Equity

Race, Culture & Ethnicity

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Coming up, former San Diego mayor Bob Filner pleaded guilty yesterday to charges of false imprisonment and battery. We'll ask the Beauty Shop ladies to weigh in on that story as well as on other news of the week. That's in just a few minutes.

Rapper Pitbull (Armando Christian Pérez) is the latest in a long list of celebrities lending their star power to the flourishing charter school movement. Alicia Keyes, Denzel Washington, Shakira, Oprah — all support or sponsor charter schools.

In 2007, decades after Maxine Powell had retired from training a generation of black artists at Motown, a reporter from a Cleveland television station asked her whether anyone had been particularly difficult to work with.

Powell cut her off before she finished. "I don't have that," she said. "No one is difficult. Each person is a beautiful, unique human being. So if you have a problem and you're acting negative, you have been conditioned."

A New York school has taken soccer balls, footballs — and maybe even the fun — out of recess. Officials say hard balls are a safety concern, but critics say they're being too cautious. Tell Me More's parenting roundtable weighs in.

Is The U.S. In A Debt Crisis?

Oct 15, 2013

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MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin. You might've been hearing the name Malala Yousafzai. She is the Pakistani teenager who was shot at point-blank range by Taliban extremists a year ago because she dared to speak up about her desire to go to school. She has made a remarkable recovery. She is in the U.S. now. I spoke with her a few days ago and we'll bring you a portion of that conversation a little later in the program.

"I think Malala is an average girl," Ziauddin Yousafzai says about the 16-year-old Pakistani girl who captured the world's attention after being shot by the Taliban, "but there's something extraordinary about her."

It's been 521 years since the Italian explorer Christopher Columbus "sailed the ocean blue/in fourteen hundred and ninety-two." Since then, there have been thousands of parades, speeches and statues commemorating Columbus, along with a critical rethinking of his life and legacy.

But the question remains, how did a man who never set foot on North America get a federal holiday in his name? While Columbus did arrive in the "New World" when he cast anchor in the Bahamas, he never made it to the United States.

When the Canadian billionaire and businessman Paul Desmarais died last week at the age of 86, nearly every one of his obituaries described him as a "tycoon" when discussing his career.

Holding Onto The Other Half Of 'Mixed-Race'

Oct 14, 2013

NPR continues a series of conversations about The Race Card Project, where thousands of people have submitted their thoughts on race and cultural identity in six words. Every so often NPR Host/Special Correspondent Michele Norris will dip into those six-word stories to explore issues surrounding race and cultural identity for Morning Edition.

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Muhammad Ali's first title defense, a first-round TKO of Sonny Liston in 1965, propelled Ali to the status of icon. In Ali's training camp before the fight was an icon from an earlier era: Lincoln Perry. He was the first African-American movie star, who went by the stage name Stepin Fetchi. The relationship between the two men is the subject of an off-Broadway play called Fetch Clay, Make Man.

Pledge Of Allegiance Past Its Prime?

Oct 11, 2013

Millions of American school children begin the day with the pledge of allegiance. But do they, or their teachers, really understand what it means? Host Michel Martin discusses the issue with journalist Mary Plummer, of KPCC, and Peter Levine, director of the Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement.

Ron Isley has been R&B royalty for more than half a century. He began his musical career as one of the Isley Brothers, recording hits like "Shout," before embarking on a successful solo career. Host Michel Martin talks with Isley about his long career, and new album This Song is For You. This segment initially aired July 16, 2013 on Tell Me More.

Kimberly Rae Miller grew up among piles of junk. Doors wouldn't close, stacks of paper turned to sludge, and the pool was filled with brown muck. Her father was a hoarder — in the most extreme kind of way. Host Michel Martin talks to Miller about how she coped, which is detailed in her memoir, Coming Clean. This segment initially aired July 29, 2013 on Tell Me More.

David Dinkins served as New York City's first African-American mayor. But his rise through the political ranks came with hard-learned lessons. Host Michel Martin speaks with former Mayor Dinkins about his book, A Mayor's Life: Governing New York's Gorgeous Mosaic. This segment initially aired September 2, 2013 on Tell Me More.

Elizabeth Smart: My Faith And 'My Story'

Oct 11, 2013

Elizabeth Smart was just 14 years old when she was kidnapped at knifepoint from her Salt Lake City home in 2002. She was held captive for nine months and forced to act as Brian David Mitchell's second wife. He raped her nearly every day and told her that the ordeal was ordained by God.

