This week on From the Vault we celebrate Black History month by presenting the first part of a celebrity reading of Ralph Ellison's landmark novel, Invisible Man; the selection is taken from a 48-part reading of the book produced in 1995 by Roy Hurst and Gloria Mushonga-Roberts. This reading breathes new life into the first and only novel published during the life of Ellison, not only blending celebrity readers such as Lawrence Fishburne, Alfree Woodard, Roscoe Lee Browne, Levar Burton, and Wynton Marsallis, but also utilizing the voice of the average invisible man.
But first, we'll play a seldom-heard recording of James Baldwin, restored along with other Black History recordings as part of the American Archive Pilot Project funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. It was recorded at the Second Baptist Church in Los Angeles in 1963.
From the Vault is presented through the Pacifica Radio Archives Preservation and Access Project, funded in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts, past grants from the Grammy Foundation, the Ford Foundation, and the American Archive funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, along with the generous support of Pacifica Radio Listeners.