Two female Marines carry a mock wounded person as they participate in a drill at Camp Lejeune, N.C. They were among the first female participants to receive this training after the military lifted its ban on women serving in combat roles.
According to the Pentagon, more than 1.8 million women are veterans, and more than 200,000 women are currently on active duty.
But being a woman in the service has its rewards and its challenges — there are more opportunities for women in the armed services, but there is also the highly publicized problem of sexual violence in the military, which often goes unreported and unprosecuted.
Last week, Coachella Valley High School came under fire for the name of its mascot — the Arab. The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee sent a letter to the school, complaining about the way the mascot depicts people of Arab descent. The complaint made the school national news.
For hundreds of years, this nation has been known as the United States of America. But according to author and journalist Colin Woodard, the country is neither united, nor made up of 50 states. Woodward has studied American voting patterns, demographics and public opinion polls going back to the days of the first settlers, and says that his research shows America is really made up of 11 different nations.
On Veteran's Day, we honor those who have served by talking with five women who have fought for this country. All five are also authors. We hear how they hope to encourage a new generation of women in the military. Join @TellMeMoreNPR for a Live Twitter chat at 11:00am ET. We will talk about women in combat, race in the military, balancing career & motherhood and why women choose to serve.
Now to an award dedicated to giving young American readers an accurate and balanced account of Africa. Parents and teachers looking for books that go beyond the portrayal of lions and giraffes or safaris might want to check out the winners of this year's Children's Africana Book Awards. The prize, which was awarded on Saturday night, was set up to showcase the best children's books about Africa that are published in the U.S.
Let's focus on the state of the housing market next, where there have been mixed signals lately. It's been reported that we've had a rip-roaring recovery in real estate accompanied by a long stretch of record-low mortgage interest rates. Housing prices are up and new home supply seems tight across the map. But on the other hand, analysts say this isn't all good news for would-be homeowners. Joining us to talk about what's going on in housing Roben Farzad, contributor to Bloomsburg BusinessWeek. Welcome, Roben.
Originally published on Fri November 15, 2013 3:56 pm
A few years ago I did an author visit at an overcrowded junior high school in a rougher part of San Antonio. I write young adult novels that feature working-class, "multicultural" characters, so I'm frequently invited to speak at urban schools like this.
As is often the case, the principal and I talked as the kids filed into the auditorium. The student body was mostly Hispanic, he told me, and over 90 percent qualified for free and reduced lunch. It was an underprivileged school, a traditionally low-achieving school, but they were working hard to raise performance.
Alex Sugiura was featured, along with his brother and other mixed-race Americans, in the 125th anniversary issue of National GeographicMagazine in October. The brothers are of Japanese and Eastern European descent, but people often mistake Alex for Hispanic.
Credit Courtesy of the Sugiura Family
Alex Sugiura, lower left, with his family. His father is first-generation Japanese American, and his mother is Jewish of Eastern European ancestry.
Credit National Geographic
Credit Martin Schoeller / National Geographic
Alex's brother, Max Sugiura, self-identifies as Japanese, Jewish and Ukrainian.
NPR continues a series of conversations about The Race Card Project, where thousands of people have submitted their thoughts on race and cultural identity in six words. Every so often NPR Host/Special Correspondent Michele Norris will dip into those six-word stories to explore issues surrounding race and cultural identity for Morning Edition.
St. Louis might be known for legendary entertainers like Josephine Baker, or star athletes like Yogi Berra, but now there's something else putting the city on the map. It's known as the 'Chess Capital of the World.' Host Michel Martin learns more from St. Louis native and chess National Master, Charles Lawton.
Host Michel Martin continues the conversation surrounding Missouri's controversial school transfer policy with Don Marsh of St. Louis Public Radio; Ty McNichols, who leads the city's Normandy School District; and Eric Knost, Superintendent of Mehlville School District.
This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin. We are in St. Louis, Missouri today for a special broadcast from St. Louis Public Radio. We're going to be giving you a bit of St. Louis flavor. In a few minutes, we will talk about one of the city's biggest bragging rights. Hint, it has nothing to do with swinging a bat or throwing a ball.
