Code Switch

Africa
10:49 am
Fri December 6, 2013

Ghana's President: Mandela's Long Walk Became Africa's Journey

Ghanaian President John Dramani Mahama
Meri Nana-Ama Danquah

Originally published on Fri December 6, 2013 3:17 pm

During his lifetime, Nelson Mandela inspired many to embrace his vision of a better world, including a new generation of African political leaders.

Among those leaders is Ghanaian President John Dramani Mahama.

Mahama was only 5 years old when Mandela was banished to Robben Island to serve out the remainder of his prison term. But he, like many young Africans, grew up idolizing Mandela as a freedom fighter.

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Code Switch
5:53 pm
Thu December 5, 2013

How 'Black Nativity' Made Its Way To The Big Screen

Black Nativity is an adaptation of Langston Hughes' play of the same name.
Courtesy of Fox Searchlight Pictures

Originally published on Fri December 6, 2013 10:57 am

This season, Fox Searchlight has served audiences a three-course menu of movies with African-American casts and themes.

First, it served an appetizer in September, with the romantic comedy Baggage Claim, starring Paula Patton as a flight attendant looking for a husband in a hurry.

Then, in October, the studio set out a substantial main course with 12 Years A Slave. The sweeping epic by director Steve McQueen is already an Academy Award shoo-in.

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Code Switch
5:52 pm
Thu December 5, 2013

The First Time I Heard The Name 'Mandela'

People gather to leave messages of support for Nelson Mandela outside his hospital in Pretoria, South Africa, earlier this year. Mandela has died at the age of 95.
Jeff J Mitchell Getty Images

Originally published on Thu December 5, 2013 6:07 pm

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Movie Interviews
11:02 am
Thu December 5, 2013

Gyptian: New Album 'Like Insanity'

Originally published on Fri December 6, 2013 9:38 am

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Finally today, let's talk music. If you were anywhere near a nightclub or turned on the radio a few summers ago, you no doubt heard this song.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "HOLD YUH")

MARTIN: That was "Hold Yuh" from Jamaica's reggae and dance hall star, Gyptian. And now he's back and making waves in the U.S. with his latest album, "Sex, Love, and Reggae." And Gyptian is with us now. And as the album title suggests, this conversation may not be suitable for all listeners. With that being said, Gyptian, welcome. Thanks for joining us.

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Africa
11:02 am
Thu December 5, 2013

Female Doctor Beats Odds To Bring Air Ambulance To Nigeria

Experts said Dr. Ola Orekunrin's dream to create air ambulance service in Nigeria was impossible. But as a doctor and helicopter pilot, she had the skills and dedication to make it work. Orekunrin tells host Michel Martin about Flying Doctors Nigeria.

World
11:02 am
Thu December 5, 2013

Abortion In Haiti: Dangerous And Illegal

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin. We're going to spend some time today talking about issues in health, particularly in the developing world. Later, we're going to hear what it's like to be a trauma doctor in one of Africa's most populous and, yet, still underserved areas. And, hint, her house calls involve a helicopter. That's just ahead.

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Food
11:02 am
Thu December 5, 2013

'King Cocktail' Serves Up Prohibition History, Hangover Cure

Dale's Holiday Old Fashioned
Michael Hnatov

Originally published on Thu December 5, 2013 1:18 pm

If you're going to a holiday party, there's a good chance you'll be sipping on an adult beverage of some sort. You can do that without looking over your shoulder for authorities because exactly 80 years ago today, Dec. 5, Prohibition came to an end and Americans were able to legally pick up their drinks again.

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Race
11:02 am
Thu December 5, 2013

New York City's Fire Commissioner On Extinguishing Racial Gap

Salvatore Cassano smiles during a news conference following his swearing-in as New York City's fire commissioner.
Mary Altaffer AP

Originally published on Thu December 5, 2013 7:19 pm

Nearly 250 recruits to New York City's storied fire department graduated on Thursday. The graduating class looks a lot different from the ones before it: Sixty-two percent are members of minority groups. The department has been nearly 90 percent white, a very different demographic than New York City's population.

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Code Switch
6:03 am
Thu December 5, 2013

Why Isn't Open Source A Gateway For Coders Of Color?

The hands of this ostensibly black stock photo model might be coding on an open-source project. But probably not.
istockphoto

All this month, our friends at Tell Me More are digging into the role of blacks in technology. You can join the conversation on Twitter with the hashtag #NPRBlacksInTech.

Software development is a huge and growing industry, and there are likely to be far more jobs in the future than there are folks to do them. But today, there's a paucity of blacks and Latinos in software development positions.

