Society & Culture

Baratunde Thurston On ‘America Outdoors’

podcast July 2, 2022

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Larry is joined by comedian, writer, and cultural critic Baratunde Thurston to discuss his new PBS series ‘America Outdoors.’ They begin their conversation by discussing how the show was produced. They then pivot to Thurston’s intentions for the program, including providing a conduit for inner-city kids to appreciate the diverse American topography in an appreciative way.(9:40) Next, they talk about how nature can play a part in unifying people using the history and restoration of the L.A. River as context.(25:00) Baratunde then breaks down the process of selecting the locations for the show and shares some of the profound experiences he had filming in the Great Dismal swamps outside of Chesapeake Bay, which profoundly connected him with the racial history of that region in a spiritual way.(32:18) Larry and Baratunde conclude their conversation by talking about the complex connection Black people have to the outdoors and complications of loving America despite the imperfections within its history, current political climate, and the machinations of the recent Supreme Court decisions.(49:32)

Host: Larry Wilmore

Guest: Baratunde Thurston

Producer: Chris Sutton

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