Enthralling interviews are what make HBO's The Black List - which premiered last night - such an inspiring project. Touching videos ("living portraits") from Angela Davis, Maya Rudolph, Kara Walker, and others, after the jump.


Activist and professor Angela Davis was associated with the Black Panthers during the Civil Rights Movement. She was born in Alabama and grew up during a time of rigid segregation. In 1970, after a gun registered in her name was used to kill a judge, she became the third woman ever to appear on the FBI's Ten Most Wanted List. (She was captured, tried and acquitted.)



Maya Rudolph is an actress and comedian famous for her stint on Saturday Night Live. Her father is a Jewish composer; her mother is the late singer Minnie Ripperton (whose most famous song is "Loving You").



Kara Walker is a fine artist from California with an MFA from RISD. Her work has been in The Renaissance Society in Chicago, the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, and the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago.



The first and only African-American woman to be nominated for an Academy Award for screenwriting, Suzanne de Passe is a former Motown Records exec who has produced TV shows and films such as Class Act, Sister, Sister, and Showtime at the Apollo.



Bishop T.D. Jakes is an entrepreneur and chief pastor of the The Potter's House, a 30,000 member non-denominational megachurch in Dallas. He's written more than 20 books and led the early morning prayer service for President-elect Barack Obama on inauguration day.


Not seen here, but included in The Black List: Volume 2: Actor Laurence Fishburne; Anglican Bishop Barbara Harris; Mass. Gov. Deval Patrick; physician and academic Valerie Montgomery-Rice, M.D.; filmmaker Tyler Perry; singer Charley Pride; fashion designer Patrick Robinson; musician RZA and filmmaker Melvin Van Peebles. Also, check out our earlier post on The Black List: Volume 1 for videos of Toni Morrison, Thelma Golden and Suzan Lori-Parks.

The Black List: Airing Schedule [HBO]
The Black List: Volume 2 [HBO]
Earlier: HBO's The Black List Offers Intimate Portraits Of Enigmatic Women