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Buffalo, What's Next? | Producers' Picks: Tarabu Kirkland and LeRoi Johnson

In today's Producers' Picks program we bring you highlights from two earlier interviews with close friends from Buffalo who have both made their mark on the national scene: internationally-known artist LeRoi Johnson and award-winning documentary filmmaker Tarabu Kirkland.

Kirkland is the writer/producer/director of "100 Years from Mississippi", which documents a trip his then 108-year-old mother from Buffalo took with him to the deep south to revisit a childhood marred by lynching, riots and hate.

Johnson is a Buffalo attorney who once managed his musician brother Rick James and is currently featured in the retrospective "LeRoi: Living in Color" at the Burchfield-Penney Art Center. The two talk of each other’s work, and their time together as student activists at Canisius College circa 1968.

Latest Episodes
  • Bloody Sunday happened 57 years ago in Selma, Alabama. Buffalonian Harvey Miles's father was 15 years old that day and one of seven relatives of his arrested on that bridge. He shares their story.
  • Kareem Weaver, an Oakland California NAACP activist, believes literacy is our most important civil right. With a focus on Black and brown children, Kareem demands to bring science-based reading instruction to Oakland schools and has garnered national interest by taking on the publishing industries. Between a series of meetings with Buffalo-area educators recently, he stopped to have this important conversation with WBFO's Jay Moran.
  • Activist Nate Boyd updates his campaign on behalf of Tops workers and survivors who were not necessarily in the store at the time of the shooting but are still impacted by it. Then, a team from the University at Buffalo Law School has started to look at freedom from debt as a civil right. The School of Law’s Civil Rights and Transparency Clinic Supervising Attorney Paulette Campbell, and student attorney Glenaida Garlock talk of the concept — and the free advice clinics they offer.
  • Once again today, instead of our usual selection of highlights from a variety of previous interviews, we are bringing you excerpts of a single episode from an outstanding guest: Rev. Kwame Pitts. Pitts runs the Community of Good Neighbors mobile food truck in Buffalo, and works with the Oasis Community of spiritual people who aren't necessarily religious. She's outspoken on racial equity and is a scholar and practitioner of various rituals.
  • WBFO’s Thomas O'Neil-White talks with Jelicia Jimenez and Ruqayyah Simmons, co-founders of Black Boys Read Too about ways to address the large disparities in literacy achievement by getting books in children’s hands in Erie and Niagara Counties. Also today, entrepreneur, musical artist, publisher, and producer Robert Grant. He wants to educate more people of color through his payment processing expertise.
  • Inside Buffalo’s food desert, Rita Hubbard-Robinson takes Dave Debo on a tour of the East Side site where she hopes to develop a food hub, with hydroponics, a farmer’s market and a health education center. Then on a day when SNAP (food stamp) benefits drop back to pre-pandemic levels, Trina Burruss, CEO of the United Way of Buffalo and Erie County looks at what that sudden $200 cut means for under-resourced people and the working poor.
  • Fruit belt activists Dennice Barr and Kelly Camacho pull back the curtain on tenant troubles at McCarley Gardens. Then, Black history storyteller, Karima Amin shares some of her work.
  • LaShelle Roberson of TOLL (To Our Legacy and Legends) talks of her work with children who have lost their parents to homicide. Then Mark Overall from the Urban League Young Professionals stops by.
  • Today's Producers' Picks program features highlights of only one interview. Instead of our usual segments, we spend the entire hour bringing you an early February interview with Rev. Darius Pridgen - taped shortly after he announced he would not run again for Buffalo city council. In a wide-ranging chat, he discusses why, looks back on his terms as President of the Buffalo Common Council, and talks about race, education and economic development.
  • Today a look at Black history in Buffalo and the influence Marcus Garvey had on the region in the early 1900s. Malik "Lion" Blyden, president of Buffalo's branch of Garvey's United Negro Improvement Association and African Communities League talks about the historic sites in Buffalo, how Garvey's ideas on self-reliance can resonate today, and why he feels many of those ideas have been ignored in favor of a more traditional telling of Black history.