Apple News In Conversation

By Apple News

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Apple News In Conversation brings you interviews with some of the world’s best journalists and experts about the stories that impact our lives. Join us every week as we go behind the headlines.

Episode Date
Prominent journalist Nina Totenberg reflects on her friendship with RBG and the future of the Supreme Court
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During her long career covering the Supreme Court, journalist Nina Totenberg cultivated close friendships with many justices, including Ruth Bader Ginsberg and Antonin Scalia. Totenberg spoke with Apple News In Conversation host Shumita Basu about how she maintained journalistic integrity while cultivating those relationships, what she thinks about the court today, and her new book, Dinners With Ruth: A Memoir on the Power of Friendships. 

Oct 01, 2022
How the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders transformed sports
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The Dallas Cowboys may be “America’s Team,” but the hundreds of women behind the Cowboys Cheerleaders deserve a lot of credit for its success. Journalist Sarah Hepola tells their story in an article for Texas Monthly, “Sex, Scandal, and Sisterhood: Fifty Years of the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders,” and in the podcast America’s Girls. Hepola spoke with Apple News In Conversation host Shumita Basu about how the squad’s choreography, costumes, and controversial codes of conduct have changed with American society.

Sep 24, 2022
How America bungled COVID school closures — and failed to put children first
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Schools across the U.S. closed their doors for 58 weeks during the pandemic. Journalist Anya Kamenetz writes about the ripple effects of school closures in her new book, The Stolen Year: How COVID Changed Children’s Lives, and Where We Go Now. Kamenetz spoke with Apple News In Conversation host Shumita Basu about the consequences of our failure to prioritize kids.

Sep 17, 2022
Think Again: How to master the art of doing nothing
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This interview is part of a new series from Apple News In Conversation called Think Again — a guide to reimagining work, home, relationships, and more. 

In this episode, In Conversation host Shumita Basu talks with Jenny Odell, an artist and the author of the book How to Do Nothing: Resisting the Attention Economy. Odell provides strategies for training our attention away from devices and toward the world.

Sep 10, 2022
Think Again: Why Americans are so burned out — and how to fix your work-life balance
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This is an episode from our archives. It’s re-airing as part of our new series, Think Again, a guide to reimagining work, home, relationships, and more.

How’s your relationship to your job? For a lot of people, work-life balance has felt far from perfect for a while. Apple News In Conversation host Shumita Basu speaks with Anne Helen Petersen about her book Out of Office: The Big Problem and Bigger Promise of Working From Home, coauthored with Charlie Warzel. It’s all about how we can adjust the role our jobs play in our lives and focus more time and energy on the things we care about the most. Below are excerpts from the interview.

Sep 03, 2022
Think Again: The health and wellness myths almost everyone falls for
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This interview is part of a new series from Apple News In Conversation called Think Again — a guide to reimagining work, home, relationships, and more.

In this episode, In Conversation host Shumita Basu talks with Aubrey Gordon and Michael Hobbes, hosts of the Maintenance Phase podcast, about how to outsmart the wellness industry, spot junk health science, and find information that will actually help you live healthier. Below are excerpts from the interview.

Aug 27, 2022
Think Again: Why relationships fall apart over dirty dishes — and how to avoid the trap
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This interview is part of a new series from Apple News In Conversation called Think Again — a guide to reimagining work, home, relationships, and more. 

In this episode, In Conversation host Shumita Basu talks with Kate Mangino, a gender expert and the author of the book Equal Partners: Improving Gender Equality at Home. Mangino points to research that shows women still take on the majority of household responsibilities in different-sex relationships — and she argues there’s a better way for partners to balance the mental and physical labor of running a home. Mangino offers strategies to bring more equity and fairness into our partnerships. Below are excerpts from the interview.

Aug 20, 2022
Think Again: Malcolm Gladwell’s tips for changing a stubborn mind
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Think Again is a new series from Apple News In Conversation. It’s a guide to reimagining work, home, relationships, and more. In the first episode, In Conversation host Shumita Basu talks with Malcolm Gladwell about how to be more open-minded and rethink old ideas.

Aug 13, 2022
What it took to bring down R. Kelly
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For decades, R. Kelly’s career flourished despite disturbing rumors of sexual assault. Now the singer is finally being held accountable. He was sentenced in June to 30 years in prison for sex trafficking and racketeering, and a second federal trial starts August 15. Apple News In Conversation host Shumita Basu spoke with journalist Jim DeRogatis, who broke the allegations against R. Kelly in 2000.

