Code Switch

Code Switch
2:21 am
Mon December 30, 2013

Films With Black Actors, Directors Go To 11 In 2013

Monica Calhoun (left), Melissa De Sousa and Nia Long star in The Best Man Holiday, one of this year's eleven top-grossing films starring black actors and by black directors.
Michael Gibson Universal Pictures

Originally published on Mon December 30, 2013 10:33 am

As we near the end of 2013, NPR is taking a look at the numbers that tell the story of this year — numbers that, if you really understand them, give insight into the world we're living in, right now. You'll hear the stories behind numbers ranging from zero to 1 trillion.

When it comes to race and film, the number of the year is 11.

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Code Switch
2:28 pm
Sat December 28, 2013

Muslim 'Hipsters' Turn A Joke Into A Serious Conversation

The YouTube video "Somewhere in America," featuring diverse Muslim women wearing hijab, immediately sparked strong reactions — both positive and negative.
Sheikh and Bake Productions YouTube

It started off as a joke, calling themselves Mipsterz, which is short for Muslim hipsters.

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NPR Story
11:33 am
Fri December 27, 2013

2013 Under-The-Radar Stories From The Barbershop Guys

Originally published on Tue December 31, 2013 10:26 am

Transcript

CELESTE HEADLEE, HOST:

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Architecture
11:33 am
Fri December 27, 2013

Architect's Dream House: Less Than 200 Square Feet

Macy Miller

Originally published on Fri December 27, 2013 12:35 pm

You might think going through a divorce and losing your home to foreclosure would be hard to bounce back from, and they are, but Tell Me More caught up with a woman who beat the odds and built a new home for herself.

Macy Miller, an architect from Idaho, built the home with her own two hands at a cost of only $11,000. The house is less than 200 square feet.


Interview Highlights

On building the home

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Economy
11:33 am
Fri December 27, 2013

2013 A Good Year For Housing And Auto Industries

Transcript

CELESTE HEADLEE, HOST:

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Code Switch
11:33 am
Fri December 27, 2013

Harlem In Photographs: Troubled Neighborhood To Source Of Pride

Camilo José Vergara's new book is titled Harlem: The Unmaking of a Ghetto.
Camilo José Vergara

Originally published on Fri December 27, 2013 1:06 pm

When Camilo José Vergara first began taking photos in Harlem in 1970, he expected to be documenting the deterioration of the historic neighborhood. In some ways he has. But over the decades, he also saw changes in Harlem that weren't so stark — growth, gentrification and racial integration.

His new book, Harlem: The Unmaking of a Ghetto, shows more than 40 years of change in the capital of African-American culture.


Interview highlights

On working in dangerous environments

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Code Switch
6:03 am
Fri December 27, 2013

Journalists — Of Color! — To Watch In 2014

Fusion is gambling on Alicia Menendez, who has been a fixture on cable news but has never hosted a news show.
Wilfredo Lee AP

You can set your watch to it: If it's the end of the year, journalists are putting together their obligatory lists. And often when someone decides to cobble together a list of the "35 Blanks Under 35 To Watch For," the list is monochromatic. So it went with Politico's "10 Journalists to Watch in 2014," which boasted nary a single person of color.

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Code Switch
2:25 pm
Thu December 26, 2013

Cooking In A Latin-Jewish Melting Pot

Rebecca Lehrer thought that chicken soup with lime and cilantro was the way every Jewish family made it.
Courtesy of Rebecca Lehrer

Originally published on Thu December 26, 2013 3:16 pm

Code Switch has been writing about some overlooked cultural interactions that have helped shape Jewish-American identity, including the history of Latino and Jewish cultures.

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Arts & Life
9:21 am
Thu December 26, 2013

The Surprising Vision of Artist Faith Ringgold

Legendary artist Faith Ringgold began her career in 1963 — the same year as the March on Washington. She talks to guest host Celeste Headlee about her life, work and why no one originally wanted to hear her story.

Africa
9:21 am
Thu December 26, 2013

Revealing The Sometimes Ugly Truth Of Nigeria

Originally published on Mon December 30, 2013 6:16 am

Transcript

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Around the Nation
9:20 am
Thu December 26, 2013

Struggling Food Banks Find New Ways To Fight Hunger

Food banks are struggling to provide dwindling supplies to a bigger base of recipients. Guest host Celeste Headlee talks with Bloomberg Businessweek contributor Roben Farzad about how food banks are coming up with new ways to feed the hungry.

