Mandalit del Barco

As a general assignment correspondent based at NPR West, Mandalit del Barco has reported and produced radio stories and photographed everything from street gangs to Hollywood, police and prisons, marijuana, immigration, race relations, natural disasters, Latino arts and urban street culture (including hip hop dance, music, and art). Every year, she covers the Oscars and the Grammy awards for NPR. Her news reports, feature stories and photos filed from Los Angeles and abroad can be heard on All Things Considered, Morning Edition, Weekend Edition, alt.latino and npr.org.

Her reporting has taken her throughout the United States, including Los Angeles, New Orleans, New York and Miami. Reporting further afield as well, del Barco traveled to Haiti to report on the aftermath of the devastating 2010 earthquake. She chronicled street gangs exported from the U.S. to El Salvador and Honduras and went to Mexico to report about immigrant smugglers, musicians, filmmakers and artists. In Argentina, del Barco profiled on tango legend Carlos Gardel and in the Philippines she reported a feature on balikbayan boxes and has Reporting from China, del Barco contributed to NPR's coverage of the United Nations' Women's Conference. She spent a year in Peru working on a documentary and teaching radio journalism as a Fulbright Fellow and on a fellowship with the Knight International Center For Journalists.

In addition to reporting daily stories, del Barco has created half-hour radio documentaries about gangs in Central America, Latino hip hop, L.A. Homegirls, artist Frida Kahlo, New York's Palladium ballroom and Puerto Rican "Casitas." She has served as a guest host on Latino USA and Tell Me More.

Before moving to Los Angeles, del Barco was a reporter for NPR Member station WNYC in New York City. She started her radio career on the production staff of NPR's Weekend Edition Saturday with Scott Simon. However her first taste for radio came as a teenager, when she and her brother won an award for an NPR children's radio contest.

del Barco's reporting experience extends into newspaper and magazines. She served on the staffs of The Miami Herald and The Village Voice and has done freelance reporting. She has written articles for Latina magazine and reported for the weekly radio show Latino USA.

Stories written by del Barco have appeared in several books including "Las Christmas: Favorite Latino Authors Share their Holiday Memories" (Vintage Books) and "Las Mamis: Favorite Latino Authors Remember their Mothers" (Vintage Books). del Barco contributed to an anthology on rap music and hip hop culture in the book, "Droppin' Science" (Temple University Press).

Peruvian writer Julio Villanueva Chang profiled del Barco's life and career for the book "Se Habla Espanol: Voces Latinas en USA." (Alfaguara press)

She mentors young journalists through NPR's "Next Generation", Global Girl, the National Association of Hispanic Journalists and on her own throughout the U.S. and Latin America.

A fourth generation journalist, del Barco was born in Lima, Peru, to a Peruvian father and Mexican-American mother. She grew up in Baldwin, Kansas, and in Oakland, California, and has lived in Manhattan, Madrid, Miami, Lima and Los Angeles. She began her journalism career as a reporter, columnist and editor for the Daily Californian while studying anthropology and rhetoric at the University of California, Berkeley. She earned a Master's degree in journalism from Columbia University with her thesis, "Breakdancers: Who are they, and why are they spinning on their heads?"

For those who are curious where her name comes from, "Mandalit" is the name of a woman in a song from Carmina Burana, a musical work from the 13th century put to music in the 20th century by composer Carl Orff. The guys from Car Talk also pay homage to her in their phony end credits as "inventory manager Mandalit del Barcode."

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3:45am

Thu November 13, 2014
Color Decoded: Stories That Span The Spectrum

How Kodak's Shirley Cards Set Photography's Skin-Tone Standard

Originally published on Thu November 13, 2014 9:45 am

For decades, Kodak's Shirley cards, like this one, featured only white models.
Kodak

Jersson Garcia works at Richard Photo Lab in Hollywood. He's 31 years old, and he's got a total crush on Shirley.

"Beautiful skin tones, beautiful eyes, great hair," he sighs. "She's gorgeous."

Garcia is holding a 4-by-6-inch photo of an ivory-faced brunette wearing a lacy, white, off-the-shoulders top. She has red lipstick and silver earrings, and the photo appears to have been taken sometime in the 1970s or '80s.

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5:41pm

Wed November 12, 2014
Color Decoded: Stories That Span The Spectrum

Sacred, Sad And Salacious: With Many Meanings, What Is True Blue?

