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Notes from America Profile

Notes from America

English, Political, 5 seasons, 191 episodes, 4 days 13 hours 57 minutes
About
The United States of Anxiety is a show about the unfinished business of our history, and its grip on our future. Each week, host Kai Wright invites listeners to gather for intimate conversations and deeply reported stories about the choices we’ve made as a society -- and the new choices we can imagine now. We’re learning from our past, meeting our neighbors, and sharing the joy (and the work!) of living in a plural society. Our inbox is also open for your voice memos—send them to [email protected]. And you can keep up with Kai on Twitter @kai_wright. WNYC Studios is a listener-supported producer of other great podcasts including Radiolab, Death, Sex & Money, and On the Media.
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Leading with Love: Care and Compassion in the Early Days of AIDS

The latest season of the Blindspot podcast, “The Plague In The Shadows,” brings listeners the voices of people who were affected in the early years of the HIV and AIDS epidemics. It includes stories like that of Kia LaBeija, an artist and activist who was diagnosed with HIV as a child soon after her parents both tested positive. LaBeija’s experience shows us how — even in a time when fear and stigma about the disease peaked — many people leaned into compassion that made a difference to those living with HIV and AIDS. She and a longtime family friend, Andre de Shields — the Grammy, Emmy and Tony Award-winning performer (“Hadestown” and “The Wiz”), who has been HIV-positive for decades — joi
25/02/202451 minutes 56 seconds
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It's Giving ‘Hell No’ — Danielle Brooks On Becoming ‘The Color Purple’s’ Sofia

There’s something about Sofia. The iconic character was first born within the pages of Alice Walker’s canonical 1982 novel, “The Color Purple.” She is a fierce, principled Black woman — friend to the protagonist Celie and wife to Celie’s stepson Harpo, who tarnishes their relationship with violence. But what is most notable about Sofia is that she will not stand down, even against the backdrop of racism and sexism in the South in the 1930s. Today, actor Danielle Brooks is Sofia for an entirely new generation of audiences, taking on the role for the 2023 musical film “The Color Purple,” and earning an Academy Award nomination for Best Performance By An Actress In A Supporting Role. “Sofia taught me that I have all that I need inside of me,” Brooks tells Notes from America.    In this episode, she and Kai sit down for a conversation
23/02/20249 minutes 14 seconds
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A Palestinian-American Victim of American Gun Violence Becomes A Reluctant Poster Child

Hisham Awartani was visiting family in Vermont over Thanksgiving break in 2023 when he and two of his friends were shot. All three victims are of Palestinian descent and were wearing traditional Palestinian scarves when the attack happened. While his friends made full physical recoveries, 20-year-old Awartani now has to grapple with a new life that involves using a wheelchair. In this episode, producer Suzanne Gaber meets with Awartani on his last day in rehab before heading back to Brown University, where the shooting has made him a poster child for a cause that’s deeply personal for him: the movement to free Palestine from Israeli occupation. Kai then speaks with William Youmans, an associate profes
19/02/202450 minutes 25 seconds
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Kai Wright Presents Blindspot Episode 3: ‘Women Don’t Get AIDS, They Just Die From It’

From the very earliest days of the epidemic, women got infected with HIV and died from AIDS — just like men. But from the earliest days, this undeniable fact was largely ignored — by the public, the government and even the medical establishment. The consequences of this blindspot were profound. Many women didn’t know they could get HIV. But in the late 1980s, something remarkable happened. At a maximum security prison in upstate New York, a group of women came together to fight the terror and stigma that was swirling in the prison as more and more women got sick with HIV and AIDS. Katrina Haslip was one of them. An observant Muslim and former sex worker, she helped found and create AIDS Counseling and Education (ACE), one of the country’s first HIV and AIDS organizations for women. And when she got out of prison, she kept up the work: she joined forces with women activists on the outside to be seen, heard and treated with dignity. This is her story — and th
16/02/202446 minutes 33 seconds
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Intercultural Relationships Are More Common, But Are They Less Taboo?

We’re living in polarized times – particularly, when it comes to questions of identity, such as race and culture and gender. At the same time, our growing cultural diversity is at this point baked into the future. Within the next 20 years, the majority of Americans will identify as something other than white; that’s already the case in four states. In the 2020 Census, nearly 40 million people identified themselves as multiracial, almost a 300 percent increase from a decade before. Just in time for Valentine’s Day, host Kai Wright opens the phones to callers to share what they’ve learned about themselves from finding love across differences. Kai’s joined by Marya T. Mtshali, assistant professor of sociology at Bucknell University who studies intersectional theory, and author of the forthcoming book, “(In)Visible Terrains: Race, Gender, and Heterosexua
12/02/202449 minutes 15 seconds
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Kai Wright Presents Blindspot Episode 2: If I Didn’t Have HIV, I Wouldn’t Have Met You

It’s the 1980s — Harlem, USA — and the 17th floor of the area’s struggling public hospital is filling up with infants and children who arrive and then never leave. Some spend their whole lives on the pediatric ward, celebrating birthdays, first steps and first words with the nurses and doctors who’ve become their surrogate family. Welcome to Harlem Hospital at the height of the HIV and AIDS epidemics. When the nurses and doctors at this community hospital first began to see infants suffering from an unusual wasting disease, they were alarmed. They had heard that a strange new illness was killing gay men, but no one was talking about women and children. Soon, however, it became clear that HIV was sweeping through Harlem, sickening mothers who then passed it — unknowingly — to their kids. As the crisis grew, AIDS turned the pediatrics ward of Harlem Hospital into a makeshift home — and a makeshift family — for kids who were either too sick to go home, or who
09/02/20240
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Voter Vibe Check: Anti-Trump Conservatives On Republican Party Politics In 2024

With the Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina primaries behind us, the 2024 election cycle is well underway.  Donald J. Trump isn’t the 2024 Republican presidential candidate yet, but his victories in Iowa and New Hampshire suggest that it will be smooth sailing to the GOP nomination for the former president once again — notwithstanding his several impending criminal cases and tons of political baggage.  In this, the first of a series of conversations leading up to the 2024 presidential election, host Kai Wright asks conservative voters who are not aligned with Trump or the MAGA movement some key questions. What do anti-Trump conservatives care about? What space do they occupy in this political landscape? How do they make their voices heard? Kai also speaks with <a h
05/02/202449 minutes 16 seconds
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Kai Wright Presents Blindspot Episode 1: Mourning In America

Valerie Reyes-Jimenez called it “The Monster.” That’s how some people described HIV and AIDS in the 1980s. Valerie thinks as many as 75 people from her block on New York City’s Lower East Side died. They were succumbing to an illness that was not recognized as the same virus that was killing young, white, gay men just across town in the West Village. At the same time, in Washington, D.C., Gil Gerald, a Black LGBTQ+ activist, saw his own friends and colleagues begin to disappear, dying out of sight and largely ignored by the wider world. In the first episode of Blindspot: The Plague in the Shadows, host Kai Wright shares how HIV and AIDS was misunderstood from the start — and how this would shape the reactions of governments, the medical establishment and numerous communities for years to come. Listen to more episodes and subscribe to Blindspot here.<
02/02/202435 minutes 54 seconds
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What A Segregated Mental Asylum Can Tell Us About Health Care in the US Today

If you were Black with mental illness in the early 1900s, you couldn’t seek help just anywhere. You’d have to go to a segregated asylum like Maryland’s Crownsville Hospital, formerly known as the Hospital for the Negro Insane. The facility opened in 1911 when 12 men were brought into the woods outside of Baltimore and told to start working. They were tasked with creating one of the first asylums for Black Americans with mental illnesses, and they would soon become its first patients.  Kai speaks with NBC News correspondent Antonia Hylton about her latest book, “MADNESS: Race and Insanity in a Jim Crow Asylum,” which breaks down the dark history of one psychiatric institution, and highlights the hope it offered Black patients. And we hear from
29/01/202449 minutes 56 seconds
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Kai Wright Hosts Blindspot: The Plague In The Shadows

The latest season of the Blindspot podcast brings listeners voices of people who were affected in the early years of the AIDS epidemic, when so little was known about HIV, and so much was misunderstood. It’s also hosted by a familiar voice — Kai Wright, who has covered the impact of HIV and AIDS in communities of color throughout his career as a journalist. Season three of the show, a co-production of The HISTORY Channel and WNYC Studios, is called “The Plague In The Shadows” and Kai introduces us to the series, which you can listen to and subscribe to here. Tell us what you think. Email us at [email protected]. Send us a voice message by recording yourself on your phone and emailing us, or record one here. We’re also on Instagram and <a hr
26/01/20245 minutes 7 seconds
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Doom. Denial. ‘Hopium.’ What About Climate Action?

The hottest year on record was 2023, but we're already on track to make the same claim at the end of this calendar year. As the world warms and reports of historic flooding, wildfires, tornadoes and droughts continue to permeate the news, it's easy to feel burdened with anxiety about the future of our planet. But there are moments of hope to hold on to. Are they enough to shift to an optimistic outlook about climate change? And how much does hope matter to designing solutions? Kai talks with Rikki Held, the 22-year-old lead plaintiff in Held v. Montana, a lawsuit brought by the group Our Children’s Trust. Held and her co-plaintiffs won an historic victory recently when a court ruled that the state violated their right to a “clean and healthful environment.” Then, author and activist Liza Featherstone shares insight from her essay “<sp
22/01/202449 minutes 36 seconds
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Reclaiming Woke: Celebrating The Legacy Of Martin Luther King Jr. Live At The Apollo

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s final Sunday sermon was titled, “Remaining Awake Through A Great Revolution.” In other words, he was advising us to stay woke. Today, that term has become a political slur. “Woke” is at the very center of our culture wars – especially as we enter a contentious election year. But like a lot of slang words, woke has an origin story that’s got little to do with how it’s used now.  Host Kai Wright is joined by Alvin Singh, great-great nephew Lead Belly and producer of the documentary Lead Belly: The Man Invented Rock &amp; Roll. Together, they explore the folk singer who popularized the term, and the landmark civil rights case that inspired him to issue a note of caution to Black America. Then, Juliet Hooker, Royce Family Professor of Teachi
15/01/202450 minutes 50 seconds
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What the Ozempic Craze Means for Our Personal Health

Interest in Ozempic as a way to lose weight has only been outmatched by demand for the drug, which has been in short supply as celebrities and social media influencers continue to popularize its use. The Type 2 diabetes treatment, which was approved by the Food and Drug Administration in 2017, has become a catch-all term for a class of medications now used to treat obesity, including Wegovy, Zepbound and others. The efficacy of these drugs have some in the medical community pondering if we are on a path to effectively eliminating obesity by treating it as a chronic disease, rather than solely treating the diseases most often related to it.   Host Kai Wright invites
09/01/202449 minutes 21 seconds
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Raoul Peck Fights for Justice With His Movies

Raoul Peck became known for his filmmaking and fight for racial justice with the released of his Academy Award-nominated film I Am Not Your Negro which attempts to complete James Baldwin's unfinished book about the assassinations of Malcolm X, Martin Luther King, and Medgar Evers. It was followed by another documentary series, Exterminate All the Brutes. In his latest film, Silver Dollar Road, Peck completes his trilogy about the economic injustice Black people face worldwide.Silver Dollar Road closes the circle with a look at a modern-day family’s fight to keep the land they purchased soon after the signing
01/01/202449 minutes 39 seconds
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I Was A Child of Dread

In Safiya Sinclair’s new memoir, “How to Say Babylon: A Memoir,” the award-winning poet and essayist is revisiting her youth as a Rastafari girl.  Being Rasta is about so much more than what shows up in American pop culture — it’s an anti-colonial, pro-Black way of life that was deeply important to Safiya’s father. But for her, it was a set of rules and dictates that tried to shrink the world for her and her sisters. In this conversation from October 2023, she tells Kai the story of her childhood, the history of the often persecuted Rastafari movement in Jamaica, and her own journey to finding herself by leaving behind her beloved home. Tell us what you think. We’re on Instagram and X (Twitter) @noteswithkai. Email us at [email protected]. Send us a voice message by recording yourself on your phone and emailing us
25/12/202350 minutes 36 seconds
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Why NYC’s Move to Privatize Public Housing Could Impact the Rest of the Country

When Fanta Kaba was growing up, her family moved around a lot: Harlem, Queens, the Bronx, even North Carolina for a while. But when they moved into public housing, they finally found stability. Now, a controversial plan is changing the way public housing operates — and a lot of residents are scared about the future of their homes.  On this week’s show, Fanta — a reporter for WNYC’s Radio Rookies — speaks with residents, organizers and officials as she tries to find out what this program means for families like hers. Then Kai is joined by Tatyana Turner, an award-winning journalist covering housing for City Limits, to speak a
18/12/202350 minutes 12 seconds
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Remembering Rapper Prodigy As A Cure For Sickle Cell Emerges

The FDA’s approval of gene-editing therapy to effectively treat sickle cell disease has many people hopeful while also thinking about the many lives lost to the disease. One of the most high profile people in the entertainment world with sickle cell was hip-hop artist Prodigy, who died of related complications in 2017. Kai invites you to listen back to an episode of WYNC’s podcast “The Realness,” which documents the rapper's life and experiences in the music industry.  As a kid with sickle cell anemia, Prodigy was told he'd barely make it to adulthood, but the work of doctors, athletes, Hollywood stars and the Black Panthers helped transform his fate.  <em data-stringify-type="
14/12/202329 minutes 38 seconds
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What the New Cure for Sickle Cell Disease Really Means

The Food and Drug Administration has approved gene therapy as a treatment for sickle cell disease, effectively making a cure available to many people affected by the genetic disease. Sickle cell disease is a group of inherited red blood cell disorders and is the most common form of an inherited blood disorder.  In this episode, Kai is joined by Ashley Valentine of Sick Cells, which seeks to elevate the voices of the patient community to influence decision makers and empower people with the disease to use their voices and not feel alone. Ashley co-founded the organization along with her late brother Marqus Valentine, who had sickle cell disease. She helps put this historic F.D.A. decision into context and shares how her own life experience informs her work advocating for people with sickle cell disease.  Plus, we meet 21-year-old Magaly Ghonda, who underwent her own sick
11/12/202350 minutes 14 seconds
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Bias in A.I. and the Risks of Continued Development, with Dr. Joy Buolamwini

This week on Notes from America, host Kai Wright talks with Dr. Joy Buolamwini, a computer scientist who uses art and research to illuminate the social implications of artificial intelligence. The self-described “poet of code” warns that A.I. could write the biases of today’s world into algorithms and even regress the progress of U.S. civil rights in everything from medicine to loan applications and police surveillance. Kai and Dr. Buolamwini take calls about listener fears around A.I. and address which concerns we should focus on. Plus, she shares her latest poem on the implications of A.I. in war as the crisis in the Middle East continues.   Tell us what you think. Instagram and X (Twitter): @noteswithkai. Email us at [email protected]. Send us a voi
04/12/202350 minutes 22 seconds
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Out of hope? Maybe stop for a sandwich and a song.