Education
9:20 am
Thu December 26, 2013

How To Create Cheat-Free Classrooms

Most high school students say they've cheated on a test in the past year, and even more say they've copied homework or other assignments, according to a recent survey. Author Jessica Lahey says it isn't all the students' fault. Lahey and Professor James Lang speak with guest host Celeste Headlee about creating cheat-free classrooms.

Books
9:19 am
Thu December 26, 2013

Civil Rights Turmoil In Verse: Retelling Medgar Evers' Story

Medgar Evers was the first NAACP field secretary in Mississippi. The civil rights leader was killed in 1963.
AP

Originally published on Fri December 27, 2013 9:46 am

A new book of poetry narrates the life and death of civil rights leader Medgar Evers through a series of imagined monologues. Evers was the first NAACP field secretary in Mississippi. In that role, he organized boycotts, investigated and brought attention to the murder of Emmett Till, and helped James Meredith integrate the University of Mississippi.

Evers was gunned down in his Jackson, Miss., driveway by KKK leader Byron De La Beckwith in 1963. But it took more than 30 years for De La Beckwith to be convicted of his murder.

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Code Switch
6:03 am
Wed December 25, 2013

The Best Of Code Switch In 2013

Like many Japanese-Americans, Yuri Kochiyama was place in an internment camp during World War II. She became an outspoken civil rights activist, and began an unlikely friendship with Malcolm X.
Courtesy of the Kochiyama family/UCLA Asian American Studies Center

Originally published on Wed December 25, 2013 6:19 pm

Everyone else is doing their year-end lists, and we didn't want to be left out. The Code Switch crew compiled our favorite and best-received coverage from the past year: a novel revisiting of a pivotal year a half century ago; attending homecoming at a historically black college that is now nearly all-white; and rounding up some alternately hilarious and excruciating stories our readers told us about race.

When Our Kids Own America

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Music
1:06 pm
Tue December 24, 2013

At 60, Oliver Mtukudzi Still 'Giving Life To The People' With Music

Originally published on Wed December 25, 2013 9:30 am

Zimbabwean musician Oliver Mtukudzi often says that you don't get to sing a song if you have nothing to say. He talks with guest host Celeste Headlee, and shares a few tunes.

Music
1:06 pm
Tue December 24, 2013

Musician Oliver Mtukudzi Digs Deep In 'Sarawoga'

Originally published on Wed December 25, 2013 9:30 am

At 60, Zimbabwean musician Oliver Mtukudzi now has more albums to his name than birthdays. His latest, Sarawoga, is an emotional response to the death of his son. Mtukudzi joins guest host Celeste Headlee in studio for a special performance chat.

Health
1:06 pm
Tue December 24, 2013

After A Cancer Diagnosis, Lessons In Priorities

Originally published on Wed December 25, 2013 9:30 am

Teaching high school English came naturally to David Menasche but a terminal brain cancer diagnosis forced him to leave the classroom. So he visited some of his former students to see what impact he's had on them. He writes about the experience in his forthcoming book, The Priority List.

NPR Story
1:06 pm
Tue December 24, 2013

Helping Deaf Fans Feel The Music, Too

Originally published on Wed December 25, 2013 9:30 am

For most people, attending a concert is all about hearing the sounds of a live performance. But sign language interpreter Holly Maniatty makes concerts an experience for the hearing impaired too. She's worked with performers like Jay-Z, Bruce Springsteen, Phish and the Wu Tang Clan.

Arts & Life
1:06 pm
Tue December 24, 2013

How Blind Voice Over Artist 'Reads'

Originally published on Wed December 25, 2013 9:30 am

Pete Gustin has voiced over national ads but he can't read scripts - he's legally blind. As he tells Tell Me More guest host Celeste Headlee, he didn't let his disability deter his talent.

Food
11:00 am
Tue December 24, 2013

Spicing Up Your Holiday Drink List

General Harrison's Eggnog No. 3
David Kressler

Originally published on Fri December 27, 2013 1:24 pm

When it comes to holiday drinks, there's always the traditional recipes for mulled wine and eggnog. But what about a taste of something new and different?

