Interviews with Authors, Actors, and other Notable People

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Nate Parker The “The Birth of a Nation” Interview

Nate Parker as Nate Turner in The Birth of a Nation Interview
Actor/humanitarian-turned-writer/director Nate Parker first received critical attention for his starring role in The Great Debaters opposite Denzel Washington and Forest Whitaker. Nate received an honorary Doctorate from Wiley College, the school featured in the fact-based story. In 2012, he was a member of the ensemble cast of Red Tails which included Terrence Howard and Cuba Gooding, Jr. The film chronicled the story of the Tuskegee Airmen, the first African-American military aviators in the U.S. Army Air Corps who went on to become some of the finest pilots in World War II. Here, he talks about making his writing and directorial debut with The Birth of a Nation, a reverential biopic in which he stars, too, as slave revolt leader Nat Turner (1800-1831). Read the entire interview

David Oyelowo The “Selma” Interview

David Oyelowo as Dr. King
David Oyelowo is a classically-trained stage actor who is working successfully and simultaneously in film, television and theater, and has quickly become one of Hollywood’s most sought-after talents. He was recently nominated for a Golden Globe for his stirring performance as Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in the highly-anticipated, civil rights drama Selma. Directed by Ava DuVernay and produced by Oprah Winfrey and Brad Pitt’s Plan B, the film follows the black fight for the right to register to vote culminating in the march from Selma to Montgomery and in President Lyndon Johnson’s signing of the historic Voting Rights Act of 1965. Read the entire interview

Tavis on Repositioning Dr. King as a Revolutionary

Tavis Smiley
Tavis Smiley is the host and managing editor of Tavis Smiley on PBS, and The Tavis Smiley Show from Public Radio International. He is also the author of 16 best-selling books. Here, he talks about his latest opus, “Death of a King.”  Read the entire interview

Gugu Mbatha-Raw The “Beyond the Lights” Interview

Gugu Mbatha-Raw

Gugu Mbatha-Raw skyrocketed to fame earlier this year on the strength of her inspired performance as the title character in Belle, a biopic about a biracial slave girl who was brought by her white father to England where she was raised in the lap of luxury by aristocratic relatives. Here, the emerging ingénue compares that role to her new one in Beyond the Lights where she plays Noni, a pop star who falls for her hunky, supportive bodyguard.   Read the entire interview

Gina Prince-Bythewood The “Beyond the Lights” Interview

Gina Prince-Bythewood

Gina Maria Prince-Bythewood studied film at UCLA before beginning her career as a writer for the TV sitcom, “A Different World.” In 2000, she made a noteworthy directorial debut with the critically-acclaimed Love & Basketball

Gina’s next feature was The Secret Life of Bees (2008), which also earned its share of trophies, including Image Awards for Best Picture and Best Director. Here, she talks about making her third movie, Beyond the Lights, a romance drama co-starring Gugu Mbata-Raw and Nate Parker Read the entire interview

Boris Kodjoe The “Addicted” Interview

Boris Kodjoe The “Addicted” Interview

From his big screen and television roles to his theater and entrepreneurial skills, Boris Kodjoe has proven to be one of Hollywood’s most sought-after talents. He is probably best known for his role as Damon Carter on the TV series Soul Food.

Here, Boris discusses his new movie, Addicted, the screen adaptation of the steamy best-seller by Zane Read the entire interview

Idris Elba — No Good Deed

Indris in No Good Deed

Since “The Wire” ended in 2008, have you made a conscious decision to avoid playing gangsters like Stringer Bell?

Idris Elba: What kind of role do you play after someone like Stringer, you know what I mean? You play another gangster. What’s the point of that? I’ve played the gangster. I try to keep it really varied; it just makes for more of a fun and interesting career.  Read the entire interview

Don Lemon, Anchoring the National Conversation on Race

Don Lemon in “Ferguson, Missouri”

In 2009, Ebony Magazine dubbed Don Lemon one of the 150 most influential Blacks in America. Furthermore, he has won an Edward R. Murrow award for his coverage of the capture of the Washington, D.C. snipers, and an Emmy for a special report on real estate in Chicagoland.

Don earned a degree in broadcast journalism from Brooklyn College where he currently serves as an adjunct professor, teaching and participating in curriculum designed around new media. Here, he talks about CNN‘s coverage of the recent shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri.  Read the entire interview

Congressman James Clyburn The “Blessed Experiences” Interview

James Clyburn with Obama

James Enos Clyburn made history in 1993 when he became the first African-American to represent South Carolina in the House of Representatives since Reconstruction. Over the course of his tenure, he has served as Majority Whip and as Chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus, and is currently the third-ranking Democrat in the House as the Assistant Minority Leader.

