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Notes from America with Kai Wright

WNYC

Notes from America with Kai Wright is a show about the unfinished business of our history, and its grip on our future.

Location:

United States

Networks:

WNYC

Description:

Notes from America with Kai Wright is a show about the unfinished business of our history, and its grip on our future.

Language:

English


Episodes
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Class Of 2024 Grads Reflect On Being Expected to Change the World

5/20/2024
We should all know by now how foolish it is to underestimate youth. Gen Z, the generation of people born between 1997 and 2012, has already changed the world in ways that no one could have anticipated, from mass protests against gun violence to international movements to reckon with climate change. For members of this generation who are part of the graduating class of 2024, a series of unfortunate and unprecedented events have shaped the way they engage in political, social and cultural issues. Many of them missed the opportunity to walk the stage of their high school graduation as Covid-19 swept over the world. That same year, they witnessed and participated in massive uprisings in support of Black lives, only to see a violent attack on the U.S. Capitol a few months later. Now, some of their college graduation ceremonies are being shaped by protests in solidarity with Palestinians in Gaza, or — much like high school — canceled altogether. Amidst all these challenges, these graduates and their peers have been burdened with the expectation that they are the generation that will change the world. Yet, they are often dismissed as lazy, selfish and overly sensitive. In this episode of Notes from America, host Kai Wright is joined by Gen Z educator and podcast host Taylor Coward. Kai and Taylor take calls from several class of 2024 graduates, including “Cee Kay” who participated in a walkout protest during their commencement; and Gabe Fleisher, author of the WakeUp2Politics newsletter, which he started in elementary school. They talk about how their experiences have influenced their outlook and optimism about the future, and about the societal pressures they face as they enter the workforce and a world in turmoil. Tell us what you think. We're @noteswithkai on Instagram and X (Twitter). Email us at notes@wnyc.org. Send us a voice message by recording yourself on your phone and emailing us, or record one here. Notes from America airs live on Sundays at 6 p.m. ET. The podcast episodes are lightly edited from our live broadcasts.

Duration:00:49:11

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Why Divestment Is At the Core of Student Protests

5/13/2024
While news coverage has been justifiably focused on the aggressive police response to anti-war college protests at campuses around the country, it’s noteworthy that a handful of U.S. schools have agreed to come to the table with students and discuss their demands. At the top of the list for many campus activists: divestment. At Brown University, where protests against Israel’s war have been occurring since the fall of 2023, students want the administration to cut ties with companies that do business with Israel’s occupied territories. As student negotiator Isabella Garo explains, it’s less about hurting the companies financially and more about being a moral model for academic institutions, large and small. In this episode, Garo joins host Kai Wright to talk about taking on her university over a contentious issue, and where she sees the role of Brown Divest in the larger Free Palestine movement. Click here to read a statement from a Brown University spokesperson about why the school agreed to negotiate with students and take a vote on the issue of divestment in October 2024. Then, Kai discusses how the current calls for divestment echo previous student-led protest movements on campuses with Chris Marsicano, assistant professor of educational studies at Davidson College. Marsicano breaks down the history of university divestment and why it can be a complicated ask, particularly at state schools and elite colleges. Companion listening for this episode: A Palestinian-American Victim Of American Gun Violence Becomes A Reluctant Poster Child (2/19/2024) Brown University student Hisham Awartani processes his injuries, and the trauma of his community back home in the West Bank. Tell us what you think. We're @noteswithkai on Instagram and X (Twitter). Email us at notes@wnyc.org. Send us a voice message by recording yourself on your phone and emailing us, or record one here. Notes from America airs live on Sundays at 6 p.m. ET. The podcast episodes are lightly edited from our live broadcasts.

