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The opening sights and sounds of the video for "Bamako," a new song from Songhoy Blues' forthcoming album, Résistance, takes you straight into the heart of the capital and largest city of the West African country of Mali. "Bamako" viscerally taps into the rich musical heritage and jubilation of the culture.

Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson is standing by his controversial comment that poverty is a "state of mind," but he says that "how a person thinks" is only one component that contributes to being poor.

"What I said is that it is a factor. A part of poverty can be the state of mind," he told NPR in an interview. "People tend to approach things differently, based on their frame of mind."

His agency, he says, wants "to find ways to make sure that people understand that the person who has the most to do with what happens to you, is you."

Objects in the Mirror, a new play from American playwright Charles Smith, seems ripped from the headlines. It's about a young man who escapes war-torn Liberia only to confront new dangers and an identity crisis in Australia, the country where he found shelter.

Songs We Love: Anne Dereaux, 'Chop'

Jun 5, 2017

"Architectural designer" has to land pretty high on the list of unexpected day jobs for musicians, but that's the world singer-songwriter Anne Dereaux traverses. Dereaux began her journey in architecture in pursuit of a career path that would be deemed professional and acceptable but that would still fulfill her creative inclinations. Through college, her passion for singing pulled her in another direction — but she's never had to choose between the two. Nothing goes to waste when one career somewhat informs the other.

Note: NPR's First Listen audio comes down after the album is released. However, you can still listen with the Spotify or Apple Music playlist at the bottom of the page.


Chuck Berry's legacy didn't need another record, or any kind of postscript for that matter.

When he died this March, the obits hailed him as the chief architect and driving force behind rock and roll. He was described as the catalyst of a cultural revolution, a titan whose crisp songs and ringing guitar blazed a superhighway-sized trail for future generations.

Wonder Woman was a box office smash on its opening weekend, raking in more than $100 million domestically — a new record for a movie directed by a woman.

Deadline reported Monday that the final tally for the film was $103.1 million, even higher than the initial Sunday estimates.

That handily defeats the previous record for a movie directed by a woman — $85.1 million for Sam Taylor-Johnson's Fifty Shades of Grey.

The news conference was supposed to be about the start of the NBA finals Thursday — but the first question to Cleveland Cavaliers star LeBron James wasn't about how he'll deal with the Warriors' Draymond Green. It was about how he's dealing with racist graffiti at his house in Los Angeles.

You know what a performative utterance is, even if you've never heard the term before. "I now pronounce you" at a wedding is one; "I christen this ship" is another. Performative utterance carries a particular power — it's the thing you want to make true.

And performative utterance is at the heart of Brittney C. Cooper's Beyond Respectability, which profiles several black feminist intellectuals who not only fought against the idea of "respectability" as a prerequisite for being heard, but against the tendency of white feminists and black men to erase their contributions.

Sonny Rollins wasn't really thinking about the formation of an archive as he went about his life and career over the last 60 years — as a tenor saxophonist of unsurpassed stature, an artist of active spiritual and social engagement, and an embodiment of jazz's improvisational ideal.

On a November night in 1986, a crowd gathered in Las Vegas for an event that was hyped as "Judgement Day." Muhammad Ali was there, along with celebrities Sylvester Stallone, Eddie Murphy and Rob Lowe. (Hey, it was the '80s.) At the center of it all was a boxing ring with a referee and two fighters: Mike Tyson and Trevor Berbick.

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