Here, he talks about his life and career, and about his autobiography, Blessed Experiences: Genuinely Southern, Proudly Black Read the entire interview

Wesley Snipes “The Expendables 3” Interview

Wesley Snipes in “The Expendables 3”

Wesley T. Snipes is a globally celebrated actor, film producer, master in various martial arts, and a loving father and husband. Born in Orlando, Florida on July 31, 1962, he spent his childhood between Orlando, Florida and Bronx, New York while attending the High School of Performing Arts in NYC and graduated from Jones High School in Florida.

Here, Wesley talks about his latest outing as Doc alongside Sly Stallone, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Harrison Ford, Mel Gibson, Antonio Banderas, Terry Crews and Kelsey Grammer in The Expendable 3. Read the entire interview

Meagan Good - The “Think Like a Man Too” Interview

Meagan Good - 2014 - Think Like a Man Too

Meagan Good has developed into one of Hollywood's most sought-after actresses for both film and television. Most recently, she starred in the sequel Anchorman: The Legend Continues opposite Will Ferrell, Steve Carell, Paul Rudd and Kristen Wiig. Additionally, she was seen starring as the lead character Detective Joanna Locasto in the new NBC drama “Deception.”

Meagan resides in Los Angeles with her husband, DeVon Franklin. Here, she talks about reprising the role of Mya in Think Like a Man, Too.   Read the entire interview

Anika Noni Rose The “Half of a Yellow Sun” Interview

Anika Noni Rose in a film still from "Half of a Yellow Sun"

Born in Bloomfield, Connecticut on September 6, 1972, Anika Noni Rose received her MFA from American Conservatory Theater and holds an honorary Doctorate from Florida A&M University. Here, she discusses her new film, Half of a Yellow Sun, co-starring Thandie Newton and Chiwetel Ejiofor.Read the entire interview

Marlon Wayans “A Haunted House 2” Interview

Marlon Wayans Poses with A Haunted House Movie Poster

Born in New York City on July 23, 1972, Marlon Wayans graduated from the High School of Performing Arts before matriculating at Howard University’s Film School. He started out in Hollywood on TV as a cast member of the Emmy Award-winning variety series, In Living Color. Next, Marlon created and starred in the hit sitcom The Wayans Bros.  Read the entire interview

Taraji P. Henson The “From the Rough” Interview

Taraji P. Henson in “From the Rough”

Taraji P. Henson earned an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress opposite Brad Pitt in David Fincher’s The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. She is a 2011 Emmy-nominee for Best Actress in a Movie or Miniseries for Lifetime’s Taken From Me. Taraji also starred as Detective Joss Carter in the highly-rated CBS crime drama Person of Interest. She was a series regular on Boston Legal and enjoyed a recurring role on Eli Stone.  Read the entire interview

Misty Copeland The “Life in Motion” Interview

Misty Copeland 

Born in Kansas City, Missouri on September 10, 1982, Misty Copeland is a soloist at the American Ballet Theatre. A recipient of the Leonore Annenberg Fellowship in the Arts, Misty is also an inductee into the Boys and Girls Club Alumni Hall of Fame. She lives in New York City. Here, she talks about her memoir, ‘Life in Motion: An Unlikely Ballerina.”   Read the entire interview

Forest Whitaker The “Repentance” Interview

Forest Whitaker 

Forest Whitaker is a distinguished artist and humanist. He is the founder of PeaceEarth Foundation, co-founder and chair of the International Institute for Peace and is the UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador for Peace and Reconciliation.  He is also a talented, versatile performer and one of Hollywood's most accomplished figures. He has received prestigious artistic distinctions including the 2006 Academy Award for Best Actor for his performance in The Last King of Scotland as Ugandan dictator Idi Amin.

Here, he talks about his latest movie, Repentance, a psychological thriller co-starring Anthony Mackie, Sanaa Lathan, Nicole Ari Parker and Mike Epps.  Read the entire interview

Alice Walker The “PBS American Masters” Interview

Alice Walker 

Alice Walker has been defined as one of the key international writers of the 20th Century. She made history as the first African-American woman to win a Pulitzer Prize for Fiction as well as the National Book Award in 1983 for her novel The Color Purple — one of the few literary books to capture the popular imagination and leave a permanent imprint. The award-winning novel served as the inspiration for Steven Spielberg’s 1985 film and was adapted for the stage, opening at New York City’s Broadway Theatre in 2005, and capturing a Tony Award for best leading actress in a musical in 2006.