Playwright Lynn Nottage says it’s in her nature to be optimistic. And if it’s true what they say that you can manifest good things by thinking positively, well, it’s worked out for her in myriad ways. Nottage is the first and only woman to have won a Pulitzer Prize for Drama twice, and she’s one of today’s most produced playwrights. Her work, though, explores the experiences of Americans existing in the margins who have little reason to have hope. In this episode, she joins host Kai Wright to reflect on her remarkable career and share how she develops complicated characters that manage to be relatable, resilient and inspire optimism in audiences. Plus, musician David Byrne is known for a darkness to his lyrics. As the former frontman for the band Talking Heads with songs like “Psycho Killer,” “Road To Nowhere,” and “Slip
27/11/202350 minutes 36 seconds
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How Boston’s Big Dig built our expectations of American infrastructure

Boston's Big Dig started as a vision for a large-scale highway tunnel system that became a cautionary tale about American infrastructure. Guest host Nancy Solomon speaks with Ian Coss, host of The Big Dig podcast from WGBH and PRX, which dives into the history behind some of the most notable infrastructure projects in the Greater Boston area leading up to The Big Dig, which became “a symbol of waste and corruption.” Nancy and Ian talk through the notorious failures and unsung successes of the Big Dig, what we do with the lessons learned, and what it means for the future of our communities. Plus, we hear from people around the country about their experiences with massive infrastructure projects in their cities.   <
20/11/202350 minutes 56 seconds
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Nikki Giovanni and Kimberly McGlonn on space travel, sustainable fashion and Black liberation

Guest host Janae Pierre sits down with legendary poet and activist Nikki Giovanni, who is the subject of a new documentary, Going To Mars: The Nikki Giovanni Project. Giovanni reflects on the legacy of Black storytelling, gospel music, what she describes as original libraries, and why she’s working to get more Black women involved in space travel. Plus, we hear from Kai as he pays a visit to Kimberly McGlonn, an award-winning social entrepreneur. The founder of Grant Blvd &amp; Blk Ivy Thrift, welcomes us to her store in West Philadelphia to learn about the relationship between fashion, justice, and the history of Black America.  <h
13/11/202350 minutes 31 seconds
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Black Lives Matter, 10 years later

It’s been 10 years since the Black Lives Matter was founded in response to the acquittal of the man who fatally shot 17-year-old Trayvon Martin. Kai Wright speaks with organizer Chelsea Miller about the impact the movement has had on a generation of young people. She makes the case for why we must keep telling the story of Black life and death in America and saying the names of those killed as a result of police violence. Plus, in partnership with New Yorker Radio Hour, Kai discusses the impact of the movement with Samuel Sinyangwe, a policy analyst with Mapping Police Violence &amp; Police Scorecard,
06/11/202351 minutes 26 seconds
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‘It’s Worse Than Ever’

The events of October 7th shook the world and greatly impacted different intersections of people. Arab Americans sit at a unique intersection. As an Arab American journalist, Notes From America producer Suzanne Gaber set out to find a place for her to process the complex emotions she’s been feeling since that day. She visits the Palestinian American Community Center in Clifton, NJ and speaks with the center’s executive director, Rania Mustafa, to hear how the center is prioritizing communal mental health resources during this time. Then, host Kai Wright is joined by Palestinian-American psychotherapist, Lena Derhally. They open the phones to Arab Americans and allies to address specific mental health concerns as news continues to develop out of Gaza and the West Bank.Tell u
30/10/202349 minutes 53 seconds
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Imminent Danger Ep 3: One Doctor and a Trail of Injured Women

Imminent Danger, a new series from NYC NOW, looks into the role state medical boards had in how one doctor was allowed to keep practicing despite consistently bad outcomes. Marquita Baird has kept a bootbox full of medical records on a shelf in her home in Shawnee, Oklahoma for over two decades in the hope that, someday, someone would ask about what happened after an OB-GYN named Thomas J. Byrne performed a hysterectomy on her in 1999. Shawnee was one of several areas where Byrne would practice in the years after losing his medical license in New York.  This is episode 3 of the series but you can listen to earlier episodes here: Episode 1: Wrongful Death Episode 2: License Revoked New episodes come out every Saturday on the NYC Now feed.
26/10/202327 minutes 5 seconds
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Can Osage Citizens Revive Fairfax?

Killers of the Flower Moon, a new film directed by Martin Scorcese based on the bestselling book of the same name, tells the story of how greed and profound injustice took the lives of so many Osage. The film has helped people like Damon Waters, an Osage filmmaker and actor, reconnect with his roots and imagine a different future for Fairfax, Okla., where the film takes place. Damon joins us to discuss the impact the film had on him and his upcoming documentary about the restoration of Tall Chief Theater. We also hear from Allison Herrera, KOSU’s Indigenous affairs reporter, who brings us a note from Fairfax. We’ll meet Joe and Carol Conner and learn about their efforts to restore the historic Tall Chief Theater in downtown Fairfax. Joe, who is Osage, hopes that the attention brought by the film will get
24/10/202349 minutes 32 seconds
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We Don't Talk About Leonard: Episode 3

Our friends at On the Media have teamed up with ProPublica to create a miniseries about how the U.S. Supreme Court moved so far to the right. In the third and final episode of We Don't Talk About Leonard, Leonard Leo is in Maine, a man in his castle, at the height of his powers. He has helped remake the American judicial system, and now he has a plan to do the same for society and politics — to make a Federalist Society for everything. ProPublica reporters Andrea Bernstein, Andy Kroll, and Ilya Marritz drill even further into the fight to gain influence over state courts, and reveal what Leo and his allies are planning for the future. You can listen to more episodes from We Don’t Talk About Leonard by visiting On The Media’s podcast, or by visiting <a href="https://www.wnycstudios.org/podcasts/otm/episode
19/10/202351 minutes 48 seconds
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The View From Gaza

How can we have a more honest conversation about security, war, and peace in the region? As the humanitarian crisis in Gaza deepens, we ask two scholars with ties to the region for help. Kai is joined by Laila El-Haddad, a Palestinian author and journalist based in Clarksville, Maryland, whose family has fled their home in northern Gaza. She is the author of “Gaza Mom: Palestine, Politics, Parenting, and Everything In Between,” and her latest book is "The Gaza Kitchen: A Palestinian Culinary Journey." Plus Anna Baltzer, who is a member of Jewish Voice for Peace, describes her own evolution in thinking about the relationship between security for Jewish people and
16/10/202349 minutes 26 seconds
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We Don't Talk About Leonard: Episode 2

Our friends at On the Media have teamed up with ProPublica to create a miniseries about how the U.S. Supreme Court moved so far to the right. In the second episode of We Don't Talk About Leonard, Leonard Leo realized that in order to generate conservative rulings, the Supreme Court needs the right kind of cases. ProPublica reporters Andrea Bernstein, Andy Kroll, and Ilya Marritz investigate the machine that Leonard Leo built across the country to bring cases to the Supreme Court and fill vacant judgeships, and the web of nonprofits he’s created through which to funnel dark money into judicial races.  You can listen to more episodes from We Don’t Talk About Leonard by visiting On The Media’s podcast, or by visiting <a href="https://www.wnycstudios.org/podcasts/otm/episodes/on-the-media-we-dont-talk-about-l
12/10/202351 minutes 27 seconds
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I Was A Child of Dread

In a new memoir, How to Say Babylon: A Memoir, the award-winning poet and essayist is revisiting her youth as a Rastafari girl.  Being Rasta is about so much more than what shows up in American pop culture – it’s an anti-colonial, pro-Black way of life that was deeply important to Safiya’s father. But for her, it was a set of rules and dictates that tried to shrink the world for her and her sisters. This week, she tells Kai the story of her childhood, the history of the often persecuted Rastafari movement in Jamaica, and her own journey to finding herself by leaving behind her beloved home. Tell us what you think. Instagram and X (Twitter): @note
09/10/202350 minutes 37 seconds
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We Don't Talk About Leonard: Episode 1

Our friends at On the Media have teamed up with ProPublica to create a miniseries about how the U.S. Supreme Court moved so far to the right. In this first episode of We Don't Talk About Leonard, ProPublica reporters Andrea Bernstein, Andy Kroll, and Ilya Marritz investigate the background of the man who has played a critical role in the conservative takeover of America's courts — Leonard Leo. From his humble roots in middle class New Jersey, to a mansion in Maine where last year he hosted a fabulous party on the eve of the Supreme Court decision to tank “Roe.”   You can listen to more episodes from We Don’t Talk About Leonard by visiting On The Media’s podcast, or by visiting this link. Tell us what you thin
05/10/202351 minutes 31 seconds
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Is Capitalism Working for You?

One guest says “a free market is a mythical creature, like Santa Claus.” So how do we describe “capitalism” really, and can we make it do better? We examine our current economic system, callers’ feelings about it, and the evolution of that system with guest host Noel King, host of Vox’s “Today Explained.” She’s joined by Vinson Cunningham, Staff Writer for the New Yorker, and Kirstin Munro, Professor of Economics and the New School. Plus we take your calls. This episode was inspired by “Today Explained’s” recent series, “Blame Capitalism: Souring on the system.” Tell us what you think. Instagram and X (Twitter): <a href="https://twitter.com/notesw
02/10/202348 minutes 14 seconds
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Silicon Valley’s History of Fumbles with Capitalism

Silicon Valley is notorious in the global economy and the American psyche. According to author Malcolm Harris, the Bay Area tech hub and California at large are a laboratory for the worst consequences of capitalism–centuries in the making. Harris unpacks this theory in his book “Palo Alto: A History of California, Capitalism, and the World.” He joins Kai to dig into the global history of Silicon Valley and his upbringing in the region.  Tell us what you think. Instagram and X (Twitter): @noteswithkai. Email us at [email protected]. Send us a voice m
28/09/202331 minutes 35 seconds
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What Does It Mean to be Free?

Ayana Mathis joins us to discuss her new novel, The Unsettled. It’s an intergenerational story centered around one Black family’s struggle to find freedom in the 1980s. Like her previous work, migration and movement are major themes in the book. But this time, her characters are at a crossroads, unsure of their next step in search for self-determination. Ayana breaks down the characters in her gripping novel, the questions which torment them, and her own journey grappling with those themes. During this episode, Kai refers to a previous episode about our Future of Black History series featuring Saidiya Hartman: https://www.wnycstudios.org/podcasts/anxiety/episodes/beautiful-experiments-left-out-black-history Check out more about our Future of Black History series here: https://www.wnycstudios.org/podcasts/anxiety/projects/future-black-history</
26/09/202350 minutes 12 seconds
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Eating Elk Kabobs in Idaho

A new graphic memoir from New Yorker cartoonist Navied Mahdavian tells the story of his decision to move with his wife from San Francisco to rural Idaho. Mahdavian joins producer Kousha Navidar to discuss, This Country: Searching for Home in (Very) Rural America. Plus, we take your calls. Tell us what you think. Instagram and X (Twitter): @noteswithkai. Email us at [email protected]. Send us a voice message by recording yourself on your phone and emailing us, or going to Instagram and clicking on the link in our bio.
21/09/202323 minutes 40 seconds
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The Birth of Climate Denial

Starting with the 1925 Scopes Trial — also known as the "trial of the century" — we look at one of the most controversial topics in our time: the debate over evolution versus a Fundamentalist understanding of the Bible. It started with a substitute teacher in Tennessee who believed that evolution should be taught in the classroom. What followed was a fiery debate that rocketed around the world. From that moment on through to the withdrawal from the Paris Climate Accord, we’ll unpack the major moments of the movement denying climate change. Tell us what you think. Instagram and X (Twitter): @noteswithkai. Email us at [email protected]. Send us a voice message by recording yourself on your phone and emailing us, or going to Instagram and clicking on the link in our bio. “Notes
18/09/202330 minutes 55 seconds
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When Chicago Closed 50 Public Schools at Once

In 2013 Chicago shut down 50 public schools – the largest mass closing in U.S. history. The city promised a chance to revitalize communities. 10 years later, it’s another reality. We speak with Sarah Karp from WBEZ and Lauren FitzPatrick from the Chicago Sun Times about their recent reporting story. Tell us what you think. Instagram and X (Twitter): @noteswithkai. Email us at [email protected]. Send us a voice message by recording yourself on your phone and emailing us, or going to Instagram and clicking on the link in our bio. “Notes from Ameri
14/09/202318 minutes 55 seconds
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Public School’s Failing Prospects

“The Death of Public School” author Cara Fitzpatrick tells the story of a movement, six decades in the making, that’s picked away at the very idea of public education in the U.S. Listeners from Chicago and Jersey City, including a teacher, call in with their own perspectives about the state of our schools. Tell us what you think. Instagram and X (Twitter): @noteswithkai. Email us at [email protected]. Send us a voice message by recording yourself on your phone and emailing us, or going to Instagram and clicking on the link in our bio. “Notes from America” airs live on Sunday evenings at 6pm ET. The podcast episodes are lightly edited from our live broadcasts. Tune into the show on Sunday nights via the stream on
11/09/202331 minutes 55 seconds
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When Hip Hop Tried to Fight the Power, and Lost

As hip hop turns 50, Kai and reporter Christopher Johnson look back on an era of “conscious rap” that championed a sound that was political, community-minded and deeply pro-Black. But about six years after it started, that first wave of socially-conscious hip hop seemed to be over. Who killed it? And what’s the story of its rise and fall tell us about the relationship between culture, politics, and commerce? We speak to: - Rapper Kool Moe Dee - Writer and filmmaker Nelson George - Dan Charnas, author of The Big Payback - <a href="http
07/09/202319 minutes 24 seconds
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The Blurry Line Between Appropriation And Appreciation

This summer, producer Regina de Heer explored diaspora stories through the lens of music. In this installment, she meets someone whose identity is more complex than what we hear in the mainstream: Nodia Mena is a former Lecturer of Spanish in the Department of Languages, Literatures, and Cultures at the University of North Carolina Greensboro. She gave a TEDx talk a few years ago about her background as a Garifuna person born in Honduras, now living in the United States. Growing up in Honduras, her people’s story was never included in history books. This is part of our Summer 2023 Music Playlist series. You can listen to the full series on our “Specials” page, and listen to another episode here:  A Song to “De
04/09/202332 minutes 6 seconds
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Republican Debate No. 1: How Do You Limit Demagogues?

Vivek Ramaswamy labeled Trump the best president of the 21st century. Chris Christie compared Ramaswamy to ChatGPT. Conservative callers share their reflections on the first Republican presidential debate, and Mona Charen from The Bulwark breaks down why having just 12 minutes of airtime can encourage bad behavior. Send us your song for our summer playlist! What’s a song that represents your personal diaspora story? Go to notesfromamerica.org and click on the “RECORD” button to leave a voice note with your answer. Tell us the name of that song and the artist, and a 1-minute story that goes along with it. We’ll gather all of the songs and your stories in a Spotify playlist that we’ll update all summer.  Tell us what you think. Instagram and X (Twitter): <s
31/08/202318 minutes 49 seconds
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Trump’s Indictment: Georgia’s Crucial Voters Respond

As former President Trump is indicted in an alleged conspiracy to overturn the lawful results of the 2020 election in Georgia, we wonder what’s on the mind of folks in Georgia right now. In partnership with our friends at WABE in Atlanta, we welcome Rose Scott, host of WABE’s daily news magazine Closer Look. We hear from listeners across the state about how these racketeering charges sit with them ahead of the upcoming 2024 presidential election. Send us your song for our summer playlist! What’s a song that represents your personal diaspora story? Go to notesfromamerica.org and click on the “RECORD” button to leave a voice note with your answer. Tell us the name of that song and the artist, and a 1-minute story that goes along with it. We’ll gather all of
28/08/202331 minutes 52 seconds
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The Music of Your Diaspora

Producer Regina de Heer is asking listeners for songs that represent something about their identity as part of a diaspora – any kind of diaspora! And you’ve been answering. In this installment, we hear Brazilian Calypso, a modern take on a Yiddish classic by the Andrews Sisters, and get a special submission from one of our favorite show guests. And you can hear the playlists now at WNYC.org/playlist. Send us your song for our summer playlist! What’s a song that represents your personal diaspora story? Go to notesfromamerica.org and click on the “RECORD” button to leave a voice note with your answer. Tell us the name of that song and the artist, and a 1-minute story that goes along with it. We’ll gather all of the songs and your stories in a Spotify playlist that we’ll upd
24/08/202310 minutes 44 seconds
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Doom. Denial. ‘Hopium.’ What About Climate Action?

