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're 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 or Tumblr.

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State of Things
1:15 pm
Tue September 6, 2011

Dark Tangos

Dark Tangos
Credit www.lewisshiner.com

Lewis Shiner’s latest novel is a blend of historical fiction, romance and crime, and it all revolves around tango. Protagonist Rob Cavenaugh is a recent transplant to Buenos Ares. On the dance floor, he falls in love, but his relationship exposes him to Argentina’s dark history. Thousands of citizens disappeared in the country’s dirty war, and Rob’s new crush was somehow involved. Host Frank Stasio talks with Shiner about his new novel, "Dark Tangos" (Subterranean Press/2011).

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State of Things
1:10 pm
Tue September 6, 2011

Daughters of the Dust

Daughters of the Dust

Filmmaker Julie Dash made history with her movie, “Daughters of the Dust.” In 1991, it became the first full-length feature by an African-American woman to receive a general theatrical release. The critically acclaimed movie tells the story of the Peazant family, a clan of Gullah Island dwellers who are divided by the decision to leave their isolated life and move to the mainland. “Daughters of the Dust” will be screened at The Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University on Thursday as part of the new “Seeing Black” film series.

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State of Things
9:00 am
Mon September 5, 2011

Some College, No Degree

Some College, No Degree

Everyone knows there's a high school dropout problem in the United States, but the college dropout rate is worse. Nearly a quarter of American adults started college but didn't finish - about 37 million people. Now they're being left behind in an economy increasingly focused on workers with degrees. American RadioWorks producer (and former WUNC News Director) Emily Hanford examines why so many people start college but don't graduate, what's being done to bring them back, and whether a college degree is the answer for everyone.

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State of Things
10:10 am
Fri September 2, 2011

The Foreign Exchange

The Foreign Exchange
Credit www.theforeignexchangemusic.com

While a young Phonte Coleman was growing up listening to the soulful sounds of artists like Luther Vandross and Chaka Khan in Greensboro, NC, Nicolay Rook was being reared on a similar catalog of musicians in the Netherlands. That musical kinship drew Coleman and Rook to each other on okayplayer.com, an online hip-hop message board, in 2002. The two never met in-person until after they’d put the finishing touches on their critically-acclaimed first album, “Connected.” Today, their band, The Foreign Exchange, boasts three albums, a record label imprint and a Grammy nomination. Rook has since relocated to Wilmington, NC to be closer to his bandmate, but he and Coleman continue to work through a long-distance relationship.

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State of Things
12:09 pm
Thu September 1, 2011

Speed Drummer

worldrecordsacademy.org
Credit worldrecordsacademy.org

Eric Okamoto is a percussion teacher in Cary, NC who has brought drumming to new heights. Since he won his first speed percussion competition in 2003, Okamoto has continued to top the list of the world's fastest drummers. He just broke more records at a competition in Nashville, Tennessee in July.

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State of Things
11:55 am
Thu September 1, 2011

Supreme Love for John Coltrane

John Coltrane
Credit www.john-coltrane.com

In recent years, High Point, NC has come to embrace the legacy of one of its most famous former residents, jazz legend John Coltrane. This weekend, the town will host the first John Coltrane International Jazz and Blues Festival. Coltrane spent his youth in High Point, where he learned to play the clarinet and the saxophone. Host Frank Stasio talks about Coltrane's early life and his music with John Brown, director of the Duke University Jazz Program; Bruce Davis, a member of the Guilford County Board of Commissioners and co-chair of the Friends of John Coltrane committee; and Edith Brady, director of the High Point Museum.

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State of Things
11:47 am
Thu September 1, 2011

Floyd Council's Birthday

Floyd Council
Credit http://www.wirz.de/music/councfrm.htm

Floyd Council of Chapel Hill, NC was one of the Piedmont Blues greats in the 1930s. He is best known as being a namesake of the popular rock group Pink Floyd. Council, who died in 1976, would have turned 100 tomorrow. Frank Stasio talks with Raleigh musician "Th' Bullfrog" Willard McGhee about Floyd Council's life and legacy.

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State of Things
12:03 pm
Wed August 31, 2011

The Changing Place of Poverty

Winston-Salem, NC has the worst rate of family hunger of any metropolitan area in the nation, according to a new study by the Food Research and Action Center. Winston-Salem is only a particularly acute example of what's happening across North Carolina and the nation: increased hunger and poverty, and the suburbanization of poverty as it surges out of inner cities and pulls in the formerly middle class.

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State of Things
11:51 am
Wed August 31, 2011

The Resurrection of Nat Turner

The Resurrection of Nat Turner
Credit theresurrectionofnatturner.com

Author Sharon Ewell Foster spent the last five years researching Nat Turner, the slave who led a violent rebellion in Southampton County, VA in 1831. She found that Turner’s ancestors hailed from Ethiopia, that Turner was a man of strong spiritual faith and that there was much to be gained by whites in the Commonwealth of Virginia by painting Turner as a savage villain. Foster’s research led her to create a new series of historical fiction called “The Resurrection of Nat Turner.” The first book in that series, “The Witnesses” (Howard Books/2011), has just been released.

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State of Things
11:35 am
Tue August 30, 2011

How Shakespeare Says "I'm Sorry"

Book cover, ''Shakespeare and the Grammar of Forgiveness''

The public mea culpa has become akin to performance art in modern times. It seems a month seldom goes by without a celebrity, public figure or politician begging for forgiveness via the mass media. Repentance and forgiveness have not always been such public, interpersonal matters, however. In the days before the Protestant Reformation, forgiveness was up to God and God alone. In her new book, "Shakespeare and the Grammar of Forgiveness" (Cornell University Press/2011), Duke University English Professor Sarah Beckwith traces the roots of our modern understanding of forgiveness to the language of William Shakespeare's later plays. Host Frank Stasio talks with Beckwith about how we say "I'm sorry."

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