Ep. 19. Glenn Ligon – Bronx

Portrait of Glenn Ligon by Paul Mpagi Sepuya

Glenn Ligon is a renowned artist who gives us new ways of seeing American history, literature, and society. How can we see him better through the lens of childhood? In this episode of Your Hometown, Glenn speaks with Kevin Burke about his experiences growing up in the South Bronx in the 1960s and 70s, including his hour-and-a-half commute each way to Walden, the private school he attended on the Upper West Side from the first grade on. His mother made going to Walden possible for Glenn and his brother, and it involved sacrifices and risks. A commute is one thing. Where it can lead, another.

How would this change the landscape for Glenn and his family? Where would Glenn most feel at home, outside and inside, in his New York? Where would he feel safe, or watched, or like a stranger? And how does a city like New York, with its layer upon layer of construction, class, and culture, define not just the literal paths we take growing up, but the existential ones?

Your Hometown is a show where the local is the epic. Visit yourhometown.org to subscribe to the podcast and our various social media channels.

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