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The State of Things on WUNC
North Carolina Public Radio - WUNC
Stories from WUNC's The State of Things with Frank Stasio
Jan 15, 2021
The Great Power And Great Responsibility Of Using Psychedelic Medicine
The world of psychedelics is painted with neon colors and smiling, white hippies with long hair who use hallucinogenic substances for wild, recreational trips. But psychedelics like LSD, MDMA (also known as molly or ecstasy) and psilocybin (also known as magic mushrooms) have a much richer history in their use as therapeutic medicines, which existed in Indigenous communities long before Western culture and medicine discovered them.
Jan 1, 2021
Sex And Bodies Belong In Our Headlines. WUNC To Continue Broadcasting Embodied
Back in November, WUNC chose to discontinue “The State of Things,” North Carolina’s only live public radio program heard in the mountains, on the coast and in the Piedmont. Those of us who make the daily talk show were surprised and saddened by the decision — however, we are thrilled to continue offering the Embodied series into 2021 as a live weekly program from noon to one on Fridays. Listeners can also look forward to season two of the podcast adaptation.
Jan 1, 2021
Hidden Symbols in Quilla’s New Album, ‘The Handbook of Vivid Moments’
Anna Luisa Daigneault, known as Quilla , is the audio muse that makes the Embodied podcast sparkle. WUNC collaborated with Quilla to craft the theme for Embodied and other background music for the recurring series, which approaches taboo topics through a feminist lens. Her music and the podcast amplify one another. To evoke the show’s emphasis on pleasure and sex, Quilla created a blooming synth refrains. The Greensboro musician and producer emphasizes biological cycles, family relationships and women’s liberation in her music. And those themes stand out even more clearly thanks to the addition of lyrics for her most recent album, “The Handbook of Vivid Moments.” While the album features multilingual lyrics and ranges from dancehall beats to ethereal soundscapes, the electro-vocal tracks remain extraordinarily accessible. The welcoming groove is a product of Quilla’s thorough checks on audio quality. While mixing audio, she constantly runs back and forth from her studio out to her
Dec 31, 2020
Frank Stasio’s Fondest Shows: Meet Little Brother
In 2003, Frank Stasio spent time in North Carolina guest hosting The State of Things, and one of the conversations from his early days on the show is one of his most-memorable from his 15-year tenure as host: sitting down with hip-hop group Little Brother.
Dec 31, 2020
Frank Stasio’s Fondest Shows: The Bucket Brothers Tune Their Talents
Logan Valleroy and Casey Valleroy might be teenagers, but their musical prowess makes them seem like professional musicians. The brothers have been playing music since they were young. Today, the pair play a myriad of instruments like the violin, keyboard, drums, saxophone and guitar, but started out as kids banging on pots and pans around the house.
Dec 29, 2020
Frank Stasio's Fondest Shows: North Carolina's Unions And Organized Labor Saved Lives In 2020
Union membership in the United States is at a record low. About 10% of workers nationwide are currently union members, and only 2.7% of workers in North Carolina are unionized , which places the state second-to-last in the nation.
Dec 28, 2020
Not Your Old-Fashioned Bookworms: How Librarians Became Digital Connoisseurs In Pandemic
This March, our world turned digital. Zoom meetings, virtual school and video chats dominated work, school and home life. To ease this transition to computer-based life, the state’s public libraries stepped up for their communities.
Dec 28, 2020
‘Has The World Ended Yet?’ Students Reflect On Letters To The Future
The letters begin with various greetings. “Dear 50 year of age self.” “To my future children.” “Dear future me, It’s me, I mean you, but circa 2020.” These are the words of a group of University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill undergraduates who processed the reality of a pandemic-dominated year through letters to the future as a class assignment this spring.
Dec 24, 2020
Frank Stasio’s Fondest Shows: Meet Cecilia Polanco, Who Runs 'So Good Pupusas'
Cecilia Polanco’s parents did not dream of their daughter owning a food truck when they emigrated from El Salvador to the United States in the early 1980s. Their expectation was that she would get a respectable profession after college, or even better, a career, like her older sisters who work in law and insurance. So when she proposed the idea of a pupusa business, her mother naturally had some concerns — Polanco did not even know how to make the traditional Salvadoran fare.
