Of all his roles, LeVar is most proud of his role as executive producer of the beloved PBS
children's series he also hosted
During its 26-year run1983 to 2009. Reading Rainbow
was not only one of the longest
running children’s television
shows in history but won more
than 25 awards including10
for outstanding series and the prestigious George Foster Peabody Award
LeVar was also the star of Roots and Star Trek:
The Next Generation.
"I’ve dedicated my life to the power of storytelling. Whether I’m acting, directing, writing or podcasting, I believe sharing stories is what I was born to do because storytelling is what brings us all together.” ― LeVar Burton
“For me, literacy means freedom.
For the individual and for society.”
LeVar Burton made his acting debut in 1977 when he played Kunta Kinte in the ABC award-winning drama series Roots, based on the novel by Alex Haley. Burton's audition for the role of Kinte was the first of his professional career. As a result of his performance, he was nominated for the Emmy for Best Actor in a Drama Series. Burton reprised the role of Kunta Kinte in the 1988 television film Roots: The Gift. When asked about the societal impacts ofRoots, Burton is quoted as saying, "It expanded the consciousness of people. Blacks and whites began to see each other as human beings, not as stereotypes. And if you throw a pebble into the pond, you're going to get ripples. I think the only constant is change, and it's always slow. Anything that happens overnight is lacking in foundation. Roots is part of a changing trend, and it's still being played out."
LeVar Burton is an Actor, Director, Educator & Cofounder of the award-winning Skybrary App, host and Executive Producer of PBS's Reading Rainbow and lifelong children's literacy advocate.
In every episode, host LeVar Burton (Roots, Reading Rainbow, Star Trek) invites you to take a break from your daily life, and dive into a great story. LeVar’s narration blends with gorgeous soundscapes to bring stories by Neil Gaiman, Haruki Murakami, Octavia Butler, Ray Bradbury and more to life. So, if you’re ready, let’s take a deep breath...
STAR TREK: The Next Generation
In 1986, Gene Roddenberry approached Burton with the role of the then Lieutenant Junior Grade Geordi La Forge in the Star Trek: The Next Generation television series. La Forge is blind, but is granted "sight" through the use of a prosthetic device called a VISOR, which is worn over his eyes. La Forge started out serving as the USS Enterprise's helmsman, and as of the show's second season, had become its Chief Engineer.
Burton also portrayed La Forge in the subsequent feature films based on Star Trek: The Next Generation, beginning with Star Trek: Generations in 1994 through 2002's Star Trek: Nemesis.
LEVAR BURTON PARK
Sacramento City Hall
"This Is My Story"
I've been thinking a lot lately about the state of race relations in America. One thing I learned from the enormous success of ROOTS (if you don't know, you better ask somebody) 42 years ago, was the power that storytelling possess to help bridge the gap between races. These are the initial 6 episodes in an ongoing series. The first installment of This Is My Story, is an incident from my own life. The others are real life experiences of some of my friends, told by me. Like ROOTS did so long ago, my intention in sharing these stories is to provide anecdotal context for the Black experience in America. I know now, what I didn't know then; I belong here regardless of your idea of who I am, based solely on the color of my skin.
Directed by Sujata Day
Produced and Edited by Cameron Fife
Cinematography by Eric Dyson
Executive Producers, Dan Evans, Sujata Day & LeVar Burton
GOOGLE DOODLE JUNETEENTH 2020 NARRATED BY LEVAR BURTON
LeVar Burton, honors the 155th anniversary of Juneteenth.
Short for “June Nineteenth,” Juneteenth which marks the true end of chattel slavery across the United States, which did not occur until 1865, two and a half years after the Emancipation Proclamation. Specifically, it marks the day when enslaved Black people in Galveston, Texas (one of the most remote and westernmost points in the Confederate South) finally received news of their liberation.
Juneteenth 2020 / Google Doodle
Narrated by LeVar Burton
Illustrated by Los Angeles-based guest artist Loveis Wise
Music produced by Elijah Jamal
"Lift Every Voice and Sing" poem written by James Weldon Johnson (1900)
BUT YOU DON'T HAVE TO TAKE MY WORD FOR IT
Burton was host and executive producer of Reading Rainbow starting in 1983 for PBS. The series ran for 23 seasons, making it one of the longest running children's programs on the network. Furthermore, the series garnered over 200 broadcast awards over its run, including a Peabody Award and 26 Emmy Awards, 11 of which were in the "Outstanding Children's Series" category. Burton himself won 12 Emmy awards as host and producer of the show.
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