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Co-presented with Pacifica Archives

Join us for a live broadcast (on KPFK 90.7 FM) dedicated to the voice of author and civil rights activist James Baldwin. Brian DeShazor, host of From the Vault radio program will air rare recordings of Baldwin from 1963-1968, including: an oration called the Artist’s Struggle for Integrity; a reading from Giovanni’s Room; Baldwin’s fiery speech after the murder of four girls in Birmingham, Alabama; and his introduction of Dr. Martin Luther King (taped in the home of Marlon Brando) weeks before King’s assassination. DeShazor is joined by two writers who’ve thought deeply about Baldwin’s work—novelist Nina Revoyr and Melvin L. Rogers, Associate Professor of Political Science and African-American Studies at UCLA—to reflect on Baldwin’s impact on literature and society.



Nina Revoyr

Nina Revoyr

Nina Revoyr is the author of five novels, including The Age of Dreaming, a finalist for the 2008 Los Angeles Times Book Prize; Wingshooters, winner of an Indie Booksellers’ Choice Award, one of O: Oprah Magazine’s “Books to Watch For,” and a Booklist Editors’ Choice for 2011; and Southland, which was a Los Angeles Times “Best Book” of 2003 and was recently named by the LAist as one of “20 Novels That Dared to Define a Different Los Angeles.” Her most recent novel, Lost Canyon, was described by Booklist as “a gripping tale of unintended adventure and profound transformation” and was one of the San Francisco’s Chronicle’s “Recommended Reads” for 2015.  She is also co-editor, with poet X.J. Kennedy and poet and former National Endowment for the Arts Chairman Dana Gioia, of the college textbook Literature for Life: A Thematic Introduction to Reading and Writing.  Revoyr is executive vice president and chief operating officer of a large nonprofit organization serving children affected by violence and poverty in Central and South Los Angeles.  She has been a Visiting Professor at Cornell University, Occidental College, and Pitzer College, and an Associate Faculty member at Antioch University, where she has taught a seminar on James Baldwin.

Melvin L. Rogers

Melvin L. Rogers

Melvin L. Rogers is the Scott Waugh Chair in the Division of the Social Sciences and Associate Professor of African American Studies and Political Science at UCLA. He is the author of The Undiscovered Dewey: Religion, Morality and the Ethos of Democracy as well as editor and contributor to John Dewey, The Public and Its Problems (forthcoming in 2016). He has published numerous scholarly articles in such places as American Political Science ReviewPolitical TheoryEuropean Journal of Political TheoryBoston Review, and Dissent. Presently he is at work on a project titled Democracy and Faith: Race and the Politics of Redemption in American Political Thought as well as a co-editing (with Jack Turner) a volume titled African American Political Thought: A Collected History.

Brian DeShazor

Brian DeShazor

Brian DeShazor, Director of the Pacifica Radio Archives, award winning radio broadcaster is host/producer of From the Vault, now in its 10th season on the Pacifica network. Brian is a champion of public radio as an historic medium to be preserved and made publicly accessible and has been recognized for his work by the National Archives, the Library of Congress’ National Recording Preservation Board, the National Radio Preservation Task Force and the American Archive of Public Broadcasting. In 2010 he received the Bader lifetime achievement award from the National Federation of Community Broadcasters. His over 700 radio productions include: John Hersey’s Hiroshima with Tyne Daly and Ruby Dee and The Quentin Crisp Memorial.


Reservation Policy for Free Programs:
As most ALOUD at Central Library programs are free of charge, it is our policy to overbook. In the case of a FULL program your free reservation may not guarantee admission. We recommend arriving early. Space permitting, unclaimed reservations will be released to standby patrons at approximately 7 PM.


Standby Policy:
Standby numbers are distributed in person only one hour before the program, on a first-come, first-served, basis. There is no advance wait list for full programs. Standby patrons will be admitted subject to availability. Most programs will be available via podcast.


Book Signing Policy:
ALOUD is one of many free programs at the Los Angeles Public Library made possible by the Library Foundation of Los Angeles. Most ALOUD author programs are followed by book signings. At least one copy of the author’s book must be purchased from The Library Store in order to participate in any post-program book signing, and you will be asked to show proof of purchase. Please be prepared to show your proof of purchase when you enter the book signing line. Proceeds support the Los Angeles Public Library.


Main image: James Baldwin, 1972 Credit: Jack Manning/The New York Times

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Why do programs fill so quickly?

    ALOUD provides a unique experience for the public to engage with scholars, authors, and artists in the intimate 235-seat Mark Taper Auditorium. Library Foundation Members have the benefit of reserving for programs in advance of the public. Consider joining as a Member to receive this benefit, and check the website on an on-going basis for program availability. Be sure to subscribe to our email alerts, and visit our Media Archive for podcasts and other items from our recent programs.

  • Where does ALOUD take place?

    Unless otherwise noted, ALOUD programs are held at the downtown Central Library’s Mark Taper Auditorium.

  • Where should I park?

    We recommend taking public transportation. Parking for the Central Library is at the Westlawn Garage at 524 S. Flower Street. For more information, visit the Library’s website.

  • Should I purchase the author’s book in advance?

    We encourage you to purchase books from the Library Store. All proceeds benefit the Los Angeles Public Library. Books are made available for purchase when you reserve for a program online, and are also on sale at programs. In order to participate in the book signing, you must purchase at least one book from The Library Store. Members receive discounts on purchases.

  • Where can I find podcasts and videos of ALOUD programs?

    Podcasts and videos from our programs are available free online at our growing Media Archive. Visit the archive at lfla.org/media-archive to explore hundreds of podcasts and videos spanning 20+ years of ALOUD’s history bringing authors, artists, and t thinkers to the Los Angeles Public Library.