Dec 22, 2020
Frank Stasio's Fondest Shows: Meet Surf Philosopher And Educator Maia Dery
For Maia Dery, sitting still has never been much of an option. Her teacher had her sit out in the halls to not disturb other students, and as soon as she had her precious drivers license, Dery routinely skipped school to escape to Duke Forest.
Dec 21, 2020
A 'Black Economic Development Zone' Grows In Rural Durham County
Activist Skip Gibbs was in the midst of leading a protest in Durham this summer when he felt that something wasn’t right. In the crowd, which had gathered to demand that the city council redirect the police department budget into social services, he saw mostly white faces.
Dec 21, 2020
All The Songs We Sing: A Celebration Of North Carolina’s Black Writers
Twenty-five years ago, renowned poet Lenard D. Moore invited a group of his peers into his basement for a session of writing critique. That monthly gathering evolved into the Carolina African American Writers’ Collective , which has supported over 60 writers across a variety of styles through their careers.
Dec 21, 2020
Ben Phantom's Music Video 'Saigon' Documents His Father's Return To Vietnam
Asheville-based singer-songwriter Ben Phantom ’s father never talked about his time in Vietnam. So when he finally decided to go back for a visit after 42 years in the United States, Phantom brought a video camera.
Dec 18, 2020
In 'Broken Faith' Reporters Uncover Decades Of Abuse At Spindale Church
When former schoolteacher Jane Whaley and her husband, Sam, founded Word of Faith Fellowship in Spindale, NC in 1979, no one could have imagined all that the institution would become: a religious movement with global impact; a community that provides housing and job opportunities to its congregation; and a cult dogged with allegations of physical, psychological and spiritual abuse .
Dec 18, 2020
With Rezoning Approval For Downtown South, Affordable Housing In Raleigh Remains A Concern
This week the Raleigh City Council approved rezoning for Downtown South, a $2.2 billion development project that will bring shops, housing and a soccer stadium to southeast Raleigh. The space was previously zoned as an industrial district. Downtown South’s mixed-use zoning clearance is just an early step in the project’s progress.
Dec 17, 2020
Frank Stasio's Fondest Shows: Meet Bree Newsome, Who Removed South Carolina’s Confederate Flag
Activist Bree Newsome Bass gained national attention in the summer of 2015 when she was arrested for scaling the flagpole at the statehouse in Columbia, South Carolina, and removing the Confederate flag. The act of civil disobedience took place in the wake of the killing of nine African-American people at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, S.C.
Dec 16, 2020
#BackChannel: Celebrating 'This Christmas', Steve McQueen's Powerful Film Anthology & More
Academy Award-winning director Steve McQueen took over a decade to fully realize his vision of a collection of stories about the West Indian community in London in the '60s, ‘70s and '80s. That idea came to life last month with the release of a five-part film anthology called " Small Axe ." The films explore the joy and pain of life in this immigrant community — and its important contributions to London's history.
Dec 15, 2020
Frank Stasio’s Fondest Shows: Meet Lumbee Scholar And Filmmaker Malinda Maynor Lowery
Malinda Maynor Lowery is a Lumbee Indian whose family goes back more than 10 generations in Robeson County. Lowery was born in Lumberton, N.C. but raised in Durham, where from an early age, she often fielded the question, "what are you?" Although she grew up in a family with a strong sense of Native identity, this question stayed with her much of her life, and eventually became the subject of much of her academic and documentary work.
Dec 14, 2020
Black Businesses Continue To Innovate During COVID-19
When the first wave of federal COVID-19 provisions became available to businesses in April, Black business owners received a very small amount of relief funding. And the North Carolina Business Council estimates the number of Black businesses in the state has decreased by 41 percent since the beginning of the pandemic. There are several reasons for this, including the racial wage and generational wealth gaps, both of which contribute to Black businesses starting up with lower capital and struggling to sustain themselves without economic relationships with banks and other wealth-holding institutions.
Dec 11, 2020
More Protections Needed In NC State Prisons As COVID-19 Cases Rise
Increased coronavirus case numbers and deaths in North Carolina have taken a lethal toll on people inside state prisons. The number of coronavirus-related deaths has doubled since the end of September, and more than one of every six prisoners has tested positive, according to reporting by Charlotte Observer investigative reporter Ames Alexander . In December, four prisoners at four different facilities died in the span of five days. Outbreaks have continued across the system.