Frank Stasio

Host, "The State of Things"

Longtime NPR correspondent Frank Stasio was named permanent host of The State of Things in June 2006. A native of Buffalo, Frank has been in radio since the age of 19. He began his public radio career at WOI in Ames, Iowa, where he was a magazine show anchor and the station's News Director.

From there he went to National Public Radio, where he rose from associate producer to newscaster for All Things Considered. He left that job in 1990 to help start an alternative school in Washington, DC. Frank returned to NPR as a freelance news anchor, guest host of Talk of The Nation and other national programs, and host of special news coverage.

He also presents audio theater workshops for children and teachers and conducts radio journalism workshops for broadcasters in former Soviet-bloc countries. He lives in Durham.

LOGAN ULRICH / WUNC

Prominent leaders from the North Carolina General Assembly have taken the reigns and are working to rewrite the controversial House Bill 2. 

Geoff Livingston / Flickr Creative Commons

Whether the result of uninformed reporting or newsrooms lacking in diversity, the media’s depiction of Muslims can be simplistic and inaccurate.

It sometimes presents Muslims as violent, extreme, and monolithic, creating a culture of fear and blame that victimizes them.

Writers and artists: James Boyle, Keith Aoki, Jennifer Jenkins / Creative Commons

For centuries, musicians have borrowed and sampled from each other, creating musical evolution as they advance their own styles and careers. However, with each cycle of musical cross-fertilization comes attempts to police it.

A new comic book, “Theft! A History of Music” (James Boyle and Jennifer Jenkins/2017), dissects 2000 years of music history and its legacy of copyright and control.

Bree Newsome is a community organizer and activist from Charlotte
Courtesy of Bree Newsome

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.

Image of folklorist Joseph Hall
Courtesy of Ted Olson, ETSU

More than 4,000 people surrendered their homes and land to create the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The park covers more than 500,000 acres and straddles the border between North Carolina and Tennessee.

Images of MRI scans
Carolina Institute for Developmental Disabilities

One in 68 children in the United States will develop autism spectrum disorder, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The field of autism research has grown rapidly in the past few decades, and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is at the forefront of much of this discovery

  Note: This conversation is a rebroadcast from February 16, 2017.

Brooklyn-based hip-hop artist Talib Kweli entered the music scene in the late 1990s as one half of the duo Black Star. The group stressed the importance of lyricism and wrestled with systems of inequality through rap. Since then, Kweli has maintained a reputation as a “conscious rapper.” He’s collaborated with other hip-hop artists like Kanye West, Kendrick Lamar and Durham-based producer 9th Wonder.

Actor Meshaun Labrone playing Stokely Carmichael in a new one-man show.
DJ Corey Photography / Courtesy of the Artist

Note: This conversation is a rebroadcast from February 16, 2017.

In the early 1960s, Stokely Carmichael was a relatively-unknown young activist working primarily with the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee in Alabama and Mississippi. But he rose to prominence in the summer of 1966 when he introduced the term “black power” into the national dialogue.

Rosenfeld Media / Flickr

Flying cars, totalitarian regimes, and post-apocalyptic worlds. These are just a few characteristics of the dystopian film genre--movies that explore a twisted view of the future.

photo of the NC legislature
Wikimedia

A new bill in the North Carolina Legislature proposes changing the juvenile penal system to raise the age of adult prosecution for most offenses. The state is currently one of only two in the nation where 16 and 17 year olds are routinely charged as adults.

Courtesy of The Department of Special Collections at Stanford University Libraries

Flores Forbes joined the Black Panther Party when he was just 16 years old. He became the youngest member of the Central Committee and eventually got involved in the party’s military arm. 

Stories from the President's Kitchen Cabinet

Mar 16, 2017

When Adrian Miller was researching his book on the history of Soul Food, he kept coming across references to African-American cooks who had served in the White House.

Courtesy North Carolina Commission of Inquiry on Torture

A newly-formed group comprised of former politicians, academics, and community leaders will investigate possible connections between North Carolina and the CIA’s interrogation program.

Aero Contractors, a private aviation company based at the Johnston County airport, allegedly picked up suspected terrorists and transported them to CIA-run black site prisons.

Driving Through a Changing South

Mar 15, 2017
book cover of "Discovering the South: One Man's Travels Through a Changing America in the 1930s."
Courtesy of Jennifer Ritterhouse

In the summer of 1937, Jonathan Daniels, the young, white, liberal-minded editor of the News & Observer, embarked on a driving tour of 10 Southern states. He documented the stories of the diverse people he encountered and hoped to change the national perception of the region.

