The State of Things

M-F 12 Noon, M-Th 8p, Sat 6a

We bring the issues, personalities, and places of North Carolina to you. We are a live show, and we want to hear from listeners. Call 1-877-962-9862, email sot@wunc.org, or tweet @state_of_things. Follow us on Facebook and Instagram.

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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.

Nina Simone's Tryon, NC Home Sold to Artists

23 hours ago
A clapboard house sits on a hill in the town of Tryon, NC
Courtesy of BPR News

In the 1930s and '40s, the community of Tryon, North Carolina supported local girl Eunice Waymon on her path to becoming a classical pianist. But she veered far from that trajectory, and eventually became an internationally-celebrated jazz and soul singer known as Nina Simone.
 

The three-room wooden house Simone was born and raised in was preserved by community members and recently purchased by four New York City-based artists.

Guest host Phoebe Judge talks with Blue Ridge Public Radio reporter Helen Chickering about the house and its future.

Marc Edwards has been named among the most influential people in the world by Time, Fortune, Politico, and Foreign Policy Magazine. Edwards is a professor of civil and environmental engineering at Virginia Tech, and he blew the whistle on the water crisis in Flint, Mich.

Flickr Creative Commons

Lawmakers in the U.S. House of Representatives are expected to vote on the American Health Care Act Thursday. The bill would replace the Affordable Care Act, former President Obama’s signature legislation. Approval of the AHCA would mean approximately 24 million people could lose health care coverage by 2026, according to an estimate released last week by the Congressional Budget Office. 

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.

Sea Level Rise Threatens Military Bases

Mar 21, 2017
An F/A-18C Hornet assigned to the “Blue Blasters” of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 34 takes off from the aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson.
Courtesy of the National Museum of the U.S. Navy's Photostream

A report by the Union of Concerned Scientists reveals that 128 U.S. military installations could be threatened by rising sea levels.

WUNC Military reporter Jay Price found that some bases are already experiencing flooding, and that the Department of Defense has no long-term plan for addressing climate change.
 

Guest host Phoebe Judge talks with Jay Price about the findings and the military’s uncertain path forward.  

A profile of a smiling Bakari Sellers, CNN political analyst, lawyer, and former South Carolina State Representative.
Courtesy Bakari Sellers

In 2006, Bakari Sellers became the youngest elected state representative in South Carolina. At one point he was also the youngest black elected official in the United States.
 

In conversation with guest host Phoebe Judge, he reflects on his father’s civil rights legacy and his own political career.

An image of Duke University Professor Sarah Gaither
Duke University

Sarah Gaither is interested in how growing up with multiple racial identities shapes one’s social perceptions and behaviors. Gaither is an assistant professor of psychology and neuroscience at Duke University, and her work explores how racial and gender diversity can facilitate positive relationships within different social circles.

Small Nonprofit, Big Impact: Meet Juni Asiyo

Mar 20, 2017
Juni Asiyo wearing traditional Kenyan clothing.
Juni Asiyo

Note: This program is a rebroadcast from April 27. 2015.

Sub-Saharan Africa has the most serious HIV and AIDS epidemic in the world. In 2012, roughly 25 million people were living with HIV, accounting for nearly 70 percent of the global total. 

The battle is ongoing, as researchers, educators, and doctors continue to work to stop AIDS once and for all.

Image of Ken Rudin, the Political Junkie
kenrudinpolitics.com

President Trump unveiled his budget proposal Thursday with an emphasis on increased spending for the military and the Department of Homeland Security. The plan also included cuts to the Environmental Protection Agency and eliminates federal funding to the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. Some Republican lawmakers are wary of the proposed cuts to the State Department and federal aid programs.

Courtesy The Nile Project

 

The Nile Project is a collective of musicians from countries along the Nile basin. The group tours internationally and brings the eclectic sounds of participants’ native instruments to the stage. The musicians also organize lectures and workshops alongside their performances to discuss water conflict issues affecting their respective countries.

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.
 

Roy Cooper
Brian Batista / WUNC

Governor Roy Cooper says the future of the state is promising. The Democrat delivered his first "State of the State" address during a joint session of the General Assembly Monday night.

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.
 

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