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1A - Live

7:00 PM - 8:00 PM on Wednesday, June 15, 2022
Crawford Family Forum
1A Live with Jenn White

Blaxploitation films hit the big screen 50 years ago. It’s a genre that many film critics say changed the landscape for Black actors – and created some of Hollywood’s most memorable characters, soundtracks, and movies. But it has a complicated legacy – and recent efforts to reboot the 70s classics have run into some stormy box office returns. That hasn’t stopped Hollywood from revisiting the genre – Hulu is developing a series based on Foxy Brown, and Blacula reboot is in the works at MGM Studios.

From Superfly and Shaft to Foxy Brown, these movies gave Black actors a chance to be the hero – even as they sometimes trafficked in harmful stereotypes and cheesy cliches. But arguably, the lasting legacy of Blaxploitation wasn’t the films at all – it was the soundtracks. Isaac Hayes’ soundtrack for Shaft won multiple Grammys, and made the composer the first African-American to win an Oscar for a non-acting category for Best Original Song. The soundtrack is included in the Library of Congress’ National Recording Registry for being “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant.”

1A host Jenn White (she/her) will explore the legacy and influence of Blaxploitation films with a panel of filmmakers, critics, and musical artists in a round-robin style interview. And who knows? We may even get a live performance that will really take you back in time.

1A is produced by WAMU 88.5, and distributed by NPR. It can be heard on over 430 stations, including 89.3 KPCC, Monday-Thursday at 7:00 p.m.

This event is part of KPCC’s Public Radio Palooza, a year-long celebration of all the ways public radio brings us together, featuring some of the most legendary and innovative creators in the public media landscape.

Jenn White is 1A’s host. A seasoned journalist and podcast host, she has worked in public radio since 1999. She joins us from Chicago’s WBEZ where she has held several on-air positions, as host of the station’s local two-hour midday show, Reset with Jenn White, and before that as host of The Morning Shift. She is also a familiar voice on several WBEZ podcasts, including Making Oprah, Making Obama and 16 Shots, which chronicled the fatal police shooting of Laquan McDonald and the trial of Chicago police officer Jason Van Dyke. Before WBEZ, White was the local host of All Things Considered at Michigan Radio. White is also skilled as a public speaker and has moderated numerous on-air gubernatorial and mayoral debates. A native of Detroit and graduate of the University of Michigan, she’s spent the past few years in Chicago and is in the process of moving to Washington, D.C. with her husband and dog.

In order to ensure the health and safety of our guests, staff, and artists, event attendees must present a photo ID and proof of Covid vaccination (including booster) before entering the building. Masks are required while indoors during all events.