February 5, 2009...
The most famous African American in America in 1900 was former slave and self-taught educator Booker T. Washington. The founder of Tuskegee Institute was admired by many whites in the north for his achievements and for his oratory promoting hard work, education and self-reliance for Black people. But some contemporaries like W. E. B. Dubois accused him of being too eager to accommodate the white power structure and civil rights leaders like John Lewis branded him an Uncle Tom. Now a new biography questions this view. Up From History by University of Tennessee professor Jeff Norrell takes a fresh look at Booker Washington and the time in which he lived.
When President Obama was elected some comics worried there wouldn't be any good material for them to satirize. But not so, says Birmingham performer Diane McNaron. (LISTEN)
McNaron directs the Politically Incorrect Cabaret - a troupe of actors, singers and instrumentalists who tackle deep social issues and political foibles in the style of the Weimer Republic of 1920's Germany. McNaron tells WBHM's Tanya Ott that this year is rich for national politics - and local, with Birmingham Mayor Larry Langford.
The Politically Incorrect Cabaret performs Saturday night at the Children's Dance Foundation.
It's been described as a blockbuster work. With more than 250 musicians, three soloists, not to mention a forest of percussion instruments, Carl Orff's Carmina Burana is both explosive and subtle -- a study in musical extremes. This weekend, Justin Brown conducts the work with the Alabama Symphony Orchestra, soloists and four separate choirs. Brown spoke with WBHM's Michael Krall...
In the story of Pollyanna, the little girl is sent live with her aunt after her parents die. Although this could be a somber situation, Pollyanna makes the most out of it, always with a smile and a kind word. Her story comes to the stage in Trussville this weekend. The young actors who play Pollyanna and her friends share something in common with the timeless character...they, too, have a second family - a theatre family, as WBHM's Kate Horton reports.
Tapestry is produced by Tanya Ott and Michael Krall, with help this week from Kate Horton. Next week on the program, hear one of the most powerful voices in American music -- a Valentines visit with Mavis Staples on the next Tapestry. I'm Greg Bass, and we'll see you next week.