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Amiri Baraka and Johnnie Burrell

“The Ballot That Elected Barack Obama,” featuring Amiri Baraka

American writer of poetry, plays, drama, fiction, essays, and music died on January 9, 2014.

We filmed him in San Francisco where he spoke to President Barack Obama's election triumph at the San Francisco Public Library. I'll remember him for a number of reasons, one being his death occurred on my birthday.

View our broadcast of his 2009 standing-room-only appearance at the San Francisco Public Library:

Click to view broadcast.

Thank you for visiting our website. We hope you enjoy these broadcasts.

Johnnie Burrell
Executive Producer

Related links:

San Francisco Public Library

Contact: Justin Desmangles at

Remembrance of Amiri Baraka by Maya Angelou

New York Times obituary

Left to right: Kerry Kennedy, Luci Baines Johnson, Peggy Wallace Kennedy, Donzaleigh Abernathy

Left to right: Congresswoman Barbara Lee, Belva Davis

Ysabel Duron

50-Year Commemoration: Daughters of the Civil Rights Movement Speak

History was made on this night in November when daughters of major civil rights era figures graced the stage at the Marriott Hotel in downtown Oakland, California.

Donzaleigh Abernathy (daughter of Mrs. Juanita J. and Rev. Dr. Ralph Abernathy), Luci Baines Johnson (daughter of Lady Bird and President Lyndon Baines Johnson), Kerry Kennedy (daughter of Ethel and former Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy), and Peggy Wallace Kennedy (daughter of Govs. George C. and Lurleen Wallace) told their personal stories about living as children of parents who were at the center of the civil rights movement and how that experience impacted and forever shaped their lives.

Their stories were not only personal, they were powerful and will move you to both laughter and tears.

This Barbara Lee & Elihu Harris Lecture Series was produced by Merritt College and the Martin Luther King, Jr. Freedom Center. The young staff at the Freedom Center are to be commended for the brilliant work they did in making this series a huge success.

If you were unable to attend the event, we're bringing it to you. Tune in!

Click here to view broadcast

Related links:

MLK Jr. Freedom Center staff

Left to right: Luis and Travis. Thanks, guys!

Speak Truth to Power by Kerry Kennedy

Partners to History by Donzaleigh Abernathy

Faith Fancher's Breast Cancer Challenge

FedEx presented the 9th Annual 2013 Faith Fancher Breast Cancer Challenge which took place at Lake Merritt in Oakland, California. This breast cancer walk raises funds for low-income women and men battling the disease and is the legacy of Faith Fancher, a much loved and respected San Francisco Bay Area journalist who succumbed to the disease in 2003. Before passing she established Friends of Faith to help others.

Ever the fun person that she is, Friends of Faith 2013 and 2014 board member President and former CBS 5 news anchor Barbara Rodgers and her team -- Barbara's Buddies -- took first place in my book for their pink hair costumes. The walk began with a motorcycle contingent and concluded with some of the participants turning flips at the finish. It was festive and fun. Just the way Faith would have wanted it. Tune in!

Click here to view broadcast.

Faith Fancher

Barbara's Buddies

Related links:

Presented to FedEx in appreciation of their continuing support of Friends of Faith, Inc.

Left to right: Barbara Rodgers, Board President, Friends of Faith, Inc.; Rich Laubscher and Cher Woodward from FedEx, Naming Sponsor of the Faith Fancher Breast Cancer Challenge; Rosie Allen, Producer of the Faith Fancher Breast Cancer Challenge

Former CBS 5 News Anchor Barbara Rodgers

Spencer Gillette and News Anchor Pam Moore

Oakland Mayor Jean Quan

News Anchor Carolyn Tyler (center) and her team

"Let's walk, let's ride."

Flippin' at the Finish

Civil Rights Attorney John Burris: A Perspective on the Trayvon Martin Trial and Race

One of America's most respected and important civil rights attorneys and a crusader for justice, John Burris, sat down with former CBS 5 news anchor Barbara Rodgers at Geoffrey's Inner Circle in Oakland, California to give the world his perspective on the trial of Trayvon Martin, and race.

He is best known for his work in the area of plaintiffs' civil rights over the past 25 years and as a legal analyst for Fox, MSNBC, Court TV, CNN, and many local television and radio stations. His high-profile client list includes Oscar Grant, Rodney King, Barry Bonds, Tupac Shakur, Jason Kidd, Dwayne Wiggins, Latrel Sprewell, Delroy Lindo, numerous public officials, and others. His book Blue vs. Black is a must read. Tune in!

Click here to view broadcast.