James Beard Award-winning mixologist Dale DeGroff has some surprising ideas to spice up your drink menu this season. He is widely credited with reviving the art of the cocktail. He's also president and founder of the Museum of the American Cocktail.

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Law
10:58 am
Tue December 24, 2013

New Law Opens Birth Certificates, Sparks Questions

A new law lets adopted people in Ohio see their original birth certificates — but opponents say it comes at a cost to the birth parents. Guest host Celeste Headlee takes on the topic with law professor Carol Sanger, birth mother Jodi Hodges, and advocates Adam Pertman and Betsie Norris.

World
10:58 am
Tue December 24, 2013

Diplomat's Arrest Causes US-India Strain

Since the recent arrest of Indian diplomat Devyani Khobragade, US-Indian relations have been strained. Guest host Celeste Headlee speaks with Deepa Iyer, Executive Director of South Asian-Americans Leading Together and Sandip Roy, Culture Editor for the Indian news site FirstPost.com.

Health Care
10:58 am
Tue December 24, 2013

Healthcare Rollout Mixed On Deadline Day

Another deadline for the Affordable Care Act has been pushed back. Guest Host Celeste Headlee speaks to Kaiser Health News reporter Mary Agnes Carey and Washington Post reporter Sarah Kliff and what the decision means and how the healthcare rollout is going across the country.

Code Switch
6:57 am
Tue December 24, 2013

Hey Hey Hey! Historian Draws Attention To '70s Black Animation Art

An original production cel from Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids. The show was among a burst of 1970s-era Saturday morning cartoons that featured positive African-American characters.
Courtesy of Pamela Thomas/Museum of UnCut Funk!

Originally published on Tue December 24, 2013 12:34 pm

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Code Switch
1:44 pm
Mon December 23, 2013

The Extraordinary Story Of Why A 'Cakewalk' Wasn't Always Easy

Cakewalk dances were an integral part of minstrel shows for decades.
Minstrel Poster Collection (Library of Congress)

Anything that can be done with straightforward ease is said to be a "cakewalk." Any action that is "not a cakewalk" is, of course, difficult and complicated.

No surprise, right? But stay with me a little longer.

The cakewalk was a pre-Civil War dance originally performed by slaves on plantation grounds. The uniquely American dance was first known as the "prize walk"; the prize was an elaborately decorated cake. Hence, "prize walk" is the original source for the phrases "takes the cake" and "cakewalk."

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Music
10:58 am
Mon December 23, 2013

Bunji Garlin: 'Here To Stand My Ground' For Soca Music

Bunji Garlin.
Tee Murphy Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Mon December 23, 2013 3:58 pm

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Around the Nation
10:58 am
Mon December 23, 2013

Can Urban Farming Brighten Detroit?

Transcript

CELESTE HEADLEE, HOST:

This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Celeste Headlee. Michel Martin is away. Coming up, it's almost Christmas and that means you're probably sick to death of holiday songs. So just ahead, we will give you a break from "Let it Snow" and "Silent Night" with a little Caribbean music from soca superstar, Bunji Garlin. That's in just a moment. First, to Detroit, though, and Brightmoor is perhaps one of the toughest neighborhoods in Detroit.

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Technology
10:58 am
Mon December 23, 2013

Free Wifi Promised To Open Opportunities in Harlem

More than 80,000 Harlem residents are being promised free public wireless internet. But similar projects in other cities have run out of fuel. Guest host Celeste Headlee speaks with the New York City Housing Authority's Dupe Ajayi about the plan.

Health
10:58 am
Mon December 23, 2013

Coping With Loss Amid Holiday Cheer

The holidays can be difficult if you've lost a loved one through suicide. Guest host Celeste Headlee gets tips for coping. She hears from Eric Marcus of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, whose father and sister-in-law took their own lives and psychiatrist Christine Moutier.

Education
10:58 am
Mon December 23, 2013

Racing To The Top, But Leaving Students Of Color Behind In Special Ed

Children of color are reportedly over represented in special education classes in Minnesota and other states. For more on whether anything can be done about it, guest host Celeste Headlee speaks with Dan Losen of the The Civil Rights Project at UCLA.

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