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“Writers on Writing” Radio Show (Replay)
December 26, 2021 at 7:00 pm - 7:30 pm
About the Episode
In this rebroadcast, Dr. Brenda M. Greene interviews Tamara Payne, the co-author with Les Payne of the biography The Dead Are Arising: The Life of Malcolm X. Tamara Payne is the daughter of Les Payne. She worked with her father as a research assistant and completed the book after he died in 2018. The book won the 2020 National Book Award for Nonfiction. Greene and Tamara Payne discuss Les Payne’s motivation for writing the book and the 30-year process he took to write it. Tamara Payne discusses her father’s commitment to journalism, his comprehensive coverage of race-related topics such as apartheid and the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr., and his commitment to mentoring and recruiting Black journalists. The Dead Are Arising reveals information not previously known about Malcolm X’s childhood, his parents, sister and brothers as well as the impact of Garveyism, the Nation of Islam, and the Ku Klux Klan in Malcolm X’s life. Les Payne and Tamara Payne have written a book that complements The Autobiography of Malcolm X and provides an important component of the complicated history of race relations and Blacks in this country.
About the Guest
Tamara Payne (bottom) is the co-author of The Dead Are Arising: The Life of Malcolm X. She is a former teacher and journalist. Leslie (Les) Payne was an American journalist. He served as an editor and columnist at Newsday and was a founder of the National Association of Black Journalists. Payne began his career at Newsday in 1969. Over the next 39 years, he covered and edited an encyclopedic array of topics, from Suffolk County town politics to Patty Hearst to human rights abuses. This culminated in his appointment as deputy managing editor for national, science, and international news from 2001 to 2003. He was on the reportorial team that won a Pulitzer Prize for public service in 1974 for a 33-part series “The Heroin Trail.” Les Payne began his work on The Dead Are Arising about 1991 and continued to work on the book after retiring from Newsday. His daughter completed the book after his death.
Select episodes of “Writers on Writing” are on the Center for Black Literature’s YouTube channel. Explore our digital archives!
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