Friday, January 4, 2008

more footnotes on henrietta bell wells

Fans of The Great Debaters movie will want to tune in to Washington, DC's Kojo Nnamdi Show, a call-in radio program, at 1pm Wednesday, January 9 to hear speechwriter Jeff Porro, who shares story development credit for the Golden-Globe-nominated film. He'll be talking about the movie, debating and black college debate teams in history. Jeff interviewed Henrietta Bell Wells, the 1930 Wiley college debate team's lone female member; you can see our interview with Jeff and more background on Wells here and go here after the show to download it from station WAMU. Jurnee Smollett, who plays the character based on Wells in the movie, says in the January Vanity Fair:
“My character is based on a woman named Henrietta Wells, who’s still alive at 95,” says Smollett. “I spent time with her, stayed in her house in Houston. She made me breakfast in the morning. I sang in her church.”