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51 minutes | 3 days ago
Best Of: Advocate For Teen Moms, Nicole Lynn Lewis / Cartoonist Alison Bechdel
As a pregnant teenager, Nicole Lynn Lewis felt ashamed. Now she knows many pregnant teens share the problems she had — including an abusive boyfriend, and being temporarily homeless. She says the odds against pregnant teens going to college and having a career are even greater, if you're Black, like she is. We talk about her new memoir, 'Pregnant Girl.' Also, we hear from Alison Bechdel. Her graphic memoir 'Fun Home,' about coming out and learning her father had secret gay affairs, was adapted into a Tony Award-winning musical. Her new graphic memoir, 'The Secret to Superhuman Strength,' is about her obsession with exercise and the issues that have fed that obsession. And, jazz critic Kevin Whitehead reviews a new Louis Armstrong box set.
49 minutes | 3 days ago
Celebrating Mothers: Feat. Trevor Noah, Scorsese & More
We celebrate Mother's Day with stories of mom from past interviews with 'Daily Show' host Trevor Noah, Martin Scorsese and filmmaker Albert Brooks. And Lorna Luft remembers her mother, Judy Garland.Also, David Bianculli reviews 'Attenborough's Journey,' a BBC America special that salutes the nature broadcaster.
48 minutes | 4 days ago
How Systemic Racism Determines Black Health & Wealth In Chicago
There is a 30-year gap in the life expectancy of some Black and white Chicagoans. Journalist Linda Villarosa talks about the link between racism and health outcomes, and tells her own family's story.Also, we remember rock historian Ed Ward, who died this week.
45 minutes | 5 days ago
Alison Bechdel On 'The Secret To Superhuman Strength'
Bechdel's new graphic memoir is about her lifelong obsession with exercise. She says she has a "predisposition of being extremely self-conscious and very caught up in my head" — and exercise helps. Bechdel's previous graphic memoir, 'Fun Home,' was about coming out at age 19, and discovering her father had a secret gay life. It was adapted into a Tony Award-winning Broadway show. Also, Justin Chang reviews 'The Disciple,' a film about a man from Mumbai who aspires to be a great classical musician.
48 minutes | 6 days ago
The Social Lives Of Trees
Ecologist Suzanne Simard says trees are "social creatures" that communicate with each other in remarkable ways — including warning each other of danger and sharing nutrients at critical times. Her book is 'Finding the Mother Tree.' Also, classical music critic Lloyd Schwartz reviews a collection by composer Bernard Herrmann, best-known for the scores he wrote for Alfred Hitchcock.
46 minutes | 7 days ago
Former 'Pregnant Girl' Now Helps Other Teen Moms Succeed
In her new memoir, 'Pregnant Girl,' Nicole Lynn Lewis recalls feeling overwhelmed and isolated as a young mom in college. Now she runs an organization that is designed to support young parents with their education. We talk about her experience as a teen mom, the way society abandons young mothers — particularly young Black mothers — and how to help give young families the support they need to succeed.
49 minutes | 10 days ago
Best Of: Stephen Colbert / NPR's 50th Anniversary
Stephen Colbert has been taping 'The Late Show' without a studio audience during the pandemic — but he's not always alone. Sometimes his wife Evie is in the room. If she laughs, he knows he's on the right track. "I got into show business in a way to not be alone. Like a lot of comedians, I'm a bit of a broken toy," he says. NPR's program, 'All Things Considered' debuted on May 3, 1971. 'ATC' creator Bill Siemering and former co-host Susan Stamberg look back on the early years of the network, NPR's mission, and Stamberg's pioneering role as the first woman to anchor a daily national news program in America.
