Culture

Music, art, literature, food, language, and all that makes us Louisianians.

Bassist and composer Rufus Reid has been playing jazz for half a century. He's worked with just about everyone, from saxophonists Dexter Gordon and Stan Getz to singer Nancy Wilson and trumpeter Dizzy Gillespie.

NPR continues a series of conversations about The Race Card Project, where thousands of people have submitted their thoughts on race and cultural identity in six words. Every so often, NPR Host/Special Correspondent Michele Norris will dip into those six-word stories to explore issues surrounding race and cultural identity for Morning Edition.

Some Christian denominations around the U.S. have been slowly warming to the idea of gay marriage. A few have even made an about-face.

Not so with the country's largest protestant group, Southern Baptists. The Southern Baptist Convention still preaches that marriage can only be between one man and one woman. But some pastors are softening their message.

A Change Of Tone

Carl Kasell — the official judge and scorekeeper of the NPR quiz show Wait Wait... Don't Tell Me! — is stepping down after more than 60 years in radio. While you'll still hear him from time to time as he eases into the role as scorekeeper emeritus, his final broadcast airs on Saturday and Sunday.

Kasell recently had a cameo on The Simpsons, and since that's the pinnacle of any career, this seemed like a good moment to look back on his many decades in broadcast.

Kara Walker was barely out of art school when she won a MacArthur Foundation "genius" grant, in 1997. Back then, her early work shocked audiences in part because her murals looked so charming from a distance. Black paper shadow portraits of colonial figures seemed to dance on white gallery walls; but lean in and you'd find your nose pressed up against images of slavery's horrors — mammies, masters, lynchings and sexual violence.

Second in a two-part report.

The Ozark region, covering most of southern Missouri and northern Arkansas, has long been a haven for white supremacists. The area is home to the neo-Nazi accused of killing three people at Jewish centers near Kansas City, Kan., in April.

The region continues to grapple with a culture that has historically turned a blind eye to bigotry. That fight is particularly concentrated in Harrison, Ark.

First of a two-part report.

The neo-Nazi charged with killing three people at Jewish centers outside Kansas City last month drove there from his home in the Ozarks, a hilly, rural, largely conservative part of southern Missouri and northern Arkansas with a history of attracting white supremacists.

The Kansas murders sparked a painful discussion in the shooter's community in Marionville, Mo., where bigotry is an especially divisive subject.

There are only two U.S. states where at least 50 percent of residents say they've recently given either money or time to charity: Utah and Minnesota, according to a new Gallup poll. Nevada and Kentucky tied for the lowest rate of charitable giving.

The poll was conducted in the last six months of 2013, when at least 600 residents of each state were asked whether they had donated money to a charity or volunteered at an organization within the past month.

Ann Marie Awad

Meet The Neighbors introduces you to some of the remarkable people who live and work in the Baton Rouge area. Do you know someone we should meet? E-mail us at news@wrkf.org and keep up with Meet The Neighbors, follow us on Tumblr.

In a cozy little duplex in Beauregard Town, Tess Brunet runs a neighborhood record store. 

The Houma native opened the store with her partner Patrick -- he’s from Maine. And he’s the one who came up with the name, Lagniappe Records.

“He was so enamored by South Louisiana and New Orleans and he’s discovering all these things about this region and you know Lagniappe is you know it’s normal to me I know what that is, people anywhere else besides here they see that word and they’re like ‘how do you say that?" she jokes. "He fell in love with this area.”

After touring the country as a musician, Brunet landed in New Orleans, but she kept being drawn back to Baton Rouge.  

Meet The Neighbors

May 7, 2014
Ann Marie Awad

Everyone can think of a character they know. Someone who puts their mark on the community. Someone who just has a colorful personality. Someone you just want to know more about.

Meet The Neighbors introduces you to some of the remarkable people who live and work in the Baton Rouge area. 

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