Code Switch

Code Switch
4:24 pm
Mon November 25, 2013

What Do We Mean When We Talk About 'Latino Art'?

Radiante, Olga Albizu
Courtesy of the Smithsonian American Art Museum

Originally published on Mon November 25, 2013 5:42 pm

When the Whitney Museum of American Art announced the artists for its 2014 biennial, people took to the Internet to chime in about who's been included and who's been left out; the last biennial had been blasted for ignoring Latino artists. But when a new show opened at the Smithsonian American Art Museum featuring only Latino artists — "Our America: The Latino Presence in American Art" — it was blasted for other reasons.

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Code Switch
4:03 pm
Mon November 25, 2013

A History Of Indentured Labor Gives 'Coolie' Its Sting

Nine out of 10 workers on the transcontinental railroad were Chinese. These indentured laborers, derogatorily called "coolies," became a prime target for criticism in the mid-19th century.
Joseph Becker Library of Congress

Originally published on Mon November 25, 2013 4:45 pm

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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Africa
11:00 am
Mon November 25, 2013

Winnie: Not 'Just The Woman Who Stood By Mandela's Side'

Idris Elba (as Nelson Mandela) and Naomie Harris (as Winnie Mandela) in a scene from his trial.
Keith Bernstein The Weinstein Company

Originally published on Mon November 25, 2013 6:39 pm

A new film about Nelson Mandela's public rise in South Africa also takes a close look at the personal side of his life with former wife, Winnie.

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Movies
10:36 am
Mon November 25, 2013

From Morgan Freeman to Idris Elba, Who Played Mandela Best?

Many films have been made about Nelson Mandela. Danny Glover, Morgan Freeman, Dennis Haysbert, and now Idris Elba have all tried to step into the icon's shoes. Host Michel Martin speaks to Sean Jacobs, founder of the blog Africa Is A Country, about which actor played him best.

Books
10:36 am
Mon November 25, 2013

New Book Tries to Capture 'The Black Experience'

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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Education
10:36 am
Mon November 25, 2013

Reporters' Notebook: Philadelphia, A Laboratory For Hybrid Schools

Michel Martin talks with NPR education correspondents Claudio Sanchez and Eric Westervelt, about a new NPR series looking at problems within Philadelphia's public school system, and the lessons the rest of the country can take from Philly.

Education
10:36 am
Mon November 25, 2013

Is The STEM Education Crisis A Myth?

Education experts have been sounding the alarm for more students to go into STEM fields: science, technology, engineering and math. But some researchers suggest the STEM crisis is just a myth. Anthony Carnevale of The Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce, tells host Michel Martin which side is right.

Code Switch
1:55 am
Mon November 25, 2013

Hollywood's New Strategy: Supporting Chinese-Made Blockbusters

Hollywood's version of Iron Man 3 shown in China played down the rather unfortunately named baddie, The Mandarin, played by Ben Kingsley.
Marvel

Originally published on Mon November 25, 2013 12:11 pm

If you've seen the 2012 science fiction movie Looper, you might remember a telling exchange when a time-traveling hitman (Bruce Willis) sits down with a young version of himself (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) and offers some advice.

"You should go to China," Willis says firmly.

Gordon-Levitt resists: "I'm going to France."

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Code Switch
5:12 pm
Fri November 22, 2013

Rev. T.J. Jemison Remembered As Civil Rights Movement Pioneer

The Rev. T.J. Jemison escorts Mary Briscoe (left) and Sandra Ann Jones from jail in Baton Rouge, La., on April 4, 1960. The two had been in jail as a result of lunch counter sit-ins.
AP

Originally published on Fri November 22, 2013 6:21 pm

The state of Louisiana is paying tribute Friday to the Rev. T.J. Jemison, a strong and steady voice against unequal treatment for blacks in the Jim Crow South.

Jemison's body lay in repose at the Louisiana State Capitol in Baton Rouge, where Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La., said he will be remembered as one of the greats of the civil rights movement.

"He had such a heart and courage for justice," Landrieu said. "There are very few people in our state that will rise to that level of influence, and it is very appropriate that our Capitol was opened up for him today."

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NPR Story
12:01 pm
Fri November 22, 2013

Teens Knock Out Strangers: A New Trend?

Originally published on Fri November 22, 2013 2:24 pm

Transcript

CELESTE HEADLEE, HOST:

I'm Celeste Headlee and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Michel Martin is away. And it's time for our weekly visit to the Barbershop, where the guys are going to talk about what's in the news and what's on their minds. Sitting in the chairs for a shape-up this week, writer Jimi Izrael. He joins us from Cleveland. Fernando Vila is director of program - Vila is director of programming - sorry, Fernando - for Fusion.

FERNANDO VILA: It's OK.

