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Penguin Random House

(This program originally aired on April 18, 2017)

Tom is joined today by Nigerian author, essayist and activist Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. She splits her time between her native country Nigeria and the US, where she has a home in Columbia, Maryland. She's won several prestigious awards, including the Orange Broadband Prize for Fiction and a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship. She's headlining the 2017 Baltimore CityLit Festival later this month. That’s an annual event sponsored by the CityLit Project, an organization that advances the cause of all things literary here in Maryland.

The tiniest creature with the deadliest of bites … Professor Chris Potter's lab at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine is working to understand why mosquitoes are attracted to humans, in order to quell diseases such as malaria and Zika, both transmitted by mosquito bite. By studying its sense of smell, Potter hopes to alter the way mosquitoes perceive human scent and flavor--in an effort to make us less appealing as a meal. Want to see what happens when a mosquito stops for a bite? Watch this. To see all that Potter's lab is up to visit his site. This is a rebroadcast, original airdate was 6/27/17.

Cover art courtesy Little, Brown and Co., Publisher

(This program originally aired March 13, 2017)

Their names are familiar: Freddie Gray, Eric Garner, Tamir Rice...and others.   Young, unarmed black men killed by police. Their common, tragic fates and what led to them are the focus of Tom's conversation today with Wesley Lowery.

Lowery is a Washington Post reporter who’s been on the ground covering incidents of police violence since protests erupted in Ferguson, Missouri, following the death of Michael Brown.

Lowery’s new book examines law enforcement culture and the legacy of unconstitutional treatment of African-Americans that continues to seed mistrust between police and communities of color. 

“For most white Americans," Lowery tells Tom, "the police are someone you call when you are in trouble. For most black and brown Americans, the police are an oppressive force, who they see as harassing them and interacting with them in ways that could lead to them being dead.”

A Midday Special Edition: Pulitzer Prize-winning author Wesley Lowery on his new book, They Can’t Kill Us All: Ferguson, Baltimore, and a New Era of America’s Racial Justice Movement. 

This program was pre-recorded, so we didn't take any phone calls.  If you want to comment on the show, you can tweet us @middaytomhall, or write to us at midday@wypr.org or on Midday's Facebook page. 

Baltimore City Office of Civil Rights and Wage Enforcement Facebook page

One of the criticisms of last year’s US Department of Justice investigation into the Baltimore Police Department - the city’s Civilian Review Board was severely hampered by a lack of both resources and cooperation from the department. Jill Carter, director of Baltimore’s Office of Civil Rights & Wage Enforcement and former state delegate, tells us how things have changed. And Bridal Pearson, civilian chair of the Civilian Review Board and representative for the Northern District, explains how the board investigates complaints.

Stoop Storyteller Joel Green, astronomy scientist at the Space Telescope Science Institute, shares how his obsession with science fiction led him to study the formation, birth and destruction of planets. You can hear more stories at stoopstorytelling.com.

A new exhibition at the Baltimore Museum of Art, “From Digital to Damask”, weaves together technology, fish fossils, and 17th-century portraits! Inspired by sewing circles in her native Netherlands, Annet Couwenberg creates art with a fresh take on form and fabric.

Courtesy ProPublica website

Even advocates of removing Baltimore’s four Confederate statues didn’t expect them all to disappear so swiftly. They were symbols of an ideology now repudiated by most Americans. We ask Baltimore Bloc organizer and Morgan State University Professor Lawrence Brown what forces he thinks speeded their departure … and what difference it makes now. Plus we talk to Rachel Glickhouse, a journalist at Pro Publica, the online investigative news source, about their efforts to aggregate hate crimes being reported, in order to develop a database with a clearer picture of how widespread they are. It’s called “Documenting Hate.” And if you've experienced or witnessed a hate crime in Maryland, please document it here to add your information to the national database.

Center Stage

 

In the 24 hours since our last broadcast, we’ve witnessed the horrifying spectacle of the President vigorously defending White Supremacists by equating their actions in Charlottesville, VA last weekend with the actions of counter protesters. It appears that the anodyne remarks the President made on Saturday more closely reflected his true feelings, which appear to have been exposed yesterday. Also, overnight, following a Monday night vote of the City Council, Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh had four controversial Confederate monuments removed from their pedestals.    

Tom is joined by Kwame Kwei-Armah, OBE, the Artistic Director of Baltimore Center Stage. As a playwright, essayist, performer and director, he knows a lot about acting, truth-telling, staging and symbolism. At the end of this season, he’ll leave Center Stage to pursue other projects, and he will leave it a much different place than it was when he arrived in 2011. Kwame Kwei-Armah is no stranger to the power of stage and symbolism.  He talks with Tom about the Confederate monuments: what they mean, and what their absence means.

STEP the Film

The new documentary film, "STEP" by Amanda Lipitz, who grew up in Charm City, has been critically acclaimed, and it’s raised the profile of a Baltimore middle and high school  immeasurably.  “STEP” follows a high school step team during their senior year at the Baltimore Leadership School for Young Women, an all-girls public charter school here in Baltimore City. 

Paula Dofat is one of the faculty members who are featured in the film. She’s the Director of College Counseling at the school – charged with ensuring that the school's graduates attend college. She's a powerful force in a terrific film, and she joined Tom today in Studio A. 

We're joined by Dr. Panagis Galiatsatos, (C) a Johns Hopkins Bayview doctor who co-founded Medicine for the Greater Good -- the organization partners with communities and extends medical personnel into communities to share health literacy and make medical information and resources more available. We also speak with Reverend Ernest King (L) and Imam Hassan Amin, (R) two community leaders who have helped forged the non-profit’s deep connections with people in neighborhoods so they can better understand how medicine works and doctors can understand how their lives work. 

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