Hidden Stories from America’s Beginning

Hello and welcome back to A Community of Voices!

Think back to high school. Do you remember flipping through your US History textbook and reading about the heroism of George Washington? What about the peaceful dinner and tranquility celebrate by the pilgrims and Native Americans around Thanksgiving? And what about the dastardly deeds of Benedict Arnold?



What if, while all this may not be a lie, is also not necessarily the truth? What if US history has been sterilized in order to paint a more peaceful picture of our past? What if the general public only knows the history of the United States that paints it in the best light?

My guest this week is Kenneth Davis, historian and the author of the Don’t Know Much About series. In his book, America’s Hidden History, Kenneth examines some forgotten events, people, and situations, that shaped our nation, even if they aren’t politically correct today.

Until next time radio-land,
Vinny

Escape from North Korea

Hello and welcome back to A Community of Voices.

Imagine you are trapped.  You and your parents and their parents have been given so little food for such a long time, your growth has been stunted.  Family members and friends that you love and care for, one day, just disappeared.  You’ve heard story of people being abused at the hands of the government and military, and have even experienced some of it first hand.  You’ve heard that life doesn’t need to be this way.  Your only escape is to run and never look back.

North Korea is the home of 24 million people.  Many live under tortuous conditions and must endure hardships day after day.  Men, women, and children literally die from starvation.  Some simply commit suicide so they don’t have to struggle any longer.

There is no dissent in North Korea, no organized opposition movement.  Information is extremely controlled in North Korea as is the daily lives of the people.  If you are seen as a political or social threat, go against the strict laws of the country, you will undoubtedly find yourself in one of North Korea’s prison camps.

Many North Koreans see escape as their only way out.  It is a long, treacherous, and dangerous journey out of the country and to freedom.  But even more, once they are out of North Korea, their journey is still only beginning. Whether or not they will be able to join the some 24,000 refugees in South Korea, or the 140 refugees in the United States, is stroke of pure luck.

My guest this week is Melanie Kirkpatrick, author of Escape From North Korea: The Untold Story of Asia’s Underground Railroad.  Melanie is a former editor at the Wall Street Journal and is currently a fellow at the Hudson Institute.  Even though our political beliefs and ideals may be vastly different, both Melanie and I can agree that the human rights abuses occurring in North Korea need to come to an end, and the North Korean people need to find their freedom.

Until next time radio-land,
Vinny

Voice of the Homeless: Street Papers

Hello and welcome back to A Community of Voices!

There are media outlets for almost everything.  There are magazines for computers and video games.  There are television stations devoted just to fashion.  There are radio shows for progressives and ultra conservatives alike.  But what about the homeless.

Since the late 19th century, organizations and individuals have tried to bring attention to issues revolving around homelessness.  But it wasn’t until 1989 that a new media outlet, specifically devoted to reporting on homelessness and the issues faced by the unhoused, began to take off.  Beginning in New York City, a newspaper called Street News became the launching point for street papers.  Street papers are newspapers or magazines that sold by the unhoused to give them some income.

Many of the papers focus on issues regarding homelessness and poverty.  They are typically seen as forms of alternative media not only because of their focus, but because of who writes for the papers.  Street papers are filled with articles and stories and poems written and created by the same homeless people that are selling the paper.

One of the most prominent street papers is the Contributor in Nasheville, Tennessee.  My guest today is Chris Roberts, Director of the film Street Papers.  Street papers is a Do it yourself film that focuses on the success, hardships and stories of homeless vendors, selling the Contributor in Nasheville.

Until next time radio-land,
Vinny