Kojo Nnamdi Show

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The Kojo Nnamdi Show
Updated: 16 min 53 sec ago

The Politics Hour - September 30, 2016

Fri, 2016-09-30 12:06

D.C.'s statehood activists rally while the Council opens debate on a state constitution. As an appeals court reviews Virginia's voter ID law, the FBI is looking into at least 16 cases of fraudulent voter registrations. And a Maryland lawmaker shaped the emerging medical marijuana industry he then joined. Join us for our weekly review of the politics, policies, and personalities of the District of Columbia, Maryland and Virginia.

Colson Whitehead On The Importance Of Historical Fiction In Tumultuous Times

9 hours 52 min ago

The Black Lives Matter movement has sprung up to protest generations of racial injustice in America. Author Colson Whitehead plumbs the depths of those years past in his latest novel, "The Underground Railroad." In it, an escaped slave named Cora makes her way through several states on a voyage that makes the railroad a literal network crisscrossing the South. We talk with Whitehead about the work and its resonance at this particular moment in history.

A Housing Win For Chinatown Residents

10 hours 11 min ago

Residents of Chinatown's Museum Square residential building have won another legal battle in their effort to remain in their homes. The owner of the heavily rent-subsidized 302-unit complex offered residents a $250 million sales price to buy the building -- or face demolition. But two court rulings and a niche D.C. law aimed at preserving affordable housing have helped residents fight the high price tag. We explore what's next in this battle over development and affordable housing, and examine how the TOPA law has mitigated displacement -- or not.

A Matter Of Taste: What Prix Fixe Menus Say About D.C.'s Dining Scene

Wed, 2016-09-28 12:30

With new Bon Appetit rankings and Michelin stars on the way, Washington, D.C. is wasting no time climbing the culinary ladder. Neighborhoods in rapidly gentrifying parts of the city are also now home to increasingly expensive culinary experiences. Prix fixe menus, or tasting menus, give diners the opportunity to eat specially-curated courses at a fixed price. While the experience can be one of the best ways to explore a restaurant's offerings, it comes at a cost – often in the hundreds of dollars. Are prix fixe menus worth the high price tag? Kojo explores this facet of fine dining, and what its rise says about modern D.C., with a local food editor and an attention-grabbing chef.

Fairfax Debates a Meal Tax

Wed, 2016-09-28 12:06

Fairfax County residents will vote on whether to adopt a four percent meal tax ballot measure on November's ballot. Supporters say the estimated $96 million in revenue will help fund schools and pay for infrastructure and repairs the county has been unable to afford. Opponents say it will drive out local businesses, and will especially affect restaurants and their employees. We explore why the ballot question has become such a hot-button issue in the county.

It Takes A Nation: Art For Social Justice At The Katzen Arts Center

Tue, 2016-09-27 12:30

As the Minister of Culture for the Black Panther Party, graphic artist Emory Douglas created striking visual images for the movement's publications and posters. A new exhibit at the Katzen Arts Center connects the revolutionary art of the Sixties to today's social justice movements through the work of contemporary Washington artists. We speak with Douglas and two local artists.

What Color Is Virginia Leaning After The Presidential Debate?

Tue, 2016-09-27 12:06

National polls put presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump in a virtual dead heat ahead of their first debate. But in a new poll that focused on the the swing state of Virginia, the numbers were less even. Clinton polled several points ahead of Trump, but third-party candidates cut into her lead. Six weeks before election day, Kojo checks in on where Virginia's voters stand.

Putting The Patient At The Center Of Local Healthcare

Mon, 2016-09-26 12:20

Visitors to Sibley Memorial Hospital's new patient tower opening this month in northwest D.C. will encounter something novel for healthcare: a genius bar. Sibley's "concierge" staffers armed with tablets are just one example of ideas coming out of innovation labs in local healthcare systems. From thoughts jotted on sticky notes, to app ideas, Uber partnerships, and even fast food-inspired safety solutions, area hospitals are encouraging healthcare workers -– from orderlies to top doctors –- to put ideas into action on the job. Kojo explores some of the patient-centered innovations coming from our local hospitals, and finds out how "design thinking" is changing the hospital experience.

What The African American History Museum Means to D.C.'s Black Community

Mon, 2016-09-26 12:06

This weekend, D.C. celebrated the opening of the National Museum of African American History and Culture. While tickets into the actual museum were hard to come by, events across the city honored the opening, which gives black culture a permanent home on the National Mall. Kojo chats with the civil rights leader and longtime city council member who chaired the D.C. host committee.

The Politics Hour -- September 23, 2016

Fri, 2016-09-23 12:06

Sorting political fact from fiction, and having fun while we're at it. Join us for our weekly review of the politics, policies, and personalities of the District of Columbia, Maryland and Virginia.