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Music Interviews
12:01 pm
Fri November 22, 2013

Esperanza Spalding: Guantanamo Doesn't Represent 'Our America'

Grammy Award-winner Esperanza Spalding in her video 'We Are America."
ESPLLC

Originally published on Fri November 22, 2013 2:24 pm

Grammy Award-winning musician Esperanza Spalding has a problem with using the phrase "protest song" to describe her new recording, "We Are America." The song, along with its accompanying music video, demands congressional action to close the detention center at Guantanamo Bay.

" 'Protest' doesn't seem accurate to me," she tells NPR's Celeste Headlee. "We weren't thinking of a 'protest' song, we're thinking of a 'let's get together and do something pro-active, creative and productive' song."

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NPR Story
12:01 pm
Fri November 22, 2013

Jazz Legend Sandoval: Music 'Keeps You Alive'

Originally published on Fri November 22, 2013 2:24 pm

Transcript

CELESTE HEADLEE, HOST:

Now we take a moment to highlight and salute another artist. Jazz-great Arturo Sandoval received the Presidential Medal of Freedom this week from President Obama. Sandoval was born and raised in Cuba, where he was once jailed just for listening to jazz music. So he packed up his trumpet and moved to the United States. A country he says gave him the freedom to fill the air with his music. Here's what the president said about him at the ceremony.

(SOUNDBITE OF CEREMONY)

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NPR Story
12:01 pm
Fri November 22, 2013

The Science Behind Hard Hits And Touchdowns

Originally published on Mon November 25, 2013 3:18 pm

Transcript

CELESTE HEADLEE, HOST:

This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Celeste Headlee. Michel Martin is away. Coming up, Grammy award-winning musician Esperanza Spalding gets political with her new song. We'll talk to her about her battle to close Guantanamo in just a few minutes.

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NPR Story
12:01 pm
Fri November 22, 2013

Do Sanctions Really Work?

Originally published on Fri November 22, 2013 2:24 pm

Transcript

CELESTE HEADLEE, HOST:

This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Celeste Headlee. Michel Martin is away. Coming up, we visit the Barbershop and ask the guys to reflect on the 50th anniversary of JFK's assassination in Dallas. That's in just a few minutes.

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Code Switch
10:42 am
Fri November 22, 2013

If Twitter Existed In 1963: Follow Live Tweets From Nov. 22

Lady Bird Johnson (left), Vice President Lyndon B. Johnson, First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy and President John F. Kennedy sit during the Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce Breakfast at the Hotel Texas.
JFK Library

Originally published on Fri November 22, 2013 2:18 pm

If you've been on Twitter the past couple of days, you might have stumbled upon tweets from @TodayIn1963. Since June, NPR's Code Switch blog has compiled moments from 1963 — a pivotal year in U.S. history — and is tweeting them as they happened then. The news — and @TodayIn1963 — will spin and spin as bits of history unfold in "real-time."

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World
11:49 am
Thu November 21, 2013

Walking The World: 7 Years And Counting

Transcript

CELESTE HEADLEE, HOST:

Now to East Africa, where one man is currently on a journey of discovery.

(SOUNDBITE OF FOOTSTEPS)

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On Disabilities
11:49 am
Thu November 21, 2013

Autistic Kids At Risk Of Wandering: How To Keep Them Safe

Transcript

CELESTE HEADLEE, HOST:

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Around the Nation
11:49 am
Thu November 21, 2013

American Indian Leader Encouraged By White House Meeting

Transcript

CELESTE HEADLEE, HOST:

This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Celeste Headlee. Michel Martin is away. Coming up, journalist Paul Salopek started walking a while ago. He'll keep walking for seven years. He's following the development of mankind from Ethiopia all the way to the bottom of South America. And we'll talk about how students in cities across the U.S. are falling in his footsteps. That's in a few minutes.

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Music
11:49 am
Thu November 21, 2013

Author Anton Treuer On Native American Tunes

Transcript

CELESTE HEADLEE, HOST:

Now for our occasional series we call In Your Ear. That's where our guest tells us what songs they're jamming out to. And it's Native American Heritage Month so we spoke to Anton Treuer. He wrote the book "Everything You Wanted to Know about Indians But Were Afraid to Ask." And here's his crash course on Native American music.

ANTON TREUER: Hello, this is Anton Treuer and I'm listening to "Buffalo Moon" by Brule.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "BUFFALO MOON")

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NPR Story
11:49 am
Thu November 21, 2013

In 'Original Local,' Thanksgiving Recipes From The First Americans

A potluck featuring Sunny Corn Muffins, Tanka Bite Bread, squash with Garlic-roasted Cranberries, and Black and Blue Bison Stew.
Courtesy of the author

Originally published on Fri November 22, 2013 11:09 am

Heid Erdrich's new book Original Local is part cookbook, part memoir and part meditation on the interplay of tradition and fusion in American cooking. Guest host Celeste Headlee talks to the author and poet about the Native American food traditions Erdrich grew up with in the Upper Midwest.

