The New York Public Library Podcast

Barracoon: The Story of the Last “Black Cargo” is one of Zora Neale Hurston’s most important works of non-fiction that has never been published until today. Hurston recorded the story in Alabama in the late 1920s. It's a collection of interviews with a man named Kossola, also known as Cudjo Lewis, one of the last known living survivors of the Atlantic slave trade. To discuss the book's history and Hurston's legacy, the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture welcomed Dr. Cheryl Sterling, Director of the Black Studies Program at City College of New York, to moderate a conversation featring: Hurston scholar and editor of BarracoonDeborah G. Plant; founder of book club Well-Read Black Girl, Glory Edim; and Dr. Sylviane Diouf, an award-winning author and historian of the African Diaspora.

Direct download: Hurston_v3.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:00am EDT

Madeline Miller's first novel, The Song of Achilles, transformed The Iliad from a vast impersonal epic into an intimate and poignant love story. Now Miller turns her mind to Homer's other great work, and one of mythology's most riveting figures, in Circe. It's the retelling of The Odyssey in which a fierce young woman is at the center. Madeline Miller discusses her writing process, witchcraft, and why this story resonates today with classicist and translator Emily Wilson, the first woman to translate The Odyssey into English.

Direct download: Miller_Wilson_3.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:00am EDT

Joshua Green's Devil's Bargain: Steve Bannon, Donald Trump, and the Nationalist Uprising, was one of the first books to shed light on the Trump campaign and Bannon's influence on their way to the White House. A finalist for NYPL's 2018 Helen Berstein Book Award for Excellence in Journalism, Green stopped by the Library to talk about what it was like to interview the President, what actually motivates his former Chief Strategist and how getting kicked out of the White House doesn't necessarily mean you're out for good.

Direct download: Joshua_Green_v3.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:00am EDT

Last December, the Federal Communications Commission voted 3–2 to repeal net neutrality—which left many people wondering "why should we be concerned about the repeal and what can be done about it?" Library President Tony Marx convened a panel of experts to help shed light on the issue including: Susan Crawford,  Professor at Harvard Law School and member of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s Broadband Task Force; Jessica Rosenworcel, Commissioner to the Federal Communications Commission; and Tim Wu, Professor at Columbia Law School who coined the term "net neutrality" over a decade ago. They discussed where things stand now and where we can go from here.

Direct download: 2018.04.24_Net_Neutrality_v3.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:00am EDT

Sheelah Kolhatkar is a staff writer at The New Yorker and is a former hedge fund analyst. Her book, Black Edge: Inside Information, Dirty Money, and the Quest to Bring Down the Most Wanted Man on Wall Street, tells the story of Steven A. Cohen and his involvement in the largest insider-trading scandal in U.S history. The book is one of the five finalists selected for NYPL's Helen Bernstein Book Award for Excellence in Journalism. Kolhatkar dropped by the Library to discuss how she wrote this real-life thriller, what Cohen is up to today, and why people outside of the financial world should be paying attention. 

Direct download: 2018.04.17_Kolhatkar_1.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:00am EDT

Actor Isabella Rossellini raises chickens; evolutionary biologist Menno Schilthuizen studies them. In My Chickens Rossellini unexpectedly breeds 38 yellow chicks of diverse heritage breeds and capitalizes on the opportunity to study their traits, behavior, and history. In Darwin Comes to Town, Schilthuizen posits that the strange and rapid adaptations made by animals in urban environments suggest that evolution is perhaps not the slow grinding process biologists have long believed in. From husbandry to research, Rossellini and Schilthuizen share some of the mysteries and wonders of our animal kingdoms.

Direct download: Rossellini_v3.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:00am EDT

How have social justice movements evolved in the fifty years after Martin Luther King Jr.'s death? Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor is an author and professor of African American Studies at Princeton University whose research examines race and public policy. Shaun King is a writer for The Intercept and prominent public activist speaking out against police brutality. They discussed race in America, why movements succeed or fail, Martin Luther King Jr.'s fluctuating reputation during his life and after his death, and the social movements they envision for tomorrow.

Direct download: 2018.04.03_Taylor_King_FINALmp3.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:00am EDT

New York Public Library President Anthony Marx brought together criminal-justice-reform advocates from the right and left to discuss the complex issues of American incarceration—Reginald Dwayne Betts, an award-winning writer and current Ph.D. candidate at Yale Law School, and Pat Nolan, Director of the American Conservative Union Foundation’s Center for Criminal Justice Reform. Although they come from opposite ends of the political spectrum, both have direct experience within the prison system and both have dedicated their life's work toward prison reform. They discuss how the tragedies of American incarceration started, how they persist and what action is needed for change.

Direct download: 2018.03.27_Marx_Betts_Nolan_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:00am EDT

Civil Rights leader and legendary athlete, Dr. John Carlos, made history on the Olympic podium in 1968. After medaling in the 200 meter race in Mexico City, he and Tommie Smith raised their fists in the Black Power salute during the national anthem. Marking fifty years since that iconic moment, Dr. Carlos spoke with Sports Editor of The Nation and co-author of his memoir, Dave Zirin. Dr. Carlos shares his story of meeting Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., the hardships he faced after the '68 Olympics, and the message he has for athletes continuing the movement for racial justice today.

Direct download: 2018.03.20_Carlos_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:00am EDT

Akwaeke Emezi is an Igbo and Tamil writer and video artist.  "Freshwater" ​is Emezi's debut novel and one of the most anticipated books of 2018. The partially autobiographical story follows a young person, Ada, from Nigeria to American college, where a traumatic event reveals the hidden powers of the spirits within her. Emezi discussed the novel with Glory Edim, founder of the book club and digital platform, Well-Read Black Girl. She traced the origin story behind Freshwater, decolonizing identities, and navigating transition.

Direct download: 2018.03.13_Emezisesx_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:00am EDT