In 1958, a Virginia couple named Mildred and Richard Loving married each other, only to be arrested shortly thereafter in middle of the night. Their crime: breaking the Racial Integrity Act of 1924, which criminalized marriages between white and non-white persons. Mildred was of African and Native American descent. Richard was of European descent. The Lovings initially pled guilty to the charges, but eventually fought back with a series of lawsuits that culminated in the Supreme Court case Loving v. Virginia. In 1967, the court ruled unanimously in their favor, proclaiming that laws criminalizing interracial marriage violated the Fourteenth Amendment.
A lot of parents grapple with how to talk to their kids about a certain sensitive topic. They want to know: Are the kids old enough to understand? Am I too late? And will I explain things right? We refer, of course, to money. Takeaway contributor Beth Kobliner has been working with the President's Advisory Council on Financial Capability on this very topic. She joins us from Washington DC, where she’s been on duty. Chuck Kalish is also here. A professor of educational psychology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, he researches and develops financial literacy curriculum for preschoolers.
We’re kicking off a new series of discussions on The Takeaway called "In My Experience." We'll be talking with older Americans who are long past retirement age, yet are nonetheless still looking to change how we live and work in this country. Philosopher and civil rights reformer Grace Lee Boggs joins us for the inaugural edition.
In this week’s podcast, Kristen and Rafer talk about the movies they’re most looking forward to seeing this summer. Warning: most of them are extremely stupid.
Here's a sampling: Woody Allen's new star-packed flick "Midnight in Paris"; "Larry Crowne," starring Julia Roberts and Tom Hanks; "Bad teacher with Cameron Diaz as a drunk irresponsible teacher and Justin Timberlake as the hot new sub; Alex Gibney's latest documentary, "Magic Trip"; "The Change Up," starring Ryan Reynolds; and "30 minutes or Less," about a pizza delivery guy-turned robber.
Rafer Guzman, Newsday film critic and co-host of the Movie Date podcast previews the weekend's new releases. There's the new animated birdbrained film "Rio" as well as the latest in modern slasher blockbuster series "Scream 4."
President Obama's mother Stanley Ann Dunham died young, at the age of 52. Because of this, her four grandchildren never got to hear her stories, eat her cooking, or experience those other parts of the special relationship many children are able to have with their grandparents. Maya Soetero-Ng, Dunham's daughter, didn't think deeply about this until one of her kids asked her what grandma was like. That question served as the inspiration for a children’s book called “Ladder to the Moon.” The story, illustrated whimsically by Yuyi Morales, imagines a meeting between Maya’s older daughter and her own mother.
We often look at the soldiers we send off to battle as warriors. But the experience of war transforms can transform fighters into humanitarians; we hear from two young veterans for whom this is the case. U.S. Marine Rye Barcott is an Iraq veteran, and founder of Carolina for Kibera: a non-governmental organization that uses sports and health care to nurture and develop young leaders in the slums of Kenya. He’s also the author of “It Happened on the Way to War: A Marine’s Path to Peace.” Eric Greitens is a Navy SEAL, Iraq veteran, Rhodes Scholar, and founder of The Mission Continues: a non-profit that trains wounded veterans for leadership roles in their communities. He’s also the author of “The Heart and the Fist: The Education of a Humanitarian, the Making of a Navy Seal.”
205 years ago, a lawyer-turned-textbook writer-turned-newspaper-editor published the first American English dictionary. It was 1806, and the title was “A Compendious Dictionary of the English Language.” That man’s name was Noah Webster. And today, his name is synonymous with the word “dictionary” in the U.S. Joshua Kendall is the author of a new biography on Webster called: “The Forgotten Founding Father: Noah Webster’s Obsession and the Creation of an American Culture.” Joshua joins us from our partner, the WGBH, in Boston.
Today is the 150th anniversary of the start of the Civil War. And while history buffs all appreciate the influence that the war had over the future well being of our nation – it can be easy to gloss over the details of the war. Like who fought in it. Joining us to talk about the history of black confederate soldiers is Stan Armstrong, director of a documentary called "Black Confederates: The Forgotten Men in Gray.” Stan’s great-great-grandfather was a black confederate soldier.
