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#BackChannel: From Nat Turner To A Bulletproof Black Superhero

The highly-anticipated film "The Birth of a Nation" tells the story of a slave rebellion led by Nat Turner in Southampton County, Virginia in 1831.

The movie received critical acclaim at the Sundance Film Festival earlier this year, but support for the movie has since waned as details about the creator’s controversial past resurfaced. In 1999, creator Nate Parker was accused of rape when he was an undergraduate at Pennsylvania State University. He was acquitted of the charges, but critics say he has not addressed his past in an appropriate manner.

Meanwhile, streaming services, like Netflix, continue to provide a platform for content portraying diverse representations of black life. The new documentary "13th" looks at the birth of mass incarceration in the U.S. and the drama "Luke Cage" depicts a bulletproof black superhero.

Host Frank Stasio talks about the latest in pop culture with experts Natalie Bullock Brown, professor of film and broadcast media at St. Augustine's University in Raleigh, and Mark Anthony Neal, professor of African & African American studies at Duke University in Durham.​

"The Birth of a Nation"


"Luke Cage"

"Don't Touch My Hair"

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Charlie Shelton-Ormond is a podcast producer for WUNC.
Longtime NPR correspondent Frank Stasio was named permanent host of The State of Things in June 2006. A native of Buffalo, Frank has been in radio since the age of 19. He began his public radio career at WOI in Ames, Iowa, where he was a magazine show anchor and the station's News Director.