In just one year, everything in one ordinary public middle school changed. It went from an incoming class of thirty sixth graders—most of them Black, Latino, and Middle Eastern—to a class of 103 sixth graders.
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On a friend’s recommendation, B.A. Parker decides to try attending First Corinthian Baptist Church in Harlem.
Emanuele Berry and Ira Glass watch a Soviet film from 1936. A bizarre cameo of an African American baby in an all-white crowd makes Emanuele wonder about what it’s like to be Black in a country with so few Black people.
Yelena Khanga grew up in Russia knowing almost no other Black people. Emanuele Berry asks Yelena what that was like.
There’s a lawsuit going on between Harvard and some Asian American students who say the admissions process discriminates against them.
Producer Neil Drumming has steadfastly avoided one bar in his neighborhood because of the controversy that surrounds it—until recently, when he noticed that lots of people he didn’t expect to go there were becoming regulars.
Kelefa Sanneh sits in on one of Starbucks’ anti-racial bias classes. There’s one thing that no one seems to want to talk about.
Producer Neil Drumming talks with the rapper Breeze Brewin about a toy car they both loved playing with as kids: The General Lee from the hit TV show The Dukes of Hazzard. Breeze went on to record a song called “Generally” about The General Lee with his group the Juggaknots.
There’s a museum in Baltimore that was created to memorialize the black experience in America. It’s called The National Great Blacks in Wax Museum.
Dante Nero has been involved in this group for years, since before it even had a name. He’s seen its evolution.
The man who organized the rally in Charlottesville is named Jason Kessler. He says he’s not to blame for the violence that happened there, including the death of a counter protester.
Host Ira Glass talks to Mariya Karimjee about a college application essay question. Essay B asksstudents to imagine a person they might meet in college—someone from a very differentbackground.
Back in the late 1960s, a wealthy tobacco heiress saw that integration was happening all around the country—except at prep schools in the South. So she set out to find the best black students in neighborhood public schools—in hopes of teaching the white prep-school students to be less bigoted. Mosi Secret tells the story of how the first two black students to integrate Virginia Episcopal Academy succeeded beyond anyone’s expectations.
Comedian and actor Azie Dungey recounts her time playing a slave for visiting tourists at George Washington’s estate in Mount Vernon.
Producer Neil Drumming looks into two videos he found on YouTube—one that takes place in Atlantic City, another in Brooklyn—that deal with the trouble kids face walking home from school.
Zora Bikangaga grew up in a mostly white California suburb, the son of Ugandan immigrants. But when he went to college, someone thought he himself was Ugandan.
Obesity in America affects a higher percentage of black people than white people. Roxane Gay talks about being black and being fat with host Ira Glass.
Comedian Sasheer Zamata does this joke about her mom in her standup act. About how her mom hates white people.
Host Ira Glass talks with Adam Mansbach about what happened when he went looking for an apartment and was mistaken for someone else. Adam is the author of the book Go The F*** To Sleep.
The story of an entire town that gets a status update. Producer Chana Joffe-Walt talked to Paul Kiel of Pro Publica, the man who gave the town its status update.
Ira speaks with New York Times Magazine Reporter Nikole Hannah-Jones about her years reporting on education and the various kinds of school reforms administrators have tried to close the achievementgap that never seem to work. Nikole says there's one reform that people have pretty much given upon, despite a lot of evidence that it works – school integration.
We bring you this very matter-of-fact article from 1853, about something profoundly troubling: a slave auction in Virginia.
This American Life producer Robyn Semien watched the Eric Garner video with a friend who's aNew York cop. Robyn's black.
Miki Meek reports on how bad things got for black residents of Miami Gardens, Florida – and why they got so bad – by telling the story of two men, a convenience store owner and one of his employees.