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Tavis Smiley: My Conversation With Sonia Sanchez on How the Black Arts Movement Changed the Fabric of America

05/28/2015 10:04 am ET | Updated May 28, 2016

Tonight I'm joined by Temple University Professor Emerita and Poet Laureate Sonia Sanchez and Professors John H. Bracey Jr. and James Smethurst of University of Massachusetts at Amherst to discuss their new anthology, SOS - Calling All Black People: A Black Arts Movement Reader.

The aesthetic counterpart of the Black Power Movement, the Black Arts Movement burst onto the scene during the '60s and '70s in the form of artists' circles, writers' workshops, drama groups, dance troupes, new publishing ventures, bookstores and cultural centers. SOS: Calling All Black People: A Black Arts Movement Reader features a comprehensive selection of fiction, poetry, and drama, as well as critical writings on issues of politics, aesthetics, and gender from the most powerful voices of the time including James Baldwin, Toni Morrison, Gil Scott-Heron, Audre Lorde, Nikki Giovanni and Amiri Baraka.

In the clip below, I ask Sonia Sanchez what the Black Arts Movement has meant to the fabric of this country.

For more of our conversation, be sure to tune in to Tavis Smiley on PBS. Check our website for your local TV listings: www.pbs.org/tavis.