An image of an advertisement for the play 'The Miraculous and the Mundane'
Manbites Dog Theater

In the new play “The Miraculous and the Mundane,” an African-American family in Durham must readjust their lives when the family’s patriarch begins to show signs of Alzheimer’s disease.

Percy Nelson has worked hard to provide for his children, but his health issues begin to fracture the family’s stability.
 

Courtesy E.C. Hanes

When E.C. “Redge” Hanes was looking for a backdrop for his latest novel, he decided to draw from his own experience. He once raised hogs on a farm with his brother, and he also participated in an environmental study commission looking into the impact of hog farming on North Carolina’s ecology.

Hanes’ new book “Justice By Another Name” (Rane Coat Press/2017) is a tale of love and revenge set in fictional Hogg County, North Carolina.
 

An image of UNCA professors and co-hosts Marcus Harvey and Darin Waters
David Allen / UNC-Asheville

Asheville has been home to an African-American community for centuries. However, African-American residents in Asheville and western North Carolina have historically suffered from systemic inequality and racial disparities.

In the new radio program and podcast “The Waters and Harvey Show,” co-hosts Darin Waters and Marcus Harvey examine western North Carolina’s cultural history and the narratives of marginalized communities.
 

Courtesy Western Carolina University

Davy Arch grew up on a subsistence farm in western North Carolina. As a boy, he learned the value of traditional Cherokee culture from his grandfather, who taught him the old stories, how to hunt and fish, and how to identify valuable medicinal plants.

Today Arch is a practitioner of traditional medicine, a historian, storyteller and a folk artist with work on display at the Smithsonian Institution.
 

exterior of the NC State Legislature
Jeff Tiberii / WUNC

State lawmakers have advanced a measure that would remove some judicial appointment powers from Gov. Roy Cooper.

They also continued touting a bill that would change opiate prescription guidelines and proposed, yet again, to send 16-year-olds and 17-year-olds who are alleged to have committed nonviolent crimes to juvenile courts instead of being tried as adults.

Host Frank Stasio talks with WUNC Capitol Bureau Chief Jeff Tiberii about this week’s activity at the legislature.

Courtesy Rob Dunn

The banana is always in season and always available at the grocery store. A new book explores how the prevalence of the popular fruit is a model for the dangers of a food system that is increasingly dependent on fewer food staples.

“Never Out Of Season” (Little, Brown, and Company/2017) by biologist Rob Dunn, a professor in the department of applied ecology at North Carolina State University, walks readers through the precarious corporate food system and explains how diversity is crucial to crop survival.
 

An image of James Phillips, Stacy Harden and Daniel Michalak of Bombadil
DL Anderson

A few years ago, Durham-based indie-folk band Bombadil decided to do some soul searching. After one of the band members left the group, the rest of the band decided to take a step back and find a new direction. The group eventually picked up new bandmate and worked with a data scientist to create “the perfect Bombadil song.” The band’s new style guides its latest album “Fences.”
 

AP Photo/Alex Sanz

UPDATED 12:11 P.M. ON FRIDAY, MARCH 10

 

North Carolina district attorney David Learner said Friday that two assistant district attorneys no longer work for his office.

 

Learner’s statement is in response to an investigation by the Associated Press that reported prosecutors Frank Webster and Chris Back helped derail criminal investigations into allegations of abuse by church leaders of the Word of Faith Fellowship in Spindale.

 

Courtesy Danielle Purifoy

Lawyer and environmentalist Danielle Purifoy and artist Torkwase Dyson loaded up art supplies and media equipment in a mobile art studio and traveled to North Carolina and Alabama to meet people who live in the shadows of structural racism. The documentary project “In Conditions of Fresh Water” focuses on how residents of some communities in Alamance County, North Carolina, and Lowndes County, Alabama lack access to adequate sanitation infrastructure.

Courtesy of the Artists

Indian immigrants have been been settling in North Carolina for decades. Today there are an estimated 100,000 Indian immigrants who call North Carolina home, and a large concentration of those individuals live in the Research Triangle.

 

A picture of an empty classroom.
f_a_r_e_w_e_l_l / Flickr

Today is International Women's Day, and women across the United States are participating in a mass strike called, “A Day Without a Woman.” The organizers behind the historic Women’s March on Washington that came in that wake of President Trump’s inauguration are behind the mass protest. They called on women to not attend work, not to shop, and if unable to do either of those, to wear red in solidarity. 

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