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25 Segments




Unflinching Evil in 'Say You're One of Them'

The debut short-story collection by Nigerian writer and Jesuit priest Uwem Akpan offers a sobering view of a world in which atrocity is commonplace, and the unthinkable is the everyday.


Southern Christianity, Around the World

Religion professor Philip Jenkins talks about his latest book, The New Faces of Christianity: Believing the Bible in the Global South. The book is a follow-up to his 2002 title, The Next Christendom: the Coming of Global Christianity, which was named on of the top religion books of that year by USA Today.


Stephen Lewis

The United Nations Special Envoy for HIV/AIDS in Africa talks about the current state of the AIDS crisis there. He recently returned from a tour of Lesotho, Zimbabwe, Malawi and Zambia, where he was investigating links between hunger and AIDS. He is the former Deputy Executive Director of UNICEF and was the Canadian ambassador to the U.N. from 1984-1988.


Reporter Keith B. Richburg Distances Himself from His African Roots

Richburg is the Hong Kong bureau chief for the "Washington Post," the paper's former Africa bureau chief, and has won awards for his reporting, including being selected as a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. In his new book "Out of America," he reflects on his three years experience in Africa and questions the connections made between the identity of African-Americans and their African roots.


Can Africa Rebound?

New York Times reporter John Darnton. This past Sunday, Monday and Tuesday, Darnton published a series of articles in the Times about the current state of Africa. He was the Times' Africa correspondent in the 70s. This 3-part series is his return to see how conditions have changed. He reports that living standards have declined far below the rest of the world, with most African countries in economic turmoil, replete with famine, war and drought. He says the World Bank has become the new superpower of Africa with the post-cold war pullout of the U.S. and Russia.


A Journalist Calls Attention to the Somali Crisis

New York Times journalist Jane Perlez has been covering Africa since 1988 and has been credited with recognizing stories before the rest of the media. She was reporting on the trouble in Somalia, and the threat of famine a year ago, long before it became the focus of world attention.


Writer Eddy L. Harris.

Writer Eddy L. Harris. Like many African Americans, Harris felt a kinship to the continent of his ancestors. He went to Africa, traveled throughout the continent, and came away feeling disillusioned and feeling that he was not an African at heart after all. He's written about his journey in the new book, "Native Stranger" (published by Simon and Schuster). Harris' earlier book was the critically acclaimed "Mississippi Solo."


Thomas Pakenham Discusses "The Scramble for Africa."

Until the mid 1870s, most of Africa remained untouched by slave traders and explorers. And then, in a little over three decades of conquest, Western European countries carved up and colonized all of Africa. Thomas Pakenham ("packin-em") has written "The Scramble for Africa" (Random House), a comprehensive account of this period where the white man invaded the Dark Continent.


Somalian Writer Nuruddin Farah.

One of Africa's greatest novelists, Nuruddin Farah (New-ru-DEAN Fair-ah). He was born in what is now known as the Somalian Republic. He writes in English, and his work has been widely praised for its treatment of women. His books include, "From A Crooked Rib," "A Naked Needle," and a trilogy, "Variations on an African Dictatorship." For a long time Farah was living in exile because of a death sentence placed against him for his writing. It has since been lifted.


Essential Books on African Music.

World music critic Milo Miles reviews some current books on African music. His big recommendation is "Sweet Mother: Modern African Music," by Wolfgang Bender (published by University of Chicago Press).


White Authors on Black Africa.

Book critic John Leonard reviews two collections of essays about Africa; "African Silences" by Peter Matthiessan and "Maneaters Motel" by Denis Boyles.


A Trio of New Sax Quartets

Jazz critic Kevin Whitehead has the first of a two part review of several current saxophone quartets, a configuration that's risen in popularity lately.


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