Excerpt: "For the first time in history, more than one in every 100 American adults is behind bars. For black men between the ages of 20 and 34, that figure is one in nine. Our incarceration rate dwarfs that of every other nation, but our overall crime rate is average for Western countries."
Program: Talking History
Contrary to her popular image as a meek old lady, Rosa Parks was much more intentional than accidental - someone who "never believed in nonviolence" and was a gun toting radical.
Program: On the Media
Playtime: 6 minutes 42 seconds
Date: January, 2009
This is a fascinating interview from the New Yorker Out Loud about African immigrants in China and the impact of that - intermarriage etc. They also mention that one of the them - married to a Chinese women - is Obama's half brother.
Program: New Yorker
Date: February, 2009
On this day in 1990 Nelson Mandela was freed after 27 years of captivity. Radio Diaries has a 5 part series, Mandela: An Audio History, done by Joe Richman, which includes a cool audio time line. And here is Richman talking about the project for the (recently canceled) NPR program News and Notes last December.
On this day in 1847. Thomas Alva Edison was born in Milan, Ohio. "Earliest Voices," an audio gallery from the Vincent Voice Library, has his earliest recording from 1878. Lots of rare, old recordings in this collection.
Producer: Joe Richman
This is from a recent episode of Third Coast Festival's Re:Sound. The third segmant is about how Mormons - who believe Native American Indians are a lost tribe of Israel - took 20,000 Indian children from their reservations and brainwashed them - and how some of them might have been happy to go along with it.
[Story starts a little before 15:00]
Date: May, 2009
BBC doc about the gated communities in South Africa - a country with 7 times the murder rate compared to The U.S. Includes an interview with a black resident of these overwhelmingly white communities - discussing the familiar issues of "selling out" or "trying to be white."
In the wake of a big Chino, California prison riot, NPR goes to Folsom Prison. Once a model for prisons around the country, Folsom has degenerated into a "pressure cooker" that does nothing but prepare prisoners for more crime. The prison population has exploded in recent years and there is not enough money.
Now, a federal court has ordered California to cut the prison population by 25%. They also look to cut $1.2 billion from the corrections budget.
42 years ago this week (August 30 1967) Thurgood Marshal became the first African American on the Supreme Court, opening the door for three women and two more minorities subsequently. American Radio works did this documentary in 2004 called "Thurgood Marshall Before the Court."
From the site: "explores a forgotten chapter in the history of South African music-the role of punk rock. Originally broadcast in the Czech Republic, the audio documentary Waking The Nation sketches out the fascinating and often overlooked story of punk rock, ska and post-punk music as it played out against the background of the anti-apartheid struggle in South Africa in the late '70s and 1980s."
Lots of music in this one.
Connor Walsh alerts us to this BBC doc about the mother of President Barack Obama. Ann Dunham is described as a globe trotting "peacnik." She studied archaeology and anthropology of agricultural blacksmiths. She got grants from the Ford Foundation and loans from the World Bank and worked to help rural people get loans to start small businesses.
Playtime: 22 minutes 26 seconds
Date: September, 2009