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Code Switch
5:22 pm
Wed December 4, 2013

Telemundo's 'Highly Unusual' Resurrection of 'El Señor'

Rafael Amaya plays drug lord Aurelio Casillas on El Señor de los Cielos.
Billy Coleman Telemundo/NBC Universal

Telemundo recently announced that its telenovela El Señor de los Cielos (Lord of the Skies) will be back for a second season; production began this week in Mexico City. This resurrection sets it apart from almost every other telenovela because, unlike American soap operas, telenovelas have a clear beginning and a definitive ending, airing for a set number of episodes.

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Code Switch
12:17 pm
Wed December 4, 2013

Supporters Of Immigration Overhaul Remain Focused

Activists Cristian Avila (left), Dae Joong Yoon and Eliseo Medina ended their fasting for immigration reform after 22 days in Washington, D.C.
Jacquelyn Martin AP

Lawmakers on Capitol Hill face a lengthy to-do list before they head home for the holidays. Near the top is an issue deemed a priority after last year's election — immigration reform. So far, only the Senate has passed a bill.

Despite the standstill, supporters of immigration reform are pushing to keep the issue alive on a crowded legislative slate.

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Beauty Shop
10:55 am
Wed December 4, 2013

Five Years In, Should The First Lady Do More?

A piece in Politico recently called first lady Michelle Obama a "feminist nightmare." So should the first lady use her voice for more than eating right and exercise? Or are her critics missing the point? Host Michel Martin hears from the Beauty Shop ladies: pop culture critic Mikki Kendall, freelance writer Deonna Kelli Sayed, and columnist Keli Goff.

Africa
10:50 am
Wed December 4, 2013

Muslim-Christian Conflict Threatens Central African Republic

Since a coup last spring, the Central African Republic has spiraled towards chaos. Thousands of people have been displaced from their homes, and civilians are getting caught in the crossfire. Host Michel Martin talks with Lewis Mudge of Human Rights Watch about the growing calls for international intervention.

Economy
10:50 am
Wed December 4, 2013

Retirees Fear Losing Pensions In Bankrupt Detroit

A federal judge has given Detroit the green light to enter bankruptcy. Host Michel Martin speaks with Detroit Free Press columnist Rochelle Riley about what it means for Motown residents.

Your Money
10:50 am
Wed December 4, 2013

Shopping With Your Values In Mind

Shopping is on everyone's mind during the holiday season — not just what to buy, but where you buy it. Host Michel Martin speaks with columnists David Sirota and Mario Loyola about shopping with your values in mind.

Code Switch
4:45 pm
Tue December 3, 2013

Sriracha Maker Has A Saucy Response To Judge's Ruling

Huy Fong Foods posted banners defending their Sriracha chili sauce at their Irwindale, Calif., factory.
Courtesy of Watchara Phomincinda/San Gabriel Valley Tribune

Originally published on Tue December 3, 2013 6:58 pm

"No tear gas made here." That's the battle cry emblazoned on a banner outside the factory of Huy Fong Foods in Irwindale, Calif. Last week, a judge ordered the maker of the popular hot sauce Sriracha to halt any work that produces irritating fumes. Neighbors had previously complained to city officials about the air quality near the factory.

But in keeping with the fiery nature of the sauce, Huy Fong Foods is not stepping down without dishing out.

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Code Switch
3:43 pm
Tue December 3, 2013

Why Chaucer Said 'Ax' Instead Of 'Ask,' And Why Some Still Do

Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele talk Ax vs. Ask with NPR's Shereen Marisol Meraji.
Sonari Glinton NPR

Originally published on Tue December 3, 2013 5:39 pm

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NPR Story
10:59 am
Tue December 3, 2013

Toy Gender Wars: Team Pink Or Team Blue?

Originally published on Tue December 3, 2013 11:09 am

'Tis the season! Tell Me More's parenting roundtable weighs in on navigating toy shelves this year. Are gender neutral toys the best way to go? And is the pink presidential Barbie politically correct or just a hot mess? Host Michel Martin talks toys with parents Sarah Maizes, Neal Hoffman and Jamila Bey.

NPR Story
10:59 am
Tue December 3, 2013

The Season Of Giving... And Getting Scammed?

Originally published on Tue December 3, 2013 11:09 am

It's the season of giving, but scammers are trying to take as much as they can this holiday season. Host Michel Martin speaks with Sheryl Harris, consumer columnist for The Plain Dealer, about avoiding seasonal scams.

NPR Story
10:59 am
Tue December 3, 2013

Immigration Activists Push For Reform With Water-Only Diet

Originally published on Tue December 3, 2013 11:09 am

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin. Later this hour, we're going to spend some time talking about money management in the season of giving. We'll talk about some of the scams that always seem to crop up at this time of year, and we'll talk about how you can spot them and avoid them.

