Where conversation flows as life is explored -- that’s where the new podcast, Rhythm of Life, begins. Initial episodes include filmmaker Bob Hercules delving into the art of documentary filmmaking including his most recent project, the Peabody Award-winning “Maya Angelou: And Still I Rise.” Subsequent episodes will feature fascinating discussions with producer/filmmakers Steve Ordower and David Kovacs, gospel and R&B legend Mavis Staples, and Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL). Newton Minow, former chair of the FCC, reflects on how the media and television, which he called “a vast wasteland” have evolved. Stephan Garnett, lecturer at Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism, shares his perspective on the state of journalism today. Actor Ernie Hudson and musician and political activist Jon Langford chat about the rhythms of their lives in the arts.
Flint Taylor - The Torture Machine: Racism and Police Violence in Chicago
This is part 2 of the interview host Bob Hercules conducted with the remarkably persistent and dedicated civil and human rights attorney Flint Taylor. Part 1 of this interview took a close look at the murder of Black Panther leader Fred Hampton, and the 13-year legal battle that ensued to successfully change the public narrative of how Hampton died. If you have not heard this part of the interview, which is episode 9 of this podcast, please give it a listen first. This part of the conversation transitioned to another one of Taylor’s landmark investigations that uncovered a systemic pattern of brutal torture in Chicago, which included the use of electric shock to elicit false confessions from subjects, led by the notorious police commander, Jon Burge.
Joining forces with community activists, torture survivors, other lawyers, and local reporters, Taylor and his colleagues at the People’s Law Office brought a lawsuit against the offending CPD officers and the City of Chicago. As the struggle expanded beyond the torture scandal to the ultimately successful campaign to end the death penalty in Illinois, and obtained reparations for many of the torture survivors, it set human rights precedents that have since been adopted across the United States. Both parts of this interview are explored in Taylor’s ground-breaking book, The Torture Machine: Racism and Police Violence in Chicago, published by Haymarket Books.
Flint Taylor - Fred Hampton's attorney
Host Bob Hercules sat down with attorney Flint Taylor to discuss the murder of Black Panther leader, Fred Hampton in 1969, who is the subject of the recent film, “Judas & The Black Messiah.” With five Oscar nominations, including for best picture, this movie ultimately took home an Academy Award for Daniel Kaluuya’s performance as Fred Hampton in the Best Supporting Actor category.
Along with his partner, Jeff Haas, in the People’s Law Office, Flint Taylor takes us through the journey of how they uncovered and proved the truth about what happened to Fred Hampton and fellow Black Panther, Mark Clark. They were able to alter the public’s perception being put forth by Cook County State’s attorney Edward v. Hanrahan and other public officials that the Panthers were a terrorist organization and were the aggressors in this altercation.
Even though the media reported this fabrication initially as the truth, these two remarkably persistent lawyers were able to shine a light on the orchestrated assassination of Fred Hampton which was part of a larger Counterintelligence program initiated by the FBI, aimed at surveilling, infiltrating, discrediting, disrupting and neutralizing American political organizations and leaders deemed subversive.
Flint Taylor is an American human rights and civil rights attorney based in Chicago, Illinois, who has litigated many high-profile police brutality, government misconduct and death penalty cases. Taylor has pursued public interest law to take on allegations of corrupt police tactics and wrongful convictions in the city of Chicago and elsewhere. Taylor was part of a team of negotiators in the 2015 landmark decision by the City of Chicago to award reparations to the survivors of police torture, becoming the first municipal government to do so.
Host Steve Ordower has a fascinating, inspiring and downright hilarious conversation with actor Ernie Hudson, as they discuss his long and winding journey with his career. Ernie reflects on his serendipitous meeting with director Gordon Parks, his breakout role in "The Great White Hope," playing the lead role in the play about the life of fighter Jack Johnson, along with his time attending the Yale school of drama.
Hudson has been a fixture in film and television for decades, and he talks about some of his favorite roles on screen, where he honed his craft, as well as working with Ordower on the film, THE MAN IN THE SILO. We also get a glimpse into Hudson's personal philosophy that has guided him throughout his life.
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Host Bob Hercules speaks with the acclaimed documentary filmmaker, Steve James, who’s first film, Hoop Dreams, made an indelible mark on the cultural and sociological landscape in the U.S.. This film won every major critics award in 1994 as well as a Peabody, and picked up many more accolades along with way. James also directed, Abacus: Small Enough to Jail, that was nominated for an Academy Award, and tells the story of a small financial institution that was the only company criminally indicted in the wake of the United States 2008 mortgage crisis. He also teamed up with writer Alex Kotlowitz on The Interrupters, a film that brought us an intimate and fiercely honest portrayal of ex-gang members that transitioned to interrupting conflicts to stop gang violence. His laundry list of vital and important films brings incredible insight to the world around us, and we are thrilled to welcome him to the show.
Rev. Jesse Jackson
Today on the show we welcome one of America’s foremost civil rights, religious and political figures, Rev. Jesse L. Jackson Sr. This episode is part of an ongoing series about the Emmy Award winning Gospel television program, JUBILEE SHOWCASE, that was a who’s-who of Gospel Greats in the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s, and its outspoken civil rights activist producer and host, Sid Ordower.
This episode is filled with excellent Gospel Music from JUBILEE SHOWCASE!
Host Steve Ordower sat down with Rev. Jackson for a documentary interview about this vital piece of American Culture at Rainbow PUSH on the south-side of Chicago, the headquarters of an organization Rev. Jackson founded years ago that merged Operation PUSH (People United to Save Humanity), and the National Rainbow Coalition. The mission of this merged organization is to protect, defend, and gain civil rights by leveling the economic and educational playing fields, and to promote peace and justice around the world.
Before this, Rev. Jackson worked closely with Dr. King becoming a full-time organizer for the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) and was soon after appointed to direct the critically important Operation Breadbasket program.
Over the past forty years, Rev. Jackson has played a pivotal role in virtually every movement for empowerment, peace, civil rights, gender equality, economic and social justice.
Today on the show, guest host Bob Hercules welcomes the dynamic musician and visual artist, Jon Langford, to discuss his illustrious career. Jon has lead several bands, most notably The Mekons, The Waco Brothers, and Pine Valley Cosmonauts.
Since the mid-1980s, Langford has been one of the leaders in incorporating folk and country music into punk rock.
Ernie Hudson humbles the audience and also gets real!
Episode #8 Ernie Hudson:
It's amazing to hear the story of such a hard working and humble actor. Ernie Hudson discusses the struggles of being an actor, as well as the breakthroughs he had within his career and personal relationships. I really resonated with many of his stories, I feel Mr. Husdon paints a beautiful picture of his life that is almost poetic. Great podcast for anyone who needs a little dose of daily inspiration and motivation! 🌟🌟🌟 "You have to make peace with what is; where I go with this will determine what happens next." ~Ernie Hudson
Steve does an amazing job with his questions during the interviews he presented. Very well done my friends 👍🏾👍🏾
Very insightful and the podcast flows naturally. Highly recommended!
I love listening to Rhythm of Life as Steve does a superb job packing these episodes with insightful advice and tips from all kinds of various guests from their unique walks of life. I especially enjoyed hearing thought leaders in their respective spaces speak about their upbringings and struggles that led up to notable and illustrious careers.
If you haven't listened to it yet, make sure to give it a go. It's filled with life’s golden nuggets. I am certainly excited to hear more episodes!