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A Child Of The Slums Becomes A 'Queen' Of Chess

Phiona Mutesi grew up in one of the roughest slums in Uganda. Her days were spent focusing on survival, until she discovered chess. She's now on her way to becoming a world-class chess competitor. Host Michel Martin speaks with Mutesi, her coach Robert Katende, and Tim Crothers, who chronicles her story in his new book, The Queen of Katwe.
NPR

Diana Vreeland's Rise To 'Empress Of Fashion'

Diana Vreeland had a troubled childhood; her mother often told her she was ugly. But she later became editor-in-chief of American Vogue and one of the country's most revered fashion icons. Her life is captured in the new biography, Empress of Fashion: A Life of Diana Vreeland. Host Michel Martin talks with author Amanda Mackenzie Stuart.
NPR

Is Our Economy Better Than Theirs?

The countdown is on to a new year — and the fiscal changes that are on the other side of midnight. But what else is on the cards economically for 2013, both here and overseas? Guest host Celeste Headlee puts the question to the Wall Street Journal's Sudeep Reddy.
NPR

'Fresh Air' At 25: A Live Musical Tribute

This year marked the 25th anniversary of Fresh Air as a daily national NPR program. This episode looks back at some of the great live musical performances from the show's archive, including songs from Shirley Horn, Loudon Wainwright III, Susannah McCorkle, Nick Lowe and Richard Thompson.
NPR

Fresh Air Weekend: Critics' Picks For 2012

It's that time of year when best-of lists abound, and Fresh Air's critics get in on the game: David Bianculli chooses his top television shows, David Edelstein names his favorite films, Maureen Corrigan weighs in with notable books and Ken Tucker tunes into to some of the best albums of 2012.
NPR

Is 'Django Unchained' The 'Blackest Film Ever?'

Quentin Tarantino's new film Django Unchained has sparked controversy about his portrayal of slavery. Also, a dispute continues over whether gun owners names and addresses should be made public. And, what are the most underreported stories of 2012? The Barbershop guys weigh in with host Michel Martin for the last time this year.
NPR

Is Kwanzaa Still A Thing?

Wednesday marked the start of Kwanzaa, the seven day festival celebrating African-American culture. In the 1980s and '90s, many considered Kwanzaa a mainstream holiday like Christmas and Hanukkah. But now there seems to be less fanfare. Host Michel Martin speaks with Duke University's Mark Anthony Neal about whether Kwanzaa is still a thing.
NPR

The Year In Tweets

President Obama might have had the top tweet this year, but a lot of other notable things were said and discussed on Twitter in 2012. Host Michel Martin gets a breakdown of the year's top tweets from Keli Goff of The Root and blogger Viviana Hurtado of The Wise Latina Club.
NPR

R.A. Dickey On 'Winding Up' As A Knuckleballer

New York Mets pitcher R.A. Dickey is currently the only knuckleball pitcher in the major leagues. His memoir, Wherever I Wind Up, explains how his life — and career — have mimicked the unpredictable trajectory of the difficult pitch he throws game after game.

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