Culture

Culture
4:00 am
Wed June 26, 2013

Belly Dancing For The Dead: A Day With China's Top Mourner

Dingding Mao is a professional mourner, who is paid for her talents at singing the funeral dirge. This is a tradition that began in the Han dynasty 2,000 years ago.
Courtesy of Wu Peng

Originally published on Thu June 27, 2013 10:39 am

File under "one of the oddest jobs ever": professional mourner. China's funeral rituals date back 2,000 years to the Han dynasty, but were banned during the Cultural Revolution as superstition. Now these funeral rituals have become an income source to a select few who stage funeral extravaganzas, marrying ancient Chinese traditions with modern entertainment.

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Pinoy Guest Workers Project
5:44 am
Fri June 21, 2013

The Philippines: The World's Employment Agency

The archipelago nation of the Philippines is located in southeast Asia and made up of over 7,000 islands. A former Spanish colony, the nation was ceded to the US in 1898 after the Spanish-American war. The Philippines attained its full independence July 4, 1946.
Credit CIA

As you may remember, an explosion on an oil rig about 20 miles off the coast of Louisiana killed three Filipino nationals and injured a handful of others in November. The incident put Filipino guest worker programs under intense scrutiny by the local media and advocacy groups.

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Culture
7:08 pm
Tue June 18, 2013

How The Civil Rights Movement Was Covered In Birmingham

A 17-year-old Civil Rights demonstrator is attacked by a police dog in Birmingham, Ala., on May 3, 1963. This image led the front page of the next day's New York Times.
Bill Hudson ASSOCIATED PRESS

Originally published on Wed June 19, 2013 12:47 pm

As the Civil Rights Movement was unfolding across the US in 1963, the entire nation had its eyes on climactic events taking place in Southern cities like Birmingham, Ala., and Jackson, Miss. But there's a stark difference between how the national press covered the events in Birmingham and how Birmingham's papers covered their own city.

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Culture
4:12 pm
Mon June 17, 2013

How Do You Teach The Civil Rights Movement?

A protestor is carried away from a demonstration in Jacksonville 50 years ago.
Jim Bourdier AP

Originally published on Mon June 17, 2013 8:37 pm

Note: As part of NPR's series on the summer of 1963, reporter Cory Turner headed to Jackson, Miss. to take a look at how folks are teaching the Civil Rights movement to kids who weren't a part of it — and making the lessons stick.

Much has changed in the past 50 years, since the height of the Civil Rights movement. But how do you teach the Civil Rights to kids who haven't ever experienced it? In Jackson, Miss., Fannie Lou Hamer Institute's Summer Youth Workshop tackles that question.

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Culture
10:57 am
Mon June 17, 2013

Spoken Dish Asks Southerners: What Is Your Food Identity?

Cornbread in a cast-iron skillet. A taste of home?
Todd Patterson iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue June 18, 2013 3:11 pm

Does cast-iron skillet cornbread, hot and crispy from the oven, transport you back to your grandma's kitchen? Do you cook with certain ingredients as a link to your roots in the South? If so, "A Spoken Dish" wants to hear your story.

The Southern Foodways Alliance is teaming up with Whole Foods Market and Georgia Organics in this video storytelling project as a way to celebrate and document food memories and rituals of the American South.

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Culture
2:41 pm
Sat June 15, 2013

NO BS! Brass Band: Tiny Desk Concert

NPR

Originally published on Mon December 23, 2013 5:27 pm

Just southeast of the Virginia Commonwealth University campus in Richmond, Va., lies a compact neighborhood called Oregon Hill. Historically, it's been a (white) working-class part of town, affordable for students and various bohemian types. Recording engineer Lance Koehler was drawn to the place when he moved to Richmond from New Orleans; it's where he eventually found a two-story garage and converted it into his own recording studio and home. It didn't take him long to start doing business across the Richmond music map: Koehler is good at his job, and he's affordable.

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Culture
6:00 am
Thu May 16, 2013

Café Bard Plays Among Antiques

Garrett McCutchan is a multi-instrumentalist and world traveler. His material is contained in a binder of yellowed, coffee-stained pages. And it's the music in the background at one of Baton Rouge's hidden lunch spots.

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Music Interviews
3:54 pm
Sat May 11, 2013

LL Cool J On 'Accidental Racist' And Authenticity

LL Cool J's latest album is called Authentic.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sat May 11, 2013 9:57 pm

LL Cool J has been making music for more than 25 years. Through it all, he says, he's tried his best to remain authentic.

"The last thing that I want to do is be a hack," says the rapper and actor, born James Todd Smith. "Someone who is adapting to whatever the current trend is, and manipulating the public into being on board with me even though, from an artistic standpoint, I'm not doing anything."

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Going Out of Style
4:21 am
Sat May 11, 2013

Ala. Juke Joint Shuttered After More Than 50 Years

Originally published on Sat May 11, 2013 9:11 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

And this final note on the blues. Two years ago on this show, we profiled Gip's Place, a real juke joint nestled in a residential neighborhood in Bessemer, Alabama.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN #1: It's not like going to a bar. It's not like going to a club. It's like going to your best friend's house and putting on just the newest record and sitting there and enjoying it together. Literally, there is truly a mix between the musicians and the audience.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN #2: Welcome again. Y'all ready to get started?

CROWD: Yeah!

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Theater
4:37 pm
Tue May 7, 2013

'Show Boat' Steams On, Eternally American

When she's discovered to be a multiracial woman "passing" as white, the Cotton Blossom's star performer, Julie (Alyson Cambridge), is forced to leave the company.
Scott Suchman Washington National Opera

Originally published on Wed May 8, 2013 1:50 pm

It's been more than eight decades since Show Boat -- the seminal masterpiece of the American musical theater — premiered on a stage in Washington, D.C. Now the sprawling classic is back, in a lush production put on by the Washington National Opera.

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