The Big Read Blog (Archive)

Ruby Dee on Race in A Lesson Before Dying

Ruby Dee and her copy of A Lesson Before Dying. Photo by Adam Kampe.

Rural Louisiana is where author Ernest Gaines was born and raised. It's also the setting for his powerful novel about race and injustice, A Lesson Before Dying. I was given the gift of interviewing veteran actress and activist Ruby Dee about Ernest Gaines, who as she says, "is one of her favorite authors." Here's a moment from our conversation featuring music by artist Paul Rucker. Note: Rucker's music available for download on the site.

[audio:http://bigreadblog.arts.gov/audio/RubyonRace.mp3]

[transcript]

To hear the entire Big Read audio guide about the book, please go here. You can also hear Ruby Dee read excepts from Zora Neal Hurston's Their Eyes Were Watching God.

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