Aug 06, 2022
Inside the dark corners of the internet that breed mass shooters
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There’s a common thread between the suspects behind the killing of 23 people at a Walmart in El Paso in 2019, the mass shooting in Buffalo in May, and the attack on a crowd in Highland Park on Independence Day: They were all radicalized online and left behind a trail of digital activity. NBC News reporter Ben Collins spoke with Apple News In Conversation host Shumita Basu about how online spaces are leading to extremism and producing a generation of mass shooters. Below are excerpts from the interview.

Jul 30, 2022
Why air travel is such a mess — and what to know before your next flight
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This was supposed to be the summer of revenge travel. Instead, air travelers have faced long lines, lost bags, and canceled flights. Scott McCartney has been covering the airline industry for more than two decades. He spoke with Apple News In Conversation host Shumita Basu about how things got so bad — and what can we do about it. Below are excerpts from the interview.

Jul 23, 2022
Her son was briefly out of sight during a picnic. She was arrested for child abuse
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Every year, hundreds of thousands of children in the U.S. are removed from their homes and placed in foster care by child-protective services. But is this the best way to protect our kids? Apple News In Conversation host Shumita Basu spoke with Dorothy Roberts, author of the book ‘Torn Apart,’ who argues that America’s child-welfare system does more harm than good — and needs to be abolished.

Jul 16, 2022
Why the news is so broken, according to one of the first journalists to cover Trump’s campaign
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Katy Tur’s parents were trailblazers in the journalism world. In the ’80s and ’90s, they revolutionized the breaking-news model, literally flying over the competition in their own chopper to capture Los Angeles’s biggest stories — from Madonna and Sean Penn’s wedding to the 1992 L.A. riots. Katy Tur grew up to be a journalist herself — she’s now an anchor on MSNBC — and she writes about her life in her new memoir, Rough Draft. In an interview with Apple New In Conversation host Shumita Basu, Tur discusses her unusual childhood and the direct line from the model of journalism her parents created to the rise of Donald Trump.

Jul 09, 2022
Rebroadcast: Nikole Hannah-Jones on the 1619 Project and how the legacy of slavery shapes America
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This is an episode from our archives.

Nikole Hannah-Jones is a Pulitzer Prize–winning reporter for the New York Times Magazine and the creator of the 1619 Project. The initiative reframes America’s past around an important date that isn’t mentioned in many history books: 1619, the beginning of slavery in the U.S. Hannah-Jones has expanded on the idea and turned it into a book called The 1619 Project: A New Origin Story. Below are excerpts from Apple News In Conversation host Shumita Basu’s interview with Hannah-Jones about the project.

Jul 02, 2022
She had an illegal abortion in 1970 — and was charged with manslaughter
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In 1971, Shirley Wheeler became the first woman to be criminally charged for having an abortion. She was convicted of manslaughter and faced up to 20 years in prison. In the latest season of the podcast Slow Burn, host Susan Matthews explores what happened to Wheeler in the years leading up to the Roe v. Wade decision. Apple News In Conversation host Shumita Basu spoke with Matthews about Wheeler’s story — and why Wheeler’s case is a warning of what’s to come after the recent overturning of Roe.

Jun 25, 2022
There’s a science to happiness. This Ivy League professor has cracked the code.
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At Yale University, psychology professor Laurie Santos saw firsthand how so many college students were anxious or depressed. So she decided to teach a class on the science of happiness — and how to apply it in real life. It became the school’s most popular course ever. Apple News In Conversation host Shumita Basu spoke with Santos about her podcast, The Happiness Lab, and the evidence-based strategies that can help us improve our lives and outlook.

Jun 18, 2022
Are political insiders looking for a Biden backup plan?
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Though he has yet to officially announce, President Biden has made it clear he’ll seek reelection in 2024. But given his age and approval ratings, a lot of Democrats are asking, “What’s the backup plan?” National correspondent for New York magazine Gabriel Debenedetti spoke with Washington insiders about the lead-up to the next presidential election. Apple News In Conversation host Shumita Basu spoke with Debenedetti about his reporting.

Jun 11, 2022
Why child suicide is on the rise
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In April 2021, twelve-year-old Trevor Matthews took his own life. Andrew Solomon, a writer and clinical medical psychology professor, knew Matthews as the friend and former classmate of Solomon’s son, George. For the New Yorker, Solomon writes about the alarmingly high rate of youth suicide, why it's on the rise, and why it’s so difficult to prevent. Apple News In Conversation host Shumita Basu spoke with Solomon about this issue.

 

This episode is about suicide — and includes references to sexual abuse. If you or someone you know is thinking about suicide, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-talk (8255) or text talk to 741741.