Here, she talks about her career and about the documentary “Alice Walker: Beauty in Truth” which premieres on PBS’ American Masters series on Friday, February 7th at 9 p.m. ET/PT (check local listings)  Read the entire interview

Interviewees Include:

50 Cent
Yolanda Adams
Flex Alexander
Anthony Anderson
Amma Asante
Essence Atkins
Angela Bassett
Tre Armstrong
Texas Battle
Nicole Beharie
Eric Benet
Halle Berry
Ken Bevel
Mary J. Blige
Bow Wow
Wayne Brady
Alrick Brown
Dante Brown
James Brown
Rob Brown
Ken Burns
Cloves Campbell, Jr.
Mariah Carey
President, Jimmy Carter
Cedric the Entertainer
Don Cheadle
Morris Chestnut
Sean "Diddy" Combs
Ryan Coogler
Ann Coulter
Terry Crews
Tom Cruise
Ice Cube
Benedict Cumberbatch
Lee Daniels
Keith David
Bridget Davis
Vernon Davis (NFL)
Viola Davis
Ellen DeGeneres
Loretta Devine
Snoop Dogg
Gabrielle Douglas
Hisani DuBose
Michael Clarke Duncan
Ava DuVernay
Michael Ealy
Chiwetel Ejiofor
Carmen Ejogo
Idris Elba
Kimberly Elise
Len Elmore
Mike Epps
Laurence Fishburne
Rick Fox
Vivica A. Fox
Jamie Foxx
Morgan Freeman
Dr. Henry Lewis Skip Gates
Tyrese Gibson
Newt Gingrich
Danny Glover
Meagan Good
Cuba Gooding, Jr.
Jimmy “Taboo” Gomez
Lou Gossett, Jr.
Robert Gossett
Eddie Griffin
Jasmine Guy
Omari Hardwick
Naomie Harris
Tip "T.I." Harris
Melissa Harris-Perry
Kevin Hart
Steve Harvey
Taraji P. Henson
Djimon Hounsou
Terrence Howard
Jennifer Hudson
D.L. Hughley
Brandon T. Jackson
Janet Jackson
Samuel L. Jackson
Lawrence Hilton-Jacobs
Dante James
Beverly Johnson
Robert L. Johnson
Troy Johnson ( Founder)
Rashida Jones
Tamala Jones
Michael B. Jordan
Alicia Keys
Joumana Kidd
Regina King
Boris Kodjoe
Gladys Knight
Lenny Kravitz
Zoë Kravitz
Lisa Kudrow
Sanaa Lathan
Queen Latifah
Spike Lee
Don Lemon
Kasi Lemmons
Sugar Ray Leonard
Delroy Lindo
Lauren London
Nia Long
Eva Longoria
Jennifer Lopez
Derek Luke
Anthony Mackie
David Mann
Ziggy Marley
Roland Martin
Gugu Mbatha-Raw
Steve McQueen
Tim Meadows
Christina Milian
Omar Benson Miller
Kel Mitchell
Tracy Morgan
Charlie Murphy
Eddie Murphy
Naturi Naughton
Niecy Nash
Thandie Newton
Nyambi Nyamb
Soledad O'Brien
Toks Olagundoye
David Oyelowo
Master P
Keke Palmer
Nate Parker
Nicole Ari Parker
Deval Patrick (Governor)
Felicia "Snoop" Pearson
Melvin Van Peebles
Kal Penn
Rosie Perez
Tyler Perry
Jada Pinkett
Gina Prince-Bythewood
Keshia Knight Pulliam
Peter Ramsey
Ving Rhames
Gloria Reuben
Marque Richardson
Salli Richardson-Whitfield
Condoleezza Rice
Laurel J. Richie
Craig Robinson
Justin Robinson
Keith Robinson
Anika Noni Rose
Evan Ross
Ja Rule
Dinesh Sharma
Trey Songz
Al B. Sure!
Zoe Saldana
Tishuan Scott
Shirley Sherrod
Columbus Short
Gabby Sidibe
Russell Simmons
John Singleton
Jill Scott
Tavis Smiley
Jada Pinkett Smith
Justice Smith
Tasha Smith
Will Smith
Jurnee Smollett-Bell
Wesley Snipes
Brian Sparks
Michael Steele
Karrine Steffans
Wanda Sykes
Quentin Tarantino
Wynn Thomas
Aisha Tyler
Mike Tyson
Dr. Neil deGrass Tyson
Blair Underwood
Gabrielle Union
Quvenzhané Wallis
Alice Walker
Denzel Washington
Kerry Washington
Marlon Wayans
Rutina Wesley
Cornel West
Denzel Whitaker
Forest Whitaker
Jaleel White
Billy Dee Williams
Juan Williams
Vanessa Williams
Wendy Williams
Jamal Woolard
Jeffrey Wright

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