Actor and playwright Kwame Kwei-Armah was born in Britain to immigrant parents from Grenada. His dad worked as a factory worker and his mother worked three jobs to send him to private school in the hope he would become a lawyer. "She wanted me to contribute to the upliftment of my community," he tells NPR's Michel Martin.
In 2003, he became the first black Briton to stage a play in London's prestigious West End theater district with his award-winning piece "Elmina's Kitchen." The play tackled gun crime, displacement and racism in East London.
I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. The Winter Olympics games closed yesterday with a spectacular display of fireworks, dance and music, including a thousand children singing the Russian national anthem.
Originally published on Thu February 27, 2014 12:22 pm
NPR Books and Code Switch are winding down Black History Month in style: We've asked three of our favorite comic artists to illustrate something — a person, a poem, a play, a book, a song — that inspires them. Afua Richardson is an award-winning illustrator who's worked for Image, Marvel and DC Comics. She's chosen Langston Hughes' great poem "The Negro Speaks of Rivers." And you can see Richardson's video, created from these panels, here.
Originally published on Mon February 24, 2014 1:37 pm
The leader of an influential Justice Department office that offers legal advice on surveillance, drones and other issues at the center of security and executive power quietly left government before Christmas.
Originally published on Wed March 19, 2014 2:53 pm
The closing ceremony of the Winter Olympics in Sochi featured a particularly captivating image: an aerial view of the coastal Olympic village, with the stadiums set like jewels among sparkling avenues, set off by the flash of fireworks in the night sky.
It seemed as if Russia, and especially President Vladimir Putin, had achieved everything that could be hoped for from a world-class sporting event.
Originally published on Tue February 25, 2014 2:15 pm
The yearly pediatrician's visit can seem like the same old thing: height, weight, shots. But the rules for well child visits are changing, and the nation's pediatricians want to make sure that parents and doctors are up to speed on the changes.
Originally published on Mon February 24, 2014 10:01 am
The applause was warm and some fans stood Sunday night in Los Angeles when basketball player Jason Collins made history by walking onto the court during an NBA game.
By checking in during the game against the Los Angeles Lakers, the newest member of the Brooklyn Nets became the first openly gay man to play for a team in one of the nation's four major professional sports.
Originally published on Mon February 24, 2014 8:01 pm
It's hard to take not one but two genres that are typically thought of as staples of old-fashioned "media for women" – the advice column and the collection of household hints – and make them feel at all relevant to women now, who may or may not have time for all the fussing that perfect housekeeping ideally entails and may or may not live lives in which it's their responsibility, or their priority.
Originally published on Mon February 24, 2014 9:43 am
It takes a special kind of actor to mix bombast and fatuousness to comic effect — think Alec Baldwin in 30 Rock or Will Ferrell in Anchorman. But the all-time King of Pomposity was the late Ted Knight. He played the role of newscaster Ted Baxter in the Mary Tyler Moore Show and Judge Elihu Smails in Caddyshack.
The Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film will be handed out in a couple weeks. And though Romania's "Child's Pose" is not one of the finalists, film critic Kenneth Turan says its as good as any of them.
All right. Let's take a few minutes to think about social networking and identity. Do you remember when on the Internet, anonymity was the norm? Well, Facebook changed all that by forcing users to use their real names.
Now, with our reputations on the line, we often think long and hard about what to post or not post online.
NPR's Kevin Leahy tells us about a new market for social apps that let you share, like and chat without ever revealing who you are.
Russia put on a spectacular closing show for the Winter Olympic Games in Sochi last night, with fireworks, Russian music and dance, and a thousand children singing Russia's national anthem. As always, the games were full of the sort of drama and surprises that make them one of the world's great spectacles.
Sonari Glinton is about to turn out the lights in NPR's Sochi bureau, but before he does, let's get the low-down from him about the two-plus weeks of competition.
OK. So in the words of that political scientist in Peter's piece, wealthy donors like Tom Steyer are putting a pistol to someone's head, forcing their pet issues on candidates. Steyer himself sees things very differently. He quit his hedge fund with $1.5 billion and now in his view he's fighting as hard as he can with money and passion to do something very noble - save the planet. When he sat down to speak with us he said his goal is to use his money to limit carbon emissions.