Related links:

John Burris with former CBS 5 News Anchor Barbara Rodgers

John Burris, Barbara Rodgers, and Veronica Webber of Webb Management

John Burris, Barbara Rodgers, and Associate Producer Paul Grant

Geoffrey Pete, Geoffrey's Inner Circle

John Burris with Johnnie Burrell, Executive Producer of

Van Jones—Now The Work Begins

Van Jones, former Special Advisor to the Obama White House, activist, author, attorney, and Yale graduate, appeared on the campus of the University of San Francisco— whose motto is "Change the World From Here"—for a post-election breakfast discussion and book signing. His must-read book is titled Rebuild the Dream.

Van Jones is founding President of Rebuild the Dream, a pioneering initiative to restore good jobs and economic opportunity, and has emerged as a leading champion of smart solutions for America's middle class. The Young Black Democrats of San Francisco hosted the event.

Click here to view the broadcast.

Related links:
University of San Francisco
Email James Lance Taylor

Theo Ellington, Young Black Democrats of San Francisco President

Van Jones with Spencer Gillette, The Eco Foodist

Tuskegee Airman Les Williams

Tuskegee Airman Captain Les Williams was the first Black bomber pilot commissioned by the Air Corps. Quite a distinction.

He talked to about his challenges and victories in earning his wings and bars, and his right to fly. We were joined by his daughter, Penny Williams. Les and Penny's book is titled Victory: Tales of a Tuskegee Airman.

The story of the Tuskegee Airmen is told in the movie Red Tails, produced by George Lucas and starring Cuba Gooding and Terrence Howard, opening in theaters across the country on January 20.

Click here to view broadcast.

Related links:


PLANES FLOWN BY TUSKEGEE PILOTS: Upper left: P-51 Mustang with "RED TAIL" signifying a Tuskegee Airmen squadron.
Upper right: P-40 Skyhawk—chiefly flown by Tuskegee Airmen over North Africa.
Center: B-25 Mitchell medium level bomber piloted by Williams with a five man crew.

Tavis Smiley: Fail Up

Marcus Books, the oldest Black bookstore in the United States, hosted a book signing for television and radio talk show host, political commentator, entrepreneur, advocate, philanthropist, and book author Tavis Smiley. His new book, titled Fail Up: 20 Lessons on Building Success from Failure, offers lessons on how to turn life's setbacks into successes. takes you inside.

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Meaningful Relationships & Love, Featuring Dr. Brenda Wade

Dr. Brenda Wade, a clinical psychologist specializing in couples and family therapy with a private practice that reaches internationally, granted an interview with's Executive Producer Johnnie Burrell to talk about her book 99 Things Women Wish They Knew Before Falling In Love and her creation, Love, Money, & Seva Seminars.

Dr. Wade has appeared as a guest expert on such popular national daytime talk programs as Oprah, The Today Show, Good Morning America, Maury, and Jenny Jones. She appeared with Peter Jennings in the ABC news special Children First. Dr. Wade is a regular contributor to Essence Magazine. In addition, she has contributed to such publications as Ebony, Ladies Home Journal, Jet, Heart & Soul, Bridal Fantasy of Canada, and

Currently, Dr. Wade is the co-host of the nationally syndicated PBS show Healing Quest, in addition to hosting the CW Network's Black Renaissance, the longest-running topical news show focused on issues important to the African-American community in the San Francisco Bay Area. She also contributes expert commentary to CNN, HLN, and local news affiliates. Tune in!

Related links:

Dr. Brenda Wade, PhD
Psychologist, Author

Click here to view broadcast.


Slow Food Nation Festival in San Francisco

This broadcast on Johnnie Burrell Presents reported on the 4-day Slow Food Nation festival in San Francisco in 2008.

Click here to view full-length broadcast.

For a 6-minute overview, see video on our YouTube channel.

Related links:
Live Culture Co.

Jerri's Spiritual Journey

Journalist Jerri Lange met and befriended a young Japanese woman while working at a television station in Hawaii, which led to a series of trips to Japan.

Delighted by the beauty of the land and the kindness of the people, Jerri began to research the arts, culture, and history of Japan. Now in her late 80s, Jerri continues this exploration that includes encouraging young African-American youth and others to explore cultures beyond their own. Most recently, she became the student of a master Zen Buddhist priest.

An event at San Francisco's Main Public Library's Koret Auditorium was attended by the public, Jerri's friends, relatives, and former colleague journalists to honor her accomplishments, and to shine a light on her photo exhibit from Kyoto, Japan at the Library. There were poetry readings and performances by musicians.