Kai talks with Rikki Held, the 22-year-old lead plaintiff in Held v. Montana, a lawsuit brought by the group Our Children’s Trust. Held and her co-plaintiffs won an historic victory recently when a court ruled that the state violated their right to a “clean and healthful environment.” Then, author and activist Liza Featherstone shares insight from her essay “The Case Against Both Climate Hope and Climate Despair,” in The New Republic. And Kai and Liza collect listener stories of progress they’ve witnessed in their own communities.  Send us your song for our summer playlist! What’s a song that represents your personal diaspora story? Go to notesfromamerica.org and click on the “RECORD” button to leave a voice note with your answer. Tell us the name of that song and the artist, and a 1-minute stor
21/08/202348 minutes 59 seconds
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The Planet Sent a Bill. Here’s What We Owe.

David Wallace-Wells, author of The Uninhabitable Earth: Life After Warming calculated the cost to fix our climate. It requires us to reconsider what needs to change and who’s responsible. He talks to Kai about some of the ways we can rethink the history of climate change and one way forward. Send us your song for our summer playlist! What’s a song that represents your personal diaspora story? Go to notesfromamerica.org and click on the “RECORD” button to leave a voice note with your answer. Tell us the name of that song and the artist, and a 1-minute story that goes along with it. We’ll gather all of the songs and your stories in a Spotify playlist that we’ll update all summer.  <e
17/08/202319 minutes 7 seconds
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The Radical Roots of Plant-Based Eating

Producer Rahima Nasa wants to know about the roots of plant-based eating. So she talks to writer and cook Alicia Kennedy, author of No Meat Required: The Cultural History and Culinary Future of Plant-Based Eating. If not eating meat is not enough, then what is? Send us your song for our summer playlist! What’s a song that represents your personal diaspora story? Go to notesfromamerica.org and click on the “RECORD” button to leave a voice note with your answer. Tell us the name of that song and the artist, and a 1-minute story that goes along with it. We’ll gather all of the songs and your stories in a Spotify playlist that we’ll update all summer.  Tell us what you think. Instagram and X (Twitter): <a
14/08/202333 minutes 5 seconds
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If You Go After Me, I'm Coming After You!

Former President Donald Trump’s latest indictment leaves a lot to unpack. We answer questions and take your calls. Brian Lehrer, host of The Brian Lehrer Show, talks to Charlie Sykes, founder and editor-at-large and host of a podcast at The Bulwark, MSNBC contributor and author of How the Right Lost Its Mind (St. Martin's Press, 2017). Brian also recently invited Kai and others on his show to read the full indictment. Listen to “Reading the Indictment of Donald Trump” here. Send us your song for our summer playlist! What’s a song that represents y
10/08/202333 minutes 55 seconds
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Critical Race Theory: What It Actually Means

Jelani Cobb, staff writer for The New Yorker, tells the fascinating story behind a provocative idea. Understanding the origins of Critical Race Theory is the first step in understanding the evolution of civil rights and whether racism could be a permanent fixture of society. Then, producer Regina de Heer shares some listener submissions to our summer playlist project. Send us your song for our summer playlist! What’s a song that represents your personal diaspora story? Go to notesfromamerica.org and click on the “RECORD” button to leave a voice note with your answer. Tell us the name of that song and the artist, and a 1-minute story that goes along with it. We’ll gather all of the songs and your stories in a Spotify playlist that we’ll update all summer.  <
07/08/202351 minutes 54 seconds
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When Barbie Stopped Being White

Until 1980, Barbie was always white. Mattel had made Black dolls before, but they were sidekicks to the brand’s main character with facial features that didn’t really distinguish them from the other dolls. Correspondent Tracie Hunte brings you the story of the first Black doll to have the name Barbie. Hear from: Kitty Black Perkins, Mattel’s first Black designer who brought her own style and preferences to the task of creating the doll. Lagueria Davis, director of Black Barbie: A Documentary, on what her research taught her about Mattel’s early efforts to be more representative. This episode was produced by Alana Casanova-Burgess and mixed by Mike Kutchman. Tracie Hunte is on X (Twitter) <a href="https://twitter.com/traciehunte?lan
03/08/202324 minutes 13 seconds
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The Misunderstood Era of Crack Cocaine

What do you think of when you hear the term, “crack cocaine?” The drug is at the heart of an epidemic in the 1980’s that destroyed lives. But for writer Donovan X. Ramsey, a lot of our assumptions and understandings about this era are actually mistruths. So he wrote When Crack Was King: A People's History of a Misunderstood Era.  He tells Kai that the full truth reveals, “how deep the harm goes in America when it comes to anti-Blackness.” Send us your song for our summer playlist! What’s a song that represents your personal diaspora story? Go to notesfromamerica.org and click on the “RECORD” button to leave a voice note with your answer. Tell us the name of that song and the artist, and a 1-minute story that goes along with it. We’ll gather all of the songs and your stories in a Spotify playlist that we’ll update all sum
31/07/202351 minutes 34 seconds
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A Punk Rock Guide to Making a Scene

James Spooner made a documentary in 2003 called “Afro-Punk.” It was a defining film for a generation of young Black people who felt like outsiders. This fall, he’ll publish a collection he co-edited with Chris L. Terry called Black Punk Now. Hear his place in the story of punk rock and the future he’s helping young Black artists pave for themselves. This episode is an installment of "Black History is Now." Send us your song for our summer playlist! What’s a song that represents your personal diaspora story? Go to notesfromamerica.org and click on the “RECORD” button to leave a voice note with your answer. Tell us the name of that song and the artist, and a 1-minute story that goes along with it. We’ll gather all of the songs and your stories in a Spotify playlist that we’ll u
27/07/202319 minutes 20 seconds
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A Song to “Define the Most African Moment of My Life”

Our producer, Regina de Heer, wants to know which songs reflect your experience being part of a diaspora. For her, having to choose an entrance song for her engagement ceremony made a new connection with her Ghanaian heritage, and made her want to learn more about afrobeats. So she found an expert: Christian Adofo, author of A Quick Ting On: Afrobeats Send us your song for our summer playlist! What’s a song that represents your personal diaspora story? Go to notesfromamerica.org and click on the “RECORD” button to leave a voice note with your answer. Tell us the name of that song and the artist, and a 1-minute story that goes along with it. We’
24/07/202332 minutes 24 seconds
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The Case for 29 Supreme Court Justices

When most people talk about expanding the Supreme Court, they're talking about adding a few justices. But Elie Mystal is not most people. He thinks we should just blow the lid and add 20 justices. Here's why. This is from Contempt of Court, a new podcast from Elie and The Nation. This episode is called "Elie's Court Packing Plan." Also, heads up that Elie drops the F-bomb in this episode.   Send us your song for our summer playlist project! What’s a song that represents your personal diaspora story? Go to notesfromamerica.org and click on the “RECORD” button to leave a voice note with your answer. Tell us the name of that song and the artist, and a 1-minute story that goes along with it. We’ll
20/07/202317 minutes 54 seconds
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Lessons from Mom at a Magic Mike Show in Vegas

Listeners want to talk about moments from their past when they felt like they didn’t belong and who helped them through those moments. So Kai invites them to talk with Connie Wang, author of “Oh My Mother!”    Connie’s most memorable moments with her mom have been when they were traveling: to their family timeshare in Mexico, family visits to China, and a Magic Mike liveshow in Las Vegas. Each of these adventures not only helped Connie understand her mom better, but also get comfortable with the idea of not belonging.    We also find out that Kai is a fan of Magic Mike.  Note: This episode includes the mention of a racial slur used to describe one's past. Send us your song for our summer playlist project! What’s a song that represents your per
17/07/202350 minutes 51 seconds
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Affirmative Action is About More Than Acceptance Letters

Everyone’s talking about affirmative action at elite universities. But they educate fewer than 5 percent of students seeking advanced degrees. So why should the other 95 percent care?   Kai wants to know about the future of equity in higher education. So he talks to:   -Dominique Baker, Southern Methodist University Associate Professor of Education Policy. -Imani Perry, Harvard University Professor of African and African American Studies, and Studies of Women, Gender, and Sexuality. Tell us what you think. Instagram and Twitter: @noteswithkai. Email us at [email protected]. Send us a voice message by recording yourself on your phone and emailing us, or going to Instagram and clicking on the link in our bio.</s
13/07/202328 minutes 20 seconds
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What Does “Color-Blind” Really Mean?

Historian and best-selling author Ibram X. Kendi helps Kai understand the Supreme Court's ruling that ended race-based affirmative action in college admissions.   Plus, Kai wants to know Dr. Kendi's personal reaction to the Court's ruling. He is devastated for a number of reasons. Tell us what you think. Instagram and Twitter: @noteswithkai. Email us at [email protected]. Send us a voice message by recording yourself on your phone and emailing us, or going to Instagram and clicking on the link in our bio. “Notes from America” airs live on Sunday evenings at 6pm ET. The podcast episodes are lightly edited from our live broadcasts. Tune into the show on Sunday nights via the stream on notesfromam
10/07/202323 minutes 29 seconds
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Black Life Resuscitated from the Ocean Floor

Tara Roberts walked through the National Museum of African American History when one photo stopped her in place. A group of divers – all Black women – preparing to search for the wreckage of slave ships. A short time later, Tara would find herself searching for those ships and discovering her own past. She chronicled what she found in “Into the Depths.” She tells Kai how deep our histories go.   Tell us what you think. Instagram and Twitter: @noteswithkai. Email us at [email protected]. Send us a voice message by recording yourself on your phone and emailing us, or going to Instagram and clicking on the link in our bio. “Notes from America” airs live on Sunday evenings a
06/07/202318 minutes 39 seconds
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Why It’s So Hard to Sound “American”

There’s one line of questioning our listeners ask more than any other: “What is America, and who gets to define it?” Kai can tell you these questions aren’t new. So he goes back in time to look at one story from the New Deal era and a culture war over what made patriotic music…patriotic. Turns out, it’s the same old song and dance.   Sarah Fishko, former Executive Producer of “Fishko Files,” tells Kai the story.     Tell us what you think. Instagram and Twitter: @noteswithkai. Email us at [email protected]. Send us a voice message by recording yourself on your phone and emailing us, or going to Instagram and clicking on the link in our bi
03/07/202333 minutes 16 seconds
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The Coolest Music Parties You Didn’t Know Were Happening

Philippe Manasseh and Nadim Maghzal were two guys in a band called Wake Island. Music helped them process a lot about their lives: Where they came from, who they were, and where they were going. They realized music does that for a lot of people, especially if you’re from a diaspora. So they, along with partner Saphe Shamoun, created Laylit: the coolest music parties that celebrate the history, music, and culture of the SWANA diaspora.   Listen to Philippe and Nadim talk to our producer, Regina de Heer, about what these parties mean to them, and how you can celebrate where you are without losing where you’re from.    Plus, Regina and Wake Island launch the 2023 NfA summer playlist. We want to hear what music reflects your personal diaspora story. Find out how you can help us build this killer playlist.     Tell us what you think. Instagram and Twitter: <a href="https://twitte
29/06/202319 minutes 27 seconds
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Why the Indian Child Welfare Act is the Gold Standard in Family Law

Allison Herrera, the Indigenous affairs reporter at KOSU, returns to the show to introduce us to Hodalee and Jamie Sewell, who are in the process of adopting their great niece– a baby girl. She’s a Cherokee Nation citizen, so that meant her social workers had to follow guidelines set out by the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA). Allison walks us through Sewell's adoption journey and what happens when ICWA works the way it’s supposed to.  Later in the show, Claudette Grinnell-Davis, professor of social work at the University of Oklahoma, joins Kai to explain what makes ICWA the gold standard in family law. ICWA was enacted after a congressional investigation
26/06/202332 minutes 44 seconds
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95 Unmarked Graves

In 2018, a few months into building a new school in Sugar Land, Texas, construction crews uncovered 95 unmarked graves. This wasn’t a serial killer’s dumping, but it was evidence of a particularly dark period in our country’s history - evidence many in Sugar Land wished had stayed hidden.  This is the story of these 95 people. Who were they? What happened to them? It turns out their story is just as much about them as it is about the people who have been trying to control them for over a century. Kai talks to Brittney Martin, co-host and executive producer of the Sugar Land podcast. Then you’ll hear the first episode of the series.   The Sugar Land podcast is a production of DotProductions and the Texas Newsroom, a public radio journalism collaboration that includes NPR, KERA in North Texas, Houston Public Media, KUT in Auston, Texas Public Radio in San Antonio, and other stations across the state. <
22/06/202344 minutes 13 seconds
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Juneteenth Is an Act of Bravery

On June 19th, 1865, roughly a quarter million enslaved people in Texas officially learned that they were free, years after the passage of the Emancipation Proclamation. It was the last place the Union delivered news. Kai wants to go to Houston to hear the history, music, and perspective from locals about how they celebrate. And he finds even more – how people create and claim their own freedom.   - Zion Escobar, Executive Director at Houston Freedmen's Town Conservancy. Freedmen’s Town was the first town established by formerly enslaved Black Texans. - Torin Collins of the Juneteenth Legacy Project. - Lolade, a native of Nigeria and a vocalist/songwriter/music educator based in Houston. - Callers, from lawyers to activists to plastic surgeons, who share how they find freedom in their own words, in their own lives. Tell us what you think. Instagram and Twitter:
19/06/202352 minutes 49 seconds
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Comedian Sam Jay Isn’t Afraid of Getting Canceled

Our former intern Vanessa Handy was watching reruns of Good Times with her family. It made her realize how important comedy was growing up – especially sitcoms centering Black families. So she called up Sam Jay to talk about comedy of the past, and what the future looks like to one comic who’s forging it. As you can guess, that comedy is tied to the identities we hold true for ourselves, and the universal identities that connect us to each other. Plus, hear Kai try to sing the Good Times theme song. It’s good times. (ba-dum tss)   Tell us what you think. Instagram and Twitter: @noteswithkai. Email us at [email protected]. Send us a voice message by recording yourself on your phone and emailing us, or going to Instagram and c
15/06/202319 minutes 2 seconds
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Billy Porter Doesn’t Need a Month to Celebrate Pride

He’s got an Emmy, a Grammy, a Tony. But early in his career, Billy Porter was relegated to roles of comic relief. Things didn’t change until he figured out how to show up authentically in every space. Kai sits down with Billy to hear that story.   Tell us what you think. Instagram and Twitter: @noteswithkai. Email us at [email protected]. Send us a voice message by recording yourself on your phone and emailing us, or going to Instagram and clicking on the link in our bio. “Notes from America” airs live on Sunday evenings at 6pm ET. The podcast episodes are lightly edited from our live broadcasts. Tune into the show on Sunday nights via the stream on notesfromamerica.org or on WNYC’s <a href="
12/06/202332 minutes 33 seconds
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Trust the Media? Yeah, Right.

