Our Body Politic!

January 29, 2021: The challenges of distributing the Covid-19 vaccine equitably, Black identity in the White House and beyond, and our weekly roundtable unpacks the first set of Biden-Harris executive orders.

Actor and playwright Anna Deavere Smith analyzes the image of Vice President Kamala Harris in the White House. Author Kenya Hunt reflects on Black female identity around the world in her book, Girl Gurl Grrrl: On Womanhood and Belonging in the Age of Black Girl Magic. Plus, political journalist Errin Haines of The 19th and Jess Morales-Rocketto of the National Domestic Workers Alliance get into the swift actions of the Biden-Harris administration, the white supremacy problem within law enforcement, and the future of the Republican party.

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WHAT KAMALA HARRIS BRINGS TO THE WHITE HOUSE

Presented within TIME magazine’s year-end issue, Anna Deavere Smith’s essay on Kamala Harris.

When Kamala Harris becomes the Vice President of the United States in January, she will be, as has been frequently noted, a first—the first woman, the first Black person and the first Indian-American person to hold this office. But while it is worth celebrating that the top leadership of the U.S. will better mirror its people, it is important to remember that simply naming these identities does not tell us all we need to know. It’s within the particulars of her lived experience as a Black and Indian-American woman that we can truly understand who she is today and what she brings with her to the White House. To continue reading please click the link below:

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Anna Deavere Smith in conversation at SigSpace

On May 13, 2020, Anna Deavere Smith joined Mount Sinai Morningside Hospital President Arthur Gianelli for a conversation hosted by Signature Theatre, as part of their online SigSpace Summit. Watch the video of their dialogue about Covid-19, public health, and the future of live arts. 

Anna Deavere Smith’s Notes from the Field

Anna Deavere Smith’s Notes from the Field will be available in print on May 21st, 2019.

In creating this, her latest play, Smith interviewed over two hundred and fifty people in the United States and abroad. Twenty of those individuals are rendered in the final published script; individuals who have lived and fought the system that pushes students of color out of the classroom and into prisons. (As Smith has put it: “Rich kids get mischief, poor kids get pathologized and incarcerated.”) Using people’s own words, culled from interviews and speeches, Smith introduces us to Rev. Jamal Harrison Bryant, who eulogized Freddie Gray; Niya Kenny, a high school student who confronted a violent police deputy; activist Bree Newsome, who took the Confederate flag down from the South Carolina State House grounds; and many others. Their voices bear powerful witness to a great iniquity of our time—and call us to action with their accounts of resistance and hope.

Notes from the Field is available for pre-order now at Penguin Random House. It will also be available as an e-book and an audiobook.

NFTF book cover