Duration:00:51:13

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What ‘The Wiz’ Was And Is to Black Culture

5/5/2024
The iconic musical “The Wiz” has returned to Broadway. The Black take on “The Wizard of Oz” debuted in 1974, featuring theater stars such as Stephanie Mills, André De Shields and Dee Dee Bridgewater. It was later adapted as a film starring Diana Ross, Lena Horne and Michael Jackson. After decades of countless local stage productions and bootleg VHS tapes passed around among friends and neighbors, “The Wiz” is a beloved cultural touchstone for many generations of Black people. Host Kai Wright is joined by Jason King, dean of the University of Southern California’s Thornton School of Music, to discuss behind the scenes details of the many iterations of “The Wiz,” and break down how it went from “mid” reviews to a Black cultural artifact. Plus, they take calls from listeners across the country about their connections to the show — including a special one from Schele Williams, director of the revival of “The Wiz” now on Broadway. Companion listening for this episode: Amber Ruffin Talks ‘The Wiz’ Revival, Writing for ‘Late Night,’ and Representation in Comedy (4/15/2024) The comedian breaks down how her long career writing and performing as a Black woman prepared her for her new venture: bringing the Black cult-classic "The Wiz" back to Broadway. Tell us what you think. We're @noteswithkai on Instagram and X (Twitter). Email us at notes@wnyc.org. Send us a voice message by recording yourself on your phone and emailing us, or record one here. Notes from America airs live on Sundays at 6 p.m. ET. The podcast episodes are lightly edited from our live broadcasts.

Duration:00:49:56

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Tonya Mosley Reckons with a Dark Family Story and Holds Tight to Hope in the Podcast She Has a Name

4/29/2024
Tonya Mosley's voice is familiar to millions of public radio listeners across the country. She co-hosted NPR's midday news show Here and Now for several years before becoming co-host of Fresh Air in 2022. Now, the award-winning audio journalist is taking listeners on a personal journey. Around two decades ago, Mosley was just at the start of her career working in Louisville, Kentucky, when she got a call from a young man named Antonio Wiley, who said he was her nephew. Mosley hadn't grown up with her father, so the idea that she might have a nephew she had never met wasn't totally shocking. But then her nephew said something that would shock her and come to define so much of Mosley's adult life. Wiley’s mom and Mosley’s eldest sister, Anita Wiley, had been missing since 1987, and Wiley has been searching to find out what happened to her since the age of 14. After a major discovery led to Anita's body in 2020, Mosley and Wiley decided to retrace Anita's life, hoping to find out what happened to her, documenting their effort in a podcast. It's called She Has a Name, and it's part memoir, part investigative journalism — a deep dive into the city and the history that shaped Anita's life and the lives of the people who loved her. In this episode of Notes from America, Mosley walks us through how this investigation redefined her relationship with her hometown and her identity, how it impacted her nephew, and what it means for people to try and find closure when so many questions remain unanswered. Tell us what you think. We're @noteswithkai on Instagram and X (Twitter). Email us at notes@wnyc.org. Send us a voice message by recording yourself on your phone and emailing us, or record one here. Notes from America airs live on Sundays at 6 p.m. ET., and listeners to the broadcast and podcast are invited to join the conversation at 844-745-TALK(8255). Podcast episodes are lightly edited from our live broadcasts. Tell us what you think. We're @noteswithkai on Instagram and X (Twitter). Email us at notes@wnyc.org. Send us a voice message by recording yourself on your phone and emailing us, or record one here. Notes from America airs live on Sundays at 6 p.m. ET. The podcast episodes are lightly edited from our live broadcasts.

Duration:00:50:21

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How This Passover Feels Different For Many Jewish Americans

4/22/2024
Nearly seven months after October 7th and the start of the war in Gaza, emotions over the violence and devastation are still running hot here in the U.S, and inspiring an exercise in self-reflection for many Jewish Americans. It’s a confusing and anxious moment to celebrate Passover, marked this year by personal and communal crises over Israel, rising anti-Semitism and political divisions playing out in the public eye. Passover is a holiday traditionally centered around the stories of Jewish liberation from oppression. How can these ancient stories be translated into a modern context? And how can a seder table be shared with people who might have different perspectives about what it means to be Jewish in America right now? Guest host Matt Katz shares his personal story of a shifting Jewish identity and sits down with Noah Feldman, Harvard Law professor and author of “To Be A Jew Today: A New Guide to God, Israel, and the Jewish People,” to address some of these questions and take calls from Jewish listeners across the country. Tell us what you think. We’re on Instagram and X (Twitter) @noteswithkai. Email us a message or voice memo at notes@wnyc.org. Or click here to record yourself. “Notes from America” airs live on Sunday evenings at 6pm ET. The podcast episodes are lightly edited from our live broadcasts. Tune into the show on Sunday nights via the stream on notesfromamerica.org. Tell us what you think. We're @noteswithkai on Instagram and X (Twitter). Email us at notes@wnyc.org. Send us a voice message by recording yourself on your phone and emailing us, or record one here. Notes from America airs live on Sundays at 6 p.m. ET. The podcast episodes are lightly edited from our live broadcasts.

