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Sean Penn stars in Gus Van Sant‘s new biopic Milk — the story of an out gay politician who inspired a community with his courage, and whose 1978 murder made headlines across the country. Screenwriter Dustin Lance Black says he was among those for whom Harvey Milk made a real difference. Born to Mormon parents, he grew up amid the military communities of San Antonio, Texas. He says Milk’s story, when he finally learned about it, helped him summon the courage to come out to his family and friends.

“Texas kept me very quiet,” Black told the Bay Area Reporter in February. “I became intensely shy, I had thoughts of suicide. I was a pretty dark kid, because I had an acute awareness of my sexuality, and was absolutely convinced that I was wrong.” But in the mid-1990s, Black told the BAR, he saw Rob Epstein’s Oscar-winning documentary The Times of Harvey Milk. “In his Hope Speech, Harvey Milk says, ‘There’s that kid in San Antonio, and he heard tonight that a gay man was elected to public office, and that will give him hope.’ And when I first heard that speech, it really did that. It really, really gave me hope, for the first time.” Black, who’s been a writer on the HBO series Big Love, also obama-abe.jpgwrote a documentary about Pedro Zamora, the out gay Cuban-American AIDS activist who became famous as a third-season cast member on MTV’s The Real World.

RADIO TIMES

Hour 1
Human rights experts LAUREL FLETCHER and ERIC STOVER discuss their report, Guantánamo and Its Aftermath: U.S. Detention and Interrogation Practices and Their Impact on Detainees, published by the Human Rights Center of the University of California, Berkeley, in partnership with the Center for Constitutional Rights. The report details the experience of detainees at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, and in Afghanistan, from the time of their capture through their return home. Listen to this show via Real Audio | mp3

Hour 2
Many comparisons are being made between President-elect Barack Obama and President Abraham Lincoln. How accurate are they what can Obama learn from Lincoln’s administration. Our guests are ALLEN GUELZO, Professor of the Civil War Era at Gettysburg College and a two-time winner of the Lincoln Prize. He is author of “Lincoln and Douglas: The Debates That Defined America” and “Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation” and JAMES MCPHERSON, Professor Emeritus of History at Princeton University. He is author of many books including “Battle Cry of Freedom” for which won the Pulitzer Prize. His newest book is “Tried By War: Abraham Lincoln as Commander in Chief.” Listen to this show via Real Audio | mp3

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While not exactly taking a break from The White Stripes, Jack White keeps piling on new projects. In recent years, he’s recorded the latest theme in the James Bond series with Alicia Keys and produced albums for Beck and Loretta Lynn. His most consistent and stable side project, however, is his rock band with singer-songwriter Brendon Benson, called The Raconteurs. The group’s sophomore album, Consolers of the Lonely, was recorded in secrecy and released just a week after its existence was announced. It allowed fans and critics to discover the music simultaneously. In a session with host David Dye, the whole band performs an acoustic set of new material from Consolers of the Lonely, which marks a clear progression from the group’s highly successful debut, Broken Boy Soldiers. Members Benson and Patrick Keeler also explain why their Australian Web site refers to the band as The Saboteurs.

THE RACONTEURS: Broken Boy Soldiers

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