According to Brooke Gladstone, host of “On The Media,” a lot of journalists think their job is to report “...fairly, accurately, and with principle.” But she also says that might be where we get in trouble. She and Kai and try to make sense of this mess the media feels today.   Tell us what you think. Instagram and Twitter: @noteswithkai. Email us at [email protected]. Send us a voice message by recording yourself on your phone and emailing us, or going to Instagram and clicking on the link in our bio. “Notes from America” airs live on Sunday evenings at 6pm ET. The podcast episodes are lightly edited from our live broadcasts. Tune into the show on Sunday nights via the stream on notesfromamerica.org</e
08/06/202318 minutes 25 seconds
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January 6th Was Not a Secret Attack

Micah Loewinger, a reporter for On the Media, began monitoring militia conversations in early 2020. The potential for violence was immediately clear. And so when they staged an insurrection at the Capitol on January 6, 2021, Micah was listening and recording. But when his reporting became part of the FBI’s case against the Oath Keepers, it raised difficult questions about his role as a journalist.   Tell us what you think. Instagram and Twitter: @noteswithkai. Email us at [email protected]. Send us a voice message by recording yourself on your phone and emailing us, or going to Instagram and cl
05/06/202332 minutes 23 seconds
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Padma Lakshmi’s Low-Key Subversive Food Show

Kai’s a legit fanboy of Padma. One reason why: She explores who we are…through what we eat. So Kai gets her on the mic to ask what food can tell us about the American immigrant story. You’ll hear from: Padma Lakshmi, Host of Hulu’s Taste the Nation &amp; Bravo’s Top Shelf Tell us what you think. Instagram and Twitter: @noteswithkai. Email us at [email protected]. Send us a voice message by recording yourself on your phone and emailing us, or going to Instagram and clicking on the link in our bio. “Notes from America” airs live on Sunday evenings at 6pm ET. The podcast episodes are lightly edited from our live broadcasts. Tune into the show on Sunday nights
01/06/202319 minutes 4 seconds
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No, We Can’t Stop Saying Their Names

Ask a group of highschoolers, “who was Trayvon Martin?” and you’ll see some tragically blank stares. But replace that with “George Floyd”, and you’ll see heads nod. Kai’s struggling with how we memorialize anti-Black violence when we “say their names” – is that an effective response to anti-Black violence?    So he talks to:   Chelsea Miller, activist and co-founder of Freedom March NYC.   Tell us what you think. Instagram and Twitter: @noteswithkai. Email us at [email protected]. Send us a voice message by recording yourself on your phone and emailing us, or going to Instagram and clicking on the link in our bio. “Notes from America” airs live on Sunday evenings at 6pm E
29/05/202333 minutes 7 seconds
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How the Supreme Court Got So Supreme

Our friends at More Perfect dove into Clarence Thomas’s past to make sense of his ideology today. You’ll hear from:   Juan Williams — Senior Political Analyst at Fox News Corey Robin — Professor of Political Science at Brooklyn College and the CUNY Graduate Center Angela Onwuachi-Willig — Dean of Boston University School of Law Stephen F. Smith — Professor of Law at Notre Dame Law School   The <spa
25/05/202358 minutes 15 seconds
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Clarence Thomas and his Hotep Supreme Court

The Supreme Court’s most senior member writes opinions that have an outsized impact on U.S. law. Our listeners call in to understand what really shapes Justice Thomas, and what we should expect from SCOTUS as the 2023 term comes to an end. Plus,  - Elie Mystal, Justice Correspondent for The Nation and Supreme Court scholar.  - Corey Robin, Author of The Enigma of Clarence Thomas.   For more, check out our colleagues at More Perfect, the show about “how the Supreme Court got so Supreme.” The first episode of their newest season, “Clarence X,” dives into the history of Justice Thomas. It also features Corey Robin. Click here to listen or find them on Twitter @MorePerfect.   Tell us what you think. Instagram and Twitter:
22/05/202350 minutes 54 seconds
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Who’s Responsible for Jordan Neely’s Death?

Jordan Neely’s death raised deep, fundamental questions about our society; about what kind of people we are, and why? Our colleagues at The Brian Lehrer Show talked with Elie Mystal from the Nation to confront these questions.   Last week, our show talked about homelessness. “Homelessness Hides in Plain Sight. So Does Its Fix.” is available in your feed. We recommend listening alongside this episode.   Tell us what you think. Instagram and Twitter: @noteswithkai. Email us at [email protected]. Send us a voice message by recording yourself on your phone and emailing us, or going to Instagram and clicking on the link in our bio. <s
18/05/202326 minutes 44 seconds
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Homelessness Hides in Plain Sight. So Does Its Fix.

One in every 14 Americans experiences homelessness at some point. Our listeners who know about it firsthand talk to us. Plus: - Michael Kimmleman, architecture critic for The New York Times. His article, “How Houston Moved 25,000 People From the Streets Into Homes of Their Own,” was published in his Headways column of the Times, from June 14, 2022. - Ana Rausch, Vice President of Operations for Coalition for the Homeless of Houston/Harris County.   Tell us what you think. Instagram and Twitter: @noteswithkai. Email us at [email protected]. Send us a voice message by recording yourself on your phone and emailing us, or going to Instagram and clicking on the link in our bio. “Notes from America” airs live on Sunday evenings at 6pm ET. The podcast epis
15/05/202350 minutes 40 seconds
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Joy Harjo and Native Stories

Before she was the 23rd U.S. Poet Laureate, Joy Harjo’s journey as an artist began at a federal Indian boarding school. She reveals an unexpected perspective about her experience. Joy Harjo is an internationally renowned performer and writer of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation. She served three terms as the 23rd Poet Laureate of the United States from 2019-2022. Her new children’s book, Remember (Penguin Random House, 2023), is an adaption of her famous poem by the same name. That poem was one of the first Joy ever wrote, almost 40 years ago. Today, her book invites readers to pause and reflect on the wonder of the world around us, and our place in it.  Joy joins host Kai W
11/05/202319 minutes
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Indian Boarding Schools Are Not Ancient History

From 1819 and 1969, the U.S. removed thousands of Native children from their homes and tried to strip them of their culture. What would a reparations program for this history look like? The U.S. Department of the Interior has begun finally wrestling with the history of the Indian boarding school program. In 2021, the department’s head, Secretary Deb Haaland, launched the  Federal Indian Boarding School Initiative to not only document the history, but to understand its ongoing impact.  Last year, the Bureau of Indian Affairs published the first volume of their findings from the initiative, which found that the U.S. operated or supported 408 boarding schools across 37 states and highlighted the
08/05/202331 minutes 27 seconds
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Money Shame, and How To Overcome It Through Financial Literacy

The world of finance can be confusing for people who weren’t born into it – more often, that’s people of color. Berna Anat is a “Financial Hype Woman” on a mission to fix that.  The freelance writer-turned-financial education content creator is deeply skeptical of capitalism and dedicated to empowering first-generation Americans and people of color to thrive in the system.  Anat shares the lessons she’s learned in her book, "Money Out Loud: All the Financial Stuff No One Taught Us." It investigates our relationship with money, debt, and a new way forward. Amid the world’s ongoing economic anxiety, host Kai Wright turns to Anat for a money talk. Together, they inv
04/05/202331 minutes 44 seconds
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How Assata Shakur Became One of America’s Most Wanted

A deadly encounter fifty years ago between the New Jersey State Police and a group of Black activists turned Assata Shakur into a cultural icon – and an enduring political villain.  In May 1973, activist Assata Shakur and two members of the Black Liberation Army were pulled over by state troopers on the New Jersey Turnpike. Tragically, guns were fired, people were killed, and in the aftermath, a political standoff between Shakur and state law enforcement began.  On the fiftieth anniversary marking the incident, WNYC reporters Nancy Solomon and Tracie Hunte share their reporting with host Kai Wright. They explore the many unanswered questions it raises and what this moment means in the history of Black self-defense movements. A previous version of this episod
01/05/202320 minutes 12 seconds
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Tucker Carlson, Rupert Murdoch, and the Future of Fox News

The state of Fox News today is thanks to Rupert Murdoch. A look inside the Murdoch media empire shows how media outlets can turn into right-wing political influence machines.  Famed Fox News host Tucker Carlson got fired. The story is still unfolding, but initial reports claim that the decision came straight from media tycoon Rupert Murdoch after vulgar language and messages were attributed to Carlson. In a recent episode, our colleagues at On The Media took a moment to consider Murdoch’s history and his impact on our present culture.   On The Media host, Brooke Gladstone speaks with Jim Rutenberg, writer-at-large for the New York Times and its Sunday magazine, about the Fox News Dominion lawsuit settlement and what’s next for the company.   You can listen to more e
27/04/202316 minutes 52 seconds
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Why Ralph Yarl Was Shot

A history of anti-Black fear has left everyone unsafe in a nation full of anxious gun owners.  There are more guns than there are people in the U.S., and a lot of people seem to be afraid. According to historian and Emory University African American studies professor Carol Anderson, our nation’s history with guns is directly related to its legacy of anti-Black racism. She explains this history in her 2021 book, “The Second: Race and Guns in a Fatally Unequal America.”  Anderson joins host Kai Wright to discuss the state of gun violence today and the role that race and fear have played. They hear from both pro and anti-gun listeners about fear and choice as they respond to gun violence
24/04/202350 minutes 16 seconds
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The Joy and Pain of Little Richard

Filmmaker Lisa Cortés tells the inspiring and painful story of the Black, queer inventor of rock and roll–Little Richard. Richard Wayne Penniman launched rock and roll into pop culture and wrote a new set of rules for what it meant to be free as an American, but his own freedom is a much more complicated story. Filmmaker Lisa Cortés set out to capture his tale in her new documentary, Little Richard: I Am Everything. She joins host Kai Wright to discuss the inspiration behind the film and how the artist reached global stardom.  Companion listening for this episode:  Billy Porter on Bringing Blackness, Queerness and Fullness to Art (12/19/2022)
20/04/202318 minutes 49 seconds
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Tell Me Your Politics–But Do It In Verse

In a world that feels divided, two storytellers invite people to share what shapes their politics through poetry, using the prompt “Where I’m From.” Host Kai Wright–inspired by a listener voicemail–considers poetry as a potential vehicle for facilitating challenging conversations. He’s joined by poet and filmmaker Bob Holman, owner of the Bowery Poetry Club and original slam master of the Nuyorican Poets Cafe, and Steve Zeitlin, author of “The Poetry of Everyday Life: Storytelling and the Art of Awareness” and founding director of the grassroots cultural preservation organization CityLore. </
17/04/202331 minutes 56 seconds
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The Week That Changed America’s Cities

On the 55th anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination, one journalist examines the 1968 Holy Week which he calls one of the most consequential weeks in U.S. history.  Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated on April 4, 1968, in Memphis, Tennessee. He was buried on April 9, during what's commonly called Holy Week. In the runup to Easter Sunday and nothing about life in America would be the same after that week.  Vann R. Newkirk II is a writer for The Atlantic and host of the new podcast “Holy Week: The Story of a Revolution Undone,” which charts the reaction to King's death in cities around the country. Newkirk joins host Kai Wright to share stories from Holy Week and the events that laid the foundation of urban politics for the next 50-plus years.  <s
13/04/202319 minutes 6 seconds
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How a Young, Black Progressive Won in Chicago

Brandon Johnson's mayoral election could change the national conversation about crime, schools -- and an aging Black establishment in big city politics. Chicago’s recent mayoral election saw two Democratic candidates–Brandon Johnson and Paul Vallas–fight for their very different visions of how the windy city should be run. The race centered debates on crime and schools, issues with inevitable implications on race and class. Chicago-native Natalie Moore, WBEZ’s reporter for race, class and communities, joins host Kai Wright to discuss this election’s significance, and how it reminds her of Harold Washington’s historic election in 1983.  Then, Kai explores parallels in Democrat-dominated mayoral races from New York and Los Angeles with Christina Greer, professor of political sci
10/04/202332 minutes 22 seconds
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Grieving Loss From Gun Violence

A recent mass shooting at a school in Nashville added to the toll of death and injuries from the nation’s gun violence crisis. A reporter wonders if we’re grieving properly – or at all. Two mothers lost their daughters to gun violence but received disparate levels of attention. Now, they’re using their stories – and their grief – to inspire others. WNYC correspondent Tracie Hunte introduces host Kai Wright to Nelba Márquez-Greene and Celeste Fulcher, whose stories of loss teach us about the exacting toll of gun violence, and the power grief yields to stir change and progress. This episode was originally published as ‘<a href="https://www.wnycstudios.org/podcasts/anxiety/episodes/h
06/04/202319 minutes 1 second
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Of Tech Moguls and Gold Miners: A Capitalist History

In Silicon Valley Bank’s collapse, one writer sees a model for amassing obscene wealth, pioneered in 19th century California, finally nearing its limits.  Silicon Valley is notorious in the global economy and the American psyche. According to author Malcolm Harris, the Bay Area tech hub and California at large are a laboratory for the worst consequences of capitalism–centuries in the making. Harris unpacks this theory in his book “Palo Alto: A History of California, Capitalism, and the World.” He joins host Kai Wright to dig into the global history of Silicon Valley and his upbringing in the region.  Companion listening for this episode:
03/04/202332 minutes 54 seconds
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Trump, the GOP, and a New Confederacy

White supremacist myths turn defeated leaders into heroic victors. Are Donald Trump and the MAGA movement the next Lost cause?  Donald Trump is the lead contender for the Republican nomination for President once again. And with pending indictment looming in the headlines, the opportunity arises for the former president to yet again, control the narrative of his defeat. If we turn to history, we’ll see that this story isn’t unfamiliar. Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Dr. David Blight, author of "Frederick Douglass: Prophet of Freedom," joins host Kai Wright to tell the story of the Confederacy’s Lost Cause mythology–how it was created, why it still matters today, and how similar it may fee
30/03/202328 minutes 41 seconds
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Ramadan: A Month About Much More Than Fasting

Ramadan Mubarak! We check in with people of the Muslim community, their intentions, traditions and plans for making the most of this holy month.  Ramadan has begun, which means that close to two billion people worldwide will be abstaining from food and water from sunrise to sunset. But Ramadan is about much more than fasting. It is one of the most sacred periods for Muslims. The vastly diverse global community of Muslims spends the month of Ramadan exploring the deeper and personal meaning of their faith. It is also a time for the community to practice generosity–to themselves and others.  To celebrate and learn more about this holiday, host Kai Wright speaks to Ahmed Ali Akbar, a James Beard award-winning writer and the host of the Crooked Media podcast Radiolingo</a
27/03/202349 minutes 20 seconds
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The Truth Behind the Religious Right

Some believe that the religious right’s roots begin with Roe v. Wade. But there was an earlier court decision about the rights of segregated schools that first mobilized them. The recent surge in anti-trans legislation nationwide sparked a conversation on our show, about how the religious right has worked to deny the rights and existence of LGBT people for decades. This movement dates back to the early 1970s; to trace its history, producer Jessica Miller visits Mississippi and follows the bitter fight against a religious freedom bill passed in 2017 called HB 1523. The bill states that people who don’t believe in LGBT rights can’t be forced to abide by new civil rights protections. A group of civil rights advocates sued the state in response, and the ensuing debate revealed the real history behind all of the religious right's arguments today.  This
23/03/202323 minutes 6 seconds
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The History Behind New Waves of Anti-Trans Legislation

State lawmakers across the country are introducing new waves of legislation targeting the transgender community. What’s behind this movement?  To answer this question, we first turn to history. Host Kai Wright speaks with Imara Jones, founder of TransLash Media and host of the podcast The Anti-Trans Hate Machine: A Plot Against Equality. Jones shares the national picture of this surge in anti-trans legislation and centers this political moment in religious history. Then, Henry Seaton, the transgender justice advocate for the ACLU of Tennessee shares stories from those impacted by the state’s new law bannin
20/03/202349 minutes 9 seconds
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The Rocky Statue: A Famous Monument to a Fictitious Hero

Why do millions of people from around the world flock to Philadelphia, PA, to visit a statue….of a fictional character? We ask Paul Farber, host of the WHYY podcast The Statue. Many who have been to Philadelphia have visited the iconic plaza outside the Philadelphia Museum of Art that houses the Rocky statue. But what does a statue celebrating a fictional boxer tell us about how and why we create monuments? Paul Farber is a Philly native, director of The Monument Lab, and host of the podcast The Stature. He joins host Kai Wright and executive producer André Robert Lee to discuss the complicated facts surrounding the famous site– and what he decided to do about it</span
16/03/202318 minutes 56 seconds
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Revising History, One Monument at a Time

Artist Michelle Browder lives in a city that is increasingly being altered by monumental works…including one she created herself. More than 30 years ago, as an 18-year-old art student in Atlanta, Michelle Browder came across a work of art that haunted her. The picture was meant as a tribute to Dr. J. Marion Sims, a 19th century doctor long known as the 'Father of Gynecology.’ His discoveries, only made possible by his experimentation on enslaved women, endowed his legacy in U.S. history, yet erased the victims of this research. Armed with this knowledge, she set out to create a monument in Montgomery, Alabama, where a statue of Sims still stands in front of the state capitol building.  Browder joins host Kai Wright to share the story behind her creation called “The Mothers of Gynecolog
13/03/202331 minutes 50 seconds
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Preserving Untold Oral Histories

