This week, The National Black Theatre Festival kicks off in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. Poet Kwame Dawes will be there to perform his poetry set to music in a work called HOPE: Living and Loving with HIV in Jamaica. Also on the show: Bernice Johnson-Reagon on her performance at the 1963 March on Washington.
While working for the U.N., Patrick McGrann observed how bureaucracy and distance make it difficult to help people in troubled countries. He decided that in addition to needing jobs and stability, people in war-torn and poor areas also need to have fun. On one of his trips home, Patrick met someone who had a great passion for kites. That meeting led to the founding of the Kite Gang. Also in this program: how much plastic is in the ocean?
Frankie Manning helped invent one of the most exuberant and purely American art forms this country can lay claim to: the Lindy Hop. Frankie perfected his moves in Harlem dance halls and ballrooms in the 1930s and 1940s. His grace and flair took him from South America to Hollywood, as he helped make the Lindy the dance of its age. Now 93 years old, Frankie still teaches and demonstrates the Lindy Hop all over the world. Also on the show: the Bucket Boys explain how drumming on plastic buckets has transformed their lives.
Jean Montes grew up in Haiti. He attended the Holy Trinity School of Music before coming to the States to become a conductor and musician. When the earthquake struck one year ago this week, his thoughts were of his beloved school and students. Jean knew his country needed food, water and shelter - but they also needed hope. Since then he has taken hundreds of instruments to Holy Trinity to give to young students through the Haitian Youth Music Relief.
A southern girl moves to New York City, becomes a chef, and swears she’ll never look back. But now Vivian Howard is home in rural North Carolina, making southern staples fancy at her restaurant Chef and the Farmer. A new PBS series tells her story.
Musician Boston Fielder has music in his blood; his Uncle Baldy was one of Elvis’ first musical influences. Boston's band MuthaWit just released a new album called “Men & Women or la Revenge de Uncle Baldy.”Also: “Freddie Sez" is the unofficial mascot of the New York Yankees. At nearly every game, he bangs pots and pans and revs up the crowd. Freddy’s Yankee celebrity even helped him reconnect with his estranged son Cliff.