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Public Square - A Podcast of The Public Theater

Bonus Episode 2

"Hansberry & Baldwin in the Building"

This is the second Bonus Episode of Public Square 2.0, the re-launch of The Public Theater’s Podcast, Public Square. We give you a front row seat to a conversation from one of our Fall productions, Baldwin and Buckley at Cambridge, a co-production with Elevator Repair Service (ERS). The show was directed by ERS founder, John Collins, and conceived and performed by Greig Sargeant, along with actor and sound designer Ben Jalosa Williams, the three of whom joined Dr. Imani Perry and Dr. Eddie S. Glaude, Jr. in conversation after the show. Host Garlia Cornelia Jones, The Public’s new and first ever Director of Innovation and New Media, introduces the Bonus Episodes and drops you into the evening.

This Audio-only episode is available wherever you find your podcasts. Each full episode of Public Square 2.0 will continue to guide you through a behind the scenes look as we connect with artists and staff.  Welcome home to Public Square—we’re so happy to have you back!  

Hosted by Garlia Cornelia Jones

Executive Producer: Garlia Cornelia Jones, Director - Innovation and New Media
Creative Producer: John Sloan III, Ghostlight Productions
Audio Producer: Justin K. Sloan, Ghostlight Productions
Assistant Producer: Emily White - New Media Associate

Graphics by Tam Shell, Art Director - Brand Studio

Music Credits:
“Latte” By Sunny Fruit, Artlist.io

Transcript by GhostLight Productions

Bonus Episode 2 Transcript


Image of Imani Perry

Imani Perry


Imani Perry is the Hughes-Rogers Professor of African American Studies at Princeton University and a faculty associate with the Programs in Law and Public Affairs, Gender and Sexuality Studies and Jazz Studies. She is the author of 6 books, including Looking for Lorraine: The Radiant and Radical Life of Lorraine Hansberry, which received the Pen Bograd-Weld Award for Biography, The Phi Beta Kappa Christian Gauss Award for outstanding work in literary scholarship, the Lambda Literary Award for LGBTQ Nonfiction and the Shilts-Grahn Award for nonfiction from the Publishing Triangle. Looking for Lorraine was also named a 2018 notable book by the New York Times, and a honor book by the Black Caucus of the American Library Association. It was a finalist  for the African American Intellectual History Society Paul Murray Book Prize. Her book May We Forever Stand: A History of the Black National Anthem, winner of the 2019 American Studies Association John Hope Franklin Book Award for the best book in American Studies, the Hurston Wright Award for Nonfiction, and finalist for an NAACP Image Award in Nonfiction. Her most recent book is: Breathe: A Letter to My Sons (Beacon Press, 2019) which was a finalist for the 2020 Chautauqua Prize and a finalist for the NAACP Image Award for Excellence in Nonfiction.

Perry is a scholar of law, literary and cultural studies, and an author of creative nonfiction. She earned her Ph.D. in American Studies from Harvard University, a J.D. from Harvard Law School, an LLM from Georgetown University Law Center and a BA from Yale College in Literature and American Studies. Her writing and scholarship primarily focuses on the history of Black thought, art, and imagination crafted in response to, and resistance against, the social, political and legal realities of domination in the West. She seeks to understand the processes of retrenchment after moments of social progress, and how freedom dreams are nevertheless sustained. Her book: Vexy Thing: On Gender and Liberation (Duke University Press 2018) is a work of critical theory that contends with the formation of modern patriarchy at the dawn of capitalism, the transatlantic slave trade, and the age of conquest, and traces it through to the contemporary hypermedia neoliberal age. Her book More Beautiful and More Terrible: The Embrace and Transcendence of Racial Inequality in the United States (NYU Press, 2011) is an examination of contemporary practices of racial inequality that are sustained and extended through a broad matrix of cultural habits despite formal declarations of racial equality. 

Perry’s forthcoming book under contract with ECCO Press is a narrative journey through the South, arguing that it is the nation’s heartland for better and worse. Future planned projects include an examination of African American theories of law and justice, and a meditation on the color blue in Black life. 

Image of Dr. Eddie S. Glaude, Jr.

Dr. Eddie S. Glaude, Jr.


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One of the nation's most prominent scholars, Dr. Eddie S. Glaude, Jr., is a passionate educator, author, political commentator, and public intellectual who examines the complex dynamics of the American experience. His writings, including Democracy in Black: How Race Still Enslaves the American Soul, In a Shade of Blue: Pragmatism and the Politics of Black America, and his most recent, the New York Times bestseller, Begin Again: James Baldwin's America and Its Urgent Lessons for our Own, takes an exhaustive look at Black communities, the difficulties of race in the United States and the challenges we face as a democracy. Of Baldwin, Glaude writes, "Baldwin's writing does not bear witness to the glory of America. It reveals the country's sins and the illusion of innocence that blinds us to the reality of others. Baldwin's vision requires a confrontation with our history (with slavery, Jim Crow segregation, with whiteness) to overcome its hold on us. Not to posit the greatness of America, but to establish the ground upon which to imagine the country anew."

A highly accomplished and respected scholar of religion, Glaude is a former president of the American Academy of Religion. His books on religion and philosophy include An Uncommon Faith: A Pragmatic Approach to the Study of African American Religion, African American Religion: A Very Short Introduction, and Exodus! Religion, Race and Nation in Early 19th Century Black America, which was awarded the Modern Language Association's William Sanders Scarborough Book Prize.

Glaude is the James S. McDonnell Distinguished University Professor and Chair of the Department of African American Studies, a program he first became involved with shaping as a doctoral candidate in Religion at Princeton. He is also on the Morehouse College Board of Trustees. He frequently appears in the media, as a columnist for TIME Magazine and as an MSNBC contributor on programs like Morning Joe and Deadline Whitehouse with Nicolle Wallace. He also regularly appears on Meet the Press on Sundays. Combining a scholar's knowledge of history, a political commentator's take on the latest events, and an activist's passion for social justice, Glaude challenges all of us to examine our collective American conscience.

Image of John Collins

John Collins


John Collins founded Elevator Repair Service in 1991. Since then, he has directed or co-directed all of the company’s productions while also serving as the company’s artistic director. ERS productions directed by Collins include Cab Legs, Room Tone, Gatz, The Select (The Sun Also Rises), The Sound and the Fury, Arguendo, Measure for Measure and numerous others. He is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, a United States Artists Fellowship and a Doris Duke Performing Artist Award.

Image of Greig Sargeant

Greig Sargeant


The Public: Measure for Measure, The Sound and the Fury. NYTW: Bonnie’s Last Flight; Fondly, Collette Richland; The Little Foxes (dir. Ivo van Hove). Vineyard Theater/TMT: Strictly Dishonorable. BAM/Next Wave: The Parable Conference. BAC: Go Forth/Please Bury Me. ERS/REDCAT: Gatz. HERE/TMT: Uncle Vanya. Film: Help Me Mary, The Bad Infinity. Sargeant is an associate artist of Target Margin Theater and company member of ERS. Training: West Virginia University – MFA, William Esper.

Image of Ben Jalosa Williams

Ben Jalosa Williams


Ben Jalosa Williams is an actor and sound designer. He produces and curates category : other, an award winning platform for experimental audio. Collaborators include minor theater, Christina Masciotti, Suzanne Bocanegra and many others. Awards for sound design: Obie, Lortel, Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle and Third Coast International Audio Festival’s inaugural Audio Unbound Award (for Songs of Speculation, co-produced with Jillian Walker). Benwilliamsdotcom.com