Our national story comprises all of us. We hear stories from listeners and The HistoryMakers founder Julieanna Richardson that capture the living history that often goes unmentioned. How can we craft a new version of our national history that includes people who have been written out of it? Julieanna Richardson is someone who is also asking this question. She’s doing the work through The HistoryMakers, a digital archive she founded that captures the oral histories of more than 3,400 African Americans. She joins host Kai Wright to discuss the significance of oral history as a medium and some of the stories featured in the archive. Then, we create our own oral history project with stories from live callers.  Companio
09/03/202324 minutes 56 seconds
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Gina Prince-Bythewood’s Hollywood

We continue our Black History Is Now series with Gina Prince-Bythewood, director of the hit films “The Woman King” and “Love &amp; Basketball,” among others that center Black voices.  “The Woman King” has received widespread acclaim and has inspired representation for women on the big screen. For Gina Prince-Bythewood, the film’s director, this movie is the latest in what has been a long career of promoting representation and excellent cinema. She joins host Kai Wright to talk about her experience in Hollywood and making space for women of color in front of and behind the camera. Companion listening for this episode: “Actor Omar Epps
06/03/202324 minutes 34 seconds
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Celebrating Terrance McKnight’s ‘Every Voice’ Podcast

Terrance McKnight, evening host on WQXR, unearths the hidden voices that shape our musical traditions in the new podcast "Every Voice with Terrance McKnight.” McKnight has spent decades interrogating the classical world, raising questions about race relations in the genre and therefore introducing his listeners to often overlooked or forgotten music and voices. Kai Wright joins McKnight live from The Greene Space stage to celebrate the launch of McKnight’s new WQXR podcast “Every Voice.” We’re bringing you a portion of this event that also features Sharon J. Willis, founder of Americolor Opera Alliance, and musical performances from singers Asha Lindsey and Ian George. W
02/03/202336 minutes 8 seconds
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How Respectability Politics Erased Young Women From History

We mark the end of Black History Month with a conversation about the people who are too often left out when we celebrate the past. What do we learn when we study the history of those considered wayward and existing outside of the norms of the day? Cultural historian and MacArthur fellow Saidiya Hartman introduces host Kai Wright to the young women whose radical lives were obscured by respectability politics. Hartman is the author of "Wayward Lives, Beautiful Experiments: Intimate Histories of Riotous Black Girls, Troublesome Women, and Queer Radicals," which offers an intimate look into some of the Black lives that have been seemingly erased from the history books. Through a series of readings, they ex
27/02/202350 minutes 48 seconds
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Black History Is Now: How Misty Copeland Went From Different to Special

Continuing our Black History Month series, ballet sensation Misty Copeland shares her journey to believing she was special. As the first African American woman to be a principal dancer at the American Ballet Theater in 2015, Misty Copeland made history. Now, she continues to shape the future by inspiring young dancers and sharing not just her story, but also her inspiration in her memoir “The Wind at My Back: Resilience, Grace, and Other Gifts from My Mentor, Raven Wilkinson.” Copeland joins host Kai Wright to talk about her upbringing, mentorship that shaped her and the future she envisions for Black ballerinas. Companion listening for this
23/02/202322 minutes 35 seconds
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The Battle Over Black Studies

Black studies is not about inclusion. It’s about disruption – which is why some fear it.  Black studies is under partisan attack, not only in Florida but around the country. With the effort to eliminate the field of study comes the erasure of scholarship and activism. Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor, African American studies professor at Northwestern University and author of the book “Race for Profit: How Banks and the Real Estate Industry Undermined Black Homeownership,” has faced this firsthand. Taylor has been removed from the College Board’s A.P. African American studies course, and continues to be threatened. She joins host Kai Wright to discuss the real ideas behind Black studies and her new magaz
21/02/202332 minutes 17 seconds
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How Black People Remade Mississippi

Down in the Mississippi Delta, the Lester Family made a space for themselves and claimed their land–and they didn’t need “40 Acres and a mule” to do it.  In February 2023, Pearline Lester passed away peacefully. We’re revisiting this story about her family’s legacy in her honor. Her husband, Elbert Lester has lived his full life in Quitman County, Mississippi, on land their family owns. That’s exceptional for Black people in this area today, but at one time, Black farmers owned the majority of this land. What happened to change that? Host Kai Wright goes on a search for the truth. With help from historians John Willis and Eric Foner, he uncovers a story about an old and fundamental question in American politics – Who are the rightful owners of this country’s staggering wealth? Th
16/02/202342 minutes 45 seconds
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A First Date Immigrant Story

Boy meets girl, boy’s an immigrant, they go on a first date. The date does not go well. 17 years later, the boy discovers that being an immigrant played a role, on both sides. What happened? Senior Digital Producer Kousha Navidar guest hosts a conversation about coming of age as an immigrant in the U.S. He shares the story of his failed first date, a rare second chance and what the experience revealed about what it means to be an immigrant. Then, Sabaa Tahir, author of the National Book Award-winning novel "All My Rage," joins to talk about her immigrant experience and the role it plays in her writing, and callers share how the significance of being an immigrant can change over time for themselves.</spa
13/02/202348 minutes 46 seconds
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American Political Myths Have Consequences For Us All

From the “Southern Strategy” to the civil rights movement, we’re surfacing what is true about our nation’s past, and what is propaganda masquerading as history. Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has made headlines again after striking down the College Board’s Advance Placement course on African American Studies in the state. Simultaneously, the College Board was making changes to the curriculum that some critics claim, omits key details from the history. Schools are common sites of cultural provocation and a key component of the ongoing history wars. To help explain the myths of our nation’s past and who is telling them, host Kai Wright speaks with Kevin M. Kruse, professor of history at Princeton University and co-author of the book <a title="buy this book at Amazon" target="_blank" href="http:
09/02/202324 minutes 7 seconds
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Black Music’s Most Memorable Moments With Emil Wilbekin

In the spirit of the Grammys, Emil Wilbekin, a founding editor of VIBE, offers a first-person history of Black popular music, from Soul Train to Beyoncé. On Notes from America we focus on Black history regularly, but to celebrate this year’s Black History Month, we’re thinking about it in the present tense. In our series Black History Is Now, we’ll bring you conversations with people who consider their work to be a continuum of Black history, all month. Emil Wilbekin, culture journalist and a founding editor of VIBE Magazine, is one of those people. While at VIBE, Wilbekin chronicled some of Black music’s biggest moments. In time for commercial music’s biggest awards night, he joins host Kai Wright to discuss his musical inspirations, major moments in Black music history and his community organization <a href="
06/02/202326 minutes 37 seconds
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Putting An End To Toxic Cop Culture

When it comes to police reform, a retired NYPD detective argues that policing as a profession must evolve or go away completely.  The problem of police violence, and the excessive use of force in Black and Brown communities in particular, has spanned centuries and retired NYPD detective Marq Claxton says that the force’s stubborn, insular culture was built to last. Claxton, co-founder of the organization 100 Blacks In Law Enforcement Who Care and member of the Black Law Enforcement Alliance, joins host Kai Wright to offer insights on police culture from his two decades in the field. They speak about the psyche of police officers and Claxton’s experience as a Black person in law enforcement. This episode was originally published as ‘Why Cops Don’t Change’ on April 19, 2021. Listen to more episodes 
02/02/202317 minutes 33 seconds
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History On Repeat: The Killing Of Tyre Nichols

The release of brutal footage of the killing of 29-year-old Tyre Nichols by police officers in Memphis furthers an all-too-familiar conversation about accountability and police violence. The Black community in Memphis and nationwide is processing the details of Tyre Nichols’ killing at the hands of law enforcement - from the race of the police officers to the footage of the beating and why this is a persistent problem in America. To help unpack the story, host Kai Wright speaks with Karanja Ajanaku, Executive Editor of The New Tri-State Defender, a news organization that serves the greater Memphis African-American community. They discuss how a traffic stop turned deadly for Nichols, and how officers’ egregious use of force and media coverage of the incident is shaping civic life in Memphis. <
30/01/202332 minutes 16 seconds
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Monterey Park: The Making of America’s First Suburban Chinatown

A mass shooting in Monterey Park, California – on the eve of Lunar New Year – sent shockwaves through the predominantly Asian American ethnoburb and the Asian American community nationwide. The toll of mass shootings this year in the U.S. is already in the dozens in just the first month of 2023. In Monterey Park, California, a majority Asian American community shaken by loss of lives at the hands of an armed gunman, emotions are high given the circumstances. The victims were at a celebration for Lunar New Year in a city known as America’s first suburban Chinatown. To learn more about Monterey Park and its history, host Kai Wright speaks with James Zarsadiaz, a professor of history at the University of San Francisco and the author of <a title="buy this book at Amazon" target="_blank" href="http://www.amazon.com/exec/obi
26/01/202319 minutes 18 seconds
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Living With And Learning From Estrangement

Estrangement isn’t linear. For those who have severed ties or been cut off, it can be necessary, empowering, devastating and confounding—all at once.  A recent series from WNYC’s Death, Sex &amp; Money podcast explores the complexities of estrangement, which they define as an experience of feeling cut off from a relationship or a community that once felt like home. Death, Sex &amp; Money host Anna Sale teams up with Kai Wright to expand on the topic in a listener-driven episode. Together with Rebecca Martinez Fitzgerald, a therapist based in Durham, North Carolina, they respond to callers wrestling with relationships and differences in values. Hear more about this topic on <a
23/01/202347 minutes 9 seconds
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The Not-So-Sunny Side of Louis Armstrong’s Legacy

What made Louis Armstrong’s music so groundbreaking? And after he broke that ground, why were later generations of Black people reluctant to embrace him?  From his renditions of “On The Sunny Side Of The Street” to “What A Wonderful World,” trumpeter and vocalist Louis Armstrong is cemented in history as a jazz icon. But for many Black people – especially those in the mid-twentieth century – his presentation was degrading and received as minstrelsy for white audiences. Filmmaker Sacha Jenkins traces Amstrong’s complicated history as a Black artist in his most recent project and documentary, “Louis Armstrong’s Black &amp; Blues.” He joins host Kai Wright to discuss Armstrong’s relationship with music and the fans that struggled to embrace him. Companion listening for this episode: <a href="https://
19/01/202319 minutes 25 seconds
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The Legacy of MLK Jr. Is To Be Young, Gifted and Black

How does Martin Luther King Jr.’s generation of young, gifted, and Black people inspire today’s changemakers and their ideas for how to achieve racial justice? The Apollo has a decades-long tradition of serving as a convener for local community residents as well as people from across New York City and the world. That tradition continues as The Apollo partners with WNYC for the annual celebration of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and his enduring legacy on the culture. The 17th annual Apollo Uptown Hall MLK celebration focuses on Dr. King and the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960's as the template for modern social and civil justice movements. Notes from America opened the celebration with a live, in-person conversation acknowledging the young leaders of today impacting society through activism, engagement and a commitment to justice. Host Kai Wright is joined
16/01/202358 minutes 12 seconds
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New Congress, New Consequences

From near-fisticuffs on the House floor to Kevin McCarthy’s concessions to win the gavel, the chaotic start for the 118th Congress has finally settled – with consequences for us all.  In his bid for speakership, newly elected House speaker Kevin McCarthy made a host of promises to some of the Republican Party’s most extremist members – including Qanon conspiracists and election deniers. The future of the new Congress and what led to its formation serve as a lesson for where we stand in national politics. Theodore Johnson, senior advisor for the public policy think tank New America and writer for The Bulwark, joins host Kai Wright to unpack it all in this special episode for podcast listeners. </p
12/01/202333 minutes 11 seconds
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The Future of Work As We Know It

The Great Resignation. Quiet quitting. These concepts allegedly defined the way we worked last year. Will anything change in 2023? Journalist Anne Helen Petersen, co-author of Out of the Office: The Big Problem and Bigger Promise of Working From Home and host of the Crooked Media podcast Work Appropriate, has made a name for herself examining Americans’ relationships to work. She joins host Kai Wright to discuss these relationships and how they are shaping our culture, economy and politics. They also take questions from callers about balancing work and life.</sp
09/01/202331 minutes 24 seconds
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Faith Ringgold Creates Space for Black Americans

Faith Ringgold’s art is an intimate dialogue and debate between generations of Black women, stretching from the formerly enslaved to today. Producer Rahima Nasa takes host Kai Wright to an exhibit displaying artist Faith Ringgold’s work. We learn about Ringgold’s story and the political beliefs that shaped her art, plus we hear about the impact of Ringgold’s work from her daughter, art historian and feminist scholar Michele Wallace.  This episode was was originally published as ‘Why We Can't (and Shouldn't) Move On From Jan. 6’ on June 13, 2022. Listen to more episodes here. </
05/01/202318 minutes 37 seconds
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How Afrofuturism Redefines Our Past

Afrofuturism is an old idea that’s reaching new people. Hollywood production designer Hannah Beachler walks us through some fantastical, imagined paths to Black liberation. There is a cosmic vision of Black freedom seen across universes from Seneca Village to Wakanda, exemplified across artistry from Sun Ra to Lil Nas X. Among the culture makers propelling the Afrofuturism movement is Hannah Beachler, an Academy Award-winning production designer and lead curator of the exhibit Before Yesterday We Could Fly: An Afrofuturist Period Room at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Beachler – who’s worked on box office films like “Black Panther,” “Moonlight” and  Creed,” as well as Beyonce’s “Lemonade” visuals – joins host Kai Wright to share how A
02/01/202332 minutes 37 seconds
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Rediscovering Myself Through Rebuilding A Relationship With My Dad

Folashade Olatunde, a WNYC Radio Rookie, shares a series of open and honest audio diaries, inviting listeners on her journey to rebuild a relationship with her dad.Her dad went to prison when she was two years old. She used to go visit him all the time with her mom. Until her parents got divorced. Now, it’s been more than a decade since she saw her father. In this extended version of an installment of Radio Rookies, Olatunde shares a series of open and honest audio diaries and invites listeners on her journey to rebuild her relationship with her dad. This episode was was originally published as ‘Half of My Parents, All of Me’ on August 31, 2022. Listen to more episodes here.  Companion listening for this episode:</
29/12/202218 minutes 26 seconds
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YA Literature Chose Jason Reynolds

For author Jason Reynolds, the key to writing compelling young adult literature is reconnecting with the formative childhood experiences that made him. He has become a rockstar among kids and young adults for books like As Brave As You and Ghost that tell honest stories about Black childhood. The author joins host Kai Wright to discuss his storytelling philosophy, successes, fears and relationship with his mother. Hear more from Jason Reynolds in Radiotopia Presents: My Mother Made Me.  This episode was was originally published as ‘Jason Reynolds Needs to Be Useful’ on July 18, 2022. Listen to more episodes here.  Companion listening for this episode</e
26/12/202232 minutes 56 seconds
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How Singer Marian Anderson Dominated the Global Stage

Throughout her career, American contralto Marian Anderson performed a repertoire well ahead of her time. At a time when the dominant art form was anti-Black minstrelsy, famed contralto Marian Anderson made a name for herself performing classical music. Host Kai Wright is joined by WQXR’s Terrance McKnight to discuss Anderson’s legacy, and her journey to global music stardom. Companion listening for this episode: Billy Porter on Bringing Blackness, Queerness and Fullness to Art (12/19/2022) What does a next level victory look like for an Emmy, Grammy and Tony winner? For actor Billy Porter - it’s an authentic sense of self. “Notes from America” ai
22/12/202218 minutes 30 seconds
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Billy Porter on Bringing Blackness, Queerness and Fullness to Art

What does a next level victory look like for an Emmy, Grammy and Tony winner? For actor Billy Porter - it’s an authentic sense of self. Actor and singer Billy Porter has spent decades bringing his full Black and queer self to his art. From Kinky Boots on Broadway to FX’s Pose, the actor credits his success to one huge victory–finding meaningful spaces for himself. But these spaces didn’t come until later in his life. Host Kai Wright speaks with Porter about his journey to healing, mental health and claiming spaces for himself. Read more in Unprotected: A Memoir by Billy Porter, now available on paperback. <a href="https://
19/12/202234 minutes 16 seconds
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Your Happy Holiday Hits

