Dickinson, Emily & Norris, Wendy — Emily Dickinson: Hiding in Her Own House

History remembers poets of past eras as windows into the civilization of their time.  A poet’s words reveal life and feelings we would otherwise never know.  New England, in the mid-19century, was the center of a renaissance of American poetry.  Emily Dickinson, better known now than she was then, was known for her phrases which sang out in a multitude of forms, meters and styles.  Her words presented her innermost feelings and thoughts.  A passionate and witty woman, she made a craft and an art of her words and her life.

I met with Emily Dickinson in the person of actress Wendy Norris, in the parlor of the Dickinson family home, magically carried from Amherst, Massachusetts, to the stage of the Willits Community Theater, in Willits, California, where the belle of Amherst told her story.  We began our conversation when I asked Emily Dickinson why she chose not to receive visitors in her home for so many years.

 Click here to listen or on the media player below.

Farr, Sam — Special Edition: Sit-In at the House of Representatives


Welcome to this special edition of Radio Curious with Congressman Sam Farr.   We spoke with Congressman Farr while he and approximately 150 other Democratic members of Congress were participating in an unprecedented sit-in on the floor of the House of Representatives.  The issue is gun control.  These members of Congress are demanding that the Republican leadership of the House allow the a vote on gun control.

Our visited by phone with Congressman Farr occurred at midnight on June 23, 2016, while he participated in the Sit-In on the floor of the House of Representatives.  The Republican leadership of the House had turned off all the microphones as well as the live television feed from C-Span.  The background noise you hear is from the activity and speeches going on while we visited.  I asked Congressman Farr to describe the scene, the issue and what may occur as a result of this novel political action.

Click here to listen or on the media player below.

 

Stiefel, Frank — “Ingelore” Speaking Without Hearing

What would it be like for you if you were deaf? If you could not speak your first word until you were six? If you had three years of education, your first language was German, and you later emigrated to another country where they speak English?  Ingelore is the first name of a woman who was born in Germany in 1924, and came to America in 1940 at the beginning of the Third Reich, right after Kristallnacht. The film “Ingelore” was made by Inglelore’s son Frank Stiefel, and it tells his mother’s story.

In this edition of Radio Curious, we begin with Ingelore in her own words from the documentary “Ingelore.” As you hear her ability to articulate words in English it’s important to remember she cannot hear.

This interview was recorded on May 29th, 2010 with Frank Stiefel from his home in Santa Monica, California.

The books that Frank Stiefel recommends are “Hand Of My Father,” by Myron Uhlberg, and “The Road,” by Cormac McCarthy.

Click here to listen or on the media player below.

Feeney, Mark — Nixon at the Movies

Richard Nixon and the movies he watched while he was president is the topic of this archived edition of Radio Curious. On his third night in office, January 22, 1969 Nixon saw “The Shoes of the Fisherman” in the White House movie theater. From then until August 1973, when he resigned the presidency, Nixon watched over 500 movies in the White House, at Camp David, and other places he frequented. This is an average of 2½ movies per week during his presidency.

The book, “Nixon at the Movies: A Book About Belief,” by Boston Globe journalist Mark Feeney, examines the role movies played in forming Nixon’s character and career, and the role Nixon played in the development of American film. Ronald Reagan may have been the first movie star president, but Feeney argues that Nixon was the first true cinematic president. In this program, recorded in January 2005, Mark Feeney begins by commenting on the effect the 500 plus movies that Nixon watched had on him and his presidency.

The book Mark Feeney recommends is, “The Whole Equation,” by David Thompson.
This interview was originally broadcast on February 22, 2005.

Click here to listen or on the media player below.

Dr. Alondra Nelson – Race, Reparations, and Reconciliation After the Genome

 

Who we are and where we come from is a crucial question that now we are more able to answer than ever before. The examination and analysis of our individual DNA, in addition to answering a myriad of medical and forensic secrets also reveals the mix of our individual ancestors and the paths they took. This analysis provides significant and untold information about who we are, from where we came and how we may connect with our relatives.

Dr. Alondra Nelson, the Dean of Social Science and professor of sociology and gender studies at Columbia University, in New York City, is our guest in this edition of Radio Curious.

Professor Nelson is the author of The Social Life of DNA: Race, Reparations, and Reconciliation After the Genome. She s also the author of Body and Soul: The Black Panther Party and the Fight Against Medical Discrimination, which she and I have previously discussed on Radio Curious.

To discuss The Social Life of DNA, Professor Nelson and I visited by phone from her office n New York City, on February 19, 2016. We began by noting that although all human beings are members of the human race, people are grouped by skin color and/or facial features and characterized as being of a different race.

The book she recommends is “Come Out Swinging,” by Lucia Trimbur.

This program was recorded on February 19, 2016.

Click here to begin listening to this episode.

Dr. Estelle B. Freedman – History of Feminism

The place of women in the world and in the American society has changed in many aspects in the recent past.  Many people say this is due to the politics of feminism, and some inquire where it will lead.