Jun 04, 2022
The school shooting generation
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In light of the recent shooting at Robb Elementary in Uvalde, Texas, we’re bringing you an episode from our archives. In 1998, a student opened fire at a middle-school dance, killing one teacher and wounding another teacher and two students. Journalist Marin Cogan was a sixth grader there, and she recalls the shock and horror she and her classmates felt. Back then, school shootings were far more rare; kids and educators didn’t have the language or the tools to talk about — much less process — their trauma.

For Apple News In Conversation host Duarte Geraldino about coming of age in a world wholly unprepared to deal with the aftermath of mass school shootings.

May 28, 2022
The anatomy of Trump’s Big Lie
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In November 2020, a group of Trump allies gathered together to try to prove the election had been stolen. The only problem: there was no evidence to support any of their claims. ProPublica’s Doug Bock Clark reviewed internal documents and interviewed key participants in this effort to reveal how small untruths snowballed into Trump’s Big Lie. Apple News In Conversation host Shumita Basu spoke with Clark about his findings.

May 21, 2022
What Queen Elizabeth is really like
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This year’s Platinum Jubilee marks Queen Elizabeth’s 70-year anniversary on the throne. Journalist Tina Brown has been covering the Crown for decades, and in her latest book, The Palace Papers: Inside the House of Windsor — Truth and Turmoil, she chronicles the British royal family’s struggle to reinvent itself after the Diana years. Below are excerpts from Apple News In Conversation host Shumita Basu’s interview with Brown.

May 14, 2022
How the abortion news threatens the Supreme Court’s credibility
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A leaked draft opinion on a Mississippi abortion law suggests that the Supreme Court is ready to overturn Roe v. Wade, a nearly 50-year precedent that protects abortion as a federally guaranteed right. This comes at a time when the Supreme Court is already facing a lot of scrutiny. Apple News In Conversation host Shumita Basu talks with Slate writer and veteran court watcher Dahlia Lithwick about what this leaked opinion means for the future of abortion — and the future of the court itself.

May 07, 2022
The people who got rich off the pandemic
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When COVID-19 hit the United States, some saw it as an opportunity to make a fortune. Individuals and companies with no experience in the production of personal protective equipment made wild claims about what they could provide — and were awarded lucrative government contracts. They never delivered on their promises. ProPublica reporter David McSwane dives into this world of fraudsters and opportunists who profited off of COVID-19 in his new book, Pandemic, Inc.

Apr 30, 2022
The network of activists preparing for a post-Roe future
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The Supreme Court will soon announce a decision that could substantially weaken or even overturn Roe v. Wade. Jessica Bruder recently wrote for the Atlantic about the many groups of activists helping women get access to abortion, even if they have to work around the law. Bruder spoke with Apple News In Conversation host Duarte Geraldino about how this network first formed and the ways activists are laying the groundwork for a country without Roe.

Apr 23, 2022
She thought she knew her family — until she took a DNA test
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When Amber van Moessner was growing up, she never questioned whether the man who raised her was her biological father. But when she was in her late 20s, she took a 23andMe genetic test and discovered that she was conceived via a sperm donor. Van Moessner’s story kicks off the podcast series BioHacked: Family Secrets, hosted by T.J. Raphael. Hear Shumita Basu’s interview with Raphael and van Moessner about the donor-conception industry. 

Apr 16, 2022
The transgender swimmer whose success made her a target
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University of Pennsylvania swimmer Lia Thomas is the first openly transgender athlete to win an NCAA swimming championship, and the honor has put her at the center of the discussion about trans competitors. Sports writer Louisa Thomas (no relation) tells the swimmer’s story in the New Yorker. She spoke with Shumita Basu for the latest episode of Apple News In Conversation about the difficulty of creating fairness in sports when no two athletes’ bodies will ever be perfectly matched.

Apr 09, 2022
Elizabeth Holmes was found guilty. What about her COO?
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When it came to light that the blood-testing technology behind the biotech startup Theranos didn’t work, the enigmatic founder, Elizabeth Holmes, became the subject of intense scrutiny. While Holmes has been in the spotlight, there’s another person at the center of this story: Ramesh “Sunny” Balwani. Balwani and Holmes dated in secret for more than a decade, and he eventually became COO of Theranos. Balwani’s trial is now underway. Apple News In Conversation’s Shumita Basu spoke with Rebecca Jarvis, host of ABC Audio’s podcast on Theranos, The Dropout, about what to expect in this latest court case.

Apr 02, 2022
What happened when a man made a chatbot of his dead fiancée
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Joshua Barbeau lost his fiancée, Jessica, nearly a decade ago. For Joshua, getting over her death felt impossible. He was still grieving when he came across a website that allowed him to feel like he was communicating with Jessica again — by creating a customized, A.I.-powered chatbot. San Francisco Chronicle journalist Jason Fagone spoke with Apple News In Conversation host Shumita Basu about how the Jessica bot helped Joshua process his grief.

