WIUM Tristates Public Radio

Terry Gross

Ahmir "Questlove" Thompson is coming out of the pandemic a changed man. The co-founder of The Roots and the music director for The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon did something he never thought he'd do — he bought a farm in upstate New York.

"The last year has really been a big lesson for me in terms of self-love," Questlove says. "I was world famous for being a machine. ... I thought chaos was the only way that I could exist. But now I embrace quiet, and I can hear myself think."

Copyright 2021 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

This is FRESH AIR. I'm Terry Gross.

In a new book, two New York Times journalists report that Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg often doesn't see the downside of the social media platform he created. In their new book, An Ugly Truth, Sheera Frenkel and Cecilia Kang write that Zuckerberg tends to believe that free speech will drown out bad speech.

What happens when a woman conceives of and creates an app — and then her husband becomes the face of the startup that monetizes it? That's the question Tahmima Anam set out to answer in the satirical novel, The Startup Wife.

DAVID BIANCULLI, HOST:

This is FRESH AIR. I'm David Bianculli, professor of television studies at Rowan University in New Jersey, sitting in for Terry Gross. Today we're going to listen back to Terry's 2020 interview with Mindy Kaling. She co-created and is the main writer of the Netflix series called "Never Have I Ever," which draws on her own experiences when she was in high school. It was described in Vanity Fair as breezy and delightful, practically built for quarantine marathon-watching. Season 2 begins next week.

Copyright 2021 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

In 1873, Congress passed a law outlawing the distribution, sale, mailing and possession of "obscene" materials — including contraception.

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

This is FRESH AIR. I'm Terry Gross.

We have a great, entertaining show that seems right for the holiday, this Independence Day that comes just a couple of weeks after Juneteenth was declared a national holiday. We're going to hear my interview with composer, pianist, bandleader and singer Jon Batiste and with Batiste at his home piano so he could play and sing for us, including doing his interpretations of the national anthem and the Black national anthem, "Lift Every Voice."

After winning two Emmys for playing Suzanne "Crazy Eyes" Warren on Orange Is the New Black, Uzo Aduba says her current role as a psychotherapist in HBO's reboot of its In Treatment series is an exciting change.

Copyright 2021 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

Copyright 2021 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

DAVE DAVIES, HOST:

Copyright 2021 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

DAVE DAVIES, HOST:

Copyright 2021 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

Ashley C. Ford was a baby when her father went to prison, and for many years no one in her family told her what his crime was. As a teenager, she was shocked to learn he had been convicted of rape.

"It was terrible to try to process it," she says. "With rape, there's no mistake about the intention to harm. You intended to harm someone and you intended to harm someone in a way that I understand intimately."

The first time actor Antony Ramos saw In the Heights, Lin-Manuel Miranda's Broadway production about a Latinx community in New York City's Washington Heights neighborhood, he was floored.

"The pulse of this musical, it feels close to me," he says. "I hadn't felt that watching a musical ever. ... Watching In the Heights, it just gave me this hope, like, wow, this is what a Broadway show can be."

DAVE DAVIES, HOST:

This is FRESH AIR. I'm Dave Davies, in for Terry Gross. Next week, for the first time in over a year, Stephen Colbert will be taping "The Late Show" in front of a live audience again. We thought we'd listen back to Terry's conversation with him in April about producing the show from home. Here's how she introduced their interview.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED NPR BROADCAST)

Copyright 2021 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

DAVE DAVIES, HOST:

Copyright 2021 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

Copyright 2021 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

This is FRESH AIR. I'm Terry Gross.

Actor Rita Moreno never had an on-screen, Latina role model as a child. "There was no such thing then," she says. "Certainly not for little Puerto Rican girls like me."

That changed when Moreno, who moved with her mother to the U.S. mainland from Puerto Rico in 1936 and spent years working as a contract player for MGM, landed her breakout role as Anita in the 1961 film West Side Story.

Copyright 2021 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

DAVID BIANCULLI, HOST:

Copyright 2021 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

Growing up in New Orleans, Atlantic writer Clint Smith was surrounded by reminders of the Confederacy. To get to school, he traveled down Robert E. Lee Boulevard. He took Jefferson Davis Highway when he went to the grocery store.

In elementary and middle school, Smith never learned about the legacy of slavery. Instead, his class took field trips to plantations — "places that were the sites of torture and intergenerational chattel bondage," he says, "but no one said the word 'slavery.'"

Copyright 2021 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

In 1989, 15-year-old Yusef Salaam was one of five Black and Latino teenagers who were wrongly accused of assault and rape in the so-called Central Park jogger case.

At the time of his 1990 trial, Salaam, then out on bail, felt confident that the truth would come out and that he and the other teens would be proven innocent.

Pages