Culture

Culture
4:46 pm
Sun January 25, 2015

Black Doll Show Inspires With Wakandan Heroes And Jazz Superstars

For the past 34 years, the William Grant Still Arts Center has held a Black Doll Show to showcase diverse dolls for children. The exhibit features dolls submitted by artists and collectors from around the country.
Priska Neely NPR

Originally published on Sun January 25, 2015 5:38 pm

At The William Grant Still Arts Center in the West Adams neighborhood in Los Angeles, jazz superstars and comic book superheroes are gathered together — in miniature, as part of the Black Doll Show.

For the past 34 years, the center has held a doll show to showcase diverse dolls for children. The exhibit features dolls submitted by artists and collectors from around the country. This year's theme is A League Supreme: Jazz Superheroes.

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Culture
5:49 pm
Mon January 12, 2015

The Story Behind '40 Acres And A Mule'

The Green-Meldrim House in Savannah, Ga., is where Gen. William T. Sherman held meetings with local black leaders, creating the plan later known as "40 acres and a mule."
Sarah McCammon NPR

Originally published on Tue January 20, 2015 1:30 pm

As the Civil War was winding down 150 years ago, Union leaders gathered a group of black ministers in Savannah, Ga. The goal was to help the thousands of newly freed slaves.

From that meeting came Gen. William T. Sherman's Special Field Order 15. It set aside land along the Southeast coast so that "each family shall have a plot of not more than forty acres of tillable ground."

That plan later became known by a signature phrase: "40 acres and a mule."

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Culture
11:32 am
Sun January 11, 2015

'Selma' Stirs Powerful Memories In Its Namesake Town

Selma residents, many with firsthand connections to the city's civil rights movement, file into the Walton Theater for a free screening of Selma.
Andrew Yeager NPR

It's a half-hour until showtime in Selma, Ala., and the majority of the auditorium seats are already taken.

Paramount Pictures is offering free screenings of Selma, the film depicting the 1965 Selma-to-Montgomery marches which led to the passage of the Voting Rights Act. In the movie's namesake town, the audience is excited.

In the front row, in the far left seat, is George Sallie, 85. He's black, grew up near Selma and was drafted as young man.

"Went to Korea fighting for someone else's freedom, and really I didn't have freedom myself," Sallie says.

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Culture
9:38 am
Fri January 9, 2015

Percussionist Bobbye Hall Is A Liner-Note Legend

A young Bobbye Hall in the studio.
Courtesy of Elizabeth Hall

Originally published on Fri January 16, 2015 6:09 pm

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Culture
10:05 am
Thu January 8, 2015

The Tabla Master Who Jammed With The Grateful Dead

Zakir Hussain learned from the best — his father, Allah Rakha, was a tabla legend. But Hussain's career really took off when he started working with the rock musicians he grew up admiring.
Jim McGuire Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Thu January 8, 2015 11:32 am

All this week, Morning Edition is talking about drums and drummers. For the fourth installment in "Beat Week," David Greene spoke with a master of an ancient tradition who has played with some of the world's most famous musicians.


Zakir Hussain can pinpoint the beginning of his musical life. It began one day in India in 1951, when he was 2 days old.

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Culture
9:29 am
Mon January 5, 2015

The Original Funky Drummers On Life With James Brown

John "Jabo" Starks (left) and Clyde Stubblefield laid the grooves on many of James Brown's biggest hits. Here, they clown around on the cover of their joint DVD, Soul of the Funky Drummers.
Rittor Music

Originally published on Mon January 5, 2015 4:05 pm

All this week, Morning Edition is talking about drums and drummers. For the first installment in "Beat Week," David Greene spoke with a duo who shared drumming duties for the hardest working man in show business.

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Culture
11:29 am
Sun December 28, 2014

Preserving American Roots Music Begins With Keeping The Lights On

For 20 years, the Music Maker Relief Foundation has been supporting indigent musicians like Boo Hanks (left), who recently released a collaborative album with fellow roots musician Dom Flemons.
Peter Breslow NPR

Originally published on Sat December 27, 2014 2:54 pm

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Culture
11:28 am
Sun December 28, 2014

After Year Of Atheism, Former Pastor: 'I Don't Think God Exists'

Minister Ryan Bell decided to "try on" atheism for a year; now, although he says atheism is an "awkward fit," he's going to continue to not believe in God.
Natalie Gee

Originally published on Mon December 29, 2014 2:40 pm

At the start of 2014, former Seventh-Day Adventist pastor Ryan Bell made an unusual New Year's resolution: to live for one year without God — this reflecting his own loss of faith. He kept a blog documenting his journey and had a documentary crew following him.

After a year, Bell tells NPR's Arun Rath, "I've looked at the majority of the arguments that I've been able to find for the existence of God, and on the question of God's existence or not, I have to say I don't find there to be a convincing case, in my view.

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Culture
2:26 am
Thu December 25, 2014

Pope Francis And His Gift For Blending The Spiritual And The Political

Pope Francis waves to the faithful as he arrives in St. Peter's Square for his weekly audience, on Dec. 17, in Vatican City. Even among non-Catholics, the pope's popularity is high.
Franco Origlia Getty Images

Originally published on Thu December 25, 2014 6:00 am

In the 21 months since his election, the first pope to take the name of Saint Francis has emerged as a moral leader on the global stage, addressing both Catholics and the world beyond.

A recent Pew worldwide survey showed an overwhelmingly favorable view of the pope. And that was before his crucial role in the U.S.-Cuba thaw was revealed.

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Culture
4:24 pm
Sun December 21, 2014

The Whiteness Project: Facing Race In A Changing America

Whiteness Project participants were filmed talking about race. The project doesn't use their names, to encourage frankness.
Feral Films, Inc.

Originally published on Sun January 4, 2015 3:57 pm

The voices in the Whiteness Project vary by gender, age and income, but they all candidly express what it is like to be white in an increasingly diverse country.

"I don't feel that personally I've benefited from being white. That's because I grew up relatively poor," a participant shared. "My father worked at a factory." These are the kinds of unfiltered comments that filmmaker Whitney Dow was hoping to hear when he started recording a group of white people, and hoped to turn their responses into provocative, interactive videos.

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