Mar 26, 2022
Jon Stewart can’t fix America. But he knows people who can.
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What’s the problem with America today? A lot of things, according to Jon Stewart. From the media to the way politics function to the fragility of democracy, Stewart is on a mission to look for solutions. That’s the premise of his show on Apple TV+, ‘The Problem With Jon Stewart.’ Stewart spoke with Shumita Basu for the latest episode of Apple News In Conversation.

Mar 19, 2022
Uncovering slave-ship wrecks, a diver puts lost souls to rest
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During the trans-Atlantic slave trade, an estimated 12.5 million people who were enslaved traveled from Africa to the Americas, on 36,000 voyages. Roughly a thousand of these vessels sank, but only a few have ever been found. National Geographic explorer and diver Tara Roberts spoke with “Apple News Today” host Duarte Geraldino about her experience identifying and documenting the remains of slave-ship wrecks — and how she’s hoping to honor the lives of these people who have been all but forgotten by history.
Mar 12, 2022
How real is the threat of nuclear war?
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NATO member states have been clear they will not directly intervene in the Russian invasion of Ukraine. But many Ukrainians are calling on the West to do more. Apple News Today host Duarte Geraldino talks with Ukrainian activist Daria Kaleniuk, who is urging NATO allies to declare a no-fly zone over Ukraine. In response, cohost Shumita Basu speaks with Vox senior correspondent Zack Beauchamp, who says any type of military intervention by the West would be catastrophic and could trigger a nuclear attack from Russia.
Mar 05, 2022
David Remnick on Putin’s endgame
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This week, Russia launched an unprovoked attack on Ukraine — beginning what could be the largest war in Europe in decades. Apple News Today host Shumita Basu spoke with New Yorker editor David Remnick, a longtime expert on Russia, about how we got here and what this war means for the U.S. and the rest of the world.

Feb 26, 2022
Did a Texas man confess to a murder he didn’t commit?
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When 52-year-old Larry Driskill was questioned by Texas Ranger James Holland in 2015, he thought he was helping police solve a cold case. But within 24 hours, Driskill confessed to a murder he says he didn’t commit. He’s now in prison. Maurice Chammah spent a year looking into this case and others like it for the Marshall Project. He spoke to Apple News Today host Duarte Geraldino about the techniques used by law enforcement that can result in false confessions.

Feb 19, 2022
Are we in the golden age of ‘Jeopardy’?
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When host Alex Trebek died in 2020, Jeopardy’s future was unclear. Could the game show continue to be successful without him? So far, the answer is yes. Claire McNear, a reporter at The Ringer and the author of Answers in the Form of Questions: A Definitive History and Insider’s Guide to Jeopardy!, spoke with Apple News Today host Shumita Basu about all things Jeopardy — from superfan online message boards to game strategy to Trebek’s legacy.

Feb 12, 2022
They survived school shootings. How are they 20 years later?
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In 1998, a student opened fire at a middle-school dance, killing one teacher and wounding another teacher and two students. Journalist Marin Cogan was a sixth grader at the time, and she recalls the shock and horror she and her classmates felt. Back then, school shootings were far more rare; kids and educators didn’t have the language or the tools to talk about — much less process — their trauma. For Vox, Cogan recently connected with survivors of other school shootings that took place in the 1990s. She spoke with Apple News Today host Shumita Basu about coming of age in a world wholly unprepared to deal with the aftermath of mass school shootings.

Feb 05, 2022
Nikole Hannah-Jones on the 1619 Project and reframing U.S. history
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Nikole Hannah-Jones is a Pulitzer Prize–winning reporter for The New York Times Magazine and the creator of the 1619 Project. The project reframes American history around an important date that isn’t mentioned in many history books: 1619, the beginning of American slavery. Hannah-Jones has expanded on the idea and turned it into a book called The 1619 Project: A New Origin Story. Hannah-Jones spoke with Apple News Today host Shumita Basu about the project.

Jan 22, 2022
How one journalist helped her dad die
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If you’re suffering from a terminal illness and have only a few months to live, should you be allowed to choose how and when to end your life? Ten states in the country allow patients to do just that — a practice referred to as medical aid in dying — under highly regulated laws. In April 2020, Bloomberg journalist Esmé Deprez’s father became the second person to end his life under the Maine Death with Dignity Act. Deprez speaks with Apple News Today host Duarte Geraldino about that experience and a California case making its way through the courts now that could expand the scope of the law.