Duration:00:49:30

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An Investigative Journalist Is Rocked By the ‘Inconceivable Truth’ Of His Own Identity

4/19/2024
In this episode, we share the first part of the new podcast series Inconceivable Truth. It’s hosted by WNYC reporter Matt Katz, who has been searching for his biological father since he was a little kid. But it wasn’t until Matt was in his 40s that he realized he was on the wrong journey altogether. The true story is wrapped in confusion and secrecy, and in the end, it upended the truth about who he is — raising questions about identity, fatherhood, medical ethics and what family really means. But will finding answers make Matt whole, or just make things even more complicated? Join Matt Katz on Notes From America for a live conversation about Jewish American identity now, and how that identity has been interrupted, complicated or clarified by the events of October 7th and the ongoing violence and devastation in the Middle East. To add your voice to that conversation, click here to record or call or text 844-745-TALK (8255) any time. You can also call in live starting at 6pm ET on Sunday, April 21. Tell us what you think. We're @noteswithkai on Instagram and X (Twitter). Email us at notes@wnyc.org. Send us a voice message by recording yourself on your phone and emailing us, or record one here. Notes from America airs live on Sundays at 6 p.m. ET. The podcast episodes are lightly edited from our live broadcasts.

Duration:00:46:47

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Amber Ruffin Talks ‘The Wiz’ Revival, Writing for ‘Late Night,’ and Representation in Comedy

4/15/2024
Amber Ruffin is a comedy phenom. She’s spent a decade writing and performing on “Late Night with Seth Meyers,” and hosted her own show, “The Amber Ruffin Show.” She’s a co-author of bestselling books with her sister Lacey Lamar, with whom she co-hosts a podcast, The Amber & Lacey, Lacey & Amber Show. The Emmy and Tony nominee is now focused on a new project: writing the book for the revival of the beloved 1975 musical, “The Wiz.” She joins host Kai Wright for an honest reflection on the art of “translating funny” for different audiences and different formats. She and Kai roast, joke and reflect on the cultural and personal significance of “The Wiz,” her journey coming up as a Black female comedian, and the importance of seeing diverse representations of Black people in comedy (including Black people being silly). We also want to hear about your own relationship with “The Wiz” — whether it’s the stage version or the movie, or if you’ve been fortunate enough to catch the revival. Do you have a memory associated with “The Wiz”? Do you have a favorite number or version of a song? Leave us a voicemail about it at 844-745-8255. You can also record a voice memo and email it to notes@wnyc.org. We look forward to hearing from you! Tell us what you think. We're @noteswithkai on Instagram and X (Twitter). Email us at notes@wnyc.org. Send us a voice message by recording yourself on your phone and emailing us, or record one here. Notes from America airs live on Sundays at 6 p.m. ET. The podcast episodes are lightly edited from our live broadcasts. Tell us what you think. We're @noteswithkai on Instagram and X (Twitter). Email us at notes@wnyc.org. Send us a voice message by recording yourself on your phone and emailing us, or record one here. Notes from America airs live on Sundays at 6 p.m. ET. The podcast episodes are lightly edited from our live broadcasts.

Duration:00:50:34

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Voter Vibe Check: Why Trump Has More Support from Black Voters Than Ever

4/8/2024
A February 2024 New York Times/Siena College poll reveals as many as 23 percent of Black respondents said they would vote for Trump if the election were held right then. The numbers are strikingly higher than they have been in the past — and they are notable for a community that has voted overwhelmingly for democrats and against Donald Trump specifically. So what, if anything, do such polls tell us about how politics may be shifting among Black voters right now? Host Kai Wright is joined this week by Noel King, co-host of the podcast Today, Explained to discuss what the rise of Black Trump supporters signals to them. They also sit down with Brandon Tensley, a national politics reporter at Capital B, who covers the impact of policy and political movements on Black people in America. In this episode, they dissect some of the polling, how reliable it is, and what the numbers mean about Black voters' feelings and opinions going into November. Plus, they take calls and hear why some of you are starting to feel “Trump curious.” Tell us what you think. We're @noteswithkai on Instagram and X (Twitter). Email us at notes@wnyc.org. Send us a voice message by recording yourself on your phone and emailing us, or record one here. Notes from America airs live on Sundays at 6 p.m. ET. The podcast episodes are lightly edited from our live broadcasts. Tell us what you think. We're @noteswithkai on Instagram and X (Twitter). Email us at notes@wnyc.org. Send us a voice message by recording yourself on your phone and emailing us, or record one here. Notes from America airs live on Sundays at 6 p.m. ET. The podcast episodes are lightly edited from our live broadcasts.

Duration:00:49:32

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Comedian Bassem Youssef’s Honest Reflection on Fame, the Pressure of Representation, and What it Means to be American

4/1/2024
Egyptian American satirist and comedian Bassem Youssef was once known as “The Jon Stewart of Egypt,” after gaining notoriety for his criticism of the government during the 2011 Egyptian revolution. But it wasn’t long before the doctor-turned-comedian was forced to leave his home country and start over in the United States. Ten years later, as he ends the U.S. leg of a world tour for his new stand up show, he’s gained a whole new crowd of supporters and critics — not for his comedy, but for his biting critique of U.S. policy in Gaza. In this episode, Youssef sits down with host Kai Wright to tell the story of his turbulent ride as a political satirist in both the U.S. and Egypt — and the pressures he faced to be the voice of a movement. Plus, we open our listener mailbag and get your responses to some of our recent shows. Tell us what you think. We're @noteswithkai on Instagram and X (Twitter). Email us at notes@wnyc.org. Send us a voice message by recording yourself on your phone and emailing us, or record one here. Notes from America airs live on Sundays at 6 p.m. ET. The podcast episodes are lightly edited from our live broadcasts. Tell us what you think. We're @noteswithkai on Instagram and X (Twitter). Email us at notes@wnyc.org. Send us a voice message by recording yourself on your phone and emailing us, or record one here. Notes from America airs live on Sundays at 6 p.m. ET. The podcast episodes are lightly edited from our live broadcasts.

Duration:00:50:31

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David Alan Grier Is Still Hitting Career Highs, More Than 40 Years After His Debut

3/25/2024
David Alan Grier has been a mainstay on TV, Broadway and film since his initial acting debut in the acclaimed Broadway show “The First,” about Jackie Robinson’s life and legacy. That role, in 1981, earned him a Tony Award nomination, but he found a new level of fame as a core cast member on the classic 1990s sketch show “In Living Color.” His more recent projects spotlight the actor’s range: he stars in the 2023 musical film adaptation of “The Color Purple,” and in this year’s “The American Society of Magical Negroes,” a satirical fantasy film that’s introducing Grier to a younger generation of fans. In this episode, he sits down with host Kai Wright to talk about the highs and lows of navigating the industry, while also sharing reflections on his past work, and what he thinks about his legacy going forward as he reaches new audiences. Tell us what you think. We're @noteswithkai on Instagram and X (Twitter). Email us at notes@wnyc.org. Send us a voice message by recording yourself on your phone and emailing us, or record one here. Notes from America airs live on Sundays at 6 p.m. ET. The podcast episodes are lightly edited from our live broadcasts. Tell us what you think. We're @noteswithkai on Instagram and X (Twitter). Email us at notes@wnyc.org. Send us a voice message by recording yourself on your phone and emailing us, or record one here. Notes from America airs live on Sundays at 6 p.m. ET. The podcast episodes are lightly edited from our live broadcasts.

Duration:00:52:27

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Voter Vibe Check: Democratic Voters Are Torn Over Biden’s Gaza Policy

3/18/2024
A movement is emerging among registered Democrats across the U.S. In Minnesota and Michigan, collectively, more than 150,000 voters chose “uncommitted” rather than selecting Joe Biden on their primary election ballots. Protest voting is a trend on the rise with many in the Democratic party expressing their frustration at U.S. policy as the war in Gaza enters its sixth month. Host Kai Wright asks voters who would likely have supported Biden’s campaign, but are now conflicted because of the violence in Gaza, what they will do to engage politically? In this episode, Kai also speaks with Rima Meroueh, director of the National Network for Arab American Communities and a volunteer with Michigan's “Uncommitted” campaign, about how the campaign came to be and what her organization is hearing from voters about the future of political organizing around the war in Gaza. Tell us what you think. We're @noteswithkai on Instagram and X (Twitter). Email us at notes@wnyc.org. Send us a voice message by recording yourself on your phone and emailing us, or record one here. Notes from America airs live on Sundays at 6 p.m. ET., and listeners to the broadcast and podcast are invited to join the conversation at 844-745-TALK(8255). Podcast episodes are lightly edited from our live broadcasts. Tell us what you think. We're @noteswithkai on Instagram and X (Twitter). Email us at notes@wnyc.org. Send us a voice message by recording yourself on your phone and emailing us, or record one here. Notes from America airs live on Sundays at 6 p.m. ET. The podcast episodes are lightly edited from our live broadcasts.

Duration:00:50:11

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Kai Wright Presents Blindspot Episode 5: What If I Could Have Grown Old With My Brother?

3/15/2024
In 1985, doctors at a methadone clinic in the South Bronx made the harrowing discovery: 50 percent of their patients had HIV. Three years later, in the same neighborhood, a pair of epidemiologists estimated that as many as one in five young men were positive for the disease. Those numbers made the South Bronx one of most critical hotspots for HIV in the country. Joyce Rivera was born and raised in the South Bronx. She watched as heroin flooded into her neighborhood followed by HIV. When Rivera’s brother died in 1987, she decided to do something. Working with a heroin dealer and a local priest, she defied the law and set up an illegal needle exchange in an attempt to prevent the transmission of HIV among injection drug users. And she largely succeeded. But what if this country had treated drug addiction like a public health issue instead of a criminal problem? Listen to more episodes and subscribe to Blindspot here. Blindspot is a co-production of The HISTORY® Channel and WNYC Studios, in collaboration with The Nation Magazine. Tell us what you think. Email us at notes@wnyc.org. Send us a voice message by recording yourself on your phone and emailing us, or record one here. We’re also on Instagram and X (Twitter) @noteswithkai. Tell us what you think. We're @noteswithkai on Instagram and X (Twitter). Email us at notes@wnyc.org. Send us a voice message by recording yourself on your phone and emailing us, or record one here. Notes from America airs live on Sundays at 6 p.m. ET. The podcast episodes are lightly edited from our live broadcasts.

Duration:00:40:36

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How Actor Danielle Brooks 'Already Won' Before The Oscars

3/11/2024
Danielle Brooks, nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress following her masterful portrayal of Sofia in the 2023 remake of “The Color Purple,” discusses her journey to the Oscars with host Kai Wright. Brooks was the sole representative at the 96th Academy Awards from last year’s film adaptation. The first time novelist Alice Walker’s story met the silver screen, directed by Steven Spielberg, it earned 11 Academy Award nominations but notably took home no gold. “The Color Purple” later evolved into a musical, premiering on Broadway in 2005. Brooks stepped into the role of the brazen and spirited Sofia for the 2015 revival of that show, all while playing Tasha “Taystee” Jefferson in the Netflix series “Orange is The New Black.” Brooks talks about her rise to fame, overcoming impostor syndrome in Hollywood and her next film project, which is quite a departure from projects she’s taken on before. Tell us what you think. We're @noteswithkai on Instagram and X (Twitter). Email us at notes@wnyc.org. Send us a voice message by recording yourself on your phone and emailing us, or record one here. Notes from America airs live on Sundays at 6 p.m. ET., and listeners to the broadcast and podcast are invited to join the conversation at 844-745-TALK(8255). Podcast episodes are lightly edited from our live broadcasts. Tell us what you think. We're @noteswithkai on Instagram and X (Twitter). Email us at notes@wnyc.org. Send us a voice message by recording yourself on your phone and emailing us, or record one here. Notes from America airs live on Sundays at 6 p.m. ET. The podcast episodes are lightly edited from our live broadcasts.

Duration:00:50:25

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Kai Wright Presents Blindspot Episode 4: Respectability Politics and the AIDS Crisis

3/8/2024
By 1986, almost 40 percent of people diagnosed with AIDS in the United States were either Black or Latino. As the full contours of the crisis became apparent, a group of Black gay men began to organize in cities across the country, demanding attention and support for the people dying in their midst. This effort required them to confront big, important institutions in both the medical establishment and the government — and it meant they had to stare down racism in the broader LGBTQ+ community. But perhaps their most pressing and consequential challenge was the most difficult to name: the rejection of their own community. As men, women and children within the Black community began falling ill, essential institutions — the family, the church, civil rights groups — which had long stood powerfully against the most brutal injustices, remained silent or, worse, turned away. Why? What made so many shrink back at such a powerful moment of need? And what would it take to get them to step up? In this episode, we meet some of the people who pushed their families, ministers and politicians to reckon with the crisis in their midst. We hear the words of a writer and poet, still echoing powerfully through the decades, demanding that he and his dying friends be both seen and heard; and we spend time with a woman who picked up their call, ultimately founding one of the country’s first AIDS ministries. And we meet a legendary figure, Dr. Beny Primm, who, in spite of some of his own biases and blindspots, transformed into one of the era’s leading medical advocates for Black people with HIV and AIDs. Along the way, we learn how one community was able to change — and we ask, what might have been different if that change had come sooner? This episode contains a brief mention of suicide. If you or someone you know is struggling with suicidal thoughts, there’s help available. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is open 24 hours a day by calling or texting 988. There’s also a live chat option on their website. Blindspot is a co-production of The HISTORY® Channel and WNYC Studios, in collaboration with The Nation Magazine. Listen to more episodes and subscribe to Blindspot here. Tell us what you think. Email us at notes@wnyc.org. Send us a voice message by recording yourself on your phone and emailing us, or record one here. We’re also on Instagram and X (Twitter) @noteswithkai. Tell us what you think. We're @noteswithkai on Instagram and X (Twitter). Email us at notes@wnyc.org. Send us a voice message by recording yourself on your phone and emailing us, or record one here. Notes from America airs live on Sundays at 6 p.m. ET. The podcast episodes are lightly edited from our live broadcasts.

Duration:00:49:44

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Are We Really Having a 'Migrant Crisis?' Depends Who You Ask.

3/4/2024
Both President Biden and Donald Trump took campaign trips to Texas to visit the U.S. border in recent days. These simultaneous visits happened shortly after several polls found that immigration remains a top issue for voters. But the political discourse can often erase the lived experiences and realities of migrants throughout the country. In this episode, local reporters in some of the country’s major migration hotspots join host Kai Wright for a discussion on what migration looks like in their respective cities. We learn how migrants are navigating their first initial entry into the U.S. in the city of El Paso, and later, how they are coping with trying to get work, find shelter and integrate into America — all while still awaiting proper work authorizations — in Chicago and New York. Tell us what you think. We're @noteswithkai on Instagram and X (Twitter). Email us at notes@wnyc.org. Send us a voice message by recording yourself on your phone and emailing us, or record one here. Notes from America airs live on Sundays at 6 p.m. ET., and listeners to the broadcast and podcast are invited to join the conversation at 844-745-TALK(8255). Podcast episodes are lightly edited from our live broadcasts. Tell us what you think. We're @noteswithkai on Instagram and X (Twitter). Email us at notes@wnyc.org. Send us a voice message by recording yourself on your phone and emailing us, or record one here. Notes from America airs live on Sundays at 6 p.m. ET. The podcast episodes are lightly edited from our live broadcasts.

Duration:00:49:12

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We Could End AIDS. So Why Are People Still Dying?

3/1/2024
Host Kai Wright started his career covering the impact of HIV and AIDS on communities in America. A new project brings that experience full circle. Kai hosts the latest season of the Blindspot podcast, “The Plague In The Shadows,” which introduces listeners to people who were affected in the early years of the HIV and AIDS epidemics. Decades later, AIDS is still with us and its status as an epidemic remains accurate. In this episode, we learn why that is from two women whose careers have centered around this disease in different ways. Journalist Linda Villarosa is the author of “Under the Skin: The Hidden Toll of Racism on American Lives and on the Health of Our Nation;” and June Gipson, Ph.D. is the director of the organization My Brother’s Keeper, which works on both HIV prevention and access to treatment in Mississippi. They discuss the medical achievements in the field of HIV and AIDS treatment, as well as the barriers to eradication. Plus, listeners from across the country weigh in with their own stories and we hear from one of the people you meet in the Blindspot podcast, Victor Reyes, who was born with HIV in Harlem in 1989. To hear more of Blindspot: The Plague In The Shadows, listen and subscribe here. Tell us what you think. We're @noteswithkai on Instagram and X (Twitter). Email us at notes@wnyc.org. Send us a voice message by recording yourself on your phone and emailing us, or record one here.Notes from America airs live on Sundays at 6 p.m. ET., and listeners to the broadcast and podcast are invited to join the conversation at 844-745-TALK(8255). Podcast episodes are lightly edited from our live broadcasts. Tell us what you think. We're @noteswithkai on Instagram and X (Twitter). Email us at notes@wnyc.org. Send us a voice message by recording yourself on your phone and emailing us, or record one here. Notes from America airs live on Sundays at 6 p.m. ET. The podcast episodes are lightly edited from our live broadcasts.

Duration:00:49:08

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Leading with Love: Care and Compassion in the Early Days of AIDS

2/25/2024
The latest season of the Blindspot podcast, “The Plague In The Shadows,” brings listeners the voices of people who were affected in the early years of the HIV and AIDS epidemics. It includes stories like that of Kia LaBeija, an artist and activist who was diagnosed with HIV as a child soon after her parents both tested positive. LaBeija’s experience shows us how — even in a time when fear and stigma about the disease peaked — many people leaned into compassion that made a difference to those living with HIV and AIDS. She and a longtime family friend, Andre de Shields — the Grammy, Emmy and Tony Award-winning performer (“Hadestown” and “The Wiz”), who has been HIV-positive for decades — join host Kai Wright to talk about how they were touched and impacted by the forces of love that existed in their communities during the onset of the epidemic. Plus, listeners from across the country weigh in with their own stories; and journalist Linda Villarosa, author of “Under the Skin: The Hidden Toll of Racism on American Lives and on the Health of Our Nation,” joins the conversation with reflections on covering the AIDS epidemic for most of her career. To hear more of Blindspot: The Plague In The Shadows, listen and subscribe here.Tell us what you think. We're @noteswithkai on Instagram and X (Twitter). Email us at notes@wnyc.org. Send us a voice message by recording yourself on your phone and emailing us, or record one here. Notes from America airs live on Sundays at 6 p.m. ET., and listeners to the broadcast and podcast are invited to join the conversation at 844-745-TALK(8255). Podcast episodes are lightly edited from our live broadcasts. Tell us what you think. We're @noteswithkai on Instagram and X (Twitter). Email us at notes@wnyc.org. Send us a voice message by recording yourself on your phone and emailing us, or record one here. Notes from America airs live on Sundays at 6 p.m. ET. The podcast episodes are lightly edited from our live broadcasts.

Duration:00:51:56

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It's Giving ‘Hell No’ — Danielle Brooks On Becoming ‘The Color Purple’s’ Sofia

2/23/2024
There’s something about Sofia. The iconic character was first born within the pages of Alice Walker’s canonical 1982 novel, “The Color Purple.” She is a fierce, principled Black woman — friend to the protagonist Celie and wife to Celie’s stepson Harpo, who tarnishes their relationship with violence. But what is most notable about Sofia is that she will not stand down, even against the backdrop of racism and sexism in the South in the 1930s. Today, actor Danielle Brooks is Sofia for an entirely new generation of audiences, taking on the role for the 2023 musical film “The Color Purple,” and earning an Academy Award nomination for Best Performance By An Actress In A Supporting Role. “Sofia taught me that I have all that I need inside of me,” Brooks tells Notes from America. In this episode, she and Kai sit down for a conversation about a character who has been instrumental to her life and career. And hell no, that’s not all! Hear their full conversation on Oscar night, March 10, at 6 p.m. ET on the Notes from America broadcast. Check your local public radio listings for more information about where to tune in, or stream the show at www.wnyc.org. Tell us what you think. We're @noteswithkai on Instagram and X (Twitter). Email us at notes@wnyc.org. Send us a voice message by recording yourself on your phone and emailing us, or record one here. Notes from America airs live on Sundays at 6 p.m. ET., and listeners to the broadcast and podcast are invited to join the conversation at 844-745-TALK(8255). Podcast episodes are lightly edited from our live broadcasts. Tell us what you think. We're @noteswithkai on Instagram and X (Twitter). Email us at notes@wnyc.org. Send us a voice message by recording yourself on your phone and emailing us, or record one here. Notes from America airs live on Sundays at 6 p.m. ET. The podcast episodes are lightly edited from our live broadcasts.

