 33 (05/21/12) : Host and Duke University Professor Mark Anthony Neal is joined via Skype by writer Adam Mansbach, the author of several books including Angry Black White Boy (2005), The End of the Jews (2008) (available via MeL), and the New York Times Bestseller Go the F**K to Sleep (available via MeL). Mansbach discusses the inspiration for Macon Detornay — the protagonist of Angry Black White Boy — the surprise success of his “adult children’s book” and his new graphic novel Nature of the Beast (available via MeL) . Finally Neal and Mansbach discuss race in the Obama era and the legacy of the Beastie Boys....Later, Neal is joined, also via Skype by LaTaSha B. Levy, doctoral candidate in the Department of African-American Studies at Northwestern University. Levy and several of her colleagues including Keeanga Yamahtta Taylor and Ruth Hayes, the subjects of a celebratory profile in The Chronicle of Higher Education, were later attacked by a blogger at the same publication, raising questions about the continued hostility directed towards the field of Black Studies. Neal and Levy discuss the responses to the attack, as well as her research on the rise of Black Republicans.

Summer 2012

Summer Edition Vol. 1, June 14, 2012 : In this special summer edition of Left of Black, host and Duke University Professor Mark Anthony Neal is joined via Skype by Talia Mark, Manager of Multicultural Marketing for USA Swimming and former manager of diversity affairs for NASCAR. Neal and Mark discuss the epidemic-like levels of drowning rates among Black and Latino/a youth, hair-care issues associated with Black female swimmers, and the success of Olympic Gold Medalist Cullen Jones and 17-year-old Lia Neal.

Season 3, Episodes 1-20

Season 3, Episode 1, September 17, 2012 : Host and Duke University Professor Mark Anthony Neal is joined via Skype by Howard Rambsy II, Associate Professor of English Language and Literature and Director of the Black Studies Program at Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville, and Jessica Marie Johnson, a Post-Doctoral Fellow in the Richards Civil War Era Center and African Research Center at Penn State University....Neal, Rambsy and Johnson discuss the "Digital Humanities," one of the current academic buzzwords, and the double-bind that the Digital Humanities can present for scholars working within the context of Race, particularly within Black Studies....Rambsy is the author of The Black Arts Enterprise and the Production of African-American Poetry (University of Michigan Press) and the curator of SIUE Black Studies. Johnson is the curator of Diaspora Hypertext & African Diaspora, Ph.D.

Season 3, Episode 2, September 24, 2012 : Host and Duke University Professor Mark Anthony Neal is joined in the Left of Black Studios by Maurice O. Wallace, Associate Professor of English and African-American Studies at Duke University....Neal and Wallace discuss his new book Pictures and Progress: Early Photography and the Making of African American Identity (co-edited with Shawn Michelle Smith), raising Black daughters in the Obama era and the politics of “Professorial Style” in the contemporary academy.

Season 3, Episode 3, October 1, 2012 : Left of Black host and Duke University Professor Mark Anthony Neal is joined via Skype journalists Rahiel Tesfamariam and Mychal Denzel Smith in a discussion of youth violence and poverty in the United States and the lack attention given to these issues in the 2012 Presidential Election....Tesfamariam is founder & Editorial Director of the on-line magazine Urban Cusp and a blogger and columnist for The Washington Post and The Root DC, and Smith is a freelance writer, social commentator, and mental health advocate whose work has been seen at The Atlantic, The Nation, The Guardian, Ebony, Huffington Post, The Root and The Grio.

Season 3, Episode 4, October 8, 2012 : Left of Black host and Duke Professor Mark Anthony Neal is joined via Skype by Professor Lakesia D. Johnson, author of ' Iconic: Decoding Images of the Revolutionary Black Woman ' (Baylor University Press) and longtime Washington, D.C. based journalist, Dr. Natalie Hopkinson, author of ' Go-Go Live: The Musical Life and Death of a Chocolate City ' (Duke University Pres, 2012).

Season 3, Episode 5, October 15, 2012 : Left of Black host and Duke Professor Mark Anthony Neal is joined via Skype by Stanford University Professor H. Samy Alim, co-author of, with legendary social linguist Geneva Smitherman, Articulate While Black: Barack Obama, Language and Race in the U.S. (Oxford University Press). Later Neal is joined, also via Skype, by singer-songwriter Alison Crockett, whose latest recording Mommy, What’s a Depression? and blog Diva Against Insanity harks back to the socially transformative music of the 1960s.

Season 3, Episode 6, October 22, 2012 : Left of Black host and Duke Professor Mark Anthony Neal is joined in the Left of Black studios by Eduardo Bonilla Silva, Professor of Sociology and Chair of the Sociology Department at Duke University....Neal and Bonilla-Silva, the author of the now classic Racism without Racists: Color-Blind Racism and the Persistence of Racial Inequality in the United States, discuss the Obama Presidency, the importance of a social justice politics, and the insidiousness of “color-blind” racism.

Season 3, Episode 7, October 29, 2012 : In the Spring of 1991, Black Sacred Music: a Journal of Theomusicology (Duke University Press), published a special issue of the journal, “The Emergency of Black and the Emergence of Rap,” edited by Jon Michael Spencer (Yahya Jongintaba) and featuring essays from William Eric Perkins, Angela Spence Nelson, legendary religious scholar C. Eric Lincoln and a young Michael Eric Dyson. Though the Nation of Gods and Earths were part of the fabric of Hip-Hop culture from its earliest years, the special issue of Black Sacred Music was one of the first examples by scholars making connections between Hip-Hop culture and religious and spiritual practices—at a time when there were still few examples of mainstream scholarship on Hip-hop Culture....Two decades later, scholars Monica R. Miller, Ebony A. Utley and Emmett G. Price III published ground breaking books on Hip-Hop, religion and the Black Church within months of each. Professors Miller, Utley and Price, join host and Duke University Professor Mark Anthony Neal on Left of Black via Skype to talk about their books Religion and Hip-Hop (Routledge, 2012), Rap and Religion: Understanding The Gangsta’s God (Praeger 2012) and The Black Church and Hip Hop Culture: Toward Bridging the Generational Divide (Scarecrow Press, 2012).

Season 3, Episode 8, November 5, 2012 : Mark Anthony Neal is joined in the studio by local Durham musician, Shirlette Ammons and Duke professor, Sharon Holland. They discuss Shirlette's latest album, Gladys Bentley, and Sharon's new book, The Erotic Life of Racism.

Season 3, Episode 9, November 12, 2012 : Mark Anthony Neal is joined by Marcia Alesan Dawkins to talk about her new book, Clearly Invisible: Racial Passing and the Color of Cultural Identity. Later, Mark speaks with Habiba Ibrahim about her new book. Troubling the Family: The Promise of Personhood and the Rise of Multiracialism.

Season 3, Episode 10, November 19, 2012 : Mark Anthony Neal is join my Habiba Ibrahim for the second part of her interview on multiracialism in American. Later, Mark talks with Yaba Blay about her new project (1)ne Drop....American racial history was long framed by the notion of the “one drop” rule, which within a political economy of race and difference, was a blatant attempt to embolden Whiteness and the privilege that derived from it.  Scholar Yaba Blay offers a different view of the “one drop” rule with her multi-media project (1)ne Drop which “seeks to challenge narrow, yet popular perceptions of what Blackness is and what Blackness looks like.”...Blay, a Visiting Professor of Africana Studies at Drexel University and contributing producer to CNN’s Black in America 5, which was inspired by the (1)ne Drop project, joins Duke University Professor Mark Anthony Neal on the November 19th episode of Left of Black to talk about the complexities of Black identity.  Neal is also joined by University of Washington Professor Habiba Ibrahim for part two of an interview about her new book Troubling the Family: The Promise of Personhood and the Rise of Multiracialism. (University of Minnesota Press).

Season 3, Episode 11 (November 26, 2012) : This special episode of Left of Black is the question and answer session moderated by Mark Anthony Neal from the recent conference, Everyday Racism, Everyday Homophobia. Sharon Holland, Kathryn Bond Stockton, Marlon Ross, and Jack Halberstam spoke at the conference.

Season 3, Episode 12 (December 3, 2012) : Mark Anthony Neal is join by his life long friend, Joan Morgan, to talk about her new line of body butters, Emily Janye, and the theory behind the product. Later, Mark talks with with Andreana Clay about her new book, "The Hip-Hop Generation Fights Back: Youth, Activism and Post-Civil Rights Politics".

Season 3, Episode 13 (December 10, 2012) : Journalist Eric Deggans, Television & Media Critic for The Tampa Bay Times, is one of a handful of Black journalists working in such positions at major newspapers in the United States. From his perch, Deggans has a unique vantage to gauge the role of mainstream corporate media. Many of those insights are contained in Deggans’s new book Race Baiter: How the Media Wields Dangerous Words to Divide a Nation (Palgrave McMillian) (on order). A long time contributor to National Public Radio and the Huffington Post, Deggans talks with Left of Black host and Duke University Professor Mark Anthony Neal, about the politics of cable news networks, the proliferation of ‘Scary’ Black people in the media and Black Nerds.

Season 3, Episode 14 (December 17, 2012) : Mark Anthony Neal sits down to talk about the state of journalism with Frank Stasio and Anthony Wilson. Later, Mark is joined by John Brown and Nnenna Freelon to talk about their new cd, "Christmas".

Season 3, Episode 15 (January 14, 2013) : On the Spring Premiere of Left of Black Byron Hurt talks to host and Duke University Professor Mark Anthony Neal about his journey to Soul Food Junkies, the connection between healthy lifestyles and Black masculinity, the challenges faced by Black documentary filmmakers and the controversy surrounding Quentin Tarantino’s new film Django Unchained.... Byron Hurt’s late father was like the many Americans whose unhealthy diets led to a shortened lifespan. Alarmed by what he saw as a problem among African Americans, Byron Hurt, whose last film was the award-winning Hip-Hop: Beyond Beats and Rhymes, decided to take a more intimate look eating habits within Black communities....With Soul Food Junkies, Hurt travels from his New Jersey home to the deep South to find out more about Soul Food and its lasting effects on Black communities.... Among those featured in Soul Food Junkies, which debuted on the PBS series Independent Lens on January 14th, are eco-chef and food activist Bryant Terry, Sonia Sanchez, Dick Gregory, Michaela Angela Davis, and Marc Lamont Hill.

Season 3, Episode 16 (January 28, 2013) :  Dr. Luke A. Powery, the first Black Dean of the Chapel at Duke University, sits down with host Mark Anthony Neal in the Left of Black Studios to discuss death, preaching, and hope in times of despair....In a year marked by no less than sixteen mass shootings in the United States, including shootings at a movie theater in Aurora, Colorado and a Sikh Temple in Oak Creek, Wisconsin, the murder of twenty children and six adults at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut was perhaps the most tragic of exclamation points....In the aftermath of the Sandy Hook murders, women and men of faith were challenged to make sense of what was so obviously senseless....Throughout his career, preacher and scholar Dr. Luke A Powery, has attempted to strike the right chord with regards to the reality of death and the responsibility of those in the pulpit. In his new book Dem Dry Bones: Preaching, Death and Hope (Fortress Press) (available through MelCat and ILL), Dr. Powery writes, “In order to experience life, resurrection, or hope, one must go through death…yet in many contemporary churches, some preachers avoid dealing with death because they do not realize its vital connection the substance of Christian hope. Because of this denial of death, we are left with sermons that possess a weak pnuematology and are fundamentally hopeless.”

Season 3, Episode 17. (February 4, 2013) : Professors Tillet and Daulatzai join Duke University Professor and Left of Black host Mark Anthony Neal on the February 4th Left of Black...In her new book Sites of Slavery: Citizenship and Racial Democracy in the Post Civil Rights Imagination (Duke University Press), University of Pennsylvania Professor Salamishah Tillet examines the ways Black artists and writers have democratized US memory by revisiting the “sites of slavery.” For Tillet, this is the natural extension of a segment of the American population that, despite possessing “legal” citizenship, continues to experience “Civic Estrangement.”... As Black American artists and writers have sought to reframe the past, the Muslim Third World has also reached back to Black American history finding political and cultural inspiration in the Black Radical traditions of Malcolm X and others—traditions that were themselves inspired by Muslim Third World resistance in Algiers and Iraq in the mid-20th century. UC-Irvine Professor Sohail Daulatzai makes these powerful connections in his new book Black Star, Crescent Moon: The Muslim International and Black Freedom Beyond America (University of Minnesota Press).

