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Author Interviews
6:51 am
Sun September 15, 2013

New Memoir Recounts Black Lives 'Reaped' Too Young

Jesmyn Ward won the National Book Award in 2011 for her novel, Salvage the Bones.
Tony Cook Courtesy of Bloomsbury USA

Originally published on Wed September 18, 2013 7:50 am

The writer Jesmyn Ward lost her brother in a car accident, and she was never the same — but her grief would broaden and her losses compound. First one friend died, then another and another — all young black men, and all of them dead before the age of 30.

In her wrenching new memoir, Men We Reaped, Ward takes us to her hometown of DeLisle, on Mississippi's Gulf Coast. It's a place ravaged by poverty, drugs and routine violence. But even so, the place — and the memory of those she has lost — keeps pulling Ward back.

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Code Switch
6:51 am
Sun September 15, 2013

50 Years After The Bombing, Birmingham Still Subtly Divided

Investigators work outside the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Ala., following an explosion that killed four young girls. Three Ku Klux Klansmen were convicted in the bombing years later.
AP

Originally published on Fri September 20, 2013 12:18 pm

Fifty years ago Sunday, a Ku Klux Klan bomb at a Baptist church in Birmingham, Ala., killed four black girls and sent shock waves throughout the country.

In Birmingham, the tragedy laid bare a deep rift.

Carolyn McKinstry, standing on the sidewalk outside 16th Street Baptist Church, remembers arriving for worship 50 years ago.

"It was Youth Day," she says. "We were excited because that meant we got to do everything. We sang, we ushered, we did everything."

Some of her Sunday school classmates had gone to the ladies' room to freshen up.

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You Must Read This
6:03 am
Sun September 15, 2013

Love Story Electrifies Beneath The Silhouette 'Of Venus'

Mark Baker AP

Roxana Robinson's latest book is Sparta.

I fell in love with Shirley Hazzard in 1980, when her great book Transit of Venus came out. I was completely dazzled by the beauty and authority of her writing, and by the effortless way she created this world.

The novel opens with a description of a storm. The air is charged with unthinkable violence, a sense of atmospheric threat which will recur throughout the book:

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Author Interviews
4:27 am
Sun September 15, 2013

Read The Rainbow: 'Roy G. Biv' Puts New Spin On Color Wheel

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Wed September 18, 2013 7:50 am

There are a lot of fascinating details hiding below the surface in the world of color. For instance, scientists once thought the average color of the entire universe was turquoise — until they recalculated and realized it was beige.

In Japan, you wait at a stoplight until it turns from red to blue, even though it's the same green color as American stoplights.

And in World War II, the British painted a whole flotilla of warships pinkish-purple so they'd blend in with the sky at dusk and confuse the Germans. That's right — pink warships.

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Television
4:15 am
Sun September 15, 2013

The Voice Of Rocky And Natasha Earns An Emmy

Voice actress June Foray will receive the Governor's Award at the Creative Arts Emmys.
Amanda Edwards UCLA/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed September 18, 2013 7:50 am

The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show featured a fearless flying squirrel and his slow-witted moose sidekick. They did battle with two scheming but incompetent Soviet spies named Boris and Natasha.

The cartoon is an American classic, beloved for a wry sense of humor that appeals to kids and their parents. It originally aired from 1959 until 1964, but has been in syndication ever since, most recently on the Cartoon Network and Boomerang.

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