Leila Fadel

A new documentary, Black Patriots: Heroes of the Revolution, introduces us to heroes of the American Revolution who aren't typically found in history books. They are a writer, a double agent, a martyr and a soldier — and they are all black.

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is the executive producer. He is a Hall of Fame basketball player, writer, activist, and in 2016 the recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

Singer, writer and producer Natasha Khan moved to LA to write scripts and music for film after her 2016 release, The Bride. The release marked the end of her recording contract with EMI and she wasn't sure she'd write another album as Bat for Lashes.

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LEILA FADEL, HOST:

America is becoming more racially diverse. And in a growing number of counties, whites are no longer the majority. Some have greeted these changing demographics with fear, others have embraced it. And parties that have reached out to new voters of color are winning races.

It's billed as one of the most livable places in the country with its good schools, leafy streets and safe neighborhoods. That's what makes Boise, Idaho, an odd backdrop for a heated legal fight around homelessness that is reverberating across the western United States and may soon be taken up by the Supreme Court.

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Nearly two years ago NPR profiled Usama Canon, a celebrated Muslim preacher facing his own mortality. He'd been public about his diagnosis of Lou Gehrig's disease, or ALS, a degenerative neurologic condition that robs people of their ability to move, to speak. Eventually it takes your life.

More than 200 years ago, in January of 1811, a group of enslaved people on a plantation on the outskirts of New Orleans rose up, armed themselves and began a long march toward the city. Hundreds would join them along the way. Their goal: to free every slave they found and then seize the Crescent City.

For years, poet Reginald Dwayne Betts hid the fact that he had served time in prison.

Betts, a lawyer who was sworn into the Connecticut bar two years ago, is finishing up his PhD at Yale University, where he also earned his law degree.

But in his latest collection of poems, titled Felon, this once secret part of his identity is a central feature. In raw, emotional language, Betts uses his experiences in the criminal justice system — he served time from ages 16 to 24 — to challenge our understanding of incarceration and freedom.

Halloween is around the corner and guess what that means? Someone will metaphorically step in it with an insensitive or straight up racist costume.

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