Season 3, Episode 18 (February 11, 2013) : Gaylon Alcaraz, Executive Director of the Chicago Abortion Fund and Cynthia Greenlee of the Carolina Abortion Fund, join Left of Black host and Duke University Professor Mark Anthony Neal in a discussion of the legacy of Roe v. Wade and the continual political and structural impediments to Reproductive Justice for poor women and women of color....Forty years ago the landmark decision of Roe v. Wade legally protected a woman's right to have an abortion, yet for women of color — poor women of color in particular — Roe v. Wade has offered little protection in their desires to fully pursue reproductive justice....For nearly thirty years, the Chicago Abortion Fund (CAF) has sought to "overturn economic barriers to reproductive choice," by engaging and mobilizing "low-income and poor women to become advocates for expanded reproductive access."

Season 3, Episode 19 (February 18, 2013) : In January of 1969, WCBS-TV in New York City began to broadcast a series of half-hour lectures under the banner of Black Heritage: A History of Afro-Americans. The series, which ran six days a week until June of 1969 (108 episodes in all), was produced by historians John Henrik Clarke, Vincent Harding and political scientist William Strickland—the later two who were founding members of the Institute of the Black World, a groundbreaking thinking tank that was based at the Atlanta University Center. According to historian Martha Biondi, by providing “ordinary Americans access to the Black history courses beginning to be offered on college campuses…these men personally bridged the gap between scholarship and activism.”...Left of Black is proud to be of the many progeny of this visionary project, born during an era in which Black student activism on American college campuses helped transform institutions that less than a generation earlier, Black students were largely denied access to. This moment is chronicled in Martha Biondi’s new book The Black Revolution on Campus (University of California Press). A historian at Northwestern University, Biondi joins Left of Black via Skype to talk about what she describes as “an extraordinary chapter in the modern Black freedom struggle.” Biondi is also the author of To Stand and Fight: the Struggle for Civil Rights in Postwar New York City (Harvard University Press, 2003).

Season 3, Episode 20 (Febrary 25, 2013) : Greg Tate joins Left of Black host Mark Anthony Neal (via Skype) in a rousing discussion of Black Science Fiction, being a “gourmand” of Black Culture and the significance of the late musical conductor Butch Morris....Tate is the longtime conductor of Burnt Sugar the Arkestra Chamber, a former Village Voice Staff Writer and currently Visiting Professor of Africana Studies at Brown University. Duke University Press will publish Flyboy 2: The Greg Tate Reader next year....To understand the impact of Greg Tate, one need only consult the words of fellow critic Michael Gonzales, who on the occasion of Tate’s 50th birthday wrote: “For better or worse, if it were not for Greg Tate, there would be no Bonz Malone, Harry Allen, Joan Morgan, Kris Ex, Scott Poulson Bryant, Toure, Danyel Smith, Michael Eric Dyson, Karen R. Goode, Selwyn Seyfu Hinds, Smokey Fontaine, Jon Caramanica, Jeff Chang, Amy Linden, Tom Terrell, Mark Anthony Neal, Tricia Rose, Sasha Jenkins, DJ Spooky (aka Paul Miller), Dream Hampton, Miles Marshall Lewis, Aliya King, SekouWrites, Kenji Jasper, Oliver Wang, Cheo Hodari Coker, Keith Murphy or myself.” Gonzales offers high praise for one of the singular critical voices of the last 30 years....The author of several books including the classic Flyboy in the Buttermilk: Essays on Contemporary America (1993) and the edited volume Everything But the Burden: What White People Are Taking From Black Culture (2003).

Season 3, Episodes 21-28 plus a few summer episodes

Season 3, Episode 21 (March 5, 2013) :  Professor Brittney Cooper, Assistant Professor of Women’s and Gender Studies and Africana Studies at Rutgers University and Professor Treva Blaine Lindsey, Assistant Professor of Women and Gender Studies at the University of Missouri at Columbia join Left of Black host and Duke University Professor Mark Anthony Neal in a spirited conversation about sex, power and desire in Scandal and the lives of Black women. In 1968 Bronx-born actress Dianne Carroll helped transition a new era in network television starring in the sitcom Julia. Premiering during the height of the Civil Rights Movement and only months after the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr., Julia broke new ground in its depiction of a Black female lead who was a professional and not simply a domestic....Forty-four years after the premiere of Julia, Kerry Washington, another Bronx-born actress, debuted in the role of “Olivia Pope” on the hour-long drama Scandal, created and executive produced by, Shonda Rhimes, an African American woman....The vastly different worlds that “Julia” and “Olivia Pope” inhabit are an index of the visibility of the interior lives of Black women in the public sphere. If Black women are perceived as a site of visual excess in mainstream culture, as Nicole Fleetwood argues in her recent book Troubling Vision: Performance, Visuality, and Blackness, than the fictional “Olivia Pope” (based on the real Judy Smith) is the embodiment of that excess on network television.

Season 3, Episode 22 (March 18, 2013) : Host and Duke University Professor Mark Anthony Neal talks with writer and filmmaker Raquel Cepeda about her new book, Bird of Paradise: How I Became Latina (on order) and growing up Hip-hop...Cepeda’s credits include Bling: A Planet Rock, a feature length documentary about American hip-hop culture’s obsession with diamonds and the critically acclaimed anthology And It Don’t Stop: The Best Hip-Hop Journalism of the Last 25 Years, winner of the PEN/Beyond Margins and Latino Book Award.

Season 3, Episode 23 (March 25, 2013) : Host and Duke University Professor Mark Anthony Neal sits down to talk with Dave Zirin about his new book, Game Over: How Politics has Turned the Sports World Upside Down.

Season 3, Episode 24 (April 1, 2013) : Host and Duke University Professor Mark Anthony Neal is joined, via Skype, by Akiba Solomon, Managing Editor of Colorlines Magazine, and journalist and activist Kevin Alexander Gray.....Solomon is the coeditor with Ayana Byrd of 'Naked: Black Women Bare All About Their Skin, Hair, Hips, Lips, and Other Parts'. Gray is the author of ' Waiting for Lightning to Strike: The Fundamentals of Black Politics'. He is the managing editor of The New Liberator.

Season 3, Episode 25 (April 8, 2013) : Host and Duke University Professor Mark Anthony Neal is joined by film director, Shola Lynch, to talk about her latest release, "Free Angela & All Political Prisoners".

Season 3, Episode 26 (April 15, 2013) : Left of Black host and Duke University Professor Mark Anthony Neal is joined, via Skype, by Keith Josef Adkins, writer and director of the digital Sci-Fi series ‘ The Abandon ’...Later Neal is joined by University of Georgia professor Bettina Love, author of the new book ‘ Hip Hop’s Li’l Sistas Speak: Negotiating Hip Hop Identities and Politics in the New South ’ (Peter Lang Publishing)

Season 3, Episode 27 (April 22, 2013) : Left of Black host and Duke University Professor Mark Anthony Neal is joined, via Skype, by DePaul University Professor Francesca Royster, the author of the new book Sounding Like a No-No: Queer Sounds and Eccentric Acts in the Post-Soul Era (University of Michigan Press).  With Black eccentricity as a frame, Neal and Royster discuss the careers and legacies of the late Eartha Kitt, Parliament-Funkadelic, Stevie Wonder’s Secret Life of Plants, Grace Jones and the late Michael Jackson.  Royster is also the author of  Becoming Cleopatra: The Shifting Image of an Icon.

Season 3, Episode 28 (April 29, 2013) : Guest host and Columbia University Professor Alondra Nelson sits down in the Left of Black studios with Duke University Professor Mark Anthony Neal to discuss his new book Looking for Leroy: Illegible Black Masculinities (NYU Press).  Nelson is associate professor of sociology and gender studies at Columbia University and the author of the award winning Body and Soul: The Black Panther Party and the Fight Against Medical Discrimination (University of Minnesota Press, 2011) and the forthcoming The Social Life of DNA: Race and Reconciliation after the Genome (Beacon Press).  Neal is the author of several books including New Black Man (2005) and Soul Babies: Black Popular Culture and the Post-Soul Aesthetic, and the host of Left of Black.

Season 3, Special Summer Release (July 22, 2013) : Mark Anthony Neal sits down with Camille A. Brown to talk about her new show, Mr. TOL E. RAncE.

Season 3, Special Summer Release (August 2, 2013) : Following a week-long media frenzy surrounding the rift between icons Jay-Z and Harry Belafonte, Bakari Kitwana of Rap Sessions and Mark Anthony Neal of Left of Black sat down to unpack the shortcomings of the recent Jay Z - Belafonte debate. Rather than perpetuating the beef between the Civil Rights Generation and the Hip-Hop Generation, they insist the moment should be seen as opportunity to chart a course for moving beyond media sound bites to action. Mark Anthony Neal’s essay “My Passport Says Shawn: Toward a Hip-Hop Cosmopolitanism” (in his new book Looking for Leroy: Illegible Black Masculinities) and Bakari Kitwana’s essay “Zen and the Art of Transcending the Status Quo” (in the anthology Jay-Z: Essays on Hip-Hop's Philosopher King, edited by Julius Bailey) are the starting points for this discussion. 

Season 3, Special Summer Release (August 26, 2013) : Recorded in the Left of Black Studios in April of 2013, host and Duke University Professor Mark Anthony Neal sits down with Tami Navarro and Alondra Nelson to to discuss the new article "Sitting at the Kitchen Table: Field notes from Women of Color in Anthropology" just published by Navarro, Bianca Williams and Attiya Ahmed in the August 2013 issue of Cultural AnthropologyAlondra Nelson is Professor in the Department of Sociology and Director of the Institute for Research on Women and Gender at Columbia University. Professor Nelson is the author of Body and Soul: The Black Panther Party and the Fight Against Medical Discrimination (University of Minnesota Press, 2011). Her next book, The Social Life of DNA: Race and Reconciliation after the Genome (forthcoming from Beacon Press), traces how claims about ancestry are marshaled together with genetic analysis in a range of social ventures. Nelson is also co-editor of Genetics and the Unsettled Past: The Collision of DNA, Race, and History (with Keith Wailoo and Catherine Lee; Rutgers University Press, 2012) and Technicolor: Race, Technology, and Everyday Life (with Thuy Linh N. Tu; New York University Press, 2001). Tami Navarro is a Presidential Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Anthropology at Rutgers University. Dr. Navarro’s research interests include the relationship between race and globalization, gender, and Caribbean studies. Her current project traces an economic development initiative known as the Economic Development Commission (EDC) that offers dramatic tax incentives to businesses, primarily American financial management firms, willing to relocate to the island of St. Croix.

 

Season 4, Episodes 1-20

Left of Black S4:E1, September 16, 2013 | "Showing Work" with Writer Kiese LaymonLeft of Black host and Duke University Professor Mark Anthony Neal is joined, via Skype, by writer and Vasser College Professor Kiese Laymon.  Kiese Laymon is a black southern writer, born and raised in Jackson, Mississippi. Laymon attended Millsaps College and Jackson State University before graduating from Oberlin College. He earned an MFA from Indiana University and is the author of Long Division and a collection of essays, How to Slowly Kill Yourself and Others in America both published by Agate Bolden. Laymon is a contributing editor at gawker.com. Laymon is currently an Associate Professor of English, Creative Writing and co-director of Africana Studies at Vassar College.

