In the past year, my first in a prestigious Ph.D. program in creative writing and literature, I have often felt conspicuous as a writer of color. I have felt a responsibility to speak up when race is discussed, but I have also resented this responsibility. Lately, I have found myself burying my head. It bothers me to no end that the pressure is beating me, and yet it is.
With the sun lingering on the horizon and the Capitol in the distance, runner after runner completed a 3-mile loop around the National Mall and was met with cheers and high-fives. Standing in two parallel lines with hands outstretched, the crowd of mostly 20-somethings formed a celebratory human bridge for their fellow runners to pass under as they crossed the finish line.
In November of 1969, astronaut Alan Bean became the fourth man to walk on the moon. His mission, Apollo 12, arrived at the moon a few months after Apollo 11 made the first moon landing. That historic event celebrates its 45th anniversary Sunday.
Apollo 12 got off to a dramatic start: A storm rolled in as the rocket was scheduled to launch. Bean, with fellow astronauts Pete Conrad and Dick Gordon, sat inside the spacecraft while the bad weather threatened the operation.
Director George A. Romero grew up on classic movie monsters â€” and he says he never dreamed he'd be responsible for creating the modern zombie that now lurks alongside those monsters. "I never expected it. I really didn't," he tells NPR's Arun Rath. "... All I did was I took them out of 'exotica' and I made them the neighbors ... I thought there's nothing scarier than the neighbors!"
Every summer for the last 15 years, the Latin Alternative Music Conference gathers musicians and industry folks within the corner of the Latin music industry known as Latin alternative. This summer was no different, and Felix Contreras and Jasmine Garsd from NPR's Alt.Latino podcast were there in New York to scout bands and geek out over the music business. Felix and Jasmine, welcome.
FELIX CONTRERAS: Good morning.
JASMINE GARSD: Thank you for having us.
RATH: So 15 years. Was this a quinceanera for the conference?
The diatonic phrygian tetrachord - just rolls off the tongue, doesn't it? Well, maybe you're not familiar with this expression. It's actually a sequence of four musical notes. But I can pretty much guarantee you've heard it played over and over again.
(SOUNDBITE OF COMPOSITION, "PASSAGLIA FOR SOLO VIOLIN")