Food For Thought: "Karma And The Art Of Butter Chicken"

Thu, 2016-09-22 12:40

Monica Bhide made a name for herself in the D.C. region and beyond as an award-winning writer covering the intersection of food and culture. Now she's channeling her passion for writing and for food into fiction with her debut novel, "Karma And The Art Of Butter Chicken." Kojo chats with Bhide about telling stories through food and how culture connects her family's history in India with her present life in the Washington area.

Columbusing In D.C.: When We "Discover" The Culture Of Others

Thu, 2016-09-22 12:15

The D.C. region is home to a complex blend of communities from around the globe. These cultures contribute to the local fabric of the area in countless ways, from cuisines to music. But conversations about culture can be sensitive when people discover certain aspects of culture for the first time. Kojo explores the coinage of the phrase "Columbusing," which describes instances of white people "discovering" elements of cultures that have long been a part of communities.

Racially-Charged Incident At American University Sparks Conversation About #TheRealAU

Thu, 2016-09-22 12:06

On one September night, two separate black students at American University reported racially-charged incidents involving bananas in Anderson dormitory. The school responded by opening an investigation of each incident and by hosting a community conversation earlier this week. While the university's president denounced the events, students led by the Black Students Association have posted – both online and on campus – messages revealing what they believe to be "the real A.U." A sophomore at American University joins Kojo to discuss the events, the university's response and what students expect moving forward.

The Daunting Challenge Of Updating Federal Government Technology

Wed, 2016-09-21 12:20

A report earlier this year detailed outdated federal government technology and the billions spent maintaining legacy systems. Just how outdated is government technology? Some Social Security systems run on an obsolete 1950s programming language, and the Defense Department still uses floppy disks to store data for a critical nuclear command and control system. While most federal employees use more up-to-date technology on a day-to-day basis, the government lags well behind the private sector. We speak with two former government tech gurus about the massive challenge of updating technology across hundreds of federal departments and agencies.

Are The Warehouses Around Union Market Worth Saving?

Wed, 2016-09-21 12:06

When Union Market opened in Northeast D.C. in 2012, the trendy, upscale cafeteria stood out among the areas's rundown, abandoned warehouses. In the years since, Union Market's success has transformed the neighborhood into a foodie destination –with places like restaurant Masseria and the Dolcezza gelato factory moving in. Developers plan to continue the area's transformation, with millions of square feet of new shopping and housing construction in the works. Those plans may be in trouble if local preservationists are successful in designating the area a historic district, a move that would restrict development. They say the warehouses, uncommon in the District and remnants of the city's Industrial era, are worth saving. Kojo explores the balance between preserving history and encouraging development in the city's only warehouse district.

Interim D.C. Chief Peter Newsham On Anacostia Shooting

Tue, 2016-09-20 12:45

National news over the weekend focused on the bombing in New York City that injured 29, but a more fatal incident happened much closer to home. Kojo sits down with D.C.'s interim police chief during his first week on the job to discuss the security questions raised by the explosion in New York and Saturday's shooting at a community event in Anacostia.

Exploring Performance Art At the National Museum of African American History and Culture

Tue, 2016-09-20 12:20

Artist and social change advocate Theaster Gates leads the Black Monks of Mississippi and three athletes from Howard University in a performance which proceeds through the galleries of the Smithsonian's National Museum of African American History and Culture. We speak with Theaster Gates about his work and about the performance, "Processions: Runners."

Feyisa Lilesa: An Ethiopian Runner In Exile

Tue, 2016-09-20 12:06

In the final moments of the men's marathon at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Ethiopian runner Feyisa Lilesa raised his arms in protest of the Ethiopian government's treatment of the country's largest ethnic group, the Oromos. With Washington vibrant Ethiopian diaspora community in mind, Kojo chats with Lilesa about the political unrest in Ethiopia and how he's engaging in the protest movement from outside his home country.

D.C. Workers Feel Squeezed At Hourly Positions. Can Government Help?

Mon, 2016-09-19 13:06

How can we create economic opportunity for more Americans? For many, "economic opportunity" translates to employment. But sometimes, a job doesn't solve all problems. While some income is better than none, sticking to shifting work schedules while juggling family life and personal healthcare is another job in itself. As part of NPR’s series, “A Nation Engaged,” Kojo talks to one D.C.-based retail worker and a local legislator about what can be done to improve the working experience of hourly workers in the District.

U.S. Sen. Ben Cardin On The Local Stakes Of National Politics, From Metro To The FBI HQ

Mon, 2016-09-19 12:06

Kojo chats with U.S. Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Md.) about the federal role in local issues crucial to the D.C. area, from repairing the region's transit network to the competition over the FBI's new headquarters.