This week on From the Vault, with special guest host Joanne Griffith, we reprise our 1968 conversation between Pulitzer Prize-winning author William Styron, actor Ossie Davis and writer James Baldwin on Styron's attempt to make his novelThe Confessions of Nat Turner into a film. Written in 1967 after years of research, The Confessions of Nat Turnerweaves fiction into the life Nat Turner, an African American who led a rebellion against slave owners in August of 1831. The novel would immediately draw criticism from Black writers and intelligentsia for Styron's lack of understanding of the slave experience and misrepresenting one of the heroes of the slave era. Despite this outrage, the book would go on to win the 1968 Pulitzer Prize.
From the Vault is presented as part of the Pacifica Radio Archives Preservation and Access Project, funded in part by an award from the GRAMMY Foundation and the National Historical Publications and Records Commission at the National Archives and Records Administration, and past grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Ford Foundation, and the American Archive funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, along with the generous support of Pacifica Radio Listeners. We also thank our partners and collaborators at the Pop-Up Archive, Amara, Other Minds Archives, George Blood Audio, and the California Audio Visual Preservation Project.