Sam Sanders | KUNR

Sam Sanders

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Spike Lee has spent the last four decades making movies that force America to confront its history. His latest film, Da 5 Bloods, released last year on Netflix, centers on veterans who served in the Vietnam war. In the initial screenplay, the majority of the characters where white, but Lee and cowriter Kevin Willmott purposefully rewrote them as Black soldiers.

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Nineteen sixty eight was a year of upheaval in America. Martin Luther King Jr. and Robert F. Kennedy had been assassinated, and the country was embroiled in protests over the war in Vietnam.

That summer, several prominent anti-war activists, including Abbie Hoffman and Tom Hayden, were accused of crossing state lines and conspiring to start a riot at the Democratic National Convention in Chicago. The trial that followed transfixed the nation.

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Billy Porter is nominated for an Emmy this year for lead actor in a drama series for his portrayal of Pray Tell on the FX show "Pose."

(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW, "POSE")

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Chelsea Handler is a specific kind of comedian. She's in-your-face funny. Last year, she had a Netflix special called "Hello, Privilege. It's Me, Chelsea." It's about race.

(SOUNDBITE OF FILM, "HELLO, PRIVILEGE. IT'S ME, CHELSEA")

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Nate Koch isn't sure what to make of the online dating scene.

"There's no rules," the 23-year-old Colorado resident says. "We don't know what to do on these apps. It feels like kind of, like, the Wild West."

And it can often feel extremely time-consuming and unproductive, says Koch, a recent college graduate. "I'm literally applying to jobs at the same time that I'm dating. The similarity between the two is a little, like, horrifying to me," he says.

A man struts through the Los Angeles Convention Center wearing a mermaid-style gown, decked out with pink ostrich feathers. No one bats a fake eyelash.

He is just one of more than 60,000 people who streamed into the convention center in May for RuPaul's DragCon, the country's biggest drag queen convention, according to its organizers. Fabulous outfits, high-heeled pumps and colorful wigs filled the hall.

Loud and proud, drag culture is having a moment.

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June is LGBTQ pride month, and some of the loudest and proudest people in that community are drag queens. Now, drag queens don't have to be gay, but a lot of them are. NPR's Sam Sanders dug into the past, present and especially future of drag.

More young people are leaning into the rental or sharing economy — owning less of everything and renting and sharing a whole lot more. Housing, cars, music, workspaces. In some places, such as Los Angeles, this rental life has gone to an extreme.

Steven T. Johnson, 27, works in social media advertising and lives in Hollywood. He spends most of his days using things he does not own.

He takes a ride-share service to get to the gym; he does not own a car. At the gym, he rents a locker. He uses the gym's laundry service because he does not own a washing machine.

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Comedian Kathy Griffin posted a photo of herself holding up a Donald Trump mask made to look like a severed head. That was May 2017. And since then, she's been blacklisted. But now, Kathy Griffin is trying a comeback. NPR's Sam Sanders has the story.

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In Chicago yesterday, prosecutors dropped all of the charges against "Empire" actor Jussie Smollett. But Joe Magats with the Cook County State's Attorney's Office says this doesn't mean he's innocent.

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As the nation marks one year since the Parkland school shooting, many Americans are thinking about how the conversation about kids and gun violence has shifted.

In the weeks and months after a gunman killed 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., students took to the streets and the airwaves to call for fundamental change in America's gun laws. Stoneman Douglas students and students nationwide rallied in an effort to prevent that kind of massacre from happening again.

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