Originally published on Wed November 12, 2014 9:49 pm

Phil Stanton (from left), Chris Wink and Matt Goldman are the founders of the theatrical performance troupe Blue Man Group.
Jemal Countess Getty Images

The color blue has meant a lot of things to a lot of different people. In medieval times, the Virgin Mary's cloak was often painted a celestial, pure, sacred blue. In the early 1900s, Pablo Picasso created somber blue paintings during a period of depression. The color has been championed by everyone from jazz musician Miles Davis and singer-songwriter Joni Mitchell to the theatrical Blue Man Group.

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3:34am

Thu August 21, 2014
Movies

A Maverick Director, At Home On The Range

Originally published on Thu August 21, 2014 1:07 pm

Robert Rodriguez ventures into Hollywood for the premiere of Sin City: A Dame to Kill For.
Getty Images

Robert Rodriguez's newest film, Sin City 2: A Dame to Kill For, is about to hit theaters — it's a 3-D crime thriller based on Frank Miller's graphic novel series, laden with booze, broads and bullets.

But Rodriguez has also made comedic spaghetti Westerns, vampire flicks and four Spy Kids movies, about a young brother-sister duo of super sleuths — all from his home base in Austin, Texas.

He has been in and out of Hollywood recently, though, putting the finishing touches on Sin City 2.

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6:49am

Wed August 13, 2014
Remembrances

Hollywood, Broadway Icon Lauren Bacall Dies At 89

Originally published on Wed August 13, 2014 7:38 am

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

3:06am

Thu July 3, 2014
Book Your Trip

Vroom, Vroom, Hmmmm: Motorcycles As Literary Metaphor

Originally published on Thu July 3, 2014 12:28 pm

Biker Ron Hamberg says he's read Dickens, Twain and Gandhi's autobiography, but as for books about motorcycles, "I just ride 'em, I don't read about 'em."
Solvejg Wastvedt

Motorcycles provide an open road for literature — literally and figuratively. They're sometimes the dramatic device writers use to talk about many things: adventure, rebellion, even inner peace. But motorcycles aren't just a metaphor at Bartel's Harley-Davidson shop in Marina Del Rey, Calif. They're loud and shiny and very real.

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5:29am

Mon June 23, 2014
Business

Amazon Relents: Begins Selling Rowling's 'Silkworm'

Originally published on Mon June 23, 2014 11:11 am

J.K. Rowling's new book, The Silkworm, has been caught up in Amazon's ongoing fight with publisher Hachette Book Group. Amazon has been delaying delivery on more than 5,000 of Hachette's titles

4:06pm

Tue June 17, 2014
Law

Settlement Brings An Early End To Apple's Price-Fixing Case

Originally published on Tue June 17, 2014 8:33 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Melissa Block.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

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7:39pm

Thu June 12, 2014
Code Switch

Ruby Dee: An Actress Who Marched On Washington And Onto The Screen

Originally published on Fri June 13, 2014 8:58 am

Ossie Davis and Ruby Dee at the 1989 Cannes Festival for the showing of Spike Lee's Do The Right Thing.
Courtesy of David Lee/All Rights Reserved

Born Ruby Ann Wallace in the early 1920s in Cleveland, actress and civil rights activist Ruby Dee most identified with the part of New York City where she was raised.

"I don't know who I would be if I weren't this child from Harlem, this woman from Harlem. It's in me so deep," Dee told NPR's Tell Me More in 2007.

She died Wednesday of natural causes at her home in New Rochelle, N.Y., surrounded by her children and grandchildren. She was 91.

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5:12am

Thu June 12, 2014
Business

'Lego Movie' Caught In Amazon's Battle With Warner Home Video

Originally published on Thu June 12, 2014 9:39 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, BYLINE: We begin NPR's Business News with another Amazon standoff. Amazon, the giant online retailer, is in a battle with Warner Home Video. Amazon says it deserves a bigger piece of the pie, and until the company gets it it's refusing to sell Warner's forthcoming DVDs. Here's NPR's Mandalit del Barco.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "EVERYTHING IS AWESOME")

TEGAN AND SARA: (Singing) Everything is awesome...

MANDALIT DEL BARCO: For fans of "The Lego Movie" hoping to order a DVD through Amazon, everything is not so awesome.

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4:08pm

Wed June 4, 2014
Movies

'Nerdfighters' Mobilize For Film Premiere, Armed With Favorite Lines

Originally published on Wed June 4, 2014 7:18 pm

John Green's love story, The Fault in Our Stars, is a cult classic for young readers. The film adaptation comes out Friday, and excitement has reached a fever pitch among middle-schoolers obsessed with the book.

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

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