April Gibson Nominated for 2023 B Free Award


April Gibson accepting her 2019 B Free Award

For her role as producer of The Noshing with Nina Show, April Gibson has been nominated to receive several B Free Awards. She has, in fact, been the winner of the award three times: twice in the First Amendment category, and once in the B Entertaining category. 

But last night's nomination - in the B Informed category - was special, because for the past two years, April has been looking after her mother in Louisiana, who has been struggling with dementia. She is handling all aspects of caretaking, from overseeing her mother's financial affairs, to chauffeuring her to various doctors' appointments. She has had to sacrifice her life and success in New York City, in order to be present for her mother in her time of need.

The episode that was nominated was the show's coverage of the International Conference on James Baldwin, which took place in the South of France in June of 2022. It happened at the tail end of international COVID restrictions on travel, which meant that I had to fly to Nice by myself since I was the one who was vaccinated. All footage that was used in the show was shot by yours truly. April managed to link together and edit the clips I sent to her in Louisiana, and ended up producing a show that earned a B Free Award nomination.

Nina Kennedy on the Red Carpet
Since April could not be present for last night's awards show, I represented the show on my own. During the Red Carpet interview, I mentioned that I felt honored to be in a position to re-introduce James Baldwin to a new generation. Many young people are not aware that Baldwin outed himself as a black queer writer in the 1950s with the publication of his hugely successful novel Giovanni's Room. He had to go to Europe to find a publisher for the book since his American publishers were too afraid to touch it.

If people like Ron DeSantis have their way, young people will have to work even harder to find that book. In recorded interviews, Baldwin reveals that the book is really a novel about a man's struggle to love anyone, period, in addition to revelations of gay male life in Paris in the 1950s. 

Young people today may not realize that James Baldwin was a media icon throughout the 1960s and 70s. He is famous for television interview on The Dick Cavett Show, as well as his televised debate with William F. Buckley, Jr. at Cambridge University, and a two-part conversation with poet Nikki Giovanni taped for broadcast for the show Soul!

James Baldwin
Baldwin was asked to give speeches at churches and schools throughout the country. He was alive when Martin Luther King and Malcolm X were assassinated, and stated several times in interviews that he was worried that he might be next. Baldwin then sought refuge in Saint-Paul de Vence for the last 17 years of his life. The James Baldwin Conference had been scheduled originally to celebrate the 50th anniversary of his arrival in the South of France. The COVID pandemic force two postponements of the conference.

April Gibson was the one who encouraged me to apply to be a presenter at the James Baldwin conference. She pointed out to me that, as a published author, presenting at the conference would provide an excellent opportunity for international exposure. Little did we know back then that the conference would end up being the subject of a future TNWNS episode.

Enjoy this shortened version of The Noshing with Nina Show episode that was nominated for a 2023 B Free Award.

Congratulations, April!


Popular posts from this blog

Remembrances of the Clit Club

Nina Kennedy's "Practicing for Love: A Memoir" is Nominated for 2021 Lambda Literary Award

JOI CARDWELL at Club Bonafide