Jerri Lange

Click here to view broadcast

Jerri Lange with Buddhist Priest


Photo by John Huseby

Jerri Lange reads from her book


Photo by John Huseby

News anchor Pam Moore and Master of Ceremonies Ray Taliaferro


Photo by John Huseby

Noah Griffin Reading History of
Jerri Lange's Family


Photo by John Huseby

Jerri's son, Michael Lange


Photo by John Huseby

Event Producer Carmen Stone & Master of Ceremonies Ray Taliaferro


Photo by John Huseby

Jerri Lange with Spiritual Daughters Joyce Gaskin & Carmen Stone


Photo by John Huseby

The Incomparable Master Koto Artist Shirley Kazuyo Muramoto


Photo by John Huseby

News Anchor Carolyn Tyler
and Ray Taliaferro


Enjoy Jerri's other broadcast:

Jerri: A Black Woman's Life In The Media.

Related links:
San Francisco Public Library
Public Relations, Document Design, Event Producer: Carmen Stone
Photo credits: John Huseby

Jerri: A Black Woman's Life in the Media

An interview conducted with Jerri Lange in her home about her 2009 book, Jerri: A Black Woman's Life in the Media. In 1983 she was the keynote speaker at a broadcast industry conference at San Francisco State University where that same year she received the Broadcast Industry Perceptor Award for her unique contributions to the media. Other broadcasters who received the award on the national scene were Walter Cronkite and Mike Wallace. Her speech focused on the media's potential to control our minds, our hearts, and our behavior.

Click here to view broadcast.

Related links:
More information on Jerri's book
Some commentaries Jerri wrote especially for us

Ambassador Andrew Young: The Vote—Where Do We Go From Here?

Former U.N. Ambassador, aide to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., civil rights leader, twice-elected Mayor of Atlanta, Georgia, and Medal of Freedom recipient Andrew Young came to Oakland, California, with his message of hope and the need to organize to achieve success in the election.

He also spoke of ways to solve world conflicts without violence and the need for all children to attain an education.

The event, part of The Barbara Lee & Elihu Harris Lecture Series, was produced by the Martin Luther King Jr. Freedom Center and Merritt College.

Click here to view Ambassador Young's presentation

Click to view a one-on-one with Andrew Young and Jerri Lange

Related links:
Andrew J. Young Foundation
Martin Luther King Jr. Freedom Center
Merritt College, Oakland

Carla Thomas — Jerri Lange — Oakland Mayor Jean Quan

KAXT1 TV Vice President Ravi Kapur, Noted news anchor Barbara Rodgers, Janice Mabry

Ambassador Andrew Young (right) with Jerri Lange and Johnnie Burrell, General Manager and Executive Producer of

Ambassador Andrew Young and Senior Editor and Oakland Post reporter Carla Thomas

Former Oakland Mayor Elihu Harris and General Manager, Author, Journalist Jerri Lange

Ambassador Andrew Young One-on-One

Click here to view broadcast.

Related links:
Andrew J. Young Foundation
Martin Luther King Jr. Freedom Center
Merritt College, Oakland General Manager Jerri Lange and Ambassador Andrew Young

Tracy Reese

Tracy Reese was the special guest fashion designer at Macy's 2011 Passport Glamorama Benefit Extravaganza. Her fashions graced the runway at the event, and at this year's Democratic National Convention one of her garments graced our First Lady, Michelle Obama. interviewed Tracy as she spoke of the need to continue the fight against HIV and AIDS. This broadcast is a six-minute edit of the original broadcast, Macy's Passport Glamorama Benefit, posted in 2011.

Click here to view 6-minute Tracy Reese broadcast.

Related links:

Tracy Reese, Fashion Designer
-Creator of Michelle Obama's Dress-

First Lady Michelle Obama


Click here to view broadcast.


Related links:
Park Place Publications

Liston/Ali & "The Fix"

One of the most asked questions in all of sports, "Were the Ali/Liston fights fixed?," is answered in an explosive book authored by boxing historian Paul Gallender. Questions raised regarding Ali's relationship with the Black Muslims, Liston's relationship with the Mob, and his death are also answered.

"Paul Gallender digs into the life and psyche of Sonny Liston, one of the most misunderstood athletes of his or any generation. He attempts to portray the real personality of one of boxing's greatest champions who had to fend off Gestapo-like tactics during his career, not only from the police forces of several American cities, but also by bigoted sportswriters of his time. In all respects, Paul succeeds."
—Russell Peltz, boxing promoter, International Boxing Hall of Fame Class of 2004

Author & Boxing Historian, Paul Gallender

Former Black Panther Party Chair, Elaine Brown: Black Life in the Age of Obama

Former leader of the Black Panther Party Elaine Brown lectured at the oldest Black bookstore in the country, Oakland, California's Marcus Books. The subject: Black Life in the Age of Obama.

An audience discussion followed. It was provocative and vital, and —as always—Elaine Brown was exciting.

Click here to view Elaine Brown's talk.

Associate Producer Spencer Gillette and Elaine Brown

Elaine Brown

Related links:
Elaine Brown's website


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