Politics and History

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Political repression and censorship forced a generation of Black jazz musicians out of South Africa and into clubs in Europe and the US. But jazz critic Gwen Ansell says some musicians remained, and they left a legacy of unforgettable music.More

Person at the Institute for American Indian Arts.

A wide range of writers — now celebrated with commercial and critical success — work to celebrate an evolving literary canon without limiting it. More

A powwow in 2015 at the Institute for American Indian Arts.

Tommy Orange's debut novel “There There” was one of the big breakout books of 2018. He told Steve that with his novel, he hoped to better represent modern Native Americans that have grown up living in cities.More

Mahjong tiles

Board games are a tradition for a lot of us. But have you ever thought about where those traditions come from? Producer Angelo Bautista investigates the history of mahjong.More

The Maasai have lived alongside the Serengeti wildlife for generations.

Science journalist Sonia Shah, herself the child of Indian immigrants, has long been fascinated with the way animals, people and even microbes move. Speaking with "To The Best Of Our Knowledge," she says migration is both a crisis and an opportunity.More

A wall with the asexual flag colors

One of the first assumptions we make about a relationship is that it begins with sexual attraction. But what about desire without sex? Angela Chen explores the contradictions — and the possibilities — of asexuality in her new book.More

Anne Strainchamps and Lisa Diamond

Psychologist Lisa Diamond offers a radical new understanding of sexual orientation, arguing that it’s much more fluid than previously believed.More

Lydia Hester

Lydia Hester is 17. A junior in high school with a pile of AP classes. And she has a nearly full-time job as an activist. She does all that, and she’s not even old enough to vote. And yes, that really bugs her.More

Deray Mckesson

Organizer and activist DeRay Mckesson says hoping for big change is great, but it doesn't go anywhere without small actions where people take care of one another.More

"Poison Squad" Volunteers taking in a dinner with a side of Borax.

Science writer Deborah Blum on the government scientists who made the case for food regulation by "eating dangerously."More

Man along an unnamed road in Obafemi Owode, Nigeria.

Chigozie Obioma grew up in Nigeria — he’s a novelist and teaches at the University of Nebraska - Lincoln. He says that despite rampant corruption, poverty, and an HIV/AIDS crisis, Nigerians are definitely more optimistic than most. He explains why.More

Throughout history, we've been surrounded by substances that seemed benign and innocent in our food, in our gardens, in our medicine cabinets — until we realized they could be slowly killing us.More

Vaccine vial

Married couple Ilan Kedan and Christina Lombardi work at Cedars-Sinai Hospital in Los Angeles, and they each decided to participate in two separate medical trials for COVID-19 vaccines.More

A vaccine bottle with a looming virus

Science writer Sarah Zhang has reported extensively on the newly-developed COVID-19 vaccines — how they work, the logistical and psychological challenges of the roll out, and what they mean for our society.More

Girls in pink, boys in blue

Historian Jo Paoletti speaks with Shannon about gender's ever-changing relationship with fashion.More

Mural of ancient soldiers returning from battle

Historian Margaret MacMillan tells Steve what war reveals about human nature.More

Clock of the Long Now

Alexander Rose tells Anne Strainchamps about the Clock of the Long Now — an all mechanical clock being constructed in the high desert of Western Texas designed to run for ten thousand years.More

Tyrone  Muhammad

Tyrone Muhammad, also known as "Muhammad the Mortician," is the funeral director at Newark’s Peace and Glory Home for Funerals. He spent decades trying to stop the epidemic of gun violence in the black community he serves, but nothing prepared him for a pandemic.More

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