The centuries-long existence of slavery in America has perhaps been the country's greatest contradiction, one for which many questions have yet to be answered. Africans in America, a new four-night PBS series, looks for those answers through its in-depth exploration of U.S. slavery's painful evolution, charting its rise, fall and legacies. Rich with personal narratives and interviews, the program begins tonight at 8 and then airs nightly through October 22; tune in locally to KRMA-TV/Channel 6.
Like Greg Sarris (see "Hail to the Chief" on the previous page), Luis Alberto Urrea--born to a Mexican father and Anglo-American mother--has a multicultural makeup that's flavored by its polar qualities. The acclaimed author of Across the Wire and By the Lake of Sleeping Children, two-thirds of a nonfictional trilogy on life along the United States-Mexico border, Urrea now turns inward for Nobody's Son: Notes From an American Life, a haunting memoir about what it's like to grow up straddling cultures. Urrea reads from the book tonight at 7:30 at the Tattered Cover Book Store, 2955 E. 1st Ave.; call 303-322-7727. He'll also appear tomorrow at 5 p.m. at the Cultural Legacy Bookstore, 3633 W. 32nd Ave.; call 303-964-9049.
You have to wonder how angst-ridden, goofy-grinning, big-haired Lyle Lovett ever made it in Nashville competing against the likes of Garth Brooks and those other hunky country stars. But if it's because of his exemplary songwriting skills and gentlemanly demeanor, well, maybe country-music fans have some taste after all. Step Inside This House, Lovett's new album of hand-picked songs by his favorite Texas tunesmiths, is now in record stores, ready to be heard by fans of every persuasion. The inimitable Lovett is guaranteed to exude class in spades tonight when he performs at 7 at the Buell Theatre, 14th and Curtis in the Plex. Admission ranges from $33 to $44; call 303-830-TIXS.
During his short tenure as a visiting artist at CU-Boulder, experimental cinema pioneer Ken Jacobs is being feted with a ten-day on-campus mini-retrospective featuring a kaleidoscopic view of his works, including the dual-projector, stop-motion technique he's dubbed the Nervous System performances. Jacobs guests tonight at 7 at the International Film Series in Muenzinger Auditorium, where he'll introduce some newer works, including Opening of the 19th Century: 1896, The Georgetown Loop and Disorient Express. Jacobs screenings continue at various campus locations through October 26; call 303-492-1531.