Classically trained cellist-turned jazz vocalist Shana Tucker has been leading a double life this year. She’s been traveling back and forth between Nevada and North Carolina. In Las Vegas, she’s a part of the musical cast of the Cirque du Soliel show “Ka,” but Durham is still home for Tucker and this weekend, she’s back for a special concert where she’ll film scenes for a new music video. Tucker joins host Frank Stasio to perform live and talk about the bi-coastal life plus her new music projects.
Writer Sam Greenlee’s controversial 1969 novel “The Spook Who Sat by the Door” told the story of Freeman, an African-American man with CIA training, a militant spirit and a seething anger at America’s racial and social injustices. The book became a cult favorite and later a film.
The origins of the universe are being uncovered in Chapel Hill, NC thanks to Laura Mersini-Houghton, a cosmologist and theoretical physicist at the University of North Carolina. Her work delves even deeper into how our world came to be than the Big Bang theory.
Academy Award-winning filmmaker Errol Morris has turned his lens on flaws in America’s justice system before. His 1988 documentary “The Thin Blue Line” was pivotal in getting a wrongly convicted Texas man out of prison. Now, Morris is the author of a new book called “A Wilderness of Error: The Trials of Jeffrey MacDonald”
A new exhibit called “Girl Talk” at CAM, the contemporary art museum in Raleigh, explores the way women use language and communicate through the work of nine female artists. Women, specifically girls, are perhaps the most innovative users of speech and they are heavily influential on overall language trends.
Nina Simone was born Eunice Kathleen Waymon in Tryon, NC in 1933. She was musically gifted from a young age and her experience singing gospel in the church influenced her jazz performance style that would later make Simone an international superstar. Simone also lent her voice to the Civil Rights Movement with powerful, socially conscious songs like “Young, Gifted and Black” and “Mississippi Goddamn.” While she found success as a performer and activist, Simone also suffered from mental illness, which tore apart her personal relationships.
Legend has it that Baldemar Velasquez led his first fight for migrant farmworkers’ rights at the age of 12. He started working in the fields at 4 years old and soon became a self-taught scholar of social justice. Today, Velasquez is the founder and President of the Farm Labor Organizing Committee (FLOC), a labor union that has battled against unfair wages and mistreatment of migrant workers since 1967. FLOC has a headquarters in North Carolina where Velasquez regularly rallies for better conditions for local laborers.
Before he even released his debut solo CD, hip-hop artist Killer Mike scored a Grammy with OutKast for the song “The Whole World” in 2003. Mike’s new project, “R.A.P. Music” is his sixth studio effort and one that showcases the wisdom that has come with aging in the music business.
Charlotte, NC is the host city for this year’s Democratic National Convention. That means thousands of supporters, protesters, reporters and delegates have poured into the Queen City in anticipation of President Barack Obama accepting his second party nomination.
Legend has it that architect Harvey Gantt fell in love with Charlotte, NC the moment he laid eyes on the city he would come to lead. Gantt, a Democrat, served two terms as Charlotte’s first African-American mayor before running for U.S. Senate against Republican Jesse Helms.
There must be something in the water in Craven County, NC. North Carolina’s first female governor, Bev Perdue, got her start there, as did the state’s first African-American President Pro Tem of the House, William Wainwright.
“Hate” is one of those words that gets thrown around recklessly in everyday conversation, but sometimes when we say it, we mean it. What is hatred and why do we feel it? Is it an emotion unique to humans? And why does hatred often lead to violence?
After years covering crime, investigative journalist Mark Pinsky had had enough of murder. He made the transition to religion reporting and became a well-respected columnist and author by writing about spirituality in contemporary society and popular culture.
The American Civil Liberties Union of North Carolina says there are potentially thousands of inmates who have been wrongfully convicted because of a problem with structured sentencing unique to North Carolina. Chris Brook, Legal Director of the ACLU of North Carolina, joins host Frank Stasio to discuss how firearms possession and a change in sentencing laws have countless men and women serving undeserved stints in prison.