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Politics
4:04 am
Thu November 21, 2013

Mexican-American Vets Ignited Kennedy's Latino Support

President John F. Kennedy speaks to Mexican-American activists at a LULAC gala in Houston's Rice Hotel on Nov. 21, 1963, the day before he was assassinated.
Alexander Arroyos AP

Originally published on Thu November 21, 2013 8:12 am

On the evening of Nov. 21, 1963, President John F. Kennedy, his wife Jacqueline, Vice President Lyndon Johnson and his wife, Lady Bird, walked through a wall of applause to take their place as honored guests in a Houston ballroom. They were making a brief stop at a formal dinner held by LULAC — the League of United Latin American Citizens — to show their appreciation for the Mexican-American votes that had helped the young president carry Texas in the 1960 election.

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Code Switch
4:51 pm
Wed November 20, 2013

Arturo Sandoval: Free To Blow His Trumpet The Way He Wants

Cuban jazz trumpeter Arturo Sandoval receives the Presidential Medal of Freedom on Wednesday.
Shereen Marisol Meraji NPR

Originally published on Thu November 21, 2013 8:43 am

A former president, a media mogul and a Cuban jazz trumpeter are among the 16 recipients of the Presidential Medal of Freedom on Wednesday. That Cuban jazz trumpeter, Arturo Sandoval, happened to be performing not too far away from NPR West, at The Broad Stage in Santa Monica, last Friday. So I went to pay him a visit during rehearsals.

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Digital Life
11:10 am
Wed November 20, 2013

Selfies: The World Is More Interesting Because I'm In It

Tell Me More staff and friends pose for "selfies."
NPR

Originally published on Wed November 20, 2013 12:34 pm

If Vincent van Gogh, Frida Kahlo or Romare Bearden were alive today, would they have loved the selfie?

"Selfies are just a way to show that you are part of the world," says NPR's Social Media Project Manager Kate Myers. "Here I am, and the world is more interesting because I'm in it."

The word "selfie" rose to new prominence this week after it was unanimously picked as word of the year by Oxford Dictionaries.

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History
11:09 am
Wed November 20, 2013

JFK And Civil Rights: It's Complicated

Originally published on Wed November 20, 2013 12:34 pm

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin. Fifty years ago this week, President John F. Kennedy was murdered in Dallas. It was one of those moments in history where, if you were old enough, you'd remember exactly where you were and what you were doing when you found out. If you've been paying attention to the media at all this week, then you've no doubt run across one or another retrospective.

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Politics
11:09 am
Wed November 20, 2013

Obamacare Crashes President's Polls, Does It Matter?

Originally published on Wed November 20, 2013 12:34 pm

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Coming up, it's been nearly 50 years since President John F. Kennedy was murdered in Dallas. Many people still remember where they were and what they were doing when they heard the news. We asked Congressman John Lewis, a civil rights icon, for his memories of the day. And we'll also look at the bigger picture of John F. Kennedy's role in The Civil Rights Movement. That's coming up.

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NPR Story
11:09 am
Wed November 20, 2013

Soul Food For Thanksgiving: Mac And Cheese, 'Red Drink,' And More

The Mac and Cheese and Hibiscus Aid were prepared by Rock Harper of DC Central Kitchen.
Amy Ta NPR

Originally published on Wed November 20, 2013 2:21 pm

Adrian Miller is a lawyer and former special assistant to President Clinton. After the president's second term, finding himself with extra time on his hands, he ended up spending the next decade or so researching soul food. "With the only qualifications of eating the food a lot, and cooking it some, I dove in," says Miller.

Getting past some stereotypes about soul food is one goal of his new book. Miller says the common perception is that soul food is slave food, but that's only partially true, he tells Michel Martin, host of NPR's Tell Me More.

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Code Switch
11:08 am
Wed November 20, 2013

'Go Shorty, It's Your Birthday' And Other Black Bons Mots

A quote from Bartlett's Familiar Black Quotations.
NPR

Originally published on Wed November 20, 2013 2:26 pm

A press copy of a 3-pound book recently came over the wholly metaphorical Code Switch transom. It's called Bartlett's Familiar Black Quotations, and it's kind of amazing.

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Code Switch
3:28 pm
Tue November 19, 2013

An Appreciation: 'Essence' Cover Girl Barbara Cheeseborough

Barbara Cheeseborough died a few weeks ago in California at age 67.
Courtesy of Essence

Originally published on Tue November 19, 2013 5:18 pm

If you were black and female and grew up in the '70s, you were used to looking at pretty white women on the covers of major fashion and beauty magazines. If you wanted to borrow their look, you had to adapt. Ebony helped, with its Fashion Fair cavalcade of models — but they were fantasy ideals: lots of polish, no funk. Ebony was your mother's magazine.

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Parenting
11:17 am
Tue November 19, 2013

China Eases One Child Policy, What's Next?

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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Economy
11:10 am
Tue November 19, 2013

Economic Recovery: Women Bouncing Back Quicker Than Men?

New figures show women have more jobs in the U.S. than ever before - but men are still struggling to pull out of the recession. Host Michel Martin speaks with NPR senior business editor Marilyn Geewax, and Ariane Hegewisch from the Institute for Women's Policy Research.

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