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Moyers & Company Previous Broadcasts

Facing Evil with Maya Angelou (Episode #332H)

KQED World: Sat, Aug 16, 2014 -- 7:30 AM

In this second of 2 programs celebrating the life and work of the late Maya Angelou, Bill Moyers revisits a 1988 documentary in which he and Angelou attended a conference on "Facing Evil," held in the Hill Country of central Texas. Evil was a topic about which Angelou, the victim of childhood rape and virulent racism, had a lot to say. < br>Rape caused her to retreat into silence for 5 years. she said, and was "a dire kind of evil, because rape on the body of a young person more often than not introduces cynicism, and there is nothing quite so tragic as a young cynic, because it means the person has gone from knowing nothing to believing nothing. In my case I was saved in that muteness, you see, in the sordida, I was saved. And I was able to draw from human thought, human disappointments and triumphs, enough to triumph myself."
She recites the lyrics of a song she wrote for Roberta Flack about Angelou's crippled Uncle Willie, who made sure she and others knew their lessons and "left for our generation and generations to come a legacy so rich." She reads from the poetry of African-American poet Paul Laurence Dunbar as well her own: "There in those pleated faces/I see the auction block/The chains and slavery's coffles/The whip and lash and stock./My fathers speak in voices/That shred my fact and sound/They say, but, sugar, it was our submission/that made your world go round.''
She tells the conference, "We need the courage to create ourselves daily, to be bodacious enough to create ourselves daily - as Christians, as Jews, as Muslims, as thinking, caring, laughing, loving human beings," she says. I think that the courage to confront evil and turn it by dint of will into something applicable to the development of our evolution, individually and collectively, is exciting, honorable."

Repeat Broadcasts:

  • KQED World: Sun, Aug 17, 2014 -- 11:30 AM
  • KQED World: Sun, Aug 17, 2014 -- 3:00 AM
  • KQED World: Sat, Aug 16, 2014 -- 12:00 PM

Going Home with Maya Angelou (Episode #331H)

KQED World: Sat, Aug 9, 2014 -- 7:30 AM

Over the years and on several occasions, Bill Moyers interviewed Maya Angelou, the legendary author who died in late May. In this first of two programs celebrating her extraordinary life and legacy, Moyers revisits an episode from his 1982 series "Creativity" in which he and Angelou returned to the small town of Stamps, Arkansas, where she spent much of her childhood.
Walking with Moyers, she remembers a place where she was "terribly hurt - and vastly loved." Stamps, Arkansas, was deeply segregated, divided by railroad tracks that split the town into black and white. "This was more or less a no man's land here. If you were black you never felt really safe when you simply crossed the railroad tracks," she says. "And I used to have to walk over here. Oh gosh, I hated it. I had no protection at all over there. I had an idea of protection on this side. I had my grandmother on this side. I had the church, my uncle, and all my people were on this side. So I had an idea of protection, but there I would be all alone and I loathed it, crossing those railroad tracks." Angelou, who had been traumatized by rape at the age of seven-and-a-half and did not speak for several years, found her voice again with the help of a family friend, Mrs. Flowers, who "told me poetry was music written for the human voice" and encouraged her to read aloud. The great writers she read, the music she heard in church, and the scars of racial discrimination guided her toward the writing career that made her famous.
"I am a writer and Stamps must remain for me in that nebulous, unreal reality, because I'm a poet and I have to draw from these shadows, these densities, these phantasmagorias for my poetry," Angelou tells Moyers. "I don't want it to become a place on the map, because the truth is you never can leave home. You take it with you everywhere you go."

Repeat Broadcasts:

  • KQED World: Sun, Aug 10, 2014 -- 11:30 AM
  • KQED World: Sun, Aug 10, 2014 -- 3:00 AM
  • KQED World: Sat, Aug 9, 2014 -- 12:00 PM

John Lithgow on the Role of a Lifetime (Episode #330H)

KQED World: Sat, Aug 2, 2014 -- 7:30 AM

Back in the 1970s, a time of Vietnam and Watergate, war and corruption, disaffected youth flocked to productions of Shakespeare's "Hamlet," the story of a young prince angered by betrayal and the abuse of power. Today, in an era of aging baby boomers and an unstable world, we're surrounded by productions of Shakespeare's "King Lear," the story of an elderly monarch losing strength and sanity, seeking order in uncertainty.
Why are we so drawn these days to the tale of Lear and his dysfunctional family? John Lithgow, the award-winning actor and writer is playing him right now in The Public Theater's free Shakespeare in the Park production, and on this week's edition, he tells Bill Moyers what it's like to perform the monumental role, and what he thinks its significance is in a time of so much violence and unrest.
Lithgow has been blogging about the experience in The New York Times. "'King Lear' is full of high-pitched, raw emotion," he wrote. "From day one, I've been tracking Lear's journey into madness. It's a journey fueled by humiliation, anger, regret and sorrow. His interaction with every character he confronts is scaldingly intense. I've found it impossible to rehearse the role dispassionately. Try as I may to restrain myself, the emotions simply run away with me."

Repeat Broadcasts:

  • KQED 9: Sun, Aug 3, 2014 -- 4:30 PM
  • KQED World: Sun, Aug 3, 2014 -- 11:30 AM
  • KQED World: Sun, Aug 3, 2014 -- 3:00 AM
  • KQED World: Sat, Aug 2, 2014 -- 12:00 PM
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