Just a year after an NCAA investigation into improper academic and financial benefits for members of the University of North Carolina’s football team, the school is under suspicion of academic fraud again. The first scandal resulted in the firing of Coach Butch Davis and the accelerated retirement of Athletic Director Dick Baddour. The latest probe involves student athletes and UNC’s Afro-American Studies program. WUNC Education Reporter Dave DeWitt joins host Frank Stasio for a look at the latest trouble brewing for UNC athletics.
In 1950, World War II veteran Hoover Adams scored a $15,000 loan from his father-in-law to start a newspaper in Dunn, North Carolina. He called it The Daily Record and from the start, the paper’s mission was to feature hyperlocal coverage of Harnett County. Church meetings, civic club activities and hog killings took precedence over political elections, plane crashes and national events that happened hundred of miles away from the paper’s home base. Adams’ news model was a success.
Phatlynx is a tribute band that honors North Carolina native Link Wray.
Wray was a master of instrumental music and a pioneer of the power chord, which would become the signature sound of hard rock. Phatlynx band members Crispy Bess, Groves Willer, Dave Perry and Robbie Poore join host Frank Stasio to play some of Wray's instrumentals live and talk about the guitarist who Rolling Stone magazine called "the man behind the most important D chord in history." This program originally aired on April 22, 2010.
One year ago, a jazz advocacy program called the Art of Cool Project started having a monthly concert series at an art gallery in Durham. Today, that project has expanded to Raleigh and is living up to its mission of creating spaces for jazz artists to perform and supporting musicians financially.
Creepy crawling creatures co-exist among us in our homes, but before you whip out the bug spray, consider this offer from scientist Michelle Trautwein. She and a team of researchers would like to inspect, collect samples from and analyze the insect species found in and around your home.
Coach, educator and activist LeRoy T. Walker spent his career breaking the color barrier. He was the first African-American coach of a U.S. Olympic Track Team, the first black president of the United States Olympic Committee and the man who, along with Duke University coach Al Buehler, united the races around the sport of track and field in Durham, NC.
“One Man…Two Titanium Legs…100 Chickens.” That’s the tag line for a forthcoming documentary called “The Farmer Veteran Project” produced by Vittles Films. The movie centers around the story of Alex Sutton, a veteran of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan who was seriously injured on his final tour of duty. Sutton now raises heirloom chickens in North Carolina and uses farming as a way to heal from the trauma of combat.
One night in December 1995, Jill Marker was leaving her job as assistant manager of an artificial flower shop called the Silk Plant Forest in Winston-Salem, NC when she was savagely beaten and left for dead. A few months later, police charged a man named Kalvin Michael Smith with the crime and he was convicted by a jury the next year. Smith has always maintained his innocence and several follow-up investigations show that police may have mishandled the case.
Occasionally, there are headlines about a new company coming to the area and bringing a certain number of jobs with it. Politicians love to talk about job creation, but what does it really mean for a local economy when a handful of people have a shot at employment? How many new jobs would it take to have a truly positive impact on a down economy and does it matter if the jobs are low wage?
Legend has it that Baldemar Velasquez led his first fight for migrant farmworkers’ rights at the age of 12. He started working in the fields at 4 years old and soon became a self-taught scholar of social justice.
There was never any doubt that Yolanda Rabun was cut out for the spotlight. She attended a performing arts high school in Atlanta, GA where she honed her singing and acting skills. She continued to perform while attending law school where she soon learned that the courtroom is just another kind of theater.
Songwriter Willie French Lowery is best remembered for penning Indian heritage anthems like “Proud to be a Lumbee” and writing the original music for “Strike at the Wind,” an annual outdoor drama that honors a Lumbee cultural hero. Lowery was also a successful rock musician, educator, activist and Robeson County community leader before he passed away in May at the age of 67.
What did Chapel Hill look like during the Civil Rights Movement? Photographer Jim Wallace captured images for the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s student newspaper, the Daily Tar Heel. But Wallace didn’t see fire hoses or police dogs turned on protesters.