Left of Black S4:E2, September 23, 2013 | ‘For Colored Boys” with Director Stacey Muhammad.  Left of Black host and Duke University Professor Mark Anthony Neal is joined, via Skype, by writer, producer and director Stacey Muhammad, who discusses her new web-based dramatic series For Colored Boys, REDEMPTION,  which examines contemporary Black Masculinity through the lives of Benjamin Boyd, Sr. (Rob Morgan), who is returning “home” after years of incarceration, and his son Benjamin, Jr., portrayed by Julito McCullum (The Wire). Neal and Muhammad also converse about the challenges faced by independent filmmakers....Stacey Muhammad is an award winning filmmaker and music video director who has written, directed and produced a series of award winning short films of both the narrative and documentary genres.  Her work includes multi-media projects, music videos and short form films including, the award winning I AM SEAN BELL, black boys speak and Out of our Right Minds, Trauma, Depression and the Black Woman.

.  On this special segment of Left of Black, host Mark Anthony Neal sits down with Professor Gaye Theresa Johnson, author of  Spaces of Conflict, Sounds of Solidarity: Music, Race, and Spatial Entitlement in Los Angeles and her partner Chuck D of Public Enemy.

Left of Black host and Duke University Professor Mark Anthony Neal is joined, via Skype, by The Ohio State University Professor Elaine Richardson (@DoctaE1), author of the memoir  PHD to Ph.D. : Po H# on Dope : How Education Saved My Life, which traces her life as young sex-worker to one of the leading socio-linguist in the United States....Later Neal is joined by scholar activist Darnell Moore (@Moore_Darnell), writer and filmmaker Kai M. Green (@Kai_MG) and LGBTQ Advocate and former NFL player Wade Davis II (@Wade_Davis28), members of the collective Brothers Writing to Live.

Left of Black S4:E5, October 15, 2013 | Left of Black @ Harvard: Marcyliena Morgan, Executive Director of the HipHop Archive and Research Institute.  On location at the HipHop Archive and Research Institute at the Hutchins Center for African and African American Research in Cambridge, MA, Left of Black host and Duke University Professor Mark Anthony Neal sits down with Marcyliena Morgan, Professor of African & African American Studies, and Founder and Executive Director of the HipHop Archive and Research Institute at Harvard.  Morgan, the author of Language, Discourse and Power in African American Culture (Cambridge University Press, 2002) and The Real Hiphop: Battling for Knowledge, Power, and Respect in the LA Underground  (Duke University Press, 2009), discusses the vision of the HipHop Archive and Research Institute and the establishment of the Nasir Jones HipHop Fellowship.

Left of Black S4:E6 : October 22, 2013 | Left of Black @ Harvard: S.T.E.M. Education, Black Unemployment & Science Genius with Christopher EmdinOn location at the HipHop Archive and Research Institute at the Hutchins Center for African and African American Research in Cambridge, MA, Left of Black host and Duke University Professor Mark Anthony Neal sits down with Christopher Emdin, Associate Professor in the Department of Mathematics, Science and Technology at Teachers College, Columbia University....Emdin, the author of Urban Science Education for the Hip-hop Generation, is Director of Science Education at the Center for Health Equity and Urban Science Education and currently a Caperton Fellow and Hip-Hop Archive Fellow at the HipHop Archive and Research Institute. With the hip-hop artist The GZA, Emdin is also co-founder of Science Genius.

Left of Black S4:E7 : October 29, 2013 | Left of Black @ Harvard: Race in America & the Legacy of the Civil Rights Movement with Pulitzer Prize Winner Diane McWhorterOn location at the HipHop Archive and Research Institute at the Hutchins Center for African and African American Research in Cambridge, MA, Left of Black host and Duke University Professor Mark Anthony Neal sits down with Diane McWhorter, Pulitzer Prize winning author of Carry Me Home: Birmingham, Alabama, the Climactic Battle of the Civil Rights Revolution (Simon & Schuster, 2001) and longtime contributor to The New York Times....
McWhorter is currently a Fellow at the W.E.B. Du Bois Institute at Harvard where she is completing the manuscript Moon of Alabama: From Nazi Germany to Tranquility Base, via the Segregated American South.

Left of Black S4:E8 : November 6, 2013 | Soul Power TV—Soul Train and the Birth of ‘Black’ Talk TV.  Left of Black host and Duke University Professor Mark Anthony Neal is joined, via Skype, by Ericka Blount Danois, an award-winning journalist and author of Love, Peace, and Soul: Behind the Scenes of America’s Favorite Dance Show Soul Train: Classic Moments (on order)....Neal is later joined via Skype by Chicago-based media scholar Devorah Heitner, author of Black Power TV (Duke University Press), which examines first generation public affairs programs such as Inside Bed-Stuy, Say Brother, Soul! and Black Journal.

Left of Black S4:E9 : November 12, 2013 | ManyVoices: LGBTQ Justice in the Black Church and a “Killadelphia Memoir’Left of Black host and Duke University Professor Mark Anthony Neal is joined in-studio at the John Hope Franklin Center by Rev. Cedric Harmon, Co-Director of Many Voices: A Black Church Movement for Gay and Transgender Justice and filmmaker and photographer Katina Parker, creative director behind the Many Voices Video Campaign....Later Neal is joined in-studio by writer and poet MK Asante, who talks about his new memoir Buck and growing-up and finding his voice in “Killadelphia.”

Left of Black S4:E10 : November 18, 2013 | Akinyele Umoja discusses Book 'We Will Shoot Back: Armed Resistance in the Mississippi Freedom Movement' . On this segment of Left of Black on The Root TV, host and Duke Professor Mark Anthony Neal talks with Professor Akinyele Umoja about his latest book We Will Shoot Back: Armed Resistance in the Mississippi Freedom Movement (New York University Press, 2013).

Left of Black S4 : Holiday Edition : November 26, 2013 | A ‘Left of Black Holiday Special’ with MK Asante & Maya Freelon Asante and Chuck D & Gaye Theresa Johnson.  Left of Black focuses on family on this Thanksgiving Week episode featuring Maya Freelon Asante, M.K. Asante, Chuck D and Gaye Theresa Johnson....Maya Freelon Asante is a visual artist whose work has been described by poet Dr. Maya Angelou as “observing and visualizing the truth about the vulnerability and power of the human being.” Her work has been exhibited internationally and is included in the collections of the Reginald F. Lewis Museum and the U.S. State Department. Her latest work—a combination of tissue paper, printmaking, collage, and sculpture—was hailed by the International Review of African American Art as “a vibrant, beating assemblage of color.”...Gaye Theresa Johnson is Associate Professor of Black Studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara and the author of  Spaces of Conflict, Sounds of Solidarity: Music, Race, and Spatial Entitlement in Los Angeles....MK Asante is a bestselling author, award-winning filmmaker, hip-hop artist, and professor who CNN calls “a master storyteller and major creative force.” Asante is the author of the critically acclaimed memoir Buck, described by Maya Angelou as “A story of surviving and thriving with passion, compassion, wit, and style.”  His other books are It’s Bigger Than Hip HopBeautiful. And Ugly Too, and Like Water Running Off My Back. Asante directed The Black Candle, a prize-winning Starz TV movie. He wrote and produced the film 500 Years Later, winner of five international film festival awards, and produced the multi award-winning film Motherland. ...Chuck D is the iconic lead performer of the legendary Public Enemy.

Left of Black S4:E11 : December 7, 2013 | . Left of Black host and Duke University Professor Mark Anthony Neal is joined, via Skype, by artist and activist Jasiri X, who discusses the value of social media, his work with legendary activist Harry Belafonte and the 1Hood Media Academy....Later Neal is joined, also via Skype, by C. Riley Snorton and Mecca Jamilah Sullivan to discuss a special issue of the journal Palimpsest dedicated to the Queerness of Hip-Hop | The Hip-Hop of Queerness.

Left of Black S4:E12 : December 14, 2013 | Journalism in the Age of Obama & the Emotional Justice Movement.  Left of Black host and Duke University Professor Mark Anthony Neal is joined in studio by David Swerdlick, longtime columnist and associate editor of The Root.com.... Later Neal is joined, via Skype, by journalist and playwright Esther Armah, currently a columnist for Alternet.org and a regular contributor to MSNBC. Armah is creator of "Emotional Justice Unplugged," a multi-platform, multimedia, public arts and conversation series.

Left of Black S4:E13 : December 21, 2013 | The New Negro Renaissance Beyond Harlem & Shifting the Lens on RaceLeft of Black host and Duke University Professor Mark Anthony Neal is joined via Skype by historians Davarian Baldwin (Trinity College) and Minkah Makalani (University of Texas) for a discussion of their new co-edited volume Escape from New York: The New Negro Renaissance Beyond Harlem....Later Neal is joined, via Skype, by Professor Yaba Blay, to talk about her new book (1)ne Drop: Shifting the Lens on Race. Blay is co-director of the Africana Studies program at Drexel University.

Left of Black S4:E14 : January 6, 2014 | How Black Power Transformed Soul MusicLeft of Black host and Duke University Professor Mark Anthony Neal is joined via Skype by Rickey Vincent, author of Party Music: The Inside Story of the Black Panthers’ Band and How Black Power Transformed Soul Music (Chicago Review Press).  Vincent, a lecturer at the University of California at Berkeley, is also the author of the classic Funk: The Music, The People, and The Rhythm of The One (1996)

Left of Black S4:E15 : January 13, 2014 : The Latining of America and Creating Alternative Images of Black Women.  Left of Black host and Duke University Professor Mark Anthony Neal is joined in studio by Duke Professor Claudia Milian, author of Latining America: Black-Brown Passages and the Coloring of Latino/a Studies (University of Georgia Press)....Later, Neal sits down with actress Lakeisha Coffey and writer/director Chaunesti Webb, who discuss Webb's play, I Love My Hair: The Remix, which opens at the ManBites Dog Theater on January 16, 2014.

Left of Black S4:E16: January 20, 2014 - Parenting in "Post-Race" America and the Role of Black Public Intellectuals. Left of Black host and Duke University Professor Mark Anthony Neal is joined via Skype by Professor David Ikard, author of  Blinded by the Whites: Why Race Still Matters in 21st Century America (Indiana University Press) in a discussion about parenting in a “post-race” society and the role of Black Public Intellectuals. Professor Ikard teaches English and African-American Studies at the University of Miami.

Left of Black S4:E17: January 27, 2014 -The Role of Black Barbers from Slavery until the Civil Rights Era  Left of Black host and Duke University Professor Mark Anthony Neal is joined via Skype by Professor Quincy T. Mills, author of  Cutting Along the Color Line: Black Barbers and Barber Shops in America (University of Pennsylvania Press). Mills, a Professor of History at Vassar College, reveals the unique role that Black barbers have played in the cultural, economic and political life of blacks since slavery.

Left of Black S4:E18: February 4, 2014 - The Story Behind ‘We Shall Over Come’ and Other Anthems of Black Resistance   Left of Black host and Duke University Professor is joined via Skype by Professor Shana Redmond author of Anthem: Social Movements and the Sound of Solidarity in the African Diaspora (New York University Press).  Redmond, a professor American Studies and Ethnicity at USC, examines the role of well known anthems of Black resistance including, “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” “To Be Young Gifted and Black” and “Nkosi Sikelel’ iAfrika.”

Left of Black S4:E19: February 12, 2014 - Urban Bush Women Celebrate 30 Years of Art & Struggle.  Left of Black host and Duke University Professor Mark Anthony Neal is joined by Jawole Willa Jo Zollar, founder and artistic director of Urban Bush Woman.  On stage at Duke University’s Reynolds Industries Theater, Zollar discusses the history of the group, the importance of community engagement and its current stage works.

Left of Black S4:E20: February 17, 2014 - The Divided Mind of the Black Church. Left of Black host and Duke University Professor Mark Anthony Neal is joined via Skype by Pastor Raphael G. Warnock,  Senior Pastor of the historic Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta and the author of The Divided Mind of the Black Church: Theology, Piety, and Public Witness (NYU Press).