Today marks the 150th anniversary of the start of the Civil War. For whites in the south, the anniversary marks the start of a proud military engagement. For blacks in the south, the war led to the end of slavery and the start of the civil rights movement. And while celebrations for the event will be grand in scale and scope, this year's commemoration will not reverberate nationally as it did during the centennial. How do the two anniversaries compare?
Today is the 50th anniversary of the first human orbiting the earth. That human, Yuri Gagarin, was Russian, and his accomplishment was, like the Sputnik launch, a moment that terrified Americans and fed our fears that we couldn’t keep up with the Joneses across the sea. We look at this anniversary, and at the fact that we’re still lagging behind our international neighbors in math and science. What would it take for us to catch up? Recreational mathematician Vi Hart has some ideas. First on the list: to stop seeing math as a skill of right and wrong, and to begin embracing it as a tool of creativity.
Many Americans are related to people who fought and died in the Civil War. But imagine that you’re related not just to one figure we associate with the Civil War and aftermath, but two. This is the case for Kenneth Morris. Not only is he the great-great-great grandson of abolitionist and Lincoln adviser Frederick Douglass, he’s also the great-great grandson of Booker T. Washington, the post-Civil War educator and activist. On top of that, Morris is the Founder president of the Frederick Douglass Family Foundation, which aims to eradicate modern-day slavery.
Tuesday is the 150th anniversary of the beginning of the Civil War, which kicked off with the Battle for Fort Sumter. The battle began when confederate soldiers from Fort Johnson bombarded Fort Sumter, a piece of federal property in the Charleston, South Carolina harbor. In the end, Fort Sumter surrendered to the Confederates. In anticipation of Tuesday’s anniversary, enthusiasts from around the country have spent several years and thousands of dollars planning a reenactment of the Battle of Fort Sumter.
When David Foster Wallace took his own life in September of 2008, he left behind reams of unfinished work and a veritable young generation of readers still hungry for his work. This week, posthumous novel "The Pale King" is released from Wallace's long time publisher Little Brown. The book is unfinished, but was assembled from DFW's raggedy genius by longtime editor Michael Pietsch. Peitsch talks about how emotional it is for an editor to bring a book into the world when it's author is gone.
What's worse? Jokes about farts or boobs? Are there certain subjects that should be off limits for humor? And when does a movie cross the line from raunchy to completely tasteless? Rafer and Kristen debate these questions and share their opinions on the medieval raunch fest "Your Highness."
What should you see and what should you skip this weekend? Co-hosts of the Movie Date podcast, Kristen Meinzer and Rafer Guzman look at some of the weekend's anticipated films. In addition to being the co-hosts of the podcast, Kristen is a culture producer with the Takeaway and Rafer is a Film Critic for Newsday.
Kim Cattrall is perhaps most famous for her role as Samantha Jones on “Sex and the City.” But the accomplished stage and film actress has made memorable appearances everywhere from “The Simpsons” to London’s West End. Her newest project showcases even more of her range, though the subject may be similar to her most famous role. “Meet Monica Velour,” which opens today in a limited release, follows the relationship between an aging 1970s porn star, played by Cattrall, and the teenage boy who’s obsessed with her.
In just a few days, a new law goes into effect in France, banning any veils that cover the face. Effectively a "burqa ban," the law was passed last fall by the French senate with a vote of 246 to 1. But it’s not just the French senate that’s in favor of the ban. The Pew Global Attitudes Project found in a survey last year that only one in four French people are opposed to the ban.
Every day between April and August, Philip Connors climbs a 55-foot tower and settles into a 7-by-7 foot enclosed platform for the next eight hours. The tower is in the Gila National Forest of New Mexico, and his duty while there, is to look out for fires. But while Gila receives more than thirty thousand lightening strikes per year, Connors’s job is actually closer to Walden Pond than reality TV. Alone with nature, and his thoughts, he enjoys solitude, freedom and independence — independence which surely helped him complete a new book called “Fire Season: Field Notes from a Wilderness Lookout.”
Before Julia Child was a famous cookbook author, before she became television’s first iconic television chef, and long before she was played by Meryl Streep in the Nora Ephron film “Julie and Julia,” Julia Child worked for the Office of Strategic Services, or OSS. The OSS was a spy organization formed during World War II and was a predecessor to the CIA. Julia met Paul Child while they both served in the OSS in the 1940s.