Jan 15, 2022
Feeling burned out? Here’s how to rethink work.
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How’s your relationship to your job? Does it feel healthy? Sustainable? For a lot of people, it got worse during the pandemic. One survey in 2021 found that more than a third of the men and nearly half of the women feel burned out. So what’s going wrong here? Apple News Today host Shumita Basu speaks with Anne Helen Petersen about her new book, Out of Office: The Big Problem and Bigger Promise of Working From Home, coauthored with Charlie Warzel. It’s all about how we can adjust the role our jobs play in our lives and focus more time and energy on the things we care about the most.

Jan 08, 2022
Inside the secret prisons where migrants are tortured and beaten
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For the New Yorker, journalist Ian Urbina traveled to Libya to report on an EU-funded shadow immigration system that holds migrants in brutal detention centers. While reporting this story, Urbina was kidnapped, beaten, and detained himself. Now safely back home, he spoke with Apple News Today host Shumita Basu about how this shadow system works and the horrific conditions inside the detention centers.

Dec 11, 2021
Jelani Cobb on the backlash to critical race theory
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The New Yorker’s Jelani Cobb says conservatives weaponizing critical race theory aren’t acting in good faith. He speaks with Apple News Today host Shumita Basu about his recent piece for the New Yorker about the founder of the concept, Derrick Bell. Cobb says that Bell could have predicted today’s backlash and that real critical race theory can help us understand today’s debate over false depictions of this term.

Nov 20, 2021
Kids were jailed for a crime that doesn’t exist. How could that happen?
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Nashville Public Radio’s Meribah Knight speaks with Shumita Basu about her reporting for ProPublica on the juvenile-justice system in Rutherford County, Tennessee. Knight reveals a disturbing pattern in which hundreds of kids — some as young as 7 years old — were being locked up every year. In many of these cases, the adults responsible acted illegally and faced no consequences.

Oct 30, 2021
Think the stock market is rigged? You may be right.
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Data shows high-level execs often get unusually good returns trading their own companies’ stocks. But regulators say insider trading is hard to prove under current law. For Bloomberg Businessweek, Liam Vaughan explains why insider trading is more widespread than you might think — and why some experts argue the system is fundamentally unfair.

Oct 23, 2021
Bob Woodward and Robert Costa on the final months of Trump’s presidency
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What was it like inside the White House when Donald Trump lost — then denied losing — the election? Journalists Bob Woodward and Robert Costa, authors of the new book Peril, sat down with Apple News Today host Shumita Basu to discuss the chaotic period, which they consider one of the most dangerous in American history. Peril is available now on Apple Books.

Oct 02, 2021
The story of Jane Roe, her baby, and abortion in America
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Many people may not know that the woman at the center of Roe v. Wade — whose real name is Norma McCorvey — never got the abortion to which she won the right. Journalist and author Joshua Prager set out to find the daughter whom McCorvey ultimately gave up for adoption. In his new book, The Family Roe: An American Story, Prager details the lives of these women and explores how the issue of abortion became so divisive in the U.S.

Sep 18, 2021
E. Alex Jung on who writer Anthony Veasna So might’ve been
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Anthony Veasna So was a burgeoning literary star when he died of a drug overdose at 28 last year. For New York Magazine, Jung spoke with So’s friends, family, and partner about who he was. They all have different ideas.

Aug 14, 2021
Roxane Gay talks Kelis’s farm and the beauty of homegrown food
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Kelis is a pop star most widely known for her 2003 hit single, “Milkshake.” She’s still performing, but her talents and interests extend beyond the music world. A few years ago, she and her husband bought a farm outside L.A. and started living off the land.

 

Best-selling author Roxane Gay wrote about Kelis’s experience running the farm for Harper’s Bazaar. In her article, Gay explores why Kelis started farming and the freedom it has brought her. Gay also looks at the barriers that often stand between Black people and homegrown food. Gay’s article, called “How Kelis Remixed Her Life,” is available to read (and listen to) in Apple News+.

Jul 31, 2021
Allison P. Davis on how Zola’s Twitter thread became a movie
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A’Ziah King, also known as Zola, went viral on Twitter back in 2015. Her series of 148 tweets detailed a mostly true story about a trip down to Florida for an exotic-dancing gig that went awry. A film, titled ‘Zola’ and directed by Janicza Bravo, has now been made based on that viral Twitter thread. 

 

Allison P. Davis, a features writer at New York Magazine, recently profiled Zola. Davis details how many different interests tried to take control of Zola’s story during the filmmaking process — and how Zola feels the final product centers her voice. Davis’s article, called “The Real Zola,” is available to read (and listen to) in Apple News+.

Jul 03, 2021