Season 4, Episodes 21-30 and Summer Episodes

Left of Black S4:E21: February 28, 2014 -  Does ‘Negro’ Cinema Matter in the Age of Global Blackness?  Left of Black host and Duke University Professor Mark Anthony Neal is joined via Skype by Professor Stephane Dunn, Director of the Cinema, Television, & Emerging Media Studies Program at Morehouse College and Esther Iverem, Founder and Managing Editor of SeeingBlack.com.  Dunn and Iverem discuss the current state of Black film.

Left of Black S4:E22: March 4, 2014 - Archibald Motley—Jazz Age Modernist. On location at The Nasher Museum of Art, Left of Black host and Duke University Professor Mark Anthony Neal is joined by noted Art Historian Richard J. Powell, curator of the new exhibit Archibald Motley: Jazz Age Modernist, the first retrospective of Motley’s work in two decades.  Powell is the John Spencer Bassett Professor of Art, Art History & Visual Studies at Duke University.

Left of Black S4:E23, March 10, 2014 Staging Black Gay Men of the South. In the Left of Black studios at the John Hope Franklin Center, Left of Black host and Duke University Professor Mark Anthony Neal is joined by noted scholar and performance artist E. Patrick Johnson, in a discussion of his one-man stage show Sweet Tea: Black Gay Men on the South (also available online), based on his book of the same title.  Johnson is the Carlos Montezuma Professor of Performance Studies and African American Studies at Northwestern University.

Left of Black S4:E24: March 17, 2014 -  Beyonce, Philly Soul and the Legacy of Amiri Baraka. In the Left of Black studios at the John Hope Franklin Center, Left of Black host and Duke University Professor Mark Anthony Neal is joined by noted scholar and musician Guthrie Ramsey, Jr. in a discussion about the music of Beyonce, Philly Soul and the legacy of Amiri Baraka.  Ramsey  is the Edmund J. and Louise W. Kahn Term Professor of Music at the University of Pennsylvania and the author of several books including the recent The Amazing Bud Powell: Black Genius, JazzHistory, and the Challenge of Bebop.

Left of Black S4:E25, March 25, 2014: The Cultural Impact of Kanye West. Left of Black host and Duke University Professor Mark Anthony Neal is joined via Skype by Julius Bailey, associate professor of philosophy at Wittenberg University, and Regina Bradley, an instructor of English and interdisciplinary studies at Kennesaw State University. Bailey is the editor of The Cultural Impact of Kanye West (Palgrave MacMillan) (on order) in which Bradley contributed the essay “Kanye West’s Sonic (Hip-Hop) Cosmopolitanism.”

Left of Black S4:E26, March 28, 2014 - Busting Myths About the Sex Trade in Brazil. Left of Black host Mark Anthony Neal talks with Erica Lorraine Williams about her new book, Sex Tourism in Bahia: Ambiguous Entanglements. Williams is an assistant professor in the department of sociology and anthropology at Spelman College. For her book, Williams interviewed sex workers about their aspirations, whether they felt exploited and the discrimination that Afro-Brazilian women face.

Left of Black S4:E27, April 9, 2014 -  What is the ‘Art of Cool’ Festival?Left of Black host and Duke University Professor Mark Anthony Neal is joined in studio by Cicely Mitchell, co-founder of the Art of Cool Festival, which runs in downtown Durham, North Carolina, April 25-26, 2014. Acts scheduled to appear include Maceo Parker, The Foreign Exchange, Bilal, Alice Smith, Nnenna Freelon, + Miguel Atwood Ferguson, among others.

Left of Black S4:E28, April 16, 2014 - Iconic Women Singers & African American LiteratureLeft of Black host and Duke University Professor Mark Anthony Neal is joined in studio by Emily J. Lordi, author of Black Resonance: Iconic Women Singers and African American Literature (Rutgers University Press).  Lordi is an assistant professor of English at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.

Left of Black S4:E29,  April 21, 2014 - Senegalese Praise Poets and the Force of Blackness in Popular MusicLeft of Black host and Duke University Professor Mark Anthony Neal is joined in studio by Ali Coleen Neff, Visiting Assistant Professor of Anthropology and African American Studies at William and Mary College. Neff is the author of Let the World Listen Right: The Mississippi Delta Hip-Hop Story (University Press of Mississippi).

Left of Black S4:E30, April 29, 2014 -  Hearing the Truths of Black GirlhoodLeft of Black host and Duke University Professor Mark Anthony Neal  is joined via Skype by Ruth Nicole Brown, assistant professor of Educational Policy Studies & Gender and Women’s Studies at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. Professor Brown is the is the author of the just published Hear Our Truths: The Creative Potential of Black Girlhood (University of Illinois Press, 2013) and Black Girlhood Celebration: Toward a Hip-Hop Feminist Pedagogy (Peter Lang, 2008).

Left of Black Summer Special (vol. 1), June 23, 2014 :  Poet and Yale Professor Elizabeth Alexander Talks Black Studies, Black Poetry and the Art of Archibald Motley.  Left of Black host and Duke University Professor Mark Anthony Neal is joined in the Left of Black studios by Elizabeth Alexander, the Thomas E. Donnelley Professor of African American Studies & Professor American Studies & English at Yale University. A widely published poet and essayist, Alexander is the author of the classic The Venus Hottentot, American Sublime (a finalist for the 2006 Pulitzer Prize), and the recent Crave Radiance.  She is also the author of the  collection of essays The Black Interior.

Left of Black Summer Special (vol. 2), July 21, 2014 :  Alexis De Veaux Discusses Her New Novel, The Erotic Life of the Classroom and Popular Feminism.  Left of Black host and Duke University Professor Mark Anthony Neal is joined via Skype by Alexis De Veaux, Professor Emerita of Global Gender Studies at the University at Buffalo and the author of several books including Warrior Poet: A Biography of Audre Lorde and the just published novel Yabo (on order).

Left of Black Summer Special (vol. 3), August 21, 2014. What does the future look like for social movements?  Left of Black host Mark Anthony Neal sits down with Phillip Agnew, Sofia Campos, Meredith Clark, and Micah Gilmer to discuss the future of social movements.

Season 5, Episodes 1-30

Left of Black S5:E1, September 22, 2014 :  From Kooley High to  ‘Beauty and the Beast’ with Rapsody.  Left of Black host and Duke University Professor Mark Anthony Neal is joined in-studio by rap artist Rapsody (Marianna Evans).   “You have to make it relatable, you have to make it feel like it’s honest,” says Rapsody in a wide ranging conversation about artistic integrity, being an independent artist, her artistic influences, and her relationship with producer 9th Wonder—dropping a little freestyle to close the episode.  Rapsody just released her latest single, ‘Hard to Choose'  from the forthcoming Beauty and The Beast which will be released on October 7th, 2014.

Left of Black S5:E2, September 29, 2014 : A Conversation with Dillard University President Dr. Walter KimbroughLeft of Black host and Duke University Professor Mark Anthony Neal is joined via Skype by Dr. Walter Kimbrough, aka the “Hip-Hop Prez,” the 7th President of Dillard University.  Dr. Kimbrough was outspoken in the aftermath of Andre Young’s (Dr. Dre) $35 Million gift to the University of Southern California (USC) noting in this interview that USC’s endowment is “twice the endowment of all the HBCUs put together; they don’t need the money.” Yet Dr. Kimbrough also admits “those who are alums, it is your responsibility, primarily, to take care of those institutions.”

Left of Black S5:E3, October 6, 2014 : The Danger of Being Publicly Black with Karla FC HollowayLeft of Black host and Duke University Professor Mark Anthony Neal is joined in-studio by Professor Karla FC Holloway, the James B Duke Professor of English at Duke University, where she holds appointments in the Law School, Women’s Studies and African & African-American Studies. In response to recent examples of violence in Black communities, Holloway acknowledges “The danger of being publicly Black, is still a danger that we embody in just our presence and being.” Professor Holloway’s latest book is Legal Fictions: Constituting Race, Composing Literature (Duke University Press) ”  Legal Fictions (MSU Library Link)

Left of Black S5:E4, October 13, 2014 : Mass Incarceration, Voting Rights & State Sanctioned Violence. Left of Black host and Duke University Professor Mark Anthony Neal is joined in-studio by Daryl Atkinson, Senior Staff Attorney at the Southern Coalition for Social Justice in North Carolina.  In a conversation about mass incarceration, the erosion of voting rights and State sanctioned violence Aktinson asserts that “the State sanctioned violence that we saw in Ferguson…cannot happen outside of the larger context of putting 2.2 million people in cages.”

Left of Black S5:E5, October 20, 2014 : New Black Southern Studies.  Left of Black host and Duke University Professor Mark Anthony Neal is joined via Skype by University of Memphis Sociologist Zandria F. Robinson, author of This Ain’t Chicago Race, Class, and Regional Identity in the Post-Soul South (UNC Press). Addressing the current state of Southern Studies, Professor Robinson highlights the efforts of fellow scholars “looking for that post-Civil Rights, Black Southern experience—how do we document that, how do we tell that story?” noting that “we can find it in hip-hop, we can find it in film, we can find it in visual art.” 

Left of Black S5:E6, October 27, 2014 : A Conversation with Rev. Dr. Calvin O. Butts, III. Left of Black host and Duke University Professor Mark Anthony Neal is joined in-studio by Rev. Dr. Calvin O. Butts, III, Pastor of the Abyssinian Baptist Church in the City of New York, President of the State University of New York College at Old Westbury and Chairman and founder of the Abyssinian Development Corporation. Visiting Duke University recently to deliver the annual Gardner C. Taylor Lecture, who Butts describes as “the best preacher I ever heard in the English language,” Neal and Butts cover a range of topics including the State of the Black Church, the death of Eric Garner, the political legacy of Adam Clayton Powell, Jr. and the “Harlem Gang of Four,” and what’s on his current playlist.

Left of Black S5:E7, November 3, 2014: Crowdfunding Black Creative Vision. Left of Black host and Duke University Professor Mark Anthony Neal is joined via Skype by Felicia Pride, writer and producer of the short film The End Again, which stars Columbus Short and Tanee McCall-Short. The film is a prequel to the feature length film OpenEnded, also written by Pride. “I was working in book publishing and marketing and I really felt that book publishers were missing the boat a little bit, because they were so fixated on format versus content” Pride says of her early adoption to multi-platform digital content. The author of two books including the To Create: Black Writers, Filmmakers, Storytellers, Artists, and Media-Makers Riff on Art, Careers, Life, and the Beautiful Mess in Between, Pride is director of the storytelling institute StoriesLead and the founder of The Create Daily.

Left of Black S5:E8, November 10, 2014: On Sex, Race, Money & Other 'Impolite Conversations'. Left of Black host and Duke University Professor Mark Anthony Neal is joined via Skype by award-winning journalist Cora Daniels (@IamCoraDaniels) and University of Pennsylvania Cultural Anthropologist John L. Jackson, Jr. (@JohnLJacksonJr) authors of Impolite Conversations: On Race, Politics, Sex, Money, and Religion (Atria Books). “We wanted to build a bridge between the real world and academia” says Daniels, of the decision to co-write a book with her long time friend, Jackson. Daniels is the author Ghettonation: A Journey Into the Land of Bling and Home of the Shameless (2007) and Black Power, Inc.: The New Voice of Success (2004). Jackson, who is Dean of the School of Social Policy and Practice at the University of Pennsylvania, is the author of several books including the classic Harlemworld: Doing Race and Class in Contemporary Black America (2001) and the recent Thin Description: Ethnography and the African Hebrew Israelites of Jerusalem (2013)

Left of Black S5:E9, November 17, 2014: The Long 1970s & The Institute of the Black World. Left of Black host and Duke University Professor Mark Anthony Neal is joined via Skype by Historian Derrick E. White (@BlackStar1906), author of The Challenge of Blackness: The Institute of the Black World and Political Activism in the 1970s (University of Florida Press, 2011) and co-editor of Winning While Losing: Civil Rights, The Conservative Movement and the Presidency from Nixon to Obama (University of Florida Press, 2014). Recalling some of the debates within the Institute of the Black World, the influential Black Think Tank founded by Professors the late Vincent Harding, Stephen Henderson and William Strickland, Professor White notes, “when we talk about activism, we get enamoured in charismatic leadership; I’m interested in logistics...How do we fund people who are going to be on the front lines?” Professor White is Visiting Associate Professor of History at Dartmouth College and currently working a book tentatively titled, Blood, Sweat, and Tears: Florida A & M and the Rise and Fall of a Black College Football Dynasty.