The soundtrack to our winter holidays is dominated by standards. But among the songs most of us know by heart are bold new tunes by artists who hope to capture our hearts with lyrics and melodies that evoke both nostalgia and new traditions. Lindsay Kimball, Program Director for Minnesota Public Radio’s renowned music station The Current, joins host Kai Wright to talk about what she considers when curating music for the station’s holiday stream. Together, they make a live holiday playlist with the help of listeners…and some impromptu live performances.  Check out the playlist here! We’ll keep compiling your suggestions, so keep them coming all season long. Companion listening for this episode: Face the D
15/12/202231 minutes 43 seconds
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Idina Menzel Talks Broadway, Balance and Her Dream Gig

From Broadway to Frozen, Idina Menzel has captivated young and old audiences alike. A new documentary about her journey as a performer reveals how she worked to land her dream gig. Actor and singer Idina Menzel has played a series of roles that inspire empowerment and a quest for identity. Her critically acclaimed turns on Broadway in Rent and Wicked and her voice work as Elsa in Disney’s Frozen have made her an intergenerational star.  Now, a new Disney Plus documentary called “Idina Menzel: Which Way to the Stage” unveils the person behind such iconic characters and shares her devotion to entertaining audiences. Ahead of the film’s release, Host Kai Wright spoke with Menzel about balancing work and life, and realizing her dream of performing at Mad
12/12/202222 minutes 29 seconds
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Many #Twitter Users Are Riding Out The Controversy

More than a million users have reportedly left the Twitter app since owner Elon Musk took over, but for some the decision to log off for good isn’t easy. Love it or hate it, Twitter has been a major stage for political unrest, pop culture pinnacles, social justice movements, and community engagement. Now, users who’ve found a home on the app are debating what’s next. Many have decided to leave in the wake of Elon Musk’s takeover of the platform, but that’s not an easy decision for everyone. Host Kai Wright talks with George M. Johnson, best-selling author of the novel "All Boys Aren’t Blue," who’s made a revolutionary space for themself on Twitter. Plus, Washington Post columnist Karen Attiah join
08/12/202238 minutes 30 seconds
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Crime, Panic and The Case Of The Exonerated Five

It’s been twenty years since five men who were convicted as kids in the “Central Park jogger case” were exonerated. Their story has resonance in today’s crime-panicked United States. In 1989, amid a national and local panic about crime, five Black and Latino teenage boys were accused of a raping a woman in New York’s Central Park. Despite inconsistencies in their coerced, false confessions and other evidence, they were convicted. Their images were held up in national media as representative of urban chaos, in which wild Black and Brown youth threatened white America. It wasn’t until December 2002 that DNA evidence finally established their innocence. They are now known as the Exonerated 5 and advocates for justice reform. Host Kai Wright speaks with two of the five, <a class="guestlink" href="/people/kevin-ric
05/12/202211 minutes 46 seconds
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We’ve Always Been A Divided United States

You could say all 50 states are in something of a long-distance relationship, and it’s long past the honeymoon phase. But if we’re so divided, should we just break up already? Whether it’s political disarray, an ever-changing spectrum of state laws or social unrest, some may feel like the United States is more divided than ever. But, history shows that our country’s actually been divided from the start. Host Kai Wright talks with author Richard Kreitner about his book, Break It Up: Secession, Division, and the Secret History of America's Imperfect Union. They discuss the history of Ame
01/12/202241 minutes 38 seconds
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How You’re Dealing With Digital And Political Life

We’ve received a lot of messages from listeners in response to our recent episodes, especially our coverage of the recent midterm elections and our stories about dealing with life online. Host Kai Wright is joined by producer Kousha Navidar to open the listener mailbag and unpack some recent voicemails.   Companion listening for this episode: What Keeps You Voting? (10/31/2022) Even amid a broken democracy we’re still told to “go vote!” But what do you do when voting doesn’t feel like enough? “Notes from America” airs live on Sunday evenings at 6pm ET. The podcast episodes are lightly edited from our broadcasts. To catch all the action, tune into the show on Sunday nights v
28/11/202210 minutes 6 seconds
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Actor Omar Epps Imagines Life After The Climate Crisis

The leading man from beloved films like “Love and Basketball” and “Higher Learning” has entered the world of Young Adult fiction to inspire today’s youth and their fight against climate change. Since his breakout role in 1992 as Q in “Juice,” actor and producer Omar Epps has become known for portraying the scope of Black life on the big screen. He joins host Kai Wright to talk about his new co-authored novel, "Nubia: The Awakening", which imagines a New York City ravaged by climate disaster, and a group of teens who hope to save it. They talk about Epps’s inspiration for the book, his pivot from actor to author, and reflect on his career. Companion listening for this episode: <a href="https://www.wnycstudios.or
24/11/202218 minutes 27 seconds
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The Climate Crisis Needs a New Gospel

The climate crisis was on the minds of many Americans as they voted in the midterms, and Hayhoe offers insight about what productive action looks like in the critical years to come. She says we need to spend less time wringing our hands, and more time connecting the climate to each others’ values. As part of that conversation, producer Regina de Heer is joined by members of the Faith Alliance for Climate Solutions to hear how these ideals are put into practice on a local level. Find more in Professor Hayhoe’s bestselling book, Saving Us: A Climate Scientist's Case for Hope and Healing in a Divided World and her Global Weirding series on Youtube. The Global Weirding segment
21/11/202232 minutes 58 seconds
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The Right Wing Media Empire Hiding in Plain Sight

During the 2022 midterms, election-denying and pro-Trump candidates ran on a platform of  falsehoods about voter fraud in 2020. But there's a much more present source introducing this narrative into American homes: the country's largest Christian conservative multimedia company. We learn how the far-right came to dominate Christian talk radio and we meet Salem Media Group – perhaps the most influential media company you’ve never heard of.   The Divided Dial is a new series from our colleagues at On The Media about how one side of the political spectrum came to dominate talk radio – and how one company is using the airwaves to launch a right wing media empire. You can listen to future episodes here.   The Divided Dial
17/11/202230 minutes 22 seconds
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Notes From Our Exit Poll Episode

Keeping the voters in the midterm conversation: We invite callers to tell us what motivated them this election and what’s on their minds as news continues to unfold. Joan Walsh, national affairs correspondent for The Nation and a CNN political contributor, joins host Kai Wright to open the phone lines. They invite listeners to call in and share their perspectives on the developing news from the midterm elections. They also check in with reporters across the country who have been covering the races in their states: Jo Ingles (Ohio), Sam Dunklau (Pennsylvania), and Fred Hicks</
14/11/202250 minutes 16 seconds
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The Morning After: A Midterm Breakdown

Of red ripples and blue walls. Host Kai Wright joins The Brian Lehrer Show for a panel to help digest election results. Why did Democrats defy predictions? And where does it leave the Republican Party? Other panelists include Alexis Grenell, columnist for The Nation and the cofounder of Pythia Public, and Charlie Sykes, founder, editor-at-large and host of a podcast at The Bulwark, MSNBC contributor and author of How the Right Lost Its Mind</sp
10/11/202250 minutes 45 seconds
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What Arizona Teaches Us About The ‘Latino Vote’

It’s often emphasized as a defining factor in electoral politics: the ‘Latino vote.’ But that simple phrase erases a far more complex political story. Maritza Félix, founder of the Spanish news service Conecta Arizona, has been covering the political evolution of Arizona’s Latino community over the past decade. She joins host Kai Wright to discuss the future of Latino politics in Arizona from party affiliation to policy reform and prove while the mythical ‘Latino Vote’ is constantly deemed influential, all Latino voters are not alike. Maritza comes to us from Feet in 2 Worlds, a project that brings the work of immigrant journalists to public radio, podcasts and online news sites.  Companion lis
08/11/202218 minutes 27 seconds
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Who Gets to Be Beautiful in America?

Beauty. Everyone wants it, but only some are considered to have it. What steps can we take to democratize beauty? Journalist Tracie Hunte is trying to foster real and honest conversations about what it means to be beautiful, and who has access to the power that comes along with beauty. Hunte speaks with Tressie McMillan Cottom, a New York Times columnist and sociologist who has thought and written about the culture of “Big Beauty” in America for years. Her 2013 essay “When Your (Brown) Body is a (White) Wonderland” and 2020 essay “AOC’s Attractiveness Drives Us All Mad” went viral and sparked conversations about the
03/11/202218 minutes 27 seconds
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What Keeps You Voting?

We’ve received a lot of messages from listeners in response to our recent episodes so, producer Kousha Navidar and host Kai Wright open the listener mailbag and one voicemail inspires a conversation with Dr. Carol Anderson. The author of One Person, No Vote: How Voter Suppression Is Destroying Our Democracy response spans from the efficacy of voting and voter suppression to what we can do beyond the ballot box. And, we take your calls about what motivates you to keep voting.    Companion listening for this episode: <a href="https://www.wnycstudios.org/p
31/10/202232 minutes 9 seconds
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The Higher Cost of Higher Ed for Americans of Color

Student loans for higher education promises immigrants and people of color access to the American Dream — but at what cost? Higher education has traditionally been a pathway to achieving the American Dream for people of color and immigrants, but the high cost of tuition has resulted in a deepening of the wealth divide as student debt continues to create an economic crisis. Borrowers, including show producer Rahima Nasa, share their stories of how student loan repayment drastically changed their financial picture. Plus, policy expert and author of The Sum of Us: What Racism Costs Everyone and How We Can Prosper Together, Heather McGhee, joins host Kai Wright to discuss federal forgiveness
24/10/202250 minutes 49 seconds
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Black Georgians Are Leading the Charge to the Polls

Young Black voters are the key to changing the politics of Georgia. What can the rest of the country learn from the civic engagement in that state? Georgia’s two big midterm races may be the most consequential this election year. One will likely determine control of the Senate. The other is a bellwether for American politics – and democracy – overall. Out of this, can political power shift in the South? The answer to that question might be in the hands of young, Black voters. Trymaine Lee, host of MSNBC’s Into America has been traveling the country talking with Black students at HBCUs about their engagement on big political questions. He and Rose Scott, host of the daily news show Closer Look with Rose Scott out of WABE in Atlanta, offer us a pulse check on these young
17/10/202251 minutes 16 seconds
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Women. Life. Freedom.

Young Iranian Americans are witnessing a historic moment, as protests continue in Iran. We invited some of them to share how they are finding ways to participate from afar. Young Iranian Americans are witnessing a historic moment, as deadly protests in Iran continue over the death of a 22-year-old woman who died while in custody of the Tehran Guidance Patrol, better known as morality police. We invited some of them to share how they are processing these events and finding ways to participate from afar. Narges Bajoghli, Assistant Professor of Middle East Studies at the School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University, joins senior producer Kousha Navidar and host Kai Wright to talk about Mahsa Amini’s death and the response in Iranian communities across the U.S. Companion listening for this episode: <a href="https:
13/10/202218 minutes 20 seconds
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Church, State and the Soul of Our Nation

Christian nationalism – the push to have laws, policies and social norms reflect Christian values –  is a growing movement in the U.S. As its rise continues to influence contemporary politics, how should we consider and prepare for its impact on our government? Pastor and executive director of Vote Common Good, Doug Pagitt, walks us through the history of the movement, and tells us how he and other faith leaders are finding ways to combat the effects of Christian nationalism in their own faith communities.   Companion listening for this episode: The Obamas' Lonely Walk on the High Road (10/3/2022) Anti-Obama conspiracy theories and lies about the 2020 election still shape post-truth politics. What, if anything, is to be done abo
10/10/202232 minutes 46 seconds
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The Black Playwright Who Transformed Theater

Imani Perry introduces us to A Raisin in the Sun, the first show ever staged on Broadway written by a black woman – and the show’s legendary playwright, Lorraine Hansberry. In Looking for Lorraine: The Radiant and Radical Life of Lorraine Hansberry, author Imani Perry pays tribute to one of the most pivotal Black playwrights in modern history. In Perry's 2018 biography of Lorraine Hansberry, we meet a talented writer whose mainstream success with A Raisin In The Sun often overshadows her strategic and radical work as an artist and progressive thinker. That renowned play has returned to The Public Theater and Imani Perry joins host Kai Wright to explore how Hansberry and the story of the Younger family shaped the landscape of theater. Companion listeni
05/10/202218 minutes 17 seconds
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The Obamas' Lonely Walk on the High Road

Anti-Obama conspiracy theories and lies about the 2020 election still shape post-truth politics. What, if anything, is to be done about these conspiracies? It’s been more than a decade since Barack Obama moved into the White House and began his first term as U.S. President. But conspiracy theories about the history-making leader continue to influence today’s political landscape and polarize Americans.  The theories run the gamut – from the familiar (Obama’s citizenship) to the familial (calling Michelle Obama’s gender into question). Folklorist and professor at University of California, Los Angeles, Patricia A. Turner Ph.D., has been researching what’s at the root of so many unfounded and unhinged rumors about America’s first Black president and studying why they persist. She joins host Kai Wright to discuss her new book, <a title="buy this book at Am
03/10/202230 minutes 30 seconds
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Everything’s Changed. But Have You?

The world has changed a lot since 2020. We open the phones to hear how this change has shaped listeners’ relationships and political opinions. Angela Davis, host of Minnesota Public Radio’s daily call-in show, MPR News with Angela Davis, shares the changes she’s seen personally and politically–from money to mental health. Companion listening for this episode: The Dangerous Cycle of Fear (4/11/2022) Asian American New Yorkers explain how Covid-era bigotry and violence changed their lives, and what’s at stake for everybody when we fear each other.   “Notes from America” airs live on Sunday evenings at 6pm ET. The podcast episodes are lightly edited from our live broadcasts. To catch all the action, tune into the show on Su
26/09/202232 minutes 23 seconds
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Your Summer Jams…One Last Time

We say goodbye to our summer playlist project – and hello to our show’s new name and theme music. Host Kai Wright checks in with producer Regina de Heer to wrap up our summer playlist. Hear the latest submissions from listeners, and WNYC staff, with their songs of the summer and the reasons why they chose it. Stream the complete Summer Playlist on Spotify here. Plus, we end the playlist by unveiling our show's new name and theme music with our sound designer and engineer, Jared Paul. Companion listening for this episode: Introducing 'Notes From America': New Nam
21/09/202211 minutes
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Introducing 'Notes From America': New Name, Same Show

We’re inviting you into a more positive – less anxious – conversation. Notes from America with Kai Wright airs Sundays at 6 p.m. ET on public radio stations and YouTube. Companion listening for this episode: A Pre-Midterms Vibe Check (9/19/2022)An election is coming. Summer is over. And the vibe is…what? We open the phones to hear what’s on your mind–from democracy to baseball. “The United States of Anxiety” airs live on Sunday evenings at 6pm ET. The podcast episodes are lightly edited from our live broadcasts. To catch all the action, tune into the show on Sunday nights via the stream on www.notesfromamerica.org or tell your smart speakers to play WNYC. 
20/09/20222 minutes 19 seconds
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A Pre-Midterms Vibe Check

An election is coming. Summer is over. And the vibe is…what? We open the phones to hear what’s on your mind–from democracy to baseball. WNYC's own Brian Lehrer joins to help take your calls. Tune in to The Brian Lehrer Show’s midterm election special, 30 Issues in 30 Days, starting on September 27th.  Companion listening for this episode: What Could Go Wrong? Everything (And It’s Ok) (8/8/2022) What zombie movies can teach us about our era of perpetual crisis, and other lessons from a disaster management specialist. “The United States of Anxiety” airs live on Sunday evenings at 6pm ET. The podcast episodes are lightly edited from our live broad
19/09/202237 minutes 42 seconds
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The Art of Remembrance

