Culture

Culture
2:25 am
Thu October 17, 2013

'12 Years A Slave': 160 Years Later, A Memoir Becomes A Movie

Lupita Nyong'o and Chiwetel Ejiofor play Patsey and Solomon, two slaves on a Louisiana plantation, in 12 Years a Slave.
Francois Duhamel Fox Searchlight Pictures

Originally published on Fri October 18, 2013 11:09 am

Solomon Northup was born free in early-19th-century upstate New York. He lived the life of a respected and elegant musician until 1841, when he was lured South by the promise of a lucrative stint playing his fiddle in a traveling circus.

In Washington, D.C. — in the shadow of the Capitol — Northup was drugged. When he came to, he was in chains: a slave headed for the hellish world of plantation life. Only the hope of being reunited with his beloved wife and children kept him going.

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Culture
5:39 pm
Fri October 11, 2013

Memoir Traces Spiral into Racial Violence Amid Baton Rouge Desegregation Fight

Fear and What Follows: The Violent Education of a Christian Racist
University Press of Mississippi

Tim Parrish says his memoir, Fear and What Follows: The Violent Education of a Christian Racist, is not a book he wanted to write. He dreaded reckoning with the racial violence of his adolescence in Baton Rouge in the 1960s and 1970s.

An explosion rattled his kitchen windows when a city pool nearby was blown up after it was integrated. As a teenager, Parrish took part in street fights and race riots at his school – Istrouma High.

Parrish traces the roots of his own bigotry to his family and their Baptist congregation.

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Culture
4:12 pm
Thu October 10, 2013

For Rabbi, A Just God Without An Afterlife Is 'Inconceivable'

Stones placed on a Jewish grave to show respect for the deceased. Orthodox Rabbi Joseph Telushkin says Jewish tradition holds that there is an afterlife but doesn't encourage speculation on what it might be like.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Thu October 10, 2013 7:33 pm

Millions of Americans believe in the afterlife, and author and scholar Joseph Telushkin is no exception. The Orthodox rabbi has written extensively about Judaism and says that the concept of God is incompatible with the idea that life ends at death.

He holds that conviction so strongly, he tells NPR's Robert Siegel, because he believes that God is just — and he has to assume that a just God would provide some reward to a person who has lived his or her life well, while imposing a different fate upon those who do evil.

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Culture
1:03 pm
Thu October 10, 2013

A Young Torchbearer Lights The Way For New Orleans Music Students

Trombone Shorty, aka Troy Andrews, has started a foundation dedicated to music education in New Orleans.
Jonathan Mannion Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Thu October 10, 2013 7:33 pm

In New Orleans, it's cool to be in the high school band — especially when Trombone Shorty shows up in the band room.

The brass player and bandleader recently paid a visit to New Orleans' Warren Easton High School to work with band members. It's part of his work with the Trombone Shorty Foundation, a music education initiative.

"[Trombone Shorty] is, without a doubt, the role model for the next generation right now," says Bill Taylor, the foundation's executive director.

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Culture
11:16 am
Thu October 10, 2013

A Philosopher's 'Afterlife': We May Die, But Others Live On

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Wed October 9, 2013 4:37 pm

Philosopher Samuel Scheffler doesn't believe in a traditional afterlife — that is, he doesn't think that a spirit or soul survives the body's physical death. But he does believe in another kind of afterlife: Regardless of what we think about our own life after death, Scheffler tells NPR's Robert Siegel, we all trust that others will continue to live after us. And, much like faith in a spiritual afterlife, that belief changes what we choose to do with our days on earth.

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Gospel Music
6:00 am
Thu October 10, 2013

The Louisiana Gospel Tradition

Tim Muffitt is in his 15th season as Conductor and Music Director of the Baton Rouge Symphony Orchestra.
Credit Baton Rouge Symphony Orchestra

This Friday the Baton Rouge Symphony Orchestra will take on Louisiana’s gospel music history for the very first time.

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Culture
11:03 pm
Wed October 9, 2013

Mala Rodriguez And The Women Of Latin Hip-Hop

Mala Rodriguez on stage at the Mulafest Festival in Madrid in June.
Pedro Armestre AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu October 10, 2013 6:39 am

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Culture
5:50 pm
Mon October 7, 2013

To Pastor, Afterlife Is Where We 'Learn To Live Together'

Detail of the central compartment of The Adoration of the Mystic Lamb, completed in 1432 by Jan van Eyck, where pilgrims gather to pay homage to the lamb of God. Many art historians interpret the painting's fountain as a symbol of eternal life.
DEA Picture Library De Agostini/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri October 11, 2013 3:39 pm

A majority of Americans from all walks of life believe in life after death. Yet conversations about the afterlife — from what it might look and feel like to who else one may find there — often remain highly personal ones, shared with family members, clergy or others who share one's faith.

To better understand how many Americans conceive of the afterlife, All Things Considered has spoken with leaders from different faith traditions on their views on life after death.

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Culture
4:00 pm
Fri October 4, 2013

Want To Read Others' Thoughts? Try Reading Literary Fiction

Would time spent with Anton Chekov, famed for his subtle, flawed characters, make you a better judge of human nature?
Hulton Archive Getty Images

Originally published on Thu October 10, 2013 8:33 am

Your ability to "read" the thoughts and feelings of others could be affected by the kind of fiction you read.

That's the conclusion of a study in the journal Science that gave tests of social perception to people who were randomly assigned to read excerpts from literary fiction, popular fiction or nonfiction.

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Culture
4:26 pm
Tue October 1, 2013

Pope Francis Says The Court Is The 'Leprosy Of The Papacy'

Pope Francis delivers a speech during a meeting with young people last month in Cagliari, Italy.
Franco Origlia Getty Images

Originally published on Tue October 1, 2013 5:37 pm

Pope Francis is meeting on Tuesday with his closest advisors, a hand-picked lot of like-minded cardinals, to discuss the direction of the Roman Catholic Church.

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