Left of Black S5:E10, November 24: Telling the Stories of Black Life in Film. Left of Black host and Duke University Professor Mark Anthony Neal is joined in the Left of Black studio by Emmy Award Winning filmmaker and MacArthur Genius Award recipient Stanley Nelson (@StanleyNelson1). Discussing the importance of documentary film Nelson says, “The stories that we tell are stories that have some resonance with today” adding that his next project on the Black Panther Party “is really a story about young African American people getting involved.” Nelson’s films include The Black Press: Soldiers Without Swords (1999), The Murder of Emmett Till (2003), Sweet Honey in the Rock: Raise Your Voice (2005), Freedom Riders (2010) and Freedom Summer (2014). Nelson is also co-founder of the production company, Firelight Media.

Left of Black S5:E11, December 6, 2014: Black Masculinity and the Politics of Passing. Left of Black host and Duke University Professor Mark Anthony Neal is joined via Skype by Jeffrey Q. McCune, Jr., (@DrJeffrey2U) Associate Professor of Women, Gender, & Sexuality Studies and Performing Arts at Washington University in St. Louis. McCune is the author of Sexual Discretion: Black Masculinity and the Politics of Passing (University of Chicago Press, 2014). Explaining his decision to discuss Black Male Queer sexuality outside of the metaphor of the closet, Professor McCune admits that many of the men he interviewed for his book believed “the closet was just another carceral space.”

Left of Black S5:E12, December 11, 2014: Curating the Soul Music Archives. Left of Black host and Duke University Professor Mark Anthony Neal is joined in-studio by Harry Weinger (@harryweinger), Vice President of A&R for Universal Music Enterprises (UMe) and lecturer at the Clive Davis Institute of Recorded Music at New York University. A two-time Grammy Award winner for his work on the ground-breaking James Brown box-set Star Time (1991) and the film and soundtrack Standing in the Shadows of Motown (2002), Weinger and Neal discuss his access to the vaults of Soul music, maintaining and curating the musical legacies of the Motown label and James Brown, teaching courses at NYU on Stevie Wonder and Prince, and co-teaching a class on “Great Albums” with Ahmir ?uestlove Thompson. Weinger also discusses his dream project which involves a decade’s long project by Marvin Gaye to record a series of Big Band ballads arranged by Bobby Scott.

Left of Black S5:E13, December 16, 2014: Protest Music and Afropolitan Identities in South Africa. Left of Black host and Duke University Professor Mark Anthony Neal is joined in-studio by musician and composer Neo Muyanga (@NeoMuyanga) and journalist Khadija Patel (@khadijapatel) in a conversation about contemporary South Africa. Muyanga and Patel were in-residence at Duke University as part of the WiSER (Wits Institute for Social and Economic Research) - Duke Writing Fellowship. Neo Muyanga is a composer and librettist. Born in Soweto, Johannesburg, he is the co-founder of the Pan African Space Station and is currently working on a libretto which re-imagines South African protest music in the present. Khadija Patel is a journalist and blogger who is writing a history of the suburb of Mayfair in Johannesburg, where she grew up. Home these days to Somalis, Ethiopians, Turks, and Indian and Coloured South Africans, Mayfair is both negotiating newly Afropolitan identities and battling legacies of segregation.

Left of Black S5:E14, January 3, 2015: On Family, Ferguson and Art. Left of Black host and Duke University Professor Mark Anthony Neal is joined via Skype by Liana Asim (@LianaAsim) and Jabari Asim (@JabariAsim) to talk about the current protests in response to police shootings, the social role of celebrities and artists, and the importance of family. Liana Asim is a playwright and librettist; her most recent piece is Bedfellows, which examines the intimate relationship between Abraham Lincoln and Joshua Sneed. Jabari Asim is Associate Professor of Writing, Literature and Publishing at Emerson College in Boston and the executive editor of The Crisis. Asim is the author of several books including The N Word: Who Can Say It, Who Shouldn’t and Why (2007), What Obama Means . . .For Our Culture, Our Politics, Our Future (2009), Whose Toes are Those? (2006), Whose Knees are These? (2006), Girl of Mine (2010), Boy of Mine (2010) and the forthcoming novel Only the Strong. The Asims are the parents of five children.

Left of Black S5:E15, January 12, 2015 : Tourism, Race & Historical Memory in New Orleans. Left of Black host and Duke University Professor Mark Anthony Neal is joined via Skype by Professor Lynnell L. Thomas (@llthoma), who talks about her new book Desire and Disaster in New Orleans: Tourism, Race, and Historical Memory (on order)  (Duke University Press). Thomas is Associate Professor and Chair of American Studies at the University of Massachusetts Boston.

Left of Black S5:E16, January 21, 2015 : On Prison Art, Public Culture and Racial Icons. Left of Black host and Duke University Professor Mark Anthony Neal (@NewBlackMan) is joined in-studio by Professor Nicole Fleetwood, who talks about her forthcoming project Carceral Aesthetics: Prison Art and Public Culture. Fleetwood is Associate Professor of American Studies and Director of the Institute for Research on Women at Rutgers University, New Brunswick. She is author of Troubling Vision: Performance, Visuality, and Blackness (University of Chicago Press 2011) and On Racial Icons, which will be published by Rutgers University Press later this year.

Left of Black S5:E17, January 26, 2015 : Honoring Our Own Black Superheroes. Left of Black host and Duke University Professor Mark Anthony Neal (@NewBlackMan) is joined via Skype by artist Joel Christian Gill (@jcg007), who talks about using Graphic Novels to teach Black History. Gill is the author of Strange Fruit  vol. 1: Uncelebrated Narratives from Black History and Bass Reeves: Tales of the Talented Tenth (Fulcrum Books) and the Associate Dean of Student Affairs at the New Hampshire Institute of Art.

Left of Black S5:E18, February 2, 2015: Black History and America's Future. Left of Black host and Duke University Professor Mark Anthony Neal (@NewBlackMan) is joined via Skype by Howard University Professor Daryl Michael Scott. Professor Scott is President of the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH), which was founded by Historian Carter G. Woodson and celebrates its Centennial this year. Scott is the author of Contempt and Pity: Social Policy and the Image of the Damaged Black Psyche, 1880-1996 (UNC Press).

Left of Black S5:E19, February 12, 2015 : Through A Lens Darkly—Black Photographers and the Emergence of a People. Left of Black host and Duke University Professor Mark Anthony Neal (@NewBlackMan) is joined via Skype by filmmaker and photographer Thomas Allen Harris (@ObaOxum). Inspired by Deborah Willis' groundbreaking book Reflections in Black: A History of Black Photographers, 1840 to the Present, Harris’ latest film is Through A Lens Darkly: Black Photographers and the Emergence of a People.

Left of Black S5:E20, February 19, 2015 : Classic Soul and the Dismantling of Black Radio. Left of Black host and Duke University Professor Mark Anthony Neal (@NewBlackMan) is joined via Skype by Dyana Williams (@DyanaWilliams), veteran Philadelphia Radio personality. Neal and Williams discuss her work with the legendary Frankie Crocker, the legacy of Philadelphia International Records (PIR) and the dismantling of Black Radio. Williams is the co-host of Soul Sunday (with Derrick Sampson) on Philadelphia's WRNB.

Left of Black S5:E21, February 26, 2015 : Black Erotic Lives in Slavery and Freedom. Left of Black host and Duke University Professor Mark Anthony Neal (@NewBlackMan) is joined in studio by Professor Jessica Marie Johnson (@jmjafrx) and Professor Treva Blaine Lindsey (@DivaFeminist), co-authors of the essay "Searching for Climax: Black Erotic Lives in Slavery and Freedom appearing in Meridians, Vol. 12, Issue 2" In the essay Professor Johnson (Michigan State University) and Professor Lindsey (The Ohio State University) grapple with the “erotic lives of black women during slavery,” offering a “new lens with which to comprehend the lived experience of chattel slavery.” The essay was published as part of a special issue of Meridians: feminism, race, transnationalism.

Left of Black S5:E22, March 3, 2015: Queer Black Visionaries.   In this special episode of Left of Black, taped with a live audience at Center for Sexual and Gender Diversity at Duke University, Mark Anthony Neal (@NewBlackMan) is joined by filmmaker and photographer Katina Parker (@KatinaParker). Neal and Parker discuss her forthcoming documentary series Truth.Be.Told. which examines the lives of Queer Black Visionaries including Staceyann Chin, Darnell Moore, Alexis Pauline Gumbs and Justin Robinson. Truth.Be.Told. makes its festival debut with at Outfest Fusion LGBT People of Color Film Festival, March 13-14.

Left of Black S5:E23, March 12, 2015 : Race and Suburban Schooling. Left of Black host and Duke University Professor Mark Anthony Neal (@NewBlackMan) is joined in-studio by Sociologist R.L’Heureux Lewis-McCoy (@DumiLM), author of Inequality in the Promised Land: Race, Resources, and Suburban Schooling (Also available online) (Stanford University Press, 2014). Neal and Lewis-McCoy have a wide ranging discussion about race and suburban schooling, the racial achievement gap, White social networks and the hoarding of educational resources, and the myth of color-blind instruction. Lewis-McCoy is Associate Professor of Sociology and Black Studies at The City College of New York (CUNY).

Left of Black S5:E24, March 19, 2015: Preaching on Wax and the Shaping of Modern African American Religion.   Left of Black host and Duke University Professor Mark Anthony Neal (@NewBlackMan) is joined via Skype by Religion Historian Lerone A. Martin, author of the new book, Preaching on Wax: The Phonograph and the Making of Modern African American Religion (New York University Press, 2014). Martin is Assistant Professor of Religion and Politics at the John C. Danforth Center on Religion and Politics at Washington University in St. Louis.

Left of Black S5:E25, March 24, 2015: At the Intersections of Jazz, Black Dance, and Storytelling. Left of Black host and Duke University Professor Mark Anthony Neal (@NewBlackMan) is joined in-studio by Jazz pianist Jason Moran (@morethan88) and dancer and choreographer Ron K. Brown (@evidencedance). Moran is a MacArthur Award Winner, whose latest recording is the Grammy Award nominated All Rise: A Joyful Elegy for Fats Waller. Brown is the founder of Ronald K. Brown's Evidence, A Dance Company, which is celebrating its 30th anniversary.

Left of Black S5:E26, March 31, 2015 : Freestyling on The Invisible Man, Hip-Hop & Living a Life of the Mind with James Braxton Peterson.   Left of Black host and Duke University Professor Mark Anthony Neal (@NewBlackMan) is joined in the John Hope Franklin Center studios by Professor James Braxton Peterson (@DrJamesPeterson), Director of Africana Studies and Associate Professor of English at Lehigh University. A regular contributor to MSNBC, Professor Peterson is also the host of The Remix on WHYY in Philadelphia. He is author of The Hip-Hop Underground and African American Culture: Beneath the Surface.

Left of Black: S5, E27, April 24, 2015 : Will Police Killings of Blacks be the Defining Crisis of the Obama Presidency?  Duke University University Sociologist Eduardo Bonilla-Silva, author of the classic Racism without Racists: Color-Blind Racism and the Persistence of Racial Inequality in America (now in its 4th edition) and Left of Black host Mark Anthony Neal discuss #BlackLivesMatters and the Obama Presidency.

Left of Black S5:E28, April 28, 2015: Black Rage in the Age of Color-Blind Racism. Left of Black host and Duke University Professor Mark Anthony Neal (@NewBlackMan) is joined in-studio by Duke University Sociologist Professor Eduardo Bonilla-Silva, who is the author of the classic Racism without Racists: Color-Blind Racism and the Persistence of Racial Inequality in America (4th Edition).

