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Baltimore Kwanzaa Celebration Highlights Traditions New And Old

The week-long celebration of Kwanzaa continues this weekend, and a celebration in Maryland has brought together two unique but related sounds for the holiday.

NPR

Winging It: Biking Around Again In Margaritaville

In laid-back Key West, most people get around by bike. Which meant that NPR's Petra Mayer had to — finally — learn to ride one for her vacation this year. And with the help of the Washington Area Bicyclist Association, she did it.
NPR

Now You Know Them

You will be given some names that you probably never heard of before 2013, but that were in the news during the past 12 months. You name who the people are.
NPR

This Is (Not) The Most Important Story Of The Year

Stories that titillate, amuse or arouse flash-in-the-pan outrage may be more widely read and shared than solid information. Celebrity and scandals have always attracted media attention, but in the Internet age the balance is shifting more toward entertainment.
NPR

Teaching Democracy Through Jazz, Perfecting Party Playlists

Carlos Watson, co-founder of the online magazine Ozy, tells host Arun Rath about a teacher using jazz to educate young students about democracy and a site that could spruce up the playlist for New Year's Eve parties this year.
NPR

The Trouble With Assessing 'Black Films'

This year was lauded by many news outlets as an incredible year for black films. CNN heralded "Hollywood's African-American Renaissance;" The New York Times called 2013 a "a breakout year for black films." Shani Hilton, deputy editor-in-chief of BuzzFeed, talks to NPR's Arun Rath about why she think those assertions are overstated.
NPR

As The Lead Cools, Some See Their New Year Take Shape

Is that a cross? A ship with a figurehead? It's only human to wonder what the future will hold, especially on the threshold of a new year. In one German tradition, fortune-seekers drop molten lead into cold water — then it's anyone's guess what the strange shapes portend.
NPR

'Havisham' Offers A Peek Behind That Decaying Wedding Veil

Miss Havisham is one of Charles Dickens' most enduring characters. She appears in Great Expectations as an eccentric recluse, jilted at the altar years ago, who still wears her wedding gown and presides over a rotting feast. In his new novel, Ronald Frame imagines the kind of life that would have created such a woman.
NPR

'42' Gets The Story Of Jackie Robinson Right

Biographer Arnold Rampersad is "a bit of a stickler for accuracy," but he finds that — with a few exceptions — the 2013 biopic about Robinson's integration of Major League Baseball really rings true.
NPR

As Winter Rolls In, One Critic Recalls 'The Wind In The Willows'

This week's Must Read, our topical book recommendation series, usually focuses on events in the news. But today, with an eye on the dropping thermometer, book critic Parul Sehgal suggests a seasonal text. Kenneth Grahame's classic children's novel offers a cozy, eccentric depiction of winter — perfect for curling up with as the snow comes down.

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