The story of one local NYC artist who uses digital technology to honor our city’s past. Meet Vladimir Nazarov, a visual artist living in New York City, who combined his love for the city and his love of art to create a special 9/11 NFT. Through his story of hope, grief, and artistry, find out what happened to his commemorative NFT – and how this technology can bring a whole new experience to the world of art. Plus, a question about the subject of the piece propels the conversation in a completely unexpected direction.  Companion listening for this episode: Your Vote Matters (9/12/2022) So why don't more people vote in smaller elections? What motivates people to vote — and how that could inform greater participation in the upcoming midt
14/09/202218 minutes 11 seconds
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Your Vote Matters

So why don't more people vote in smaller elections? What motivates people to vote — and how that could inform greater participation in the upcoming midterm elections? Roxanna Moritz, former chief election officer from Scott County, Iowa, shares her story of what drew her to public service — and what made her walk away. Plus, Zaki Hamid, Director of Community Engagement at KUOW, reports his radio station’s community feedback club's response to the question “what election did you care about the most and why?” Schools Had a Tough Year. What’d We Learn? (6/6/2022) Plus, follow the season of a girl’s varsity volleyball team, and find one Brooklyn school building’s effort to bridge its stark racial divide. From WNYC’s new mini
12/09/202232 minutes 40 seconds
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Revisiting Tara Roberts on Diving for Sunken Slave Ships

A National Geographic explorer’s story of diving for sunken slave ships. Hear more of Tara Roberts' historic journey in the six-part podcast series, Into the Depths. Companion listening for this episode: Revisiting A Conservative View of the Vigilante Right (9/5/2022)Mona Charen discusses the true meaning of conservative and the radical shift in the GOP. *And stream our Summer Playlist on Spotify here.  “The United States of Anxiety” airs live on Sunday evenings at 6pm ET. The podcast episodes are lightly edited
07/09/202218 minutes 27 seconds
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Revisiting A Conservative View of the Vigilante Right

Mona Charen discusses the true meaning of conservative and the radical shift in the GOP. Companion listening for this episode: Episode 1: How Did We Get Here and Where Are We Going? (9/22/2016) Listen back to our very first episode where we went to Long Island to find out if America has truly lost its mind. *And stream our Summer Playlist on Spotify here.  “The United States of Anxiety” airs live on Sunday evenings at 6pm ET. The podcast episodes are lightly edited fr
05/09/202230 minutes 47 seconds
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Half of My Parents, All of Me

Folashade Olatunde, a WNYC Radio Rookie, shares a series of open and honest audio diaries, inviting listeners on her journey to rebuild a relationship with her dad. Folashade’s dad went to prison when she was two years old. She used to go visit him all the time with her mom. Until her parents got divorced. Now, it’s been more than a decade since she saw her father. In this extended version of an installment of Radio Rookies, Folashade shares a series of open and honest audio diaries and invites listeners on her journey to rebuild her relationship with her dad. Companion listening for this episode: The Prison of Manhood Can’t Hold Shaka Senghor (8/29/2022) <
31/08/202218 minutes 37 seconds
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The Prison of Manhood Can’t Hold Shaka Senghor

He went to prison at age 19. When released, he had to learn how to be a father to two Black sons with very different life experiences. His letters to them have lessons for us all. Hear more from Shaka Senghor in his book, Letters to the Sons of Society: A Father's Invitation to Love, Honesty, and Freedom, available now. Audio included in the episode excerpted courtesy of Penguin Random House Audio, read by Shaka Senghor.  Companion listening for this episode: Jason Reynolds Needs to Be Useful (7/18/2022) The YA author talks about his successes, fears, and his new podcast that explores his relationship wit
29/08/202233 minutes 56 seconds
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Which Election Did You Care About The Most?

Which election did you care about the most, and why? We want to hear your stories. Next month, we’re doing an episode about how we can make voting better. Is it an issue of motivation, or something else? Send us your stories, about any kind of election, political or not. It could be an election for a sports team, to the local PTA, or for your favorite reality competition show. Send us a voicemail to [email protected]. We hope to use your stories during an upcoming episode. *And stream our Summer Playlist on Spotify here.  Companion listening for this episode: <p style="font-weight
26/08/20224 minutes 40 seconds
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Digital Life Is a Moral Mess

A listener voicemail sends the show’s Senior Digital Producer Kousha Navidar on a search for moral clarity with philosopher and senior lecturer in ethics and public policy at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government, Dr. Christopher Robichaud. Then, Shirin Ghaffary, senior reporter at Recode and co-host of the podcast Land of The Giants, shares the story of Facebook, and why it has been so hard of them to respond to the damage their technology has created. *You can read more about Land of the Giants, and hear new episodes, here. *And stream our Summer Playlist on Spotify here.  Compan
22/08/202250 minutes 55 seconds
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Let’s Hear It For The Summer Playlist

Host Kai Wright checks in with producer Regina de Heer about our summer playlist. Hear the contributions from listeners, and some folks on our team, about their songs of the summer and why they chose it. Stream our Summer Playlist so far on Spotify here. And keep the song submissions coming by sending us your own summer song recommendations. Record a voice memo with your name, location and the story or memory you associate with your song. Email it as an attachment to [email protected] to have your song included in the playlist — and our next update. Companion listening for this episode
19/08/20226 minutes 30 seconds
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Monkeypox: The Making of an Outbreak

Colonialism. Militarism. Homophobia. It took decades of neglect and selfishness to create this viral outbreak. Host Kai Wright speaks with Joseph Osmundson, microbiologist, activist, writer, professor at New York University and author of Virology: Essays for the Living, the Dead, and the Small Things in Between (W. W. Norton &amp; Company, 2022). They welcome listener questions about the state of the monkeypox outbreak, and the polarizing narrative surrounding the LGBT communities that the virus is disproportionately affecting.  A special thanks to Kali, Michael, Justin, Larry and Daniel – LGBT community leaders at the for
15/08/202244 minutes 39 seconds
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Michael Calvert’s Good, Too Short Life

What can we learn from the HIV pandemic? We revisit a conversation from a year of living with COVID-19. Back at the beginning of the COVID pandemic, senior editor, Karen Frillmann was reminded of life in this city in the 1980s. She reached back into the far corners of a closet in her apartment, and dug out a recording that she made decades ago. In this segment, Karen shares parts of that intimate conversation, as an act of remembrance. Companion listening for this episode: What Could Go Wrong? Everything (And It’s Ok) (8/8/2022) What zombie movies can teach us about our era of perpetual crisis, and other lessons from a disaster management specialist. “The United States of Anxiety” airs live on Sunday evenings at 6pm ET. The podcast e
12/08/202218 minutes 29 seconds
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What Could Go Wrong? Everything (And It’s Ok)

What zombie movies can teach us about our era of perpetual crisis, and other lessons from a disaster management specialist. Former Assistant Secretary for Homeland Security under President Obama, and current professor at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government, Juliette Kayyem joins host Kai Wright to help us make sense of our current age of constant disasters. Learn what tools we have at our disposal based on her new book, The Devil Never Sleeps: Learning to Live in an Age of Disasters. Companion listening for this episode:The Wolf Pack of White Nationalism (5/23/2022)There are no “lone wolves” in the terrorist violence of white identity politics. So
08/08/202233 minutes 25 seconds
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Michael Tubbs Has A Message for All Of US

In 2020, Michael Tubbs lost his reelection campaign for Mayor of Stockton, California after capturing the nation’s attention. But he hopes the lessons he learned can inspire future generations of local leaders. Find out more about End Poverty in California on their website.  Companion listening for this episode: How to Start Saving the World (8/1/2022)Climate scientist Katharine Hayhoe has a simple request for the 93 percent who know there’s a crisis: Talk to each other about it more and start with your values. *And stream our Summer Playlist on Spotify here.  “The U
05/08/202218 minutes 27 seconds
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How to Start Saving the World

Scientist Katharine Hayhoe has a simple request for the 93 percent of people who know there’s a climate crisis: Talk to each other about it more and start with your values. Plus, producer Regina de Heer is joined by members of the Faith Alliance for Climate Solutions to hear how these ideals are put into practice on a local level. Find more in Professor Hayhoe’s bestselling book, Saving Us: A Climate Scientist's Case for Hope and Healing in a Divided World and her Global Weirding series on Youtube. The Global Weirding segment mentioned in this episode can be found <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S
01/08/202233 minutes 17 seconds
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How Are We Grieving?

Two mothers lost their daughters to gun violence but received disparate levels of attention. Now, they’re using their stories – and their grief – to inspire others. WNYC correspondent Tracie Hunte introduces host Kai Wright to two mothers – Nelba Márquez-Greene and Celeste Fulcher – who both lost their daughters to gun violence. Their stories teach us about the exacting toll of gun violence, and the power grief yields to stir change and inspire progress. Companion listening for this episode: The Culture of Gun Violence (7/25/2022) And why it must change to make any political progre
28/07/202219 minutes 50 seconds
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The Culture of Gun Violence

Host Kai Wright speaks with Nina Vinik, Founder and Executive Director of Project Unloaded about the culture of gun violence in our country and why that must change to make any political progress on gun control.  How can we reduce gun violence, and has there been progress on that front since the shooting in Sandy Hook? Plus, ​​Marie Delus, New York State Survivor Lead of Moms Demand Action, redefines what it means to be a survivor of gun violence.  Marie Delus, New York State Survivor Lead for Moms Demand Action, with a photograph of her nephew, Pierre-Paul Jean-Paul Jr., who was shot and killed in the Cambria Heights neighborhood
25/07/202232 minutes 47 seconds
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Let Us Take You on an Pop Escapade

Joy. Freedom. Resilience. We kick off a summer playlist project with Danyel Smith's selections from the Black women who have defined pop. From Phillis Wheatley to Beyoncé, read more about Danyel’s picks in her new book, Shine Bright: A Very Personal History of Black Women in Pop. Playlist curation will begin this Sunday on Spotify, so record a voice memo with your playlist recommendation (and the story that inspired it) and email it to [email protected] to have your song included. *Starting this week, we are publishing individual segments from each live episode. Listen back earlier this week for another segment talking about finding purpose through service with YA author, Jason Reynolds.  <p
21/07/202219 minutes 35 seconds
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Jason Reynolds Needs to Be Useful

The YA author talks about his successes, fears, and his new podcast that explores his relationship with his mother. Hear more from Jason Reynolds in Radiotopia Presents: My Mother Made Me.  *Starting this week, we are publishing individual segments from each live episode. Check back later this week for another segment talking about our summer playlist.  Companion listening for this episode: Lynn Nottage: Unexpected Optimist (1/3/2022) Playwright Lynn Nottage breaks down her remarkable career and shares how, as an optimist at heart, she finds the light and resilience in unexpected stories. “The United States of Anxiety” airs live on S
18/07/202233 minutes 50 seconds
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The Promise and Failure of Cryptocurrency

Cryptocurrency promised to democratize the financial world by giving people equal access to banking tools. It has potential, but also a long way to go. Guest host and senior digital producer Kousha Navidar takes calls and speaks with fintech policy expert Scott Astrada about the value and pitfalls of cryptocurrencies including Bitcoin, Ether and Dogecoin. Then, Dr. Kortney Ziegler from Stanford’s Center on Philanthropy and Civil Society speaks about empowering communities that the traditional banking system leaves behind. Companion listening for this episode: The End of Institutions: Hollywood Edition (4/4/2022) To many, cryptocurrency’s value is its promise to revolutionize one of the oldest institutions: finance. Hollywood is another institution that is undergoing its own ev
11/07/202249 minutes 56 seconds
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The Line Between Independence and Insurrection

Decoding the Jan. 6th Insurrection – what we should have learned from the past and what we must remember for the future. This Independence Day weekend, host Kai Wright is joined by Andrea Bernstein and Ilya Marritz, who previously hosted Trump Inc. They discuss their new 8-part podcast series, Will Be Wild, which examines the forces that led to the January 6 Insurrection and what comes next.  Companion listening for this episode: Can America Be Redeemed? (7/5/2021)</
04/07/202250 minutes 59 seconds
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Keeping Score: Part 4

The series ends with a final test for the Jaguars at the city championship. After the final point has been scored, members of the team try to assess their success. And what about the success of the merger? Students and coaches look at how the integration played out across John Jay’s athletics program, and ask: was it all worth it? “Keeping Score” is a co-production of WNYC Studios and The Bell. This four-part series will appear in the United States of Anxiety feed on Thursdays in June.  Connect with us at [email protected]. For WNYC: Alana Casanova-Burgess, Jessica Gould, Joe Plourde, Jenny Lawton, Karen Frillmann, Emily Botein, Wayne Schulmeister, and Andrew Dunn.  For The Bell: Mariah Morgan, Lauren Valme, Renika Jack, Noor Muhsin, Thyan Nelson, Jacob Mesti
30/06/202242 minutes 35 seconds
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Roe Is Gone. What Now?

Plus, a reflection on the significance of LGBT Pride in a scary political time for the community.  Host Kai Wright and listeners react to the recent SCOTUS decisions, including the fall of Roe v. Wade. Hear Dr. Sanithia Williams from Alabama Women’s Clinic, and her experience as a provider in one of the 13 states with trigger laws; Elie Mystal, justice correspondent at The Nation; and Imara Jones, the creator of TransLash media.  Companion listening for this episode: The Abortion Clinic That Won't Go Quietly (rereleased on 5/5/2022) A broken democracy. A Supreme Court showdown. And a group of Alabama
27/06/202251 minutes 19 seconds
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Keeping Score: Part 3

What does it mean to lead a team in an anti-racist way? After getting strong feedback from Mariah and other players, Coach Mike Salak decides to change his tactics. But as the girls volleyball practices lead into tournaments, it’s clear that who gets to play continues to be a divisive issue.  “Keeping Score” is a co-production of WNYC Studios and The Bell. This four-part series will appear in the United States of Anxiety feed on Thursdays in June.  Connect with us at [email protected]. For WNYC: Alana Casanova-Burgess, Jessica Gould, Joe Plourde, Jenny Lawton, Karen Frillmann, Emily Botein, Wayne Schulmeister, and Andrew Dunn.  For The Bell: Mariah Morgan, Lauren Valme, Renika Jack, Noor Muhsin, Thyan Nelson, Jacob Mestizo, Taylor McGraw, and Mira Gordon.
23/06/202233 minutes 25 seconds
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Why Juneteenth? Let’s Ask Black Texas

On this national live call-in special: The history. The party. The food. Black Texans school us on the holiday they created. This Juneteenth, host Kai Wright is joined by Pulitzer-Prize winning historian and Harvard law professor, Annette Gordon-Reed, to break down the history behind the newest federal holiday, and help take calls from Black Texans about what it means to them. Read more about Professor Gordon-Reed's reflections in the New York Times Bestseller, On Juneteenth. Plus, Ms. Opal Lee, retired teacher, counselor and activist known as the "grandmother of Juneteenth," checks in as she's moving between Juneteenth celebrations in Fort Worth, Texas. And Houston Pu
20/06/202251 minutes 14 seconds
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Keeping Score: Part 2

Mariah Morgan, a junior at Park Slope Collegiate and setter on the girls varsity volleyball team, was an early proponent of the merger – she helped lobby for it as a member of the Campus Council. But her optimism is tested when practice starts. To understand the building’s complicated history, she explores how Millennium came to be at John Jay in the first place, and why the campaign to merge the athletics programs began. “Keeping Score” is a co-production of WNYC Studios and The Bell. This four-part series will appear in the United States of Anxiety feed on Thursdays in June.  Connect with us at [email protected]. For WNYC: Alana Casanova-Burgess, Jessica Gould, Joe Plourde, Jenny Lawton, Karen Frillmann, Emily Botein, Wayne Schulmeister, and Andrew Dunn.  F
16/06/202233 minutes 33 seconds
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Why We Can't (and Shouldn't) Move On From Jan. 6

Why We Can't (and Shouldn't) Move On From Jan. 6. Fordham University political science professor, Christina Greer, joins to takes our politics questions on the hearings and more. Plus, producer Rahima Nasa takes show host Kai Wright to an exhibit displaying the work of artist Faith Ringgold, and we hear her story and the impact of her work. Companion listening for this episode: A Conservative View of the Vigilante Right (1/24/2022) Mona Charen discusses the true meaning of conservative and the radical shift in the GOP. Then, a listener mailbag begs us to explore how "normal people" became part of the Jan 6. attack.</p
13/06/202251 minutes 57 seconds
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Keeping Score: Part 1

The John Jay Educational Campus, a large brick building in Park Slope, Brooklyn, houses four high schools: Cyberarts Studio Academy, the Secondary School for Law, Millennium Brooklyn, and Park Slope Collegiate. Each school is its own separate universe, but the students yearn to connect. When the administration announces that the athletics programs will merge, they ask what it will take for the building to live up to its new motto: “We Are One.” “Keeping Score” is a co-production of WNYC Studios and The Bell. This four-part series will appear in the United States of Anxiety feed on Thursdays in June.  Connect with us at [email protected]. For WNYC: Alana Casanova-Burgess, Jessica Gould, Joe Plourde, Jenny Lawton, Karen Frillmann, Emily Botein, Wayne Schulmeister, and Andrew Dunn. <
09/06/202229 minutes 29 seconds
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Schools Had a Tough Year. What’d We Learn?

