LeVar Burton (@levarburton) is an award-winning actor famous for iconic roles from Kunta Kinte in Roots to Geordi La Forge on Star Trek: The Next Generation, and the host of long-running PBS series Reading Rainbow and the LeVar Burton Reads podcast.
What We Discuss with LeVar Burton:
- How LeVar went from pursuing a vocation in the priesthood to acting in a miniseries that changed the national dialogue about slavery forever.
- What LeVar’s Roots experience taught him about the power of television for education and engagement and how it paved the way for his involvement with Reading Rainbow.
- The questions LeVar asks parents who want their kids to read more.
- What it was like to act in Star Trek with the most expressive parts of his face covered and a head full of technobabble vocabulary.
- How LeVar avoided melting down in spite of international attention from an early age and what he’s done to stay relevant over 40 years in show business.
- And much more…
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LeVar Burton has a diverse resume that — presented in full — would stretch the length of the USS Enterprise. But here’s a brief summary: He landed his first audition for a major role at age 19 to portray Kunta Kinte in the 1977 television miniseries Roots, he hosted over 21 seasons of PBS children’s television series Reading Rainbow, and he played Lieutenant Commander Geordi La Forge on Star Trek: The Next Generation. He now hosts the LeVar Burton Reads podcast, on which he handpicks his favorite short stories and shares them with us.
I wanted to find out why, despite early success, LeVar never had a Hollywood meltdown. Fortunately, he grew up with strong values and surrounded himself with the right kind of people — and we’ll learn how to do the same. We’ll also talk about the enemies of education and what we can do to make America smart again. This is a tale of self-sabotage, hustle, and resilience, and it’s about someone who has probably influenced almost every single person listening to The Jordan Harbinger Show. And if not? That’s about to change. Listen, learn, and enjoy!
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THANKS, LEVAR BURTON!
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Resources from This Episode:
- LeVar Burton Reads
- LeVar Burton’s Website
- LeVar Burton at Instagram
- LeVar Burton at Facebook
- LeVar Burton at Twitter
- Reading Rainbow
- LeVar Burton Kids
- Star Trek: The Next Generation
- Tao Te Ching by Lao Tzu
- A Kierkegaard Anthology by Soren Kierkegaard
- Sun Up by Margaret Early
- Captains Courageous by Rudyard Kipling
- Super Mario Bros.
- Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
- Fahrenheit 451: A Novel by Ray Bradbury
- Where the Sidewalk Ends by Shel Silverstein
- Books by Octavia Butler
- Won’t You Be My Neighbor?
- Noblesse Oblige, Learning to Give
- Shaq at Twitter
- LeVar Burton and Jimmy Kimmel Team Up to Launch ”Tweeting Rainbow” in Response to Reading’s Kickstarter Campaign — Watch! by Alyssa Toomey, E! News
- Reading Is Fundamental (RIF)
- Dolores Robinson at Instagram
- The Suicide Death of Freddie Prinze by Frank Wilkins, Reel Reviews
- Better Help
- WNED and LeVar Burton Terminate Licensing Deal for ‘Reading Rainbow’ by Dru Sefton, Current
- Rick Hanson | The Science of Hardwiring Happiness and Resilience, TJHS 192
- Captain Planet Foundation
- Troy Meets LeVar Burton, Community
- Fun with Flags 2.0 with LeVar Burton, The Big Bang Theory
- Sacramento Has Renamed a Local Park after Reading Rainbow Host LeVar Burton by Jake Rossen
- Technobabble Generator, SciFi Ideas
- Ring Lardner: Stories & Other Writings by Ring Lardner
- The Best Short Stories of O. Henry by O. Henry