Archives for February 2013

Subway Busking: Freedom of Musical Expression

How is your commute to work or home? While walking through busy subway stations, sounds of classical, jazz, blues, or folk music can often be heard in the distance. Sometimes there’s a crowd surrounding one or more performers. Sometimes they stand alone. Either way, there is often a chance to hear some tunes that make […]

Reveal a Secret of Life

Sixty years and one day ago, on February 28th, 1953, two young scientists named James Watson and Francis Crick left their Cambridge University laboratory, walked through the doors of the The Eagle pub, and declared to its patrons that they had uncovered the “secret of life”. I would call them dramatic, but in many ways…they […]

Abram Himelstein and the New Orleans’ Neighborhood Story Project

In 2004, Abram Himelstein was teaching high school in New Orleans’ Seventh Ward and thinking about how people didn’t know enough about their neighbors. The time that once was spent on the porch telling stories and playing dominoes had been largely replaced by staying indoors and watching TV. So he and fellow teacher Rachel Bruelin […]

Name a Nameless Problem

Fifty years and five days ago exactly, in February of 1963, a college-graduate-turned-suburban-housewife named Betty Friedan changed the world with words. She set in motion the second wave of feminism by publishing a book (you may have heard of) called The Feminine Mystique. By naming and discussing the previously unspoken reality of American women’s lives, Friedan […]

Writing Through Imitation

The first book I ever loved was Cormac McCarthy’s All the Pretty Horses. It began as just another school assignment but it became a whirlwind romance. I’ve always remembered the paragraph in the novel that first made me feel the emotional power of writing.

85th Academy Awards: The Narrator’s Oscar Picks (And some wishful thinking)

We couldn’t wrap up Oscar Week on The Narrator without throwing our two-cents in the ring for who we think will win (or should win) big at tomorrow’s 85th Academy Awards show — all with a little help from our resident expert, writer and film critic Ann Lewