Ben Vereen made a name for himself on Broadway in the late 1960s with performances in hit productions like “Sweet Charity” and “Hair.” He later won a Tony award in 1973 for his role in “Pippin.” Since then, he has also acted in more than a dozen television shows, including the 1977 hit miniseries “Roots.”
In his one-man show “Steppin’ Out with Ben Vereen,” Vereen performs hit songs from Broadway and pays tribute to iconic performers Sammy Davis Jr. and Frank Sinatra.
For decades, politicians have used coded language to talk about race without addressing it explicitly. Terms like "welfare queen," "illegal aliens" and "thug" are used to elicit responses from target audiences without directly addressing race. The practice is known as "dog whistle politics." However, critics of President Donald Trump argue his rhetoric is antagonistic and divisive when it comes to issues of race and inequality.
The American South has influenced Jewish culinary traditions for more than 100 years. From combinations like pastrami biscuits to matzoh ball gumbo, the South is creatively reinterpreting centuries of Jewish foodways.
Earlier this month, pop singer Adele took home the Grammy for album of the year for her album “25.” Many people, including Adele, believed the award should have gone to Beyonce for the album “Lemonade.” But Adele’s accolade is in line with how Grammys have been doled out in recent years; a black artist has not won album of the year since Herbie Hancock in 2008.
The proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline would span approximately 600 miles across three states. The pipeline is a joint project between Duke Energy, Dominion Energy, Piedmont Natural Gas and Southern Company .
In his new novel “Universal Harvester” (Farrar, Straus, Giraux/2017), writer and musician John Darnielle revisits an era about 20 years ago when video rentals were in high demand. The book features a young man named Jeremy Heldt who works at a video store in rural Iowa. Heldt discovers that somebody is splicing mysterious footage into some of the tapes.
The Collection started out as a Greensboro-based group with 15 members rotating in as a part of the group’s line up. The collective has now become more of a band with seven concrete members. But the group still sticks to its indie folk roots in it’s upcoming album “Listen to the River.”
Earlier this month, the Tribal Council of the Eastern Band of Cherokee voted 9-3 to begin the impeachment process for Principal Chief Patrick Lambert. The vote exposes divisions rippling through the tribe’s governing body.
In January, the tribe’s Office of Internal Audit completed an investigation into contracts and human resources proceedings within Lambert’s administration. Members of the Tribal Council who voted for impeachment have used the results of the investigation as support for impeachment.
Abdullah Khadra and his family are originally from Syria and currently live in Raleigh on religious worker visas. Last fall, Khadra and his family traveled to Lebanon for a family emergency. But while they were there, the visa expired for Khadra’s three-year old daughter Muna.
Now, Khadra and his wife are struggling to get their daughter on a plane back to the U.S. and they are having difficulty because of President Trump’s executive order.
Host Frank Stasio talks with Khadra about his family’s struggle to bring their daughter back to North Carolina.
In his new novel “Perfect Little World” (Ecco/2017), writer Kevin Wilson examines a literal interpretation of the saying, “It takes a village to raise a child.” But instead of a village, Wilson’s story takes place at an experimental facility that houses The Infinite Family Project.
For more than a decade, comedian Myq Kaplan has concocted witty quips about time travel and veganism. He has appeared on programs like “Late Show with David Letterman,” “Last Comic Standing,” and his own special, “Myq Kaplan: Small, Dork and Handsome.”
In his new comedy album “No Kidding,” Kaplan shifts from one-liners to a more long-form comedic approach, all the while mining the theme that he does not want to have children.
President Trump’s travel ban on immigrants and refugees from seven countries last week left thousands of international students on college campuses feeling uncertain about their futures. Officials at universities in North Carolina continue to reassure international students of their security, but the ban’s effect remains uncertain.
More than 17,000 students currently enrolled in the U.S. are from the countries included in the travel ban, and many university officials worry that the new immigration policy will harm recruitment of international students in the future.
During his campaign, Donald Trump said he would eliminate the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. The program, also known as DACA, was put in place in 2012 by the Obama administration. It allows young adults who came to the United States without documentation as children to receive a two-year renewable protection from deportation, a work permit, and a Social Security number.
In 2008, writer David Mitchell watched with the rest of the country as Barack Obama became the first African-American elected president. While Mitchell’s friends were optimistic, he was skeptical. He saw the election as a historic movement but was wary of how it would change American politics.
A couple years ago, jazz vocalist Candice Hoyes was looking for a new direction and started digging into the repertoire of her personal hero Duke Ellington.
She started to unearth manuscripts from the National Archives of Ellington compositions that he had written for jazz and classical artists. In her latest album “On a Turquoise Cloud,” Hoyes showcases new recordings of the Ellington manuscripts as she blends her musical origins of jazz and classical training.
In 1916, British song collector Cecil Sharp traveled to the United States to explore folk traditions in the Appalachians. During his time, Sharp knocked on the doors of homes, interviewing Appalachian residents and listening to their songs. He documented hundreds of folk ballads that would eventually influence a folk-revival in both England and the U.S.
In 1928, writer Virginia Woolf portrayed the story of an Elizabethan nobleman in her novel “Orlando: A Biography.” The story follows Orlando as he becomes a woman and travels through time. Orlando’s journey takes on a 21st-century spin in the stage adaptation by Sarah Ruhl. Durham-based theater group The Delta Boys have brought Ruhl’s adaptation to Manbites Dog Theater.
In March 2011, many Syrians stood up in the midst of the Arab Spring to protest President Bashar al-Assad and demand the country’s leader step down. Since then, a tumultuous civil war has ensued between the government, its citizens and rebel extremists.
In 2015, folk singer and songwriter Tift Merritt was busy as a touring musician. At the time she had spent years on the road, was approaching 40 years old and was getting a divorce so she decided to take a year off from touring. During that time she processed her role as a writer and individual. Out of that reflection came her latest album, “Stitch of the World.”
As Donald Trump’s inauguration draws closer, popular culture wrestles the influence of the president-elect. In its latest episode, ‘Lemons,’ the ABC television show ‘Black-ish’ grappled with post-election grief and what the impending presidency might mean for communities of color.
Host Frank Stasio talked with popular culture experts Mark Anthony Neal and Natalie Bullock Brown about the program and how it compares to political commentary in other television shows.
In the summer of 2014, writer Susan Rivers was busy researching historical documents in her local library when she came across something interesting. It was an inquest from 1865 about a young woman who was accused of giving birth to a child and murdering the infant while her husband was away fighting for the Confederacy.
Note: this program is a rebroadcast from August 17, 2016.
For years, the Pentagon has partnered with conservation groups to protect hundreds of endangered and threatened species on military bases across the country.
The partnership started at Fort Bragg in North Carolina in the early 1990s after a rare woodpecker was found and halted training on parts of the base. Since then, the military and conservationists have worked together to manage the bases' rich ecosystems.
Note: This program is a rebroadcast from January 9, 2017.
Activist Bree Newsome gained national attention in the summer of 2015 when she was arrested for scaling the flagpole at the statehouse in Columbia, South Carolina, and removing the Confederate flag. The act of civil disobedience took place in the wake of the killing of nine African-American people at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, S.C.
Bluegrass singer and songwriter Sierra Hull has been playing music professionally since she was just a kid.
Now, at 25, Sierra has released a new album that is a departure from her previous work. "Weighted Mind" features a more stripped down version of Sierra Hull's sound- a departure from her earlier works. “Weighted Mind” is nominated for a Grammy.
Host Frank Stasio talks with Hull about her life and career, and she performs songs from her new album.
As the year wraps up, "The State of Things" takes a moment to reflect on the highlights of 2016 with the program's producers. Some of producer Charlie Shelton-Ormond's favorite segments include conversations with hip-hop producer 9th Wonder and hip-hop artist Rapsody.
He also chose a conversation with members of the Durham Bulls minor league baseball team and recaps what brought identical twin comedians the Sklar brothers to the Triangle.
Host Frank Stasio talks with producer Charlie Shelton-Ormond about his favorite conversations from 2016.
It's easy to think of a "selfie" as a narcissistic way to accrue "likes" on social media and flaunt your latest traveling adventures. But every "selfie" tells a story about the photographer's world.
Negar Mottahedeh, associate professor of literature at Duke University in Durham, says taking a selfie is a humanizing way to document history in the age of social media. In a recent speech at TEDxDurham, Mottahedeh illustrated the ways selfies can be used as tools for protest and citizen journalism.