Left of Black S5:E29, May 5, 2015: Black Women's Movements for Black Power.   Left of Black host and Duke University Professor Mark Anthony Neal (@NewBlackMan) is joined in-studio by Historian Ashley D. Farmer (@DrAshleyFarmer), author of the forthcoming What You've Got is a Revolution: Black Women's Movements for Black Power (UNC Press). Dr. Farmer is a Post- Doctoral Associate in the Department of History at Duke University.

Left of Black S5:E30, May 8, 2015 : Finding the Rhythm of a Spoken Word Poet.  On this episode of Left of Black on The Root host Mark Anthony Neal sits down with spoken word artist, Dasan Ahanu, who is also an Assistant Professor of English and Creative Writing at Saint Augustine’s University. Ahanu is part of the 2015 –2016 class of Nasir Jones Hiphop Fellows at Harvard University’s Hiphop Archive and Research Institute at the Hutchins Center for African and African American Research.

Season 6, Episodes 1-

Left of Black S6:E1 (September 16, 2015): Rosa Clemente Talks #BlackLivesMatter.   On the premiere of Season 6 of Left of Black host and Duke University Professor Mark Anthony Neal (@NewBlackMan) is joined via Skype by Rosa Clemente (@RosaClemente) —longtime activist, independent journalist and 2008 Green Party Vice Presidential Candidate. Clemente and Neal discuss #BlackLivesMatter and the 2016 Presidential campaign. On the rise of #BlackLivesMatter during the Obama Presidency, Clemente ask “would we have had a generation of young people with so much hope, so quickly marginalized?” Clemente is currently a doctoral candidate with ABD status at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst in the W.E.B. Du Bois Department of Afro-American Studies.

Left of Black S6:E2 (September 21, 2015): Choreographer + Dancer Camille A. Brown--Dance and The Stories Black Girls Tell. On this episode of Left of Black host and Duke University Professor Mark Anthony Neal (@NewBlackMan) is joined via Skype by Camille A. Brown (@CamilleABrown) —Award Winning Dancer + Choreographer + founder of Camille A. Brown and Dancers. Brown’s latest work Black Girl: Linguistic Play, “explores the broad spectrum of black female identity” through dance and storytelling. The World Premiere engagement of Black Girl: Linguistic Play is at the Joyce Theater in New York City, before it tours nationally.

Left of Black S6:E3 (September 28, 2015): #ProfessoringWhileBlack with Blair L.M. Kelley. Left of Black host and Duke University Professor Mark Anthony Neal (@NewBlackMan) is joined by Historian Blair L.M. Kelley (@profblmkelley), author of Right to Ride: Streetcar Boycotts and African American Citizenship in the Era of Plessy v. Ferguson and host of the podcast Historical Blackness. Professor Kelley is Associate Professor of History and Assistant Dean for Interdisciplinary Studies and International Programs at North Carolina State University. Professor Kelley discusses the challenges and impact of scholarship that engages a broad public, including the fraught relationship that academics may have with social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook.

Left of Black S6:E4 (October 8, 2015): Religion + Hip-Hop at the Intersection of #BlackLivesMatter.    Left of Black host and Duke University Professor Mark Anthony Neal (@NewBlackMan) is joined by Religion Scholar Monica R. Miller (@religionhiphop), author of Religion and Hip Hop (Routledge, 2012), Claiming Identity in the Study of Religion: Social and Rhetorical Techniques Examined (Equinox), and co-editor of The Hip Hop and Religion Reader (Routledge) and co-editor Religion in Hip Hop: Mapping the New Terrain in the US w/ Anthony Pinn and Bernard ‘Bun B’ Freeman (Bloomsbury). Professor Miller is Assistant Professor of Religion and Africana Studies at Lehigh University, where she also serves as Director of Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies. In this wide ranging and often frenetic conversation, Professor Miller discusses the shared passions of #BlackLivesMatter and Hip-Hop, the role each plays in forwarding a Black protest tradition, and the ways that both are redefining notions of Black Religious practice for young activist.

Left of Black S6:E5 (October 12, 2015): Teaching and Living in St. Louis a Year After Mike Brown’s Death. Left of Black host and Duke University Professor Mark Anthony Neal (@NewBlackMan) is joined on location in Durham, NC by Scholar Jeffrey Q. McCune (@DrJeffrey2U), author of Sexual Discretion Black Masculinity and the Politics of Passing (University of Chicago Press). Neal and McCune discuss the intersectionality of #BlackLivesMatter, living and teaching in St. Louis a year after Mike Brown’s killing, and the challenges of raising a Black boy, as an out Black Gay man in the context of State sanctioned violence against Black and Queer bodies. McCune is Associate Professor in Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, and the Performing Arts Department at Washington University in St. Louis.

Left of Black S6:E6 (October 21, 2015): The Women of the UNIA; The Women of #BlackLivesMatter.   Left of Black host and Duke University Professor Mark Anthony Neal (@NewBlackMan) is joined on location at Lehigh University in Pennsylvania by Natanya Duncan (@GarveyiteWomen), Assistant Professor of History and Africana Studies at Lehigh University. Neal and Duncan discuss the under-studied role of Black women in the organizing efforts of Marcus Garvey’s Universal Negro Improvement Organization (UNIA), particularly in the organization’s branches in the deep South, the role of Black women in the Movement for Black Lives and the myth that #BlackLivesMatter lacks leadership.

Left of Black S6:E7 (October 28, 2015): The Black Arts Movement + #BLM + 21st Century Black Aesthetics. Left of Black host and Duke University Professor Mark Anthony Neal (@NewBlackMan) is joined on location in Durham, NC by Margo Natalie Crawford Associate Professor of English at Cornell University. Crawford discusses the role of aesthetics in the Black Arts Movement and #BlackLivesMatter, and the ways that BLM actively engages the symbolism and gestures of the Black Liberation Movement of the 1960s.

Left of Black S6:E8 (November 6, 2015) : Picturing Freedom + Citizenship in 19th Century Black Visual Culture.   Left of Black host and Duke University Professor Mark Anthony Neal (@NewBlackMan) is joined in studio by Jasmine Nichole Cobb (@jasminecobbphd), Assistant Professor of Art, Arts History and Visual Studies + African & African American Studies at Duke University. Cobb discusses her new book Picture Freedom Remaking Black Visuality in the Early Nineteenth Century (NYU Press) where she “explores the earliest illustrations of free Blacks and reveals the complicated route through visual culture toward a vision of African American citizenship. Picture Freedom reveals how these depictions contributed to public understandings of nationhood, among both domestic eyes and

Left of Black S6:E9 (November 14, 2015) : Who Gets to Tell Our Story? Ta-Nehisi Coates + the Authoring of the Black Experience Left of Black host and Duke University Professor Mark Anthony Neal (@NewBlackMan) is joined on location in Durham, NC by Candice M. Jenkins, Associate Professor of English and African American Studies at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Jenkins is the author of Private Lives, Proper Relations: Regulating Black Intimacy (University of Minnesota Press, 2007).

Left of Black S6:E10 (November 18, 2015) : #BlackCodeStudies + The Spectacle of Black Death.   Left of Black host and Duke University Professor Mark Anthony Neal (@NewBlackMan) is joined on location by Historian and Digital Humanist Jessica Marie Johnson (@jmjafrx), who discusses Hurricane Katrina, the spectacle of State-sanctioned Anti-Black Violence, and Black Code Studies. Johnson is Assistant Professor of History at Michigan State University and the Curator of African Diaspora, Ph.D. and Diaspora Hypertext. This episode was recorded on location at Lehigh University.

Left of Black S3:E11 (November 26, 2015)  Everyday Racism, Everyday HomophobiaOn Thursday, November 8, 2012, HASTAC (Humanities, Arts, Science and Technology Advanced Collaboratory) sponsored Everyday Racism, Everyday Homophobia:  A Symposium on the Intersections of Race, Gender, and Sexuality at the John Hope Franklin Center at Duke University.  The event featured Jack Halberstam, Professor of English and Director of The Center for Feminist Research at University of Southern California, and author of the recently published Gaga Feminism: Sex, Gender, and the End of Normal (Beacon);  Marlon Ross, Professor on English at the University of Virginia and author  of  Manning the Race: Reforming Black Men in the Jim Crow Era (NYU Press); Kathryn Bond Stockton, Distinguished Professor of English and Gender Studies at the University of Utah and author of Beautiful Bottom, Beautiful Shame: Where “Black” Meets “Queer”; and Sharon Patricia Holland, Associate Professor of English and African & African American Studies at Duke University and the author of the just published The Erotic Life of Racism (Duke University Press).  The event was moderated by Left of Black host and Duke University Professor, Mark Anthony Neal.

Left of Black S6:E12 (December 6, 2015): Africa in Stereo and the Sound of Diaspora.   Left of Black host and Duke University Professor Mark Anthony Neal (@NewBlackMan) is joined in studio by Tsitsi Ella Jaji, Associate Research Professor in the Department of English at Duke University. Jaji is the author of Africa in Stereo: Modernism, Music, and Pan-African Solidarity (Oxford University Press, 2014).

Left of Black S6:E13 (December 19, 2015) :  Florynce “Flo” Kennedy--The Life of a Black Feminist Radical Left of Black host and Duke University Professor Mark Anthony Neal (@NewBlackMan) is joined in studio by Sherie M. Randolph, Associate Professor of History and Afroamerican +African Studies at the University of Michigan. Randolph is the author of Florynce “Flo” Kennedy: The Life of a Black Feminist Radical (University of North Carolina Press, 2015).   Randolph and Neal discuss Kennedy’s use of the Law, independent media and grassroots organizing to address issues of social justice in the Black Power, Civil Rights and Feminist Movements.

Left of Black S6:E14 (January 13, 2016):  Getting Free in the Classroom with Hip-Hop Civics. Left of Black host and Duke University Professor Mark Anthony Neal (@NewBlackMan) is joined in studio by Bettina Love (@BLoveSoulPower), Associate Professor of Educational Theory & Practice at the University of Georgia. The author of Hip Hop’s Li’l Sistas Speak: Negotiating Hip Hop Identities and Politics in the New South, Professor Love talks about her latest project Get Free: Hip-Hop Civics Education and her appointment as the 2016 Nasir Jones Fellow at the HipHop Archive and Research Institute at Harvard University

Left of Black S6:E15 (January 26, 2016):  Squatting for Freedom + #FeesMustFall in South AfricaLeft of Black host and Duke University Professor Mark Anthony Neal (@NewBlackMan) is joined in studio by Anne-Maria Makhulu (@DrMackMack), Associate Professor of Cultural Anthropology and African + African-American Studies at Duke University. The author of Making Freedom: Apartheid, Squatter Politics and the Struggle for Home (Duke University Press, 2015).  Professor Makhulu discusses the politics of squatting (the desire of poor South African to create home without access to land), the recent #FeesMustFall protest among South African college students and growing-up in the shadows of the Anti-Apartheid Movement with her father Rev. Walter Paul Khotso Makhulu, emeritus archbishop of the province of Central Africa for the Anglican Church.

Left of Black S6:E16 (February 3, 2016):  When SNCC was the Black Lives Matter of the Civil Rights MovementLeft of Black host and Duke University Professor Mark Anthony Neal (@NewBlackMan) is joined in studio by Judy Richardson and Charlie Cobb, Jr., veterans of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) and visiting activist scholars for The SNCC Digital Gateway Project.  Richardson is a film producer, whose credits include the groundbreaking Eyes on the Prize (I + II) and the 1994 Emmy and Peabody Award-winning documentary, Malcolm X: Make It Plain. She is also the coeditor, with five other SNCC women, of Hands on the Freedom Plow: Personal Accounts By Women in SNCC.   Cobb is a longtime journalist, who offered some of the first reporting on Africa for National Public Radio in the 1970s, and later worked on the editorial staff at National Geographic Magazine.  He is the author of This Nonviolent Stuff′ll Get You Killed: How Guns Made the Civil Rights Movement Possible.