48 minutes | 10 days ago
Remembering Astronaut Michael Collins
While Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin made their historic walk on the moon, Lt. Col. Michael Collins orbited above in the Apollo 11 command capsule, waiting to rendezvous with them. For a time, on the far side of the moon, he was cut off from everyone. "It's utterly quiet. Completely serene," he told Terry Gross in 1988. "I knew that over on the other side there were 3 billion on that funny looking little planet out there, and two on the surface of the moon, but where I was that was all. Just me." Collins died Wednesday at the age of 90. Also, we hear an excerpt of our interview with Kate Winslet. She's starring in the new HBO series 'Mare of Easttown.'And Justin Chang reviews the Swedish film 'About Endlessness,' which he calls "beautifully bittersweet"
47 minutes | 11 days ago
Novelist Imbolo Mbue
Set in a fictional African village in the 1980s, Mbue's latest novel, 'How Beautiful We Were,' is a David and Goliath tale about a group of villagers who take on an American oil company. Guest host Arun Venugopal talks with Mbue about her childhood in Cameroon, becoming a U.S. citizen, and the activist that inspired her new novel. Her first book, 'Behold the Dreamers,' was a 'New York Times' bestseller.Also, Kevin Whitehead reviews a new collection of Louis Armstrong studio recordings. And Maureen Corrigan reviews two stories about the bargains we strike for love — 'Early Morning Riser' and 'Secrets of Happiness.'
49 minutes | 12 days ago
50 Years Of NPR: Radio Legends Susan Stamberg & Bill Siemering
NPR's program, 'All Things Considered' debuted on May 3, 1971. 'ATC' creator Bill Siemering and former co-host Susan Stamberg look back on the early years of the network, NPR's mission, and Stamberg's pioneering role as the first woman to anchor a daily national news program in America.
48 minutes | 13 days ago
Catching Up with Stephen Colbert
Stephen Colbert has been taping 'The Late Show' without a studio audience during the pandemic — but he's not always alone. Sometimes his wife Evie is in the room. If she laughs, he knows he's on the right track. "I got into show business in a way to not be alone. Like a lot of comedians, I'm a bit of a broken toy," he says. Colbert and Terry Gross catch up on the past four years, since the Trump administration and COVID-19 changed his comedy.
47 minutes | 14 days ago
How Processed Food Companies Get Us 'Hooked' On Junk
Journalist Michael Moss says processed foods can be as addictive as cocaine, heroin and cigarettes. In his new book, 'Hooked,' Moss explores how these companies appeal to our senses, nostalgia and brain chemistry to keep us snacking. "It's inexpensive, it's legal, it's everywhere," Moss says. "And the advertising from the companies is cueing us to remember those products and we want those products constantly."Ken Tucker reviews Carsie Blanton's album 'Love & Rage.'
51 minutes | 17 days ago
Best Of: 'Resistance' Podcast Host Saidu Tejan-Thomas Jr. / Courtney B. Vance
Saidu Tejan-Thomas Jr. lost a close friend from college to police violence. His Spotify podcast, 'Resistance,' explores different aspects of the movement for Black lives — including Tejan-Thomas Jr.'s personal history. We also talk about his childhood in Sierra Leone during the civil war.Courtney B. Vance got his start in the theater, with a breakout role in the August Wilson play 'Fences' on Broadway. We talk about his origin story and his recent roles as Aretha Franklin's father, Rev. C.L. Franklin, in 'Genius: Aretha,' and as the show-stopping attorney Johnnie Cochran, in 'The People v. O.J. Simpson.'
47 minutes | 17 days ago
Pixar 'Soul' Creators Pete Docter & Kemp Powers
The Oscar-nominated animated film imagines a place where souls are matched with unique passions. It follows Joe Gardner, a middle school band teacher and aspiring jazz musician, who nearly dies right after securing the gig of his life. Pete Docter and Kemp Powers say their movie is meant to challenge conventional notions of success and failure. We talk about lost souls, appreciating the small things, and early versions of the film. Justin Chang reviews 'Moffie,' about a white gay teen in Apartheid South Africa.