Duration:00:09:14

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A Palestinian-American Victim of American Gun Violence Becomes A Reluctant Poster Child

2/19/2024
Hisham Awartani was visiting family in Vermont over Thanksgiving break in 2023 when he and two of his friends were shot. All three victims are of Palestinian descent and were wearing traditional Palestinian scarves when the attack happened. While his friends made full physical recoveries, 20-year-old Awartani now has to grapple with a new life that involves using a wheelchair. In this episode, producer Suzanne Gaber meets with Awartani on his last day in rehab before heading back to Brown University, where the shooting has made him a poster child for a cause that’s deeply personal for him: the movement to free Palestine from Israeli occupation. Kai then speaks with William Youmans, an associate professor of Media and Public Affairs at the George Washington University, about Hisham’s story and why so many people have become attached to it, revealing much about how American media has reported Palestinian narratives since Hamas’ October 7th attack in Israel. Youmans also takes a look at how Palestinian-American identity in the U.S. has changed over time. Companion Listening: “It’s Worse Than Ever,” an episode addressing concerns about Arab-American mental health in the wake of events from October 7th. Tell us what you think. We're @noteswithkai on Instagram and X (Twitter). Email us at notes@wnyc.org. Send us a voice message by recording yourself on your phone and emailing us, or record one here. Notes from America airs live on Sundays at 6 p.m. ET., and listeners to the broadcast and podcast are invited to join the conversation at 844-745-TALK(8255). Podcast episodes are lightly edited from our live broadcasts. Tell us what you think. We're @noteswithkai on Instagram and X (Twitter). Email us at notes@wnyc.org. Send us a voice message by recording yourself on your phone and emailing us, or record one here. Notes from America airs live on Sundays at 6 p.m. ET. The podcast episodes are lightly edited from our live broadcasts.

Duration:00:50:25

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Kai Wright Presents Blindspot Episode 3: ‘Women Don’t Get AIDS, They Just Die From It’

2/16/2024
From the very earliest days of the epidemic, women got infected with HIV and died from AIDS — just like men. But from the earliest days, this undeniable fact was largely ignored — by the public, the government and even the medical establishment. The consequences of this blindspot were profound. Many women didn’t know they could get HIV. But in the late 1980s, something remarkable happened. At a maximum security prison in upstate New York, a group of women came together to fight the terror and stigma that was swirling in the prison as more and more women got sick with HIV and AIDS. Katrina Haslip was one of them. An observant Muslim and former sex worker, she helped found and create AIDS Counseling and Education (ACE), one of the country’s first HIV and AIDS organizations for women. And when she got out of prison, she kept up the work: she joined forces with women activists on the outside to be seen, heard and treated with dignity. This is her story — and the story of scores of women like her who fought to change the very definition of AIDS. This episode title comes from a Gran Fury poster. Gran Fury was an artist collective that worked in collaboration with ACT UP and created public art in response to the HIV and AIDS epidemic. Resources: "The Invisible Epidemic: The Story of Women And AIDS" by Gena Corea. Listen to more episodes and subscribe to Blindspot here. Do you have a relationship with this history? Share it with Kai at 844-745-8255. Then, on February 25th from 6-8pm EST, join Kai for a two-hour special on the early days of the AIDS epidemic on Notes From America – we’ll share some of your stories and take calls live. Listen on your local public radio station or stream live at www.wnyc.org. Blindspot is a co-production of The HISTORY® Channel and WNYC Studios, in collaboration with The Nation Magazine. Tell us what you think. Email us at notes@wnyc.org. Send us a voice message by recording yourself on your phone and emailing us, or record one here. We’re also on Instagram and X (Twitter) @noteswithkai. Tell us what you think. We're @noteswithkai on Instagram and X (Twitter). Email us at notes@wnyc.org. Send us a voice message by recording yourself on your phone and emailing us, or record one here. Notes from America airs live on Sundays at 6 p.m. ET. The podcast episodes are lightly edited from our live broadcasts.

Duration:00:46:33