Schools Had a Tough Year. What’d We Learn? Plus, follow the season of a girl’s varsity volleyball team, and find one Brooklyn school building’s effort to bridge its stark racial divide. From WNYC’s new miniseries, Keeping Score. The past year has forced public classrooms into the center of our country’s intense culture wars and political debates, from Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” bill, to Critical Race Theory, to the ever-present threat of gun violence. What do these fights mean about the future over public education itself? Education reporter for The Washington Post and author of the long-running Answer Sheet blog, Valerie Strauss, breaks what she learned covering this year, and takes your calls. Plus, WNYC host Alana Casanova-Burgess introduces us to a new miniseries that explores one school
06/06/202247 minutes 42 seconds
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Alice Walker Is Very Happy, A Lot of the Time

After publishing 34 books, Alice Walker talks through her latest release, a collection of personal journals spanning four decades. Read more in Gathering Blossoms Under Fire: The Journals of Alice Walker, 1965–2000, out now.  Companion listening for this episode: Lynn Nottage: Unexpected Optimist (1/3/2022) Playwright Lynn Nottage breaks down her remarkable career and shares how, as an optimist at heart, she finds the light and resilience in unexpected stories. “The United States of Anxiety” airs live on Sunday evenings at 6pm ET. The podcast episodes are lightly edited from our live broadcasts. To catch all the action, t
30/05/202249 minutes 44 seconds
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The Wolf Pack of White Nationalism

There are no “lone wolves” in the terrorist violence of white identity politics. So what’s that mean for white people who want to confront it? First, assistant secretary for homeland security under President Obama and current professor at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government, Juliette Kayyem, joins host Kai Wright to help us make sense of the moment with tools from her new book, The Devil Never Sleeps: Learning to Live in an Age of Disasters. Read her article for The Atlantic in response to the mass shooting in Buffalo here. Then, Sarah Posner, reporting fellow at Type Investigations and the author of <
23/05/202249 minutes 47 seconds
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Somebody, Sing a Black Girl’s Song

An intergenerational meditation on Ntozake Shange’s iconic Broadway play, For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide/When the Rainbow Is Enuf. First, host Kai Wright and producer Regina de Heer speak with the director and choreographer of the current Broadway Revival, Camille A. Brown. Then, performers Trezana Beverley, Aku Kadogo, and Carol Maillard reminisce on the original production and working with the show's legendary creator, Ntozake Shange.   A special thanks to actor Francina Smith for her reading of "Dark Phrases." Companion listening for this episode: Lynn Nottage: Unexpected Optimist (1/
16/05/202249 minutes 25 seconds
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Justice Alito Said the Quiet Part Out Loud

His leaked opinion tells us more about a powerful minority’s view of the U.S. than it does about the Constitution or the history of abortion. Kai Wright talks to Susan Matthews, news director at Slate and host of the upcoming season of Slow Burn: Roe v. Wade, about her recently published essay, “The Constitution Wasn't Written for Women.” And Michele Goodwin, a Chancellor's Professor at the University of California, Irvine, joins Kai to open the phones to your questions and emotional reactions to this frighteni
09/05/202250 minutes 19 seconds
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The Abortion Clinic That Won't Go Quietly

In 2018, host Kai Wright visited the Alabama Women’s Center in Huntsville, to learn how abortion providers were dealing with the state’s new law that sought to make their practice a felony crime. The law was one of several that Republican controlled states passed in an effort to provoke a Supreme Court ruling on Roe.  A leak of Justice Samuel Alito’s draft opinion in a separate case suggests the Court is now poised to overturn the constitutional right to an abortion.  So we revisit this 2018 story, to hear first hand from the medical providers who are determined to provide this health care – and learn the political history of this moment.   Reporting for this episode was supported in part by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Jane and Gerald Katcher and the Katcher Family Foundation, and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. Companion l
05/05/202218 minutes 8 seconds
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Voters to Democrats: Get a Spine!

Michigan State Sen. Mallory McMorrow and The Nation Magazine’s John Nichols explain how the Democrats can fight – and win – the culture wars. Plus, listeners weigh in with how they would like the party to proceed. Watch State Senator McMorrow’s speech here. Then, read John’s article in reaction to the speech here.  Companion listening for this episode:
02/05/202250 minutes 38 seconds
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Kai Wright Introduces Dead End: A New Jersey Political Murder Mystery

Kai Wright talks with WNYC colleague Nancy Solomon about her new podcast: Dead End: A New Jersey Political Murder Mystery New Jersey politics is not for the faint of heart. But the brutal killing of John and Joyce Sheridan, a prominent couple with personal ties to three governors, shocks even the most cynical operatives. The mystery surrounding the crime sends their son on a quest for truth. Dead End is a story of crime and corruption at the highest levels of society in the Garden State. “The United States of Anxiety” airs live on Sunday evenings at 6pm ET. The podcast episodes are lightly edited from our live broadcasts. To catch all the action, tune into the show on Sunday nights via the stream on WNYC.org/anxiety or tell your smart speakers to play WNYC.   
29/04/20223 minutes 2 seconds
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They Dumped Trump for Biden. Now What?

Voters who switched from Trump to Biden in 2020 are headed to the polls again, and former GOP strategist Sarah Longwell wants to know what they’re thinking. Longwell is executive director of the Republican Accountability Project and publisher of The Bulwark, where she hosts The Focus Group podcast. She’s convening an ongoing series of focus groups with voters, including “flippers” who ditched Trump in 2020. What are they thinking as they head into primary elections for this year’s midterms? Then, Dr. Theresa Jean Tanenbaum responds to one of our listener voicemails about choosing a name as a trans woman. Dr. Tanenbaum shares her own story with producer Kousha Navidar, as well as her work at the intersection of technology, media, and identity.  Companion list
25/04/202250 minutes 17 seconds
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A Historian's Guide to the 2022 Midterm Elections

As the country confronts racial tensions and class conflicts, it begs the question: How did we get here? We look back to a moment in history when our country was struggling to become a true, multiracial democracy -- meeting a lot of roadblocks, many of which persist today. Historian Eric Foner gives us a primer on the Reconstruction Era amendments that we explored in season four, as producer Veralyn Williams rides along to help us make sense of what it means today and how we can move forward as one nation. Companion listening for this episode:A History of Voter Suppression (1/20/2022)A conversation with historian Dr. Carol Anderson about how Black Americans have fought for their right to participate in the democratic process safely and make their votes count.
18/04/202251 minutes 57 seconds
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The Dangerous Cycle of Fear

Asian American New Yorkers explain how Covid-era bigotry and violence changed their lives, and what’s at stake for everybody when we fear each other. Then, rediscovering community through food. First, host Kai Wright attends a free self defense class hosted in partnership between The Alicia and Jason Lee Foundation and University Settlement, and meets the instructor. Read more about the effort’s mission here.  (The Alicia and Jason Lee Foundation/ Adriana Ball)  <spa
11/04/202251 minutes 21 seconds
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The End of Institutions: Hollywood Edition

A slap at the Oscars tarnished Will Smith’s legacy. What about him did Hollywood treasure? Is this institution just a screen for projecting our own social anxieties and cultural debate? Culture critic Soraya McDonald joins to take a deeper look  at the roles Hollywood allows us to play, on screen and off. Plus, breaking down the exhausting reaction to Pixar’s defiantly Asian film, Turning Red, with Jeff Yang, the co-author of Rise: A Pop History of Asian America from the Nineties to Now. Read his piece for The Guardian here.  Companion listening for this episode</em
04/04/202251 minutes 50 seconds
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Ketanji Brown Jackson’s Black Patriotism

The Senate’s questioning of Ketanji Brown Jackson revealed where she might fit in the history, and future, of the Supreme Court. Host Kai Wright is joined by Frederick I. and Grace Stokes Professor of Law at New York University, Melissa Murray, to discuss. Plus, National Geographic explorer Tara Roberts’ story of diving for sunken slave ships. Read the NatGeo feature and listen to the podcast here. Companion listening for this episode: Can America Be Redeemed? (7/5/2021) Eddie Glaude and Imani Perry consider the question through the work of James Baldwin and Richard Wright. Plus: How our cou
28/03/202251 minutes 45 seconds
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How "Bich" Became “Beth” – An American Tale

What’s in a name? A lot. A listener's voicemail inspired us to explore the sometimes complicated relationship between our names and our racial and ethnic identities. Host Kai Wright is joined by novelist Beth Nguyen to discuss her personal journey when it comes to her name, and invites callers to share their own stories. Check out Beth’s article for The New Yorker: America Ruined My Name For Me.  Companion listening for this episode: Why So Many Are Stuck in the “Other” Box (2/21/2022) The episode that motivated such listener reactions: The U.S. Census named “some other race” as the second-largest racial group in the U.S
21/03/202249 minutes 1 second
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People Feel Unsafe–and It’s More Than Crime

The social fabric is torn. People nationwide are scared, some going as far as to arm themselves. What can we learn from our history as we react to this fear? Scholar James Forman Jr., author of the book Locking Up Our Own: Crime and Punishment in Black America, helps break down what’s real, vs perception, about the rise in violent crime. Plus, a conversation with Nina Jankowicz, expert on disinformation and democratization, and author of How to Be A Woman Online: Surviving Abuse and Harassment, and How to Fight Back, about how to make the internet safer for wo
14/03/202250 minutes 21 seconds
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Why the ‘Reagan Regime’ Endures

Presidencies are rarely transformational, and neither Biden nor Trump have lived up to their supporters’ dreams. So what does it take to really change our politics? Host Kai Wright is joined by political theorist Corey Robin to confront that question, and take your calls about Biden’s first year in office. Companion listening for this episode: Government: A Love-Hate Story (4/12/2021) How did Americans come to think so poorly of the government? And how did Joe Biden come to be the first modern president who’s even tried to change our minds? Kai talks with three change-makers about the role of government in our lives. “The United States of Anxiety” airs live on Sunday evenings at 6pm ET. The podcas
07/03/202230 minutes 58 seconds
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Brian Lehrer on Productive Discourse

Democracy won’t work if we can’t talk to each other. So how do we do it across the cultural and political divides? WNYC’s own Brian Lehrer has hosted his syndicated show for over 30 years. Find out how a Raegan-era repeal changed the course of his career. Companion listening for this episode: The Method to Tucker Carlson’s Madness (5/3/2021) History suggests we shouldn’t laugh off what’s happening in right wing media right now. Plus, profiting off of racism is a business model as old as the news. “The United States of Anxiety” airs live on Sunday evenings at 6pm ET. The podcast episodes are lightly edited from our live broadcasts. To catch all the action, tune into the show on Sunday nights vi
28/02/202249 minutes 29 seconds
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Why So Many Are Stuck in the “Other” Box

U.S. Census data found that more people are choosing "some other race" when asked to self-identify. It reveals just how complicated identity is, especially when it comes to race. Data journalist Mona Chalabi talks us through the data, and the stakes, of that statistic. Plus we hear from people around New York City who live outside of the Black-white binary, as they share their stories. Mona is also the host of the podcast "Am I Normal? with Mona Chalabi," from the TED Audio Collective.   Companion listening for this episode: This Land Is My Land, That Land Is Your Land (10/6/2016)
21/02/202251 minutes 23 seconds
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Black People Are From Outer Space

Afrofuturism is an old idea that’s reaching new people. This Black History Month, we travel from Seneca Village to Wakanda, from Sun Ra to Lil Nas X as we learn this cosmic vision of Black freedom, directly from the culture makers propelling the movement. Academy Award winning production designer and lead curator of the Before Yesterday We Could Fly: An Afrofuturist Period Room at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Hannah Beachler (Creed, Moonlight, Beyoncé's Lemonade, Black Panther, and more), tells us what Afrofuturism looks like. Then, Professor Louis Chude-Sokei, director of the African American studies program at Boston University and co-curator of the Afrofuturism festival hosted by Carnegie Hall</a
14/02/202253 minutes 19 seconds
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David Byrne on Musical Democracy

The former Talking Heads frontman explores the various challenges – and beauties – of human connection while breaking down his hit Broadway show, American Utopia. David Byrne's American Utopia is running at Broadway's St. James Theater through early April. You can also stream the filmed version, directed by Spike Lee, on HBO Max.  Companion listening for this episode: Lynn Nottage: Unexpected Optimist (1/3/2022) Playwright Lynn Nottage breaks down her remarkable career and shares how, as an optimist at heart, she finds the light and resilience in unexpected stories.  “The United States of Anxiety” airs live on Sunday evenings at 6pm ET. The podcast episodes are lightly edited from our live broadcasts. To catch all the action, tune into the show on Sunday nights via the stream on </
10/02/202219 minutes 3 seconds
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How to Avoid the ‘Affirmative Action’ Ploy

Biden’s vow to finally appoint a Black woman to the Supreme Court has ignited a debate before a nomination has even materialized. How do you fight for representation, without getting stuck in the tired old debate over “affirmative action?” Hear reactions from President and CEO of the National Women's Law Center Fatima Goss Graves, Court scholar Elie Mystal, and listeners.   Companion listening for this episode: A Court On The Edge (9/21/2020) After the passing of the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the long sought a stable conservative majority in the Supreme Court became a reality - but not without a fight. WNYC's Jami Floyd (Senior Editor for Race and Justice) and Elie Mystal (Justice Correspondent at The Nation) joined us to set the scene for the battle over the Supreme Court and what a vacanc
07/02/202248 minutes 18 seconds
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Revisiting Nothing You Do Alone Will Save the Climate

New science finds we’ve got less than a decade to avoid climate catastrophe. Activist and author Bill McKibben says the only solutions that can beat that deadline are collective. Host Kai Wright invites listeners to ask McKibben their own climate questions, on the heels of a United Nations report that declared the damage from carbon and methane emissions at our current rate will be irreversible by 2030. What can we do that will make enough change, quickly enough?  Companion listening for this episode: The Birth of Climate Denial (5/11/2017) How a movement to create doubt about the reality of climate
31/01/202250 minutes 36 seconds
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A Conservative View of the Vigilante Right

Mona Charen discusses the true meaning of conservative and the radical shift in the GOP. Plus, she helps take your calls. Then, a listener mailbag begs us to explore how "normal people" became part of the Jan 6. attack. Host Kai Wright and senior digital producer Kousha Navidar spoke with Seamus Hughes, Deputy Director of the Program on Extremism at George Washington University, to learn more. Companion listening for this episode: Episode 1: How Did We Get Here and Where Are We Going? (9/22/2016) Listen back to our very first episode where we went to Long Is
24/01/202250 minutes 25 seconds