48 minutes | 18 days ago
The Social Psychologist Who Works To Reduce Harm In Policing
Yale professor Dr. Phillip Atiba Goff co-founded the Center for Policing Equity, which collects data on police behavior from 18,000 law enforcement agencies across the country. He says most people think of racism as an issue of character and ignorance. But, he says, focusing on changing racist attitudes is "a bad way to stop the behavior," He says. "The best way to regulate behavior is to regulate behavior. And that's what we can do in policing. That's what we can do in our communities. That's what we can do with policies." Also, book critic Maureen Corrigan reviews 'Nives' by Italian writer Sacha Naspini, newly translated into English.
47 minutes | 19 days ago
Courtney B. Vance On Playing Rev. C.L. Franklin & Johnnie Cochran
Courtney B. Vance got his start in the theater, with a breakout role in the August Wilson play 'Fences' on Broadway. We talk about his origin story and his recent roles as Aretha Franklin's father, Rev. C.L. Franklin, in 'Genius: Aretha,' and as the show-stopping attorney Johnnie Cochran, in 'The People v. O.J. Simpson.' Vance attributes much of his career success to the dean of the Yale Drama School when he was there, Lloyd Richards, who lifted up Black performers.
48 minutes | 20 days ago
Growing Up In A Cult, Lauren Hough Freed Herself By Writing
Hough was 15 when her family left the Children of God cult. Afterward, she struggled to face the trauma of her past. At 18 she joined the Air Force during "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," and was discharged for being gay. "I spent a long time lying to myself more than, I think, anyone else. Telling myself that my childhood didn't affect me, telling myself that the military didn't affect me," she says. "I think writing, more than anything, brought that out. ... You kind of have to tell the truth or it's crap and you know it." Her new collection of personal essays is 'Leaving Isn't the Hardest Thing.' Podcast critic Nick Quah reviews 'Renegades,' Spotify's podcast of President Obama and Bruce Springsteen in conversation. And jazz critic Kevin Whitehead reviews a tribute album to Ornette Coleman by Miguel Zenón.
49 minutes | 21 days ago
'How To Be An Adult' & 'Real American' Author Julie Lythcott-Haims
Former Stanford University undergraduate dean Julie Lythcott-Haims' new book, 'Your Turn: How to Be an Adult,' is a handbook on adulthood, offering insights and strategies on education and career choices, building friendships and coping with setbacks. Her 2017 memoir, 'Real American,' is the story of her coming to terms with her biracial identity. Her father was a successful African American physician, her mother a white British woman. We talk about both books and her upbringing.Also John Powers reviews the first English translation of Kaoru Takamura's 'Lady Joker,' a crime novel that sold a million copies and spawned a movie and TV series in Japan.
50 minutes | 24 days ago
Best Of: Choreographer Twyla Tharp / Henry Louis Gates On 'The Black Church'
'Twyla Moves,' a new documentary by PBS American Masters, tells the story of the legendary choreographer and dancer, who got her start performing on subway platforms and rooftops in the 1960s. "If it was kind of level, it was fair territory," she tells Terry Gross.Kevin Whitehead reviews a newly unearthed album from Hasaan Ibn Ali.'Finding Your Roots' host Henry Louis Gates has a new book and PBS series called 'The Black Church.' Gates describes the Black church as "the cultural cauldron Black people created to combat a system designed in every way to crush their spirit." We'll talk about the bargain Gates made with Jesus when he was 12 in an attempt to save his mother's life.
48 minutes | 24 days ago
Native Peoples' 'Long, Brutal Fight For Survival'
Louise Erdrich's novel, 'The Night Watchman,' was inspired by her grandfather, a chairman of the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa who fought a Congressional initiative to move indigenous peoples off their land and into cities. Erdrich says the policy amounted to tribal termination. "Termination was a way to finally resolve what Congress thought of as 'the Indian problem,'" she says.David Bianculli reviews HBO's 'Mare of Easttown,' starring Kate Winslet.
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