Left of Black S6:E17 (February 11, 2016): Black Women + Style + the Global Politics of Soul.   Left of Black host and Duke University Professor Mark Anthony Neal (@NewBlackMan) is joined in studio by Tanisha C. Ford (@SoulistaPhD), Assistant Professor of Women, Gender, Sexuality Studies at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, and the author of Liberated Threads: Black Women, Style, and the Global Politics of Soul (UNC Press, 2015). Neal and Ford discuss the impact and influence of late South African vocalist Miriam Makeba, the sartorial politics of the Civil Rights Movement, Black Student Activism, and Professor Ford offers her Top-5 of Black Power Anthems.

Left of Black S6:E18 (Februatry 17, 2016) : #BlackMovementMatters: Dance, Hip-Hop + Social Justice.   To coincide with the residency of choreographer Rennie Harris at Duke University, The John Hope Franklin Center hosted a panel discussion featuring Harris, Duke University Professor, Curator, and Dance Historian Thomas DeFrantz and members of Rennie Harris Puremovement. The discussion was moderated by Left of Black host Mark Anthony Neal.

Left of Black S6:E19 (February 26, 2016) : When Author Meets Critic--James Baldwin + Black Music + Black Lives. On this episode of Left of Black, guest host and Duke University professor Tsitsi Ella Jaji talks with poet and professor Ed Pavlic about his new book Who Can Afford to Improvise?: James Baldwin and Black Music, the Lyric and the Listeners. Professor Jaji reviewed Professor Pavlic’s book in the Los Angeles Review of Books, and their conversation represents a unique opportunity for the author to meet the critic.

Left of Black S6:E20 (March 3, 2016) :  When An Angry Black White Boy Tells You to Go the F*ck To Sleep.  On this special episode of Left of Black, recorded with a live audience at Duke University’s John Hope Franklin Center for Interdisciplinary and International Studies, host and Duke University Professor Mark Anthony Neal is joined by author and critic Adam Mansbach in a wide ranging conversation about race, Hip-hop, White Liberalism and contemporary politics and culture. Mansbach is the author of several books including the classic Angry Black White Boy (2005), The End of the Jews (2008), Rage is Back (2013) and the New York Times Best-Seller, Go the F*ck to Sleep (2011).

Left of Black S6:E21 (March 11, 2016): In the Future of Blackness--A Conversation with Alexis De Veaux.   On this special episode of Left of Black, recorded with a live audience at Duke University’s John Hope Franklin Center for Interdisciplinary and International Studies, host and Duke University Professor Mark Anthony Neal is joined by two-time Lambda Award Winner Alexis De Veaux. De Veaux is the author of Yabo, which won the 2015 Lambda Award for Lesbian Fiction. De Veaux is also the author of the award winning biography of Warrior Poet: A Biography of Audre Lorde, which won the 2005 Lambda Award for Biography, the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award, and the Gustavus Myers Outstanding Book Award.

Left of Black S6:E22 (March 21, 2016) :  Black Women + Transnational Identity + Visual Culture. Left of Black host and Duke University Professor Mark Anthony Neal (@NewBlackMan) is joined in studio by ; Simone C. Drake @SimoneCDrake),, Associate Professor of African American + African Studies at The Ohio State University.  Drake is the author of Critical Appropriations: African American Women and the Construction of Transnational Identity>   (online link)   : (LSU Press) and the forthcomingWhen We Imagine Grace: Black Men and Subject Making (University of Chicago Press):

Left of Black S6:E23 (March 29, 2016): Gospel Music + ‘Gracious’ Masculinity + Black Spirituality. Left of Black host and Duke University Professor Mark Anthony Neal (@NewBlackMan) is joined in-studio by Alisha Lola Jones (@Move_And_Shake), Assistant Professor of Ethnomusicology at Indiana University. Jones and Neal discuss her research on Gospel Music and the performances of Black Masculinity, the career of Anthony Clark Williams II (B.Slade/Tonex), and her Top-5 of Gospel #turnups.

Left of Black S6:E24 (April 5, 2016): What is the Art of Cool Festival? A Celebration of Music + Innovation. Left of Black host and Duke University Professor Mark Anthony Neal (@NewBlackMan) is joined in-studio by Cicely Mitchell (@drcicy), co-founder of the Art of Cool Project and co-curator of the Art of Cool Festival. Billed as progressive jazz and alternative soul music festival located in downtown Durham, NC, the Art of Cool Festival runs from May 6-8 and is headlined by Grammy Award winning Jazz Artist Terence Blanchard and The Internet.

Left of Black S6:E25 (April 15, 2016): Diversity + Excellence & Protest at the Elite University.   Left of Black host and Duke University Professor Mark Anthony Neal (@NewBlackMan) is joined in-studio by Dr. Valerie Ashby, Dean of Trinity College of Arts & Sciences at Duke University. A noted chemist, Professor Ashby discusses her ascension through the profession as a Black Woman, how the pursuit of diversity is not antithetical to the pursuit of excellence, and the student protests that have taken place across the country.

Left of Black S6:E26 (April 23, 2016): Religion + Policing + The Fear of the Black Body. Left of Black host and Duke University Professor Mark Anthony Neal (@NewBlackMan) is joined in-studio by Rev. Dr. Eboni Marshall Turman (@EboniThoughts), Director of Black Church Studies at Duke University and the author of Toward a Womanist Ethic of Incarnation: Black Bodies, the Black Church, and the Council of Chalcedon (Palgrave Macmillan). Neal and Professor Marshall Turman discuss the Black Body as a Theological problem and the role of Public Theologians in the contemporary moment of Anti-Black Violence. She joins the faculty at Yale Divinity School in the Fall.

Left of Black S6:E27 (April 26, 2016): Organizing a Hip-Hop Electorate in an Age of Anti-Black Violence. Left of Black host and Duke University Professor Mark Anthony Neal (@NewBlackMan) is joined in-studio by Bakari Kitwana (@TheRealBakari), veteran journalist and activist. Neal and Kitwana discuss the founding of the National Hip-Hop Political Convention, the Black Live Matters Movement, and the impact of down ballot elections in the context of anti-Black police violence. Kitwana is the executive director of Rap Sessions, which is currently touring the nation leading town hall discussions on the theme “Election 2016: Reform or Revolution?” His books include The Hip-Hop Generation: Young Blacks and the Crisis in African-American Culture (also available online), Why White Kids Love Hip Hop: Wankstas, Wiggers, Wannabes, and the New Reality of Race in America (also available online), and the forthcoming Hip-Hop Activism in the Obama Era. Kitwana has served as Editorial Director of Third World Press, Executive Editor of The Source—the nation’s top-selling music magazine— and co-founder the first ever National Hip-Hop Political Convention.

Left of Black S6:E28 (May 10, 2016): Playlist Pedagogy–Social Justice + Black Intimacy. Left of Black host and Duke University Professor Mark Anthony Neal (@NewBlackMan) is joined on-location by Monica R. Miller (@religionhiphop), Natanya Duncan (@GarveyiteWomen) and Jessica Marie Johnson (@jmjafrx) at Lehigh University. Inspired by James Braxton Peterson’s concept of “Playlist Pedagogy,” the group discusses their top-5 of Social Justice Agents and songs that conjure Black intimacy.

Left of Black S6:E29 (June 2, 2016) : Food Justice as Social Justice.   In this special episode of Left of Black, recorded with a live audience, host and Duke University Professor Mark Anthony Neal (@NewBlackMan) is joined at the John Hope Franklin Center by award-winning chef, educator and author Bryant Terry (@BryantTerry) in a wide-ranging conversation on Food Justice as Social Justice. Terry is the author of several books including the recent Afro-Vegan: Farm-Fresh African, Caribbean, and Southern Flavors Remixed. The event was held in collaboration with the Duke Council on Race and Ethnicity (DCORE) and the Department of African + African American Studies at Duke.

Season 7, Episode 1-

Left of Black S7:E1 (October 19, 2016) : ;A Conversation with Marc Lamont Hill. In the premiere episode of Season 7 of Left of Black, host Mark Anthony Neal (@NewBlackMan) joined in-studio by Marc Lamont Hill (@MarcLamontHill) in a discussion of his new book Nobody: Casualties of America’s War on the Vulnerable, from Ferguson to Flint and Beyond (Atria Books) and contemporary political discourse. Hill is the host of VH1 Live, a regular contributor to BET News and CNN and Distinguished Professor of African-American Studies at Morehouse College.  He is also the author of several books including Beats, Rhymes, and Classroom Life: Hip-Hop Pedagogy and the Politics of Identity and The Classroom and the Cell: Conversations on Black Life in America with Mumia Abu-Jamal
 
Left of Black S7:E2 (October 28, 2016) :  Talking The #ProfessionalBlackGirl Movement with Scholar/Producer Yaba Blay. On this episode of Left of Black, host Mark Anthony Neal (@NewBlackMan) is joined in-studio by Dr. Yaba Blay (@FiyaWata) in a discussion of her new web series #ProfessionalBlackGirl, her forthcoming series Adventures at Beauty World, and Black Hair culture and style. Blay is currently the Dan Blue Endowed Chair in Political Science at North Carolina Central University and the author of (1)ne Drop: Shifting the Lens on Race, which explores the interconnected nuances of skin color politics and Black racial identity, and challenges narrow perceptions of Blackness as both an identity and lived reality.
 
Left of Black S7:E3 (November 1, 2016) : Radical Aesthetics and Modern Black Nationalism. On this episode of Left of Black, host Mark Anthony Neal (@NewBlackMan) is joined in-studio by GerShun Avilez in a discussion of his new book Radical Aesthetics and Modern Black Nationalism (University of Illinois Press), which examines how Black Nationalist rhetoric impacted African American artistic experimentation in the late 20th and 21st centuries in drama, novels, poetry, film, and visual art. According to reviewer Sasha Panaram, “Radical Aesthetics is more than timely, it is essential – required reading.” Avilez is Associate Professor of English and Comparative Literature and Director of the Program in Sexuality Studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. 
 
Left of Black S7:E4 (November 10, 2016) : Dandy Lions + Black Pete + Black Visual Culture. On this episode of Left of Black, host Mark Anthony Neal (@NewBlackMan) is joined in-studio by curator Shantrelle P. Lewis (@APshantology) in a conversation about her forthcoming book based on  The Dandy Lion Project, the Dutch blackface tradition embodied in Zwarte Piet (Black Pete) and the role of Black Studies in inspiring her interest in Black Visual Culture.
 
Left of Black S7:E5 (November 20, 2016) : Black Composers + Black Creative Thought + The Future(s) of Black Music. On this episode of Left of Black, filmed with a live audience at the University of Carolina at Chapel Hill, host Mark Anthony Neal is joined by musician, composer and Berklee School of Music Professor William C. Banfield in a wide ranging conversation about the legacy of Black Composers. The conversation served as the opening event for a bi-annual gathering of Black Composers.
 
Left of Black S7:E6 (November 25, 2016) : Black Studies in an Era of Melancholic Hope. On this episode of Left of Black host Mark Anthony Neal is joined in studio by Joseph R. Winters, author Hope Draped in Black: Race, Melancholy, and the Agony of Progress (Duke University Press). Joseph R. Winters is Assistant Professor of Religious Studies at Duke University.  
 
Left of Black S7:E7 (December 1, 2016) :  Hidden Figures -- The Black Women Mathematicians of the US Space Program. On this episode of Left of Black host Mark Anthony Neal is joined by Margot Lee Shetterly, author of  Hidden Figures: The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Race.  Shetterly discusses growing up in Virginia amongst the historical figures she examines in the book, her inspiration for writing the book, and the book’s transformation into a film starring Academy Award winner Octavia Spencer and Academy Award nominee Taraji P. Henson.  
 