I spoke with Professor Estelle B. Freedman by phone in April 2002 and asked her to talk about why feminism did not evolve as people evolved and civilization developed.

The books Professor Freedman recommends are “The Blind Assassin” by Margaret Atwood, and “The Vagina Monologues” by Eve Ensler.

Click here to begin listening.

Dr. Elizabeth Allen – Changes In Segregation Since 1952 – Part 2

In this edition of Radio Curious, we’ll visit again with Dr. Elizabeth Allen, a Professor of nursing at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. As a high school student, Dr. Allen was one of the first African American students to integrate the West Virginia high schools in 1957.

We begin our conversation with Dr. Allen when she discusses how she was able to successfully get through the educational system, and what changes have occurred in education since then, as they relate to African American students.

The book she recommends is The Price of Loyalty by David Susskind with former US Treasury Secretary, Paul O’Neil.

This episode originally broadcast in May, 2004

Dr. Elizabeth Allen – Changes In Segregation Since 1952

In May, 1954 the United States Supreme Court unanimously declared, ”segregation in public education is a denial of the equal protection of the laws.”  Brown v. The Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas, was a leader of many that gave strength and support to the initial struggles for equal civil rights and equal access for all people regardless of skin color. Now 62 years later the concept of affirmative action admission policies for racial equality in public universities continues.

 In this 2004 archive edition of Radio Curious we visit with Dr. Elizabeth Allen, now a Professor Emeritus of Nursing at the University of Michigan.  As a high school student in 1957, Dr. Allen was one of the first African-American students to integrate the West Virginia high schools.  Later she was a Captain in the U.S. Army as Combat Nurse in Viet Nam, prior to obtaining a Master’s Degree and Ph.D. in nursing and becoming a professor of nursing at the University of Michigan.

This is the first of a two part series recorded in April 2004, in commemoration of the Brown v. Board of Education decision, recorded in late April 2004, Dr. Elizabeth Allen and I began our visit with her description the changes in racial segregation between 1954 and 2004.

 Dr. Elizaeth Allen is an avid romance reader and recommends any book written by Linda Howard.  She also recommends “The Price of Loyalty” by David Suskind with former US Treasury Secretary Paul O’Neill.

This interview as originally broadcast in May 2004.

Click here to begin listening

Dr. Alondra Nelson – Healthcare & The Black Panther Party

The exodus of approximately six million black people from the American South between 1915 and 1970 had a significant role in setting the stage of the civil rights movement of the early 1960s. Many of the children of those who left the south participated in desegregation efforts which included the Freedom Rides and lunch counter sit-ins. The Civil Rights Acts of 1964 and 1965 which attempted to resolve employment discrimination and define voting rights, only changed the law. Many young blacks however did not see changes in their everyday life.

The Black Panther Party for Self-Defense was born out of this disillusionment. Although infiltrated and feared by the F.B.I., the Black Panther Party pioneered social and community programs, including free medical clinics, free meals, and educational programs.

Our guest in this edition of Radio Curious is Alondra Nelson, Columbia University, Dean of Social Science and professor of sociology.  She’s also the author of “Body and Soul: The Black Panther Party and the Fight Against Medical Discrimination.”

We visited by phone from her Office in New York City, on February 13, 2012 and began our conversation when I asked her to describe the Black Panther Party.

The book she recommends is “Crave Radiance: New and Selected Poems,” by Elizabeth Alexander.

Click here to begin listening.

 

Maria Stewart – Professor Sandra Kamusukiri: A Visit With A Free Black Woman – Boston, 1840

Maria W. Stewart, was a free black woman who lived in Boston, Massachusetts, from the early 1820s to the early 1840s. She was the first American born woman to lecture in public on political themes and likely the first African-American to speak out in defense of women s rights.

A forerunner to Sojourner Truth and Frederick Douglass, she was intensely religious and was regarded as outspoken and controversial in her time.  For more than a century Maria W. Stewart’s life’s contributions have remained obscured, illustrating the double pressures of racism and sexism on the lives of African-American women.

The life of Maria W. Stewart, a free black woman who lived in Boston, Massachusetts, from the early 1820s to the early 1840s is the topic of this edition of Radio Curious.

Maria W. Stewart was personified by Chautauqua Scholar, Professor Sandra Kamusukiri, during the 1996 Democracy in American Chautauqua held in Ukiah, California.  Professor Kamusukiri is an Associate Vice President Emeritus, of the Emeritus English Faculty of the California State University at San Bernardino. I met with her, posing as Maria W. Stewart, and began our visit when I asked Maria W. Stewart to explain the differences between the lives of free black women in the northern states and black women who were slaves in the southern states.

The book that Maria W. Stewart recommends is the Bible.

 

The book that Sandra Kamusukiri recommends is “Maria W. Stewart, America’s First Black Woman Political Writer: Essays and Speeches,” edited by Marilyn Richardson

The program was originally broadcast in 1996.

click here to listen to the episode