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 School 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.
FBI Director James Comey gave a speech this week calling for law enforcement to redouble itsefforts to serve the black community, and calling for a conversation about race in policing. Producer Robyn Semien has noticed that local big city police chiefs do not think race is a factorin the newsmaking incidents where white officers kill unarmed black men.
Reporter Nancy Updike talks to a group of New York City residents about their frustrating attempts to rent an apartment. With hidden microphones, we hear landlords and supers tell the apartment hunters that there's nothing available.
Once the Fair Housing Act became law in 1968, there was some question about how to implement it and enforce it. George Romney, the former Republican Governor of Michigan and newly-appointed Secretary of HUD, was a true believer in the need to make the Fair Housing Law a powerful one — a robust attempt to change the course of the nation's racial segregation.
When Domingo Martinez was growing up in a Mexican-American family in Texas, Domingo's two middle school aged sisters found a unique way of coping with feelings of inferiority. This story comes from Martinez's memoir The Boy Kings of Texas.
Sarah Koenig drives to Jeffersonville, a town of about 1200, and when she asks who is the most interesting person in town, she's led to Sonya Mallory.
When Bernie Epton ran for mayor of Chicago in 1983, he was a long shot—Chicago historically voted in democrat mayors, and Bernie himself didn't think he stood a chance. Beyond that, Bernie was a moderate republican, with some liberal tendencies: He was a opponent of McCarthyism, he marched in Memphis after Dr.
Ira talks to Rev. Donald Sharp, of Faith Tabernacle Church in Chicago.
No one much likes to talk about it out loud, but everyone knows it's true: There are a lot of people out there who say they won't vote for Obama because he's black. To fight this problem, Richard Trumka, secretary treasurer of the AFL-CIO, has been traveling around the country giving a speech to fellow union members.
While riding in a patrol car to research a novel, crime writer Richard Price witnessed a misunderstanding that for many people is pretty much accepted as an upsetting fact of life. Richard Price told this story—which he describes as a tale taken from real life and dramatized—onstage at the Moth in New York.
Elna Baker reads her story about the time she worked at the giant toy store, FAO Schwartz. Her job was to sell these lifelike "newborns" which were displayed in a "nursery" inside the store.
Serry and her husband's love story began in a place not usually associated with romance: The West Bank. That was where the couple met, fell in love and decided to get married.
When Gene Cheek was ten years old, his mother began dating a black man. It was 1961, in North Carolina.