Smart says there were moments when she felt there was no one to turn to — except God. She writes about how her Mormon faith played a key part in her survival in her new memoir, My Story.

We spend our days looking at coverage of race and ethnicity. And there's often more good writing that we can explore. So we just wanted to take a moment to round up some of the reporting that's caught our eye of late.

Former Detroit mayor Kwame Kilpatrick was sentenced to 28 years in prison for corruption. But do the Barbershop guys think the sentence was too stiff? They weigh in on that and the week's other top stories.

According to a recent study, more than half of the Mississippians who file for bankruptcy do so because they cannot pay their medical bills. Clarion Ledger reporter Jerry Mitchell tells host Michel Martin what's causing such devastating costs.

Every year there's Black History Month in February, Asian Pacific American Heritage Month in May and Native American History month in November. And then there's Hispanic Heritage Month, which actually starts mid-September and ends in October.* These heritage months often leave people wondering what is the best and least hokey way to celebrate these cultures.**

Photographer and video artist Carrie Mae Weems was having a tough day at the studio last month when she learned that she had been named a MacArthur fellow.

"My assistants weren't doing some things they were supposed to be doing. And so I'm screaming at them, and just in the middle of my rant the phone rang," she tells NPR's Michel Martin. "I sunk into my chair, put my head down on my desk, and cried and laughed for about five minutes."

Visual artist Carrie Mae Weems has been celebrated for her art and activism for decades, and now she can add a MacArthur 'Genius' Grant to her collection. In a 'Wisdom Watch' conversation with host Michel Martin, Weems discusses life, love and turning sixty.

Latino Hackers: Encouraging Innovation

Oct 10, 2013

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MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

So we've been talking about science and getting people excited about science. You've probably already heard that Latinos are more likely to use social media sites and to access the Internet from mobile devices than other groups are. But the number of Latinos involved in developing the technology is not where many people would like it to be. Hispanics only make up about 4 percent of the people working in the computer industry, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

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MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. We've talked before on this program about why Latinos in the U.S. are more likely to tweet and use other social media than other Americans. Today, we're going to hear from a Latino tech leader who wants to boost the Latino presence in the science and business of technology. We'll talk about that in just a few minutes.

The nation is in the 10th day of a government shutdown, and the deadline over raising the debt limit is quickly approaching. But all that might seem like a day at the park for Congressman Luis Gutierrez (D-Ill.). He explains why in his new memoir Still Dreaming: My Journey from the Barrio to Capitol Hill.

He speaks with Tell Me More host Michel Martin about his political journey and the fight for immigration reform.

This week, a federal judge found that historically black colleges in Maryland were harmed when better-funded traditionally white institutions offered up the same degree programs in the state.

Tricia Bishop of The Baltimore Sun summed up the judge's ruling this way:

According to the Police Assessment Resource Center*, or PARC, far too many people in Los Angeles County are being bitten by police dogs — and the overwhelming majority of those victims are black and Latino.

In PARC's latest report, released on Monday: "Victims of the dog bites are almost universally African-American and Latino." And while the rates of bites of whites, Pacific Islanders and Native Americans have remained low over the past 8 years, "the percentage of apprehensions involving a dog bite has trebled in recent years."

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin. The partial government shutdown is now into its ninth day. There's no sign of a breakthrough anytime soon. So we are going to look at a number of ways the country is being affected. Later in the program, we'll speak with NPR senior business editor Marilyn Geewax about how this stalemate is playing out with our trading partners overseas.

So finally today, you might have noticed I've been out of the office a bit lately. I'm taking that trip a lot of us have, or will be taking: having to get more involved in caring for an elderly parent. And because I've been on that road, I have found myself going through old drawers and boxes in a way I had no reason or right to do before now.

Meghan McCain comes by her maverick credentials honestly. As the daughter of Arizona Sen. John McCain, she is no stranger to the political limelight. But that doesn't mean she always agrees with her dad or Republican political orthodoxy.

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MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

And now to a different story about the changing face of another historic community. Sapelo Island, just off the coast of Georgia, is home to one of the few remaining Gullah Geechee enclaves. These tight knit communities in the nation's South-East trace their roots back to slavery times and share a distinct culture and dialect. But now that's being threatened by a changing economy.

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