Michel Martin | KUNR

Michel Martin

During a career spanning more than six decades, Cicely Tyson has brought to life iconic roles in theater, film and television — from Sounder to The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman to Roots to How to Get Away with Murder. They've offered previously unseen images of the sweep and humanity of Black life.

And now, in a new memoir, Just as I Am, she finally sets forth her improbable journey, from the typing pool at the Red Cross to award-winning actor and icon of style.

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I was thinking about the inauguration this week. I've been a journalist a long time, which means I've been to more inaugurations than I can count. And I'm talking about the gamut — I'm talking county council to president. I'm talking boxed Pepperidge Farm cookie and coffee-urn affairs where you mix and mingle with the newly elected official's mom, to the not quite front-row tickets within arms length of famous people events, complete with fancy party invitations.

The COVID-19 crisis in the U.S. is getting worse by nearly every metric. On Friday alone, there were more than 184,000 new confirmed cases and 1,400 deaths, the Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center reported. Hospitals are reaching capacity.

If you're feeling stressed out or overwhelmed by ... you know, everything ... this may be a good time to hear this very important message from chef and cookbook author Ina Garten:

"I often say that you can be miserable before eating a cookie and you can be miserable after eating a cookie, but you can never be miserable while you're eating a cookie."

That's Garten, reading the opening line from her new cookbook, Modern Comfort Food.

Alicia Garza was an activist and organizer for more than a decade back in 2013 when her social media posts — along with the hashtag drafted and shared by her fellow activists Patrisse Cullors and Opal Tometti — helped start what is now the global Black Lives Matter movement.

It is one of the most visible social justice movements in the world, and since its creation, Garza has continued to work and think about how both liberal and conservative movements start, thrive and evolve.

Ambassador John Bolton, who worked as national security adviser to President Trump from 2018 to 2019, told NPR's All Things Considered that he does not believe the United States is safer today than it was four years ago.

"I think unfortunately it's not safer, which is not to say that there haven't been some important positive decisions made and some important accomplishments," he said, including withdrawing from the 2015 Iran nuclear deal and from a Cold War-era nuclear arms control treaty with Russia.

Months after dropping out of the Democratic presidential primaries, Pete Buttigieg is back with a warning: America, he says, is facing a crisis of trust. And he says building that trust, in both American institutions and fellow citizens, is the only way to address the other challenges facing the country.

Buttigieg, the former mayor of South Bend, Ind., called trust one of his "rules of the road" during his presidential campaign.

Over the summer, like many parents, I was looking to keep my kids productive after their summer jobs and summer sports camps were canceled. Together we came up with a project we've undertaken before — collecting books that our well-read and generous neighbors were ready to hand over — and delivering them to students and families who could use something new to read.

An hour before the food distribution event began in Bethesda, Md., on a recent Friday, a long line of cars was already winding through the parking lot.

Volunteers from St. John's Episcopal Church worked to unpack boxes of bread, prepared meals and coffee — enough for the first 200 people to arrive. Nourish Now, a Maryland-based nonprofit food bank, provides food for the weekly events.

Waiting in his car, Peter Warner was sure to arrive early this time. Last week, the group ran out of meals within a half hour.

Rina Sawayama's self-titled debut album is a complex work of pop music, often calling to mind early 2000s R&B, nu-metal, and shuffling between genres in the same song. In the same way she flips through sounds, Sawayama also sings about a lot of complicated topics: her parents' messy divorce, her identity as Japanese British person and her burgeoning understanding of systemic racism, which she says she experienced while studying psychology, sociology and politics at Cambridge University.

Former Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams says the state's Tuesday primary performance was "an unmitigated disaster," pinning the blame on Georgia's Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger.

Polling locations all around Georgia experienced delays and long lines Tuesday due to a mix of logistical problems, technical issues with the state's new voting machines and COVID-19-related restrictions resulting in fewer available voting sites.

The Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, in 2017 is one of the flashpoints of the Trump era.

The white-supremacist gathering devolved into violence with anti-racist demonstrators. One woman, Heather Heyer, was killed and others were injured. The event has taken on a deep symbolic meaning even beyond those terrible facts. Former Vice President Joe Biden began his run for the Democratic presidential nomination by invoking Charlottesville, and saying his campaign was a response, in part, to President Trump's divisive rhetoric.

Protests have erupted across the nation in response to the death of George Floyd, and some of the demonstrations have turned violent, leading political leaders and activists to debate over who is responsible.

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Stephen Bruner, better known as Thundercat, is one of the music industry's most eclectic and prolific collaborators. Over the past five years, the virtuosic bass player has worked with everyone from Snoop Dogg and Kendrick Lamar to Michael McDonald. His latest album, It Is What It Is, was released on Friday and it features the same expansive range of genres and styles.

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

For many Americans, the first moon landing remains the most memorable moment in the history of manned space travel.

It was a high-water mark in the space race, but as the United States and Soviet Union were rushing to prove their dominance, a lesser known chapter in that battle was taking place: America's effort to send a black man into space.

Black in Space: Breaking the Color Barrier, a new documentary on the Smithsonian Channel, brings light to the groundbreaking moment that almost came to be during the heights of the civil rights movement.

Quentin Baxter and Clay Ross first met as students at the College of Charleston in the 1990s, where they played together in a jazz band. Decades later, they reunited and last month won a Grammy together as members of Ranky Tanky, a band that specializes in blending contemporary American gospel and R&B with Gullah traditional music.

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