The Fisk Jubilee Singers are known worldwide for their flawless voices and stellar performances of Negro spirituals. They're from Fisk University in Nashville, Tenn., but they travel around the world to perform their music. Negro spirituals were originally sung by slaves and remain tightly linked to African-American culture. Paul Kwami, the choir's musical director, said singing these spirituals was a way for slaves to lament their servitude, along with the hope of being free one day.
Jonathan Martin would have been the first fourth-generation African-American Harvard student ever, had he not opted to go to Stanford instead. Teammates and his high school coach said that other players had trouble relating to him because of his background.
Originally published on Fri November 8, 2013 3:02 pm
Over the last few days, the sports media has been transfixed by the story of Jonathan Martin and Richie Incognito, two burly offensive lineman who play for the Miami Dolphins. Martin, a 24-year-old, second-year pro, abruptly walked away from the team last week after an incident with Incognito, 30, his frequent tormentor and the offensive line's unofficial leader.
The eastern Congo is known to some as the 'rape capital of the world' because nearly 50 women are raped there every hour. Dr. Denis Mukwege, a gynecologist, has put his practice, and his life on the line, to help save these women. Guest host Celeste Headlee speaks with him about his work.
The Congolese rebel group M-23 is has been condemned for its years of brutal violence against civilians. But now, they've vowed to lay down their weapons. Guest host Celeste Headlee discusses the issue with NPR's Eastern Africa correspondent Gregory Warner.
The "school-to-prison pipeline" is what many activists call education policies that push troubled kids out of class, and into the criminal justice system. Broward County has taken steps to address those concerns by moving away from "zero tolerance" rules of discipline. Guest host Celeste Headlee discusses the new program with Marsha Ellison of the Broward County NAACP, and Michael Krezmien, a professor of student development at University of Massachusetts Amherst.
In the U.S., graffiti is often condemned as vandalism. But during the Arab Spring, artists say city walls were often the only places where they could talk back to tyrants.
Street art can be found across the Middle East and North Africa, and the Arab Spring protests inspired an artistic revolution. The "Creative Dissent" exhibit at the Arab American National Museum in Dearborn, Michigan is putting that art on display.
This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Celeste Headlee. Michel Martin is actually on her way to St. Louis Public Radio. Coming up, we'll take a look at the Arab Spring through street art, paintings and photographs. We'll hear from the curator and a featured artist from a new exhibit at the Arab American National Museum. But first, as I just mentioned, TELL ME MORE is taking the show to St. Louis tomorrow.
Originally published on Wed November 6, 2013 12:46 pm
Singer Chris Brown was in the news last week after being accused of punching a fan outside a Washington, D.C., hotel. Police later identified the alleged victim as 20-year-old Parker Isaac Adams. Brown maintains it was his bodyguard who threw the punch and only after Adams tried to board the singer's tour bus.
Adams' uncle came to his defense after the incident, insisting to reporters that his nephew wasn't a troublemaker.
"Parker's not some kind of hoodlum," Creighton Adams told the AP.
For women, hair care can be a sensitive issue. But now one woman is picking a fight over hair care with the state of Texas. Host Michel Martin speaks with Isis Brantley who is suing the state for the right to teach hair braiding.
Hazing and bullying are commonly found in schoolyards and fraternities. But pro sports? The NFL is investigating possible harassment within the Miami Dolphins between veteran guard Richie Incognito and offensive tackle Jonathan Martin. Host Michel Martin speaks with sportswriter Kevin Blackistone about the culture of bullying and hazing within the NFL.
Finally today, not to kick a man when he is already down, but can we take a moment to contemplate yesterday's admission by the mayor of a major North American city that he had in fact used crack cocaine? Citizens of Toronto, welcome to my world. As a longtime resident of Washington, D.C., I have had to endure years of jokes about our former mayor, Marion Barry, now a D.C. council member, who was famously induced to light up in a hotel room by a woman with whom he had been, ahem, involved.
This past weekend's Saturday Night Live was the most-watched episode of the season, but viewers may have been looking for something other than laughs. Saturday's show followed weeks of criticism over SNL's painfully obvious lack of diversity.
Hundreds of people have been killed in northern Nigeria this year. The violence is blamed on Boko Haram, an extremist group that claims to be fighting against westernization. Host Michel Martin learns more from NPR's Africa correspondent Ofeibea Quist-Arcton, who recently visited the town where Boko Haram was born.