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LeVar Burton to release 2 new books: ‘It’s time for me to speak’

LeVar Burton to release 2 new books: ‘It’s time for me to speak’
Posted at 6:30 AM, Feb 20, 2024

He shared other people’s stories for decades. But now, LeVar Burton is ready to tell his own story.

The television icon is best known for hosting “Reading Rainbow” for 25 years, as well as appearing in “Roots” and “Star Trek: The Next Generation.” He has also written three books, including children’s books and a work of speculative fiction for adults.

But Burton is now turning his lens inward. The Lifetime Achievement Emmy award winner just announced that he is writing two nonfiction books. The first is an inspirational memoir about his life, including his family and his rise to fame, and the second is a book about the importance of the written word. Both will be published by Pantheon and Schocken Books.

LeVar Burton
AP/Michael Owen Baker

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“As a Black man who comes from people for whom it would have been illegal to have the facility of literacy, to have grown up and become a symbol of literacy, an acknowledged advocate for literacy, especially childhood literacy in this country, that’s no small thing in my view,” Burton said to People magazine. “I think it’s worthy of noting and talking about in a memoir what that means to me, what that means to America.”

Burton’s memoir is expected to be published in 2026, and his ode to reading is slated for a 2028 release.

Burton currently hosts the popular podcast “LeVar Burton Reads” in which he narrates works of fiction by authors including Stephen King, Kurt Vonnegut and Toni Morrison. He also recently appeared in shows like “Star Trek: Picard” and “Blindspotting,” and he also offered his voice talents for Netflix’s miniseries “Carol & the End of the World.”

The 67-year-old says he is excited to share his insights and let people see beyond his characters.

“This is my opportunity to go on record, to weigh in, as it were,” Burton told People. “I have earned the respect of this nation and I’ve earned the right to speak my piece. Not simply because of what I’ve done, but simply because I am here. But I do know that which I have accomplished in this life causes people to pay attention when I speak. So it’s time for me to speak.”

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