I Love Lucy was one of the most popular shows in the history of television. Its stars, redheaded Lucille Ball and her Cuban-American husband Desi Arnaz, became TV icons — but they almost didn't get on TV.
Kathleen Brady is the author of Lucille: The Life of Lucille Ball. She says the network that wanted Ball to star in her own sitcom was not interested in her husband.
I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Finally, on this President’s Day, we hear, again, from a group that was a favorite of another president – former South African president Nelson Mandela. Now if you are a fan of world music, they need no introduction. Ladysmith Black Mambazo have been singing together for 50 years. They were brought together in 1964, after Joseph Shabalala, a young farm boy turned factory worker from the town of Ladysmith, had a dream.
You've read about Abraham Lincoln in the history books, but what can cookbooks tell us about Honest Abe? Host Michel Martin speaks with Rae Katherin Eighmey, author of Abraham Lincoln In The Kitchen: A Culinary View of Lincoln's Life and Times.
This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin. So here's a problem you might have had if you are a journalist or if you edit a neighborhood or a company newsletter or you just like to be correct and up-to-date in your written expressions. If you want to write about the hip-hop mogul who is married to Beyonce - and let's face it, who doesn't - do you write Jay Z with a dash or without? Is fat shaming one word or two?
This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin. Much of the East Coast is digging out from ice and snow including Washington, D.C. But members of Congress beat the bad weather out of town and are back in their districts for a two week recess, this after a vote to raise the debt ceiling - a vote that came unusual for these times without an ugly showdown.
Yaya Alafia arrived on TV screens more than a decade ago as Yaya DaCosta, the young model proud of her African and Latina roots in Season 3 of America's Next Top Model. But, as she tells NPR's Michel Martin, she has come a long way since competing on the series. "I have practiced such deliberate amnesia when it came to that show," she admits. "Just hearing my voice at such a young, vulnerable age, forced into this other world that I wasn't prepared for."
Now we'd like to take a few minutes to pay tribute to scholar Stuart Hall. He was widely known and respected in academic circles as the godfather of multiculturalism. He died this week in England at the age of 82. Born in Jamaica, he studied at Oxford University as a Rhodes scholar.
I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. You may remember that last week we spoke with organizers of a hackathon in Oakland, California. It was a gathering of developers who were asked to consider ideas for, say, a smartphone app that could've saved Trayvon Martin or perhaps solve other social problems.
This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin. Valentine's Day is tomorrow and that means that millions of American men and women are making plans to please their romantic partners, at least in parts of the country where they are not buried under snow and ice. But what you might not know is that, for some years now, the federal government has been involved, not so much in romance, but in teaching families so-called relationship skills.
We wanted to talk more about how people who claim both African and Latin heritage are re-examining that heritage. Now we want to see how that's playing out in music, and also how music is allowing some people to re-examine some painful and difficult issues. Who better to tell us more about this than the cohost of NPR's Alt.Latino. Felix Contreras is with us in Washington, D.C. And holding it down in Mexico City, Jasmine Garsd. Jasmine, Felix, welcome back.
If you spend much time talking about diversity in Hollywood, it's an argument you'll hear often: that ethnic and gender diversity is nice, but it doesn't make a movie profitable or bring ratings to a TV show.
But researchers at the Ralph J. Bunche Center for African American Studies at UCLA have produced a study that just might stick a pin in that defense, sorting through over 1,200 films and TV shows to reach a provocative conclusion:
Diversity makes more money and brings bigger audiences.
This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin. It's been 50 years since President Lyndon Johnson declared a war on poverty so all this year we've been looking at poverty here in the U.S. We've been talking about strategies to end poverty, what's worked, what hasn't and what's on the table because according to the U.S. Census, the rate of poverty seems to be stuck at 15 percent. That's about 46 million people.
We're going to stay in the spirit of the Winter Olympics. You might be keeping an eye on the Jamaican bobsled team. Their first appearance at the winter games back in 1988 was immortalized in the popular Disney movie "Cool Runnings." Here's a clip.
(SOUNDBITE OF FILM, "COOL RUNNINGS")
DOUG E. DOUG: (As Sanka Coffie) ...I am Sanka Coffie, I am the best pushcart driver in all of Jamaica. I must drive. Do you dig where I'm coming from?
JOHN CANDY: (As Irv) Yeah, I did where you're coming from.
I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Now to matters of personal finance as we get close to Valentine's Day, which is Friday. And don't say I didn't remind you. Romance is in the air, and you might be looking for ways to touch your beloved's heart. But some scammers are thinking about ways to touch your wallet.
I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. With all the talk about Hillary Clinton possibly running for president again and the first woman CEO was just named at one of the big three automakers - that's General Motors - women like Sheryl Sandberg of Facebook telling women to lean in, it might seem as if the glass ceiling has finally shattered or is about to and that the biases that have long plagued women at work are long gone.
Governments, schools and companies all keep track of your race. The stats they collect are used to track the proportion of blacks and whites who graduate from school, for example. They tell us how many people identify themselves as Native American or Asian. They help us to measure health disparities between races. But there's a problem with all of those statistics and with the deeper way that we think about race. NPR's social science correspondent Shankar Vedantam is here to explain. Hi, Shankar.
Now we go behind closed doors. That's the part of the program where we talk about issues that people usually keep private. And today, we are focusing on miscarriage. And if you've ever gone through it or know someone who has, then you know it's devastating and surprisingly common. The National Institutes of Health report that 15 to 20 percent of pregnancies end in miscarriage.