Left of Black S7:E8 (December 6, 2016) : The Future of Black Electoral Politics in Trump’s America. On this episode of Left of Black Political Scientist Kerry L. Haynie  joins host Mark Anthony Neal in a discussion of the 2016 Election season and the impact of its outcomes on Black and Latino/a voters across the nation and in the state of North Carolina.  Haynie is Associate Professor of Political Science at Duke University where he directs the Center for the Study of Race, Ethnicity, and Gender in the Social Sciences and co-directs the Duke Council on Race and Ethnicity. Haynie is an editor of the journal Politics, Groups, and Identities as well as the author of New Race Politics in America: Understanding Minority and Immigrant Politics (with Jane Junn) and African American Legislators in the American States.  
 
Left of Black S7:E9 (December 14, 2016) : Erasure + Blaqueer + the Margins of Blackness with Tim’m West. On this episode of Left of Black activist and scholar Tim’m West (@BraveEducator) joins host Mark Anthony Neal in a frank conversation about Black Queer identity and erasure in Black communities.  West is an artists author, activist and founding member of the groundbreaking Hip-Hop group The Deep Dickollective (DDC).
 
Left of Black S7:E10 (December 20, 2016) : “Black Righteous Space” – A Conversation with Hank Willis Thomas. On this episode of Left of Black noted photo-conceptual artist Hank Willis Thomas, joins host Mark Anthony Neal on the occasion of the Annual Barbra and Andrew Rothschild Lecture at the Nasher Museum at Duke University. Thomas discusses his installation “Black Righteous Space” which is featured in the exhibit Southern Accent: Seeking the American South in Contemporary Art and the opening of the National Museum of African American History & Culture.
 
Left of Black S7:E11 (January 11, 2017) : “Are We Free?” -- Kyle Abraham Talks Dance as Protest. On this episode of Left of Black Award winning dancer and choreographer Kyle Abraham talks with host Mark Anthony Neal about his work When the Wolves Came In, which was inspired by We Insist! Max Roach’s Freedom Now Suite, and collaborating with figures like visual artist Glenn Ligon and musician Robert Glasper.  Abraham is Artistic Director of the Abraham.In.Motion.  His interview was recording during his residency at Duke University which was sponsored by Duke Performances.
 
Left of Black S7:E12 (January 31, 2017) : The Legacy of ‘Roots’ – 40 Years LaterJanuary of 2017 marked the 40th anniversary of the groundbreaking television mini-series Roots. On this episode of Left of Black, historian Wesley Hogan discusses with host Mark Anthony Neal the enduring legacy of Roots, including the impact that Alex Haley’s text has on the field of oral history.  Hogan directs the Center for Documentary Studies (CDS) at Duke University.
 
Left of Black S7:E13 (January 31, 2017) : The Bilal Conversation. On this episode of Left of Black Grammy-award winning singer-songwriter, musician and producer Bilal (@Bilal) joins host Mark Anthony Neal in a wide ranging conversation about his career, his many collaborations and the legacy of Black music.
 
Left of Black S7:E14 (February 9, 2017) :  Scenes of Black Feminist Fugitivity. The self-described queer Black troublemaker and Black feminist love evangelist, Alexis Pauline Gumbs joins Mark Anthony Neal in the Left of Black Studio to discuss her new book Spill: Scenes of Black Feminist Fugitivity (Duke University Press/on order). In part a homage to Black feminist theorist Hortense Spillers, “Gumbs offers an alternative approach to Black feminist literary criticism, historiography, and the interactive practice of relating to the words of Black feminist thinkers.” Gumbs is coeditor of Revolutionary Mothering: Love on the Front Lines and the Founder and Director of Eternal Summer of the Black Feminist Mind, an educational program based in Durham, North Carolina.
 
Left of Black S7:E15 (February 18, 2017) : #OscarsBlackAF?   On this episode of Left of Black recorded with a live audience at the John Hope Franklin Center, host Mark Anthony Neal (@NewBlackMan) is joined by film scholars Stephane Dunn (@DrStephaneDunn) and Natalie Bullock Brown (@NatalieBB2) in a wide ranging discussion of the current state of Black filmmaking.
 
Left of Black S7:E16 (February 23, 2017) : Speculative Blackness + The Future of Race in Science Fiction. On this episode of Left of Black, Professor André M. Carrington (@prof_carrington), author of Speculative Blackness: The Future of Race in Science Fiction (University of Minnesota Press), joins host Mark Anthony Neal (@NewBlackMan) in the Left of Black studio.  Carrington was at Duke University to deliver a keynote address at the Black Is, Black Will Be: On Black Futures symposium.
 
Left of Black S7:E17 (March 6, 2017) : The 2BeatHIV Project and Crowdsourcing HIV Cure Research. On this episode of Left of Black,  Dr. Allison Mathews (@_AllisonMathews) joins host and Duke University Professor Mark Anthony Neal in the Left of Black studio. Dr. Mathews is the founder and CEO of Community Expert Solutions, LLC, which uses crowdsourcing to identify and develop community-based ideas into revenue generating projects. She is the director of the 2BeatHIV project, which engages community about HIV cure research.  Dr. Mathews is also a researcher at UNC Chapel Hill in the Department of Social Medicine and the Institute for Global Health and Infectious Disease.
 
Left of Black S7:E18 (March 13, 2017) : The Black Queer Feminist Imagination in the Trump EraOn this episode of Left of Black,  Mecca Jamilah Sullivan (@mecca_jamilah) joins host and Duke University Professor Mark Anthony Neal in the Left of Black studio to discuss Black Feminist Poetics, Harlem and the role of Creatives in the Trump Era. Sullivan is Assistant Professor of Women, Gender, Sexuality Studies at UMass Amherst and Postdoctoral Fellow in the Gender + Sexuality + Feminist Studies Program at Duke University. Professor Sullivan is the author of  Blue Talk and Love, a collection of short fiction.
 
Left of Black S7:E19 (March 24, 2017) : Black Feminist Fugitivity -- Hortense Spillers & Alexis Pauline Gumbs in Conversation. On this special episode Left of Black, guest host Alexis Pauline Gumbs is in conversation with foundational Black Feminist Theorist Hortense Spillers. Spillers is the Gertrude Conaway Vanderbilt Professor at Vanderbilt University and the author of Black, White, and in Color: Essays on American Literature and Culture (University of Chicago Press, Spring 2003) and the groundbreaking essay "Mama's Baby, Papa's Maybe: An American Grammar Book". Gumbs is the author of Spill: Scenes of Black Feminist Fugitivity (Duke University Press, on order), co-editor of Revolutionary Mothering: Love on the Front Lines (on order) and the Founder and Director of Eternal Summer of the Black Feminist Mind, an educational program based in Durham, North Carolina. 

Season 7, Episodes 20 -

Left of Black S7:E20 (March 30, 2017) : #BlackGirlMagic and the Genius of Duke Ellington.  On this episode of Left of Black, classically trained vocalist Candice Hoyes joins host Mark Anthony Neal and a live audience at the John Hope Franklin Center at Duke, for a discussion of the continued relevance of the music of Duke Ellington and Black Musical traditions. A graduate of Harvard and a veteran of Jazz at Lincoln Center, Hoyes latest recording On a Turquoise Cloud -- independently released -- is a collection of rare Ellington compositions, written for women singers such as Adelaide Hall, Kay Davis, and Alice Babs.
 
Left of Black S7:E21 (April 6, 2017) : Regina Bradley Got Something To Say -- on Hip-Hop and the New Southern Studies. On this episode of Left of Black, Regina N. Bradley joins host Mark Anthony Neal in the Left of Black studio at the John Hope Franklin Center at Duke University. Bradley discusses her work on the groundbreaking Hip-Hop act Outkast and what might be described as “New” Southern Studies.  A Nasir Jones HipHop Fellow alumna at Harvard, Bradley is Assistant Professor of African American Literature at Armstrong State University in Savannah, GA., and the author of Boondock Kollage: New Stories from the Contemporary Black South. Bradley’s scholarly monograph Chronicling Stankonia: OutKast and the Rise of the Hip Hop South is forthcoming from the University of North Carolina Press.
 
Left of Black S7:E22 (April 20, 2017) : Rise of the Rural Ghetto and Prison Proliferation.   On this episode of Left of Black, Sociologist John M. Eason joins host Mark Anthony Neal in the Left of Black studio at the John Hope Franklin Center at Duke University to discuss his book Big House on the Prairie: Rise of the Rural Ghetto and Prison Proliferation (University of Chicago Press).   Eason is Assistant Professor of Sociology at Texas A&M University. Of Professor Eason’s Big House on the Prairie, noted sociologist Mary Pattillo writes, “Big House on the Prairie is a masterful, sensitive, and theoretically complex study of the politics of prison building in a southern town dealing with the ‘quadruple stigma of rurality, race, region, and poverty.’” 
 
Left of Black S7:E23 (May 2, 2017) : African American History and the Born Digital Museum.  On this episode of Left of Black,  Timothy Anne Burnside, a curatorial specialist at the National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC) in Washington, D.C.  joins host Mark Anthony Neal in the Left of Black studio at the John Hope Franklin Center at Duke University. Burnside and Neal discuss the impact and importance of the new museum and its function as a “Born Digital” exhibition space.
 
Left of Black S7:E24 (May 11, 2017) : Environmental Justice + Sustainability + Political Pragmatism in the Black BeltOn this episode of Left of Black, activist Catherine Coleman Flowers, joins host Mark Anthony Neal in studio to discuss environmental justice in Lowndes County, Alabama, including her working relationship with former Alabama Senator and current US Attorney General, Jefferson Sessions.  Coleman Flowers is Director of Environmental Justice and Civic Engagement of the Center for Earth Ethics at Union Theological Seminary and founder of the Alabama Center for Rural Enterprise Community Development Corporation (ACRE).  Coleman Flowers is the 2017 Franklin Humanities Institute Practitioner in Residence.

Left of Black, Season 8, 1-

 
. Left of Black host Dr. Mark Anthony Neal sits down with Dr. Monica A. Coleman to discuss her book Bipolar Faith: A Black Woman’s Journey with Depression and Faith. Dr. Coleman is Professor of Constructive Theology and African American Religions at Claremont School of Theology in southern California. There she also serves as a Co-Director the Center for Process Studies and Director of Process and Faith.
 
. Left of Black host Mark Anthony Neal, chair of Duke's Department of African and African American Studies, speaks with Durham, N.C. mayoral candidate Pierce Freelon about town/gown relations, the city's rapid development, and his vision for Durham's marginalized communities. Freelon is the founder of Blackspace, a digital maker space in Durham where young people learn about music, film and coding, and he is frontman of the local jazz hip-hop band The Beast. He also co-founded Beat Making Lab, an Emmy-Award winning PBS web-series and social entrepreneurship community program.
 
On this episode of Left of Black host Mark Anthony Neal sits down with Professor Uri McMillan to discuss his recent book  Embodied Avatars: Genealogies of Black Feminist Art and Performance. McMillan is an Associate Professor of English at the University of California, Los Angeles with joint appointments in the Departments of African-American Studies and Gender Studies and active affiliation with the Center for Performance Studies. 
 
. 'Left of Black host Mark Anthony Neal is joined in studio by image activist, Michaela Angela Davis for a free-ranging conversation about Black women, beauty and representation. Davis is the creator of MADFREE: Liberating Conversations About Image Beauty and Power, a multi-platform conversation project with revolutionary women. A frequent contributor to CNN, Davis has served as fashion editor at Essence, the first fashion director at Vibe and the editor in chief of Honey.'
 
. Left of Black host Mark Anthony Neal sits down with fantasy novelist Daniel José Older talk his interests in Fantasy Fiction, how bureaucracies influenced his writing, and the challenge of diversity in the publishing industry. Older is the author of Battle Hill Bolero (an epic war novel set in Brooklyn), from the Urban Fantasy series the Bone Street Rumba and the Young Adult fantasy series Shadowshaper.
 
. Left of Black host Mark Anthony Neal sits down with historian Chad L. Williams, author of Torchbearers of Democracy: African American Soldiers in the World War I Era (UNC Press 2010). Professor Williams is Chair of the African American Studies Department at Brandeis University and co-editor (with Kidada Williams and Keisha Blain) of Charleston Syllabus: Readings on Race, Racism and Racial Violence (University of Georgia Press, 2016).
Michigan State University