Fresh Air from WHYY, the Peabody Award-winning weekday magazine of contemporary arts and issues, is one of public radio's most popular programs. Hosted by Terry Gross, the show features intimate conversations with today's biggest luminaries.
Filmmaker Barry Jenkins On 'The Underground Railroad'
Barry Jenkins says filming his new series about an enslaved girl who escapes from a plantation was the most difficult project of his career — and one that made him feel closer to his own ancestors. "It was incredibly difficult, partly because we were standing in places where ... these atrocities had occurred," he says. Jenkins directed 'Moonlight,' which won the 2017 Oscar for Best Picture, as well as the 2018 adaptation of James Baldwin's novel, 'If Beale Street Could Talk.' We talk about depicting the brutality of slavery onscreen, his own family history, and why he wanted to become a filmmaker.
Best Of: Advocate For Teen Moms, Nicole Lynn Lewis / Cartoonist Alison Bechdel
As a pregnant teenager, Nicole Lynn Lewis felt ashamed. Now she knows many pregnant teens share the problems she had — including an abusive boyfriend, and being temporarily homeless. She says the odds against pregnant teens going to college and having a career are even greater, if you're Black, like she is. We talk about her new memoir, 'Pregnant Girl.'
Also, we hear from Alison Bechdel. Her graphic memoir 'Fun Home,' about coming out and learning her father had secret gay affairs, was adapted into a Tony Award-winning musical. Her new graphic memoir, 'The Secret to Superhuman Strength,' is about her obsession with exercise and the issues that have fed that obsession.
And, jazz critic Kevin Whitehead reviews a new Louis Armstrong box set.
Celebrating Mothers: Feat. Trevor Noah, Scorsese & More
We celebrate Mother's Day with stories of mom from past interviews with 'Daily Show' host Trevor Noah, Martin Scorsese and filmmaker Albert Brooks. And Lorna Luft remembers her mother, Judy Garland.
Also, David Bianculli reviews 'Attenborough's Journey,' a BBC America special that salutes the nature broadcaster.
How Systemic Racism Determines Black Health & Wealth In Chicago
There is a 30-year gap in the life expectancy of some Black and white Chicagoans. Journalist Linda Villarosa talks about the link between racism and health outcomes, and tells her own family's story.
Also, we remember rock historian Ed Ward, who died this week.
Alison Bechdel On 'The Secret To Superhuman Strength'
Bechdel's new graphic memoir is about her lifelong obsession with exercise. She says she has a "predisposition of being extremely self-conscious and very caught up in my head" — and exercise helps. Bechdel's previous graphic memoir, 'Fun Home,' was about coming out at age 19, and discovering her father had a secret gay life. It was adapted into a Tony Award-winning Broadway show.
Also, Justin Chang reviews 'The Disciple,' a film about a man from Mumbai who aspires to be a great classical musician.
The Social Lives Of Trees
Ecologist Suzanne Simard says trees are "social creatures" that communicate with each other in remarkable ways — including warning each other of danger and sharing nutrients at critical times. Her book is 'Finding the Mother Tree.'
Also, classical music critic Lloyd Schwartz reviews a collection by composer Bernard Herrmann, best-known for the scores he wrote for Alfred Hitchcock.
This guest was so delightfully honest. Although I love Fresh Air, this is the first time I have left a comment. I loved her. Thank you.
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Shorter Questions Please
I focus mostly on the celebrity interviews. Some current topics are just a little too heavy for me. Terry, please keep your questions a little shorter. You seem do you want to pack too many words into your questions. And I know celebrity guests often have something to plug, but it would be nice to hear more from them on their past accomplishments.