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NPR Story
10:59 am
Tue December 3, 2013

Sylvia Porter: Right On The Money

Tracy Lucht is author of a new biography, Sylvia Porter: America's Original Personal Finance Columnist.
Courtesy of the author

Originally published on Tue December 3, 2013 1:57 pm

Although she's little-remembered today, personal finance columnist Sylvia Porter was one of the best-known and most admired women in 1950s America. A nationally syndicated newspaper columnist, she also wrote books, appeared on TV shows such as Meet the Press and advised presidents. Her monthly column in the Ladies Home Journal broke ground by encouraging women to control their own finances.

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Code Switch
8:35 am
Tue December 3, 2013

Ketchup: The All-American Condiment That Comes From Asia

Although tomato ketchup is ubiquitous today, the condiment was once made from many diverse ingredients — walnuts, oysters or, in this instance, strawberries.
Kristen Taylor Flickr

Originally published on Tue December 3, 2013 11:22 am

Each week, we take a look at a word or phrase that's caught our attention, whether for its history, usage, etymology, or just because it has an interesting story. You can see past "Word Watch" entries here.

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Music
11:09 am
Mon December 2, 2013

Jimmie 'J.J.' Walker's Dynomite! Songs

Originally published on Mon December 2, 2013 11:15 am

You might remember Jimmie "J.J." Walker from his starring role on the legendary sitcom Good Times. But there's more to him than his signature tagline. For Tell Me More's "In Your Ear" series, he talks about some of the songs that mean something to him.

Health
11:09 am
Mon December 2, 2013

Black Churches And HIV: 'Sex Is A Reality ... We Gotta Deal With It'

Originally published on Mon December 2, 2013 11:15 am

African-Americans are the racial group most affected by HIV in the U.S., and many black churches are stepping in to do something about it. Pastor Timothy Sloan of Texas talks with host Michel Martin about destigmatizing the disease from the pulpit.

Health Care
11:09 am
Mon December 2, 2013

HealthCare.gov Back On Track?

Originally published on Thu December 5, 2013 9:58 am

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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Economy
11:09 am
Mon December 2, 2013

Holiday Sales: Gloomy or Merry And Bright?

Originally published on Mon December 2, 2013 11:15 am

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin. Coming up, we want to know how the federal health care website is working today after the Obama administration's self-imposed deadline to get HealthCare.gov running smoothly. We'll check in later. But first, Americans are heading online today for another reason. It is Cyber Monday and retailers are offering bargains to kick off the holiday shopping season or so they tell us.

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Technology
11:09 am
Mon December 2, 2013

#NPRBlacksinTech Launches

Originally published on Mon December 2, 2013 11:18 am

Tell Me More's Twitter series "A Day in the Life" launches today, and it allows you to experience, in real time, the imprint that African-Americans are making in our country's technology engine. You can follow the conversation: #NPRBlacksinTech.

Art & Design
11:09 am
Mon December 2, 2013

Designer B Michael On Bringing Color To The Runway

Courtesy of b micheal America

Originally published on Tue December 3, 2013 8:56 am

After a brief career on Wall Street, veteran designer B Michael followed his calling to the world of fashion. He got his start as a millinery designer for the '80s soap opera Dynasty. Soon after, he began designing couture gowns leading him to work with an extensive client list that includes Cicely Tyson, Angela Basset, Lena Horne, Whitney Houston, and Cate Blanchett — to name a few.

After spending decades in the business B Michael says, "Every successful story will tell you they've had to reinvent themselves."

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Code Switch
10:08 am
Mon December 2, 2013

A Battle For Fair Housing Still Raging, But Mostly Forgotten

"Every measure of well-being and opportunity, the foundation is where you live...cancer rates, asthma rates, infant mortality, unemployment, education, access to fresh food, access to parks, whether or not the city repairs the roads in your neighborhood," ProPublica's Nikole Hannah-Jones said.
Charles Krupa ASSOCIATED PRESS

Originally published on Mon December 2, 2013 4:08 pm

It's not something we think about a lot or something that gets reported on often, but once you start digging around some, it's hard not to see the consequences of our country's long, sordid history of housing discrimination everywhere racial disparities manifest. The giant wealth gap between black and Latino Americans and white folks. Shorter life expectancies. Worse educational outcomes. Mass incarceration.

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Movies
3:50 am
Mon December 2, 2013

'Best Man Holiday' Resonates Across Racial Lines

The Best Man Holiday is Malcolm Lee's sequel to his film Best Man.
Courtesy of Universal Pictures

Originally published on Mon December 2, 2013 6:36 pm

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