Barbara Smith Conrad is a gifted mezzo-soprano who, as student at the University of Texas, found herself in a civil rights storm. It happened when Smith was cast opposite a white student. Smith was featured in the PBS documentary, When I Rise.
Jim Sadwith was a boarding school student in the 1960s when he first read "The Catcher in the Rye." He immediately saw himself in the character of Holden. Jim's dream had been to become an actor, and now his dream was to play Holden Caulfield on stage. So he wrote a play based on "The Catcher in the Rye"—and he set out to find the reclusive J.D. Salinger to get his permission to perform it. Also in the show: A man finds luck at the track.
Nicole Anderson Cobb is an African American history professor, born and raised on the south side of Chicago. Her family and friends are die-hard Obama fans, supporting the President come hell or high water, dissent or disapproval out of the question. Nicole has wrestled with her own opinions, and as an emerging playwright, turned them into a one woman show.
Shaun Hudson just got out of prison after serving nearly 16 years for crack offenses. He has now landed a job, gotten a driver's license and is learning to be a dad to a 16-year-old daughter he'd seen only once. Also in this episode: a cold call from Ralph Nader.
In 1997, the Dothan High School Class of '77 held its 20th reunion in Dothan, Alabama. Actually, there were two reunions - one for white students, and one for black students. A few students, including Robert Dickens and Bill Perkins, went to both. Robert and Bill vowed to have one unified celebration for their 30th reunion, which will take place this weekend. Also on the show: a painting finds its way back home.
As a member of the Crips gang in Los Angeles, Aqeela Sherrills hated his rivals. But in 1992, he helped negotiate a peace treaty between the Bloods and the Crips. They announced it on a Tuesday, and the next day a jury acquitted four police officers of the beating of Rodney King, sparking the Los Angeles riots.