Getting Latinos to sign up for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act is seen as critical to the law's success. The Latino population is disproportionately uninsured and relatively young, but enrollment hasn't been going well. This, in part, explains President Obama's appearance Thursday at a town-hall-style event hosted by the nation's two largest Spanish-language television networks, Univision and Telemundo. The tough questions he got only scratch the surface.
This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin. We're starting off today with Faith Matters. That's the part of the program where we talk about matters of faith and spirituality. Today, we are focusing on the spiritual dimension of the tension between Russia and Ukraine. You may have seen the pictures of priests amid the conflict standing between soldiers and protesters in Kiev ministering to the wounded and the dying.
If someone you cared for died, you might be haunted by questions about how your life might be different had that person survived, about what you might say if you had one more chance to talk. Those questions are behind author Jason Mott's novel The Returned.
The book is now an ABC television series, Resurrection, which premieres Sunday.
Mott tells NPR's Michel Martin that the book was inspired by a dream about his mother returning to life, and how such a scenario would play out if it really happened.
This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin. So maybe the weather has kept you inside more than usual, or you're looking for a few new guilty pleasure to add to your DVR. We've got you covered. NPR television critic Eric Deggans is with us in our Washington, D.C., studios to talk about some of the midseason television debuts. And we'll even talk about a few shows that don't begin with "Scan-" and end with "-dal." Eric, welcome back.
So finally today, a word about stories. If you caught the Oscars Sunday night or the coverage after, you probably heard Lupita Nyong'o's elegant remarks as she accepted her award for her role as Patsey in the award-winning "12 Years a Slave."
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NYONG'O: It doesn't escape me for one moment that so much joy in my life is thanks to so much pain in someone else's. And so I want to salute the spirit of Patsey for her guidance. And for Solomon, thank you for telling her story and your own.
Over the last few years an unusual phenomenon has kept popping up in public opinion surveys: Blacks and Latinos have become much more sanguine about the country's prospects as white folks have become more pessimistic. It's a stark reversal of decades of data in which white folks were almost always more optimistic.
This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin. President Obama's new My Brother's Keeper initiative, which aims to help black and Latino boys succeed, has reopened a national conversation about the role that fathers can play in the lives of their children, especially their sons. In a White House conference introducing the program, the president talked about how his father's absence affected him as a child and how the presence of a good father can make all the difference.
Finally, today is Mardi Gras, the last day of celebration before the solemn season of Lent, which starts tomorrow in the Western or Catholic calendar. Of course, we must speak of food because the day brings parties and treats of all kinds, especially in New Orleans where they do it up big. And when you think about Mardi Gras treats, I bet you think of beignets - those addicting little puffs of fried dough finished in powdered sugar.
Now we'd like to talk about a popular form of entertainment - video games. And you may fall into one of two camps here - love them or at least you understand why people can spend hours playing them, or hate them and you associate them with mindless violence, sexism and or just a waste of time. Well, if you're in the hate or don't-understand-them category, you might not be familiar with Minecraft. But it's one of the most popular games out there right now. It has more than 100 million registered users.
It might have been the most diverse Academy Awards telecast in recent memory.
Sunday night's broadcast was capped by British director Steve McQueen accepting a best picture Oscar for his film 12 Years a Slave — the first film directed by a black man to earn that honor. His emotional acceptance speech was dedicated to "all of the people who endured slavery and the 21 million people who still suffer slavery today."
As we mentioned, "12 Years a Slave" had a major impact at last night's Academy Awards. The film walked away with three awards - best picture, best supporting actress for Lupita Nyong'o and best adapted screenplay for John Ridley. The film was packed with star power, including a small but provocative role for Alfre Woodard as Harriet Shaw, the slave mistress of a nearby plantation owner.
And now we turn to Back Talk. That's where we hear from you about the week's stories. Editor Amita Parashar Kelly is with us for that. Welcome, Amita. And I know that we got a big response to one of our stories last week. So why don't you tell us about that?
PARASHAR KELLY: Yeah. Well, Michel, we got hundreds of tweets, comments and some actual mail about our conversation with evangelical leader Scott Lively. Now he's a pastor who's traveled around Africa and the world preaching against gay rights.
This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin. We're headed to South Africa now where many people are focused on the trial of Oscar Pistorius, the famed Olympic athlete and double amputee known as Blade Runner for the striking prosthetics he uses to race.
I'm Michel Martin, and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. March is women's history month and we decided to observe it with a special series - Women in Tech. This month, we'll speak with women trailblazers about the advancements they're making in the tech world. They'll also share how they're mentoring young women and girls in computer science, and trying to get more girls interested in tech early on.
Angela Barba was the first in her immediate family to graduate from high school. And when the time came for her son Robert to follow in her footsteps, she says, she found herself overwhelmed.
"I had no idea how I was going to get him into college," she says.
Angela, who had completed a two-year degree herself, says she wanted her son to be the first in the family to complete a four-year program. But she couldn't really offer any advice or guidance as to what schools to attend or how to apply for scholarships.
The 8-pound, 24-carat-gold-plated statuette that will be handed out at the Academy Awards Sunday night is said to be modeled after a real man.
That man's name is not Oscar.
It might be Emilio, Emilio "El Indio" Fernandez. He was a famous Mexican director and actor who used to live in Hollywood in the 1920s. His nickname, "The Indian," came from the Kickapoo side of his family.
When Mad Men first premiered on AMC in 2007, Xavier Ruffin — a young, African-American graphic designer from Milwaukee, Wisc. — really wanted to like it.
"I wanted to be a fan of it when it first came out," Ruffin tells NPR's Arun Rath. "I just had my own personal differences. Not liking the way blacks were represented in their universe. I just couldn't get over it."