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.

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The State of Things
10:00 am
Fri June 17, 2011

Spirit Family Reunion

Spirit Family Reunion is a Brooklyn-based band with a Southern soul and a rowdy, toe-tapping repertoire. Their music is a blend of front-porch Americana, old-time gospel and bluegrass. They sing about redemption, salvation and celebration.

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The State of Things
10:00 am
Fri June 17, 2011

Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter

Book cover, ''Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter''

Host Frank Stasio talks with Tom Franklin about his newest book.

Author Tom Franklin made his name with a collection of short stories called “Poaches.” His latest novel is a murder mystery that mines his Southern boyhood for material. Not only does “Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter” (Harper Perennial/2011) keep the reader enraptured with its well-paced crime story, it also explores truths about race relations and friendship in the modern, rural South.

The State of Things
12:42 pm
Thu June 16, 2011

The Homefront is the Battlefront

Movie still from the film, ''Gone with the Wind''

Thavolia Glymph and Laura Edwards join host Frank Stasio

The Civil War is often referred to as the last war fought on American soil. Since then, we fight wars over seas and we watch the battles play out on TV or the Internet. For black and white women living in the American South, the Civil War was fought all around them, but the true enemies were poverty, hunger and despair. For those women, the battlefront was not a distant idea because the battlefront was the homefront. As part of our series, “North Carolina Voices: The Civil War,” Thavolia Glymph and Laura Edwards join host Frank Stasio to discuss what life was like for women in North Carolina during the war.

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The State of Things
12:38 pm
Thu June 16, 2011

North Carolina Quakers During The Civil War

Did you know that Quakers were the first organized non-native religious group in the Carolinas? In the late 1600s, the governor and assembly of North Carolina were majority Quaker. Today, the Piedmont Triad has the largest concentration of Quakers in North America. But leading up to the Civil War, Quakers left the state in droves because of their opposition to slavery. During the war, their pacifism sent them north and west to free states. Greensboro’s Guilford College was first established as a boarding school in 1837 in order to maintain some Quaker presence in the state.

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The State of Things
11:44 am
Wed June 15, 2011

State's Rights and the Reconstruction Amendments

Michael Gerhardt
Credit law.unc.edu

The 14th Amendment may be the most hotly debated 2,000 words in American history. It was adopted on July 9, 1868 and is considered the most important of the “Reconstruction Amendments.” Those amendments - the 13th, 14th and 15th - reconfigure the relationship between the states and the federal government. Among other things, they put the federal government in the position of monitoring the way states protect civil rights.

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The State of Things
11:24 am
Wed June 15, 2011

Beauty Pageants

Credit missnc.org

The Miss North Carolina beauty pageant begins this Tuesday. The winner of that will compete in the illustrious Miss America beauty pageant. Both contests are influential, doing much to perpetuate a certain image of female beauty. But is that image of beauty harmful?

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The State of Things
11:58 am
Tue June 14, 2011

Moonshine

Charlie Thompson

Host Frank Stasio talks about the history of moonshine with Charlie Thompson and Dan Pierce.

Charlie Thompson wanted to learn more about his grandfather’s history in moonshine, so began investigating his hometown and the “Moonshine Capital of the World,” Franklin County, Virginia. What he found was a complicated picture of poverty and necessity juxtaposed with a hierarchy of power that was revealed during a famous conspiracy trial in 1935.

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The State of Things
11:35 am
Tue June 14, 2011

Black Soldiers In The Civil War

Visualize a Civil War soldier and a sepia colored picture of a white man likely comes to mind. But thousands of African Americans in North Carolina served in the Union Army during the Civil War. They trained in the town of New Bern after its fall in March 1962.

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The State of Things
11:27 am
Tue June 14, 2011

Tryon Palace

During the Civil War, the South lost the Battle of New Bern and the area became occupied by thousands of Union forces. New Bern is home to many historic sites, including the storied Tryon Palace. As part of our North Carolina Voices series on the Civil War, Host Frank Stasio talks to Kay Williams, director of Tryon Palace, about the new battle facing New Bern's tourism gem - the state budget calls for massive cuts to Tryon Palace starting in fewer than 20 days.

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The State of Things
10:40 am
Mon June 13, 2011

Meet Heather Williams

Credit history.unc.edu

Heather Williams experienced racism for the first time when she moved to Brooklyn from Jamaica at 11 years old. That’s when she discovered that black was considered bad in the United States, though she didn't know why. Her high school library’s Black Studies section began her education in racial history. Her fascination with the subject would lead her to one day become a civil rights lawyer, and later, a teacher of history.

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