In 1835, Washington, D.C., was a city in transition: Newly freed African-Americans were coming north and for the first time beginning to outnumber the city's slaves. That demographic shift led to a violent upheaval — all but forgotten today.
Few of the city's buildings from that time remain, but you can still sense what it was like, if you sit in a park by the White House, as NPR's Steve Inskeep did with writer Jefferson Morley.
In the 1960s and '70s, if you were in a doctor's office, or a funeral home, or a motel in Florida, chances are a landscape painting hung on the wall. Palms arching over the water, or moonlight on an inlet. Tens of thousands of paintings like this were created by a group of self-taught African-American artists, concentrated in Fort Pierce, Fla.
To me, chess pie is an Oklahoma pie with definite Southern accents. For NPR's recent pie contest, I started with my mother's family recipe for Lemon Chess Pie — with a variation inspired by my Aunt Jane.
The story of The Highwaymen is one of biracial friendships and lingering racism, of painting and a murder — culminating in a contemporary clash over an artistic legacy.
Only loosely allied, they are credited with churning out some 200,000 landscape paintings in the area of Fort Pierce, Fla., since the 1960s. The strategy behind their enterprise: Paint a lot, and paint fast. Often, the oil paintings were sold before they had even dried. And a teenager named Alfred Hair was the mastermind behind the whole operation.
We're replaying a portion of this interview today. Specifically, it's the part where Jimmy Fallon imitates Neil Young. Why? Because we're also playing our Neil Young interview today. If you're like to listen to the full Jimmy Fallon interview, you can do so here.
We hold this truth to be self-evident: America loves pie. We, the people, a nation of bakers and eaters, value the art of creating that crispy, gooey, fluffy, fruity dessert — and each region reserves the right to bake the treat in its own individual style.
I'm sure you're a very good cook. But if you want to feel bad about yourself, spend five minutes cruising the Internet for photos of bento boxes.
They won't be hard to find. Originally just a convenient boxed lunch for Japanese field workers, bentos today can be high art, with flower-petal carrots, hard-boiled eggs shaped into bunnies, broccoli sculpted into trees. The moms who make them — because they're mostly moms, and not necessarily Japanese — are eager to share their edible masterpieces.
W. Ralph Eubanks is the author of Ever Is a Long Time and The House at the End of the Road. He is director of publishing at the Library of Congress.
The work of William Faulkner looms as a mountain too high to climb for many readers, with his long, complex sentences and shifting point of view. But Faulkner's famously tangled mix of literary techniques meant nothing when I was about 12 years old and picked up a copy of TheReivers.