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MF GALAXY

MF GALAXY is a weekly podcast powered by four mighty engines: * Writers on writing: the craft and the business * Pop culture including TV, movies, graphic novels, and more * Progressive politics, activism, and social enterprise * Africentric change-makers, histories, cultures, art, and more! Mixing brand-new interviews with classic conversations (from my archive of 23 years in broadcasting) with famous and dynamic figures in the arts, Hollywood, and politics, MF GALAXY will take you to places you've never been before, and deliver fresh insights on the places you've been.
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Now displaying: December, 2014
Dec 30, 2014

Screen animation and comic book writer Brandon Easton has written for the animated series Transformer Rescue Bots and the 2011 reboot of ThunderCats, and for comics including Shadowlaw, Watson & Holmes, Miles Away, Roboy, The Joshua Run, and Arkanium, and the motion comic Armarauders. He’s also authored a bio-graphic novel about pro-wrestler Andre the Giant.

News outlets such as Forbes and Wired have noted Easton’s work, and so have awards juries. Easton's original graphic novel Shadowlaw received a 2014 Best Single Issue nomination from the Eisner Comic Industry Award. In 2014, the East Coast Black Age of Comics, or ECBAC, gave Easton three Glyph Awards, including Fan Award, Story of the Year, and Best Writer, for scripting Watson and Holmes #6, and in 2013, the Best Writer Glyph for Shadowlaw.

Easton is also the documentary film-maker behind Brave New Souls: Black Sci-Fi and Fantasy Writers of the 21st Century.

Easton spoke with me on December 18, 2014 via Skype from his office in Los Angeles. We discussed what writers need to do—other than write—if they want to work in Hollywood; the differences between writing for animation and writing for live action; how to write scripts for comic books.

This episode begins with our discussion of what the recent Sony hacks revealed about why major US studios exclude African-American movie stars from even being contenders for casting in countless motion pictures.

Dec 20, 2014

Dr. Lorraine Monroe has been a teacher and professor of education for decades, and has made a significant impact on the way that children are educated and teachers are taught to teach in New York City.

Dr. Monroe is the founder and Executive Director of School Leadership Academy, an educational consultant, and was the Chief Executive for Instruction at the NYC Board of Education. She founded the Center for Minority Achievement at Bank Street College and is a member of the Board of Trustees at Columbia University Teachers College.

I spoke with Dr. Monroe after she’d just given a talk about the schools that she oversaw, and how their transformative mission requires them to fight the many ways that Euro-American schools poison African-American children.

She spoke of the necessity of getting city kids out of the city and into nature, and in particular to a healing camp that provided meditation that they loved, a camp whose quiet restored their serenity and gave them the blessing of stillness.

Monroe spoke of learning and teaching compassion by taking care of hurt or abandoned animals as means to help children become better citizens, and she emphasised the importance of, as she put it, putting the feet where you want the feet to go, and planting the seeds where you want the seeds to grow—that is, taking children who are the victims of the American political-economic-social-educational system to visit colleges and universities so they will be more likely to see post-secondary education as a natural part of their own futures, thereby transforming them into victors in their own lives and communities.

Dec 17, 2014

For 15 years African-American comedian Darryl Lenox has been touring across North America and headlining at comedy clubs, becoming one of the best stand-ups in the game.

In addition to appearing on the Conan O’Brien Show, A&E's Evening at the Improv, BET's Comic View, The Best of Just For Laughs Comedy Festival New Year's Eve Special, and Comedy Central Jamie Foxx's Laffa Polooza, Lenox has performed at the HBO Comedy Arts Festival and the comedy festivals of Boston, Chicago, and Vancouver, and won the Seattle Comedy Competition and Best New Play at Vancouver Fringe Festival.

Lenox has even had his own hour-long special on Starz Network called Blind Ambition, whose title referred to his own serious eye problems, which motivated him to work with the Third World Eye Care Society that provides eye exams and donated eye glasses to people in developing countries. The following is the promo for Blind Ambition.

In part 2, Lenox explains how he used European orchestral music to transform his suicidal terror of going totally blind into a comedy routine that has become the most important performance of his career. He also explains his own perspective on comedy career development.

Dec 16, 2014

Darryl Lenox is one of my favourite comedians, and while his routines are hilarious, I respect the intellectual weight he brings to his work that arises from his education, his socio-political perspective, and his international experience.

For twelve years we got to claim him as an African-Canadian, but he’s originally from the US and to the US he has returned. He’s spent 15 years touring and headlining comedy clubs, researching human behaviour and calibrating his comedic lasers.

But no matter where Darryl Lenox goes, he’s hilarious. He’s had his own hour-long special on Starz Network called Blind Ambition, a reference to his own serious eye problems that led him to work with the Third World Eye Care Society that provides eye exams and donated eye glasses to people in developing countries.

In addition to appearing on the Conan O’Brien Show, A&E's Evening at the Improv, BET's Comic View, The Best of Just For Laughs Comedy Festival New Year's Eve Special, and Comedy Central Jamie Foxx's Laffa Polooza, Lenox has performed at the HBO Comedy Arts Festival and the comedy festivals of Boston, Chicago, and Vancouver, and won the Seattle Comedy Competition and Best New Play at Vancouver Fringe Festival.

Dec 16, 2014
Eden Robinson is a forty-something West Coast writer of the Heisla and Heilstuk nations from Kitimat, BC. Traplines was as a New York Times Editor’s Choice and Notable Book of the Year; it also won the Winifred Holtby Prize for the best first work of fiction in the Commonwealth. Robinson’s first novel, Monkey Beach, was nominated for the Giller Prize and the Governor General’s Award of 2000.
 
Read more at http://mfgalaxy.libsyn.com/#FOhkiyrfXsgDZtWj.99
Dec 16, 2014

Eden Robinson is a forty-something West Coast writer of the Heisla and Heilstuk nations from Kitimat, BC. Traplines was as a New York Times Editor’s Choice and Notable Book of the Year; it also won the Winifred Holtby Prize for the best first work of fiction in the Commonwealth. Robinson’s first novel, Monkey Beach, was nominated for the Giller Prize and the Governor General’s Award of 2000.

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