Free Southern Theater, a company that was created during the civil rights movement, that inspired me to be an actor, first did [Waiting for Godot] in 1966 in the Mississippi Delta. And there’s a great story where the director was standing in the back of the audience and there was a sharecropper, elderly black man who at intermission turned to him and said “excuse me, are you a part of this play? And he said ‘Yes. I’m the director.’ and he says “I can tell you something. He ain’t coming. This Godot. He ain’t coming.” 

So here’s this existential play by Samuel Beckett written under Nazi occupation in Paris speaking to a sharecropper black man in the midst of the violence that was Jim Crow in the Mississippi Delta, watching the play and having it speak to his humanity. That’s the authenticity that connects disparate people across time and space. 

              – Wendell Pierce

 

Smart people. Surprise topics. Deep fun. This week, actor and New Orleans native son Wendell Pierce (The Wire, Treme), author of the new book The Wind in the Reeds about his work at the local and national level rebuilding New Orleans over the past decade since Hurricane Katrina. 

Surprise clips from Big Think's interview archives launch a deep discussion between Wendell and host Jason Gots about sexuality, generosity, and the power of art across time and culture. 

Listen to THINK AGAIN, EPISODE 22 – GODOT AIN'T COMING (feat. Wendell Pierce) 

Other ways to listen

HELP! I have no idea what a podcast is or how to get one.

[with extra special thanks to SERIAL podcast for these excellent instructions]

Think of a podcast as a radio show you can get on the internet, so you can listen any time you want.  You have two options: You can listen through a website (this is called streaming). Or, you can download a podcast, which means you're saving it on your phone, or tablet, or computer, and you can listen to it anytime, even without an Internet connection.

To Stream: Go to a website, like www.bigthink.com/thinkagain, and click the play button.

To Download: Get it delivered to your phone or tablet each week using an app.

For iPhones and iPads, use the Podcasts app. You get it from the App Store (it actually comes installed on newer devices). In the Podcasts app, you search for Think Again and then hit subscribe.

For Android phones and tablets, try the Stitcher app. Get that from Google Play. In Stitcher, search for Think Again and click the plus sign (+), to add it to your Favorites List. Now go to the Favorites List.  Tell it to download new episodes by clicking the gear in the upper-right corner.

Have fun!

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About Think Again - A Big Think Podcast: If you've got 10 minutes with Einstein, what do you talk about? Black holes? Time travel? Why not gambling? The Art of War? Contemporary parenting? Some of the best conversations happen when we're pushed outside of our comfort zones. Each week on Think Again, we surprise smart people you've probably heard of with handpicked gems from Big Think's interview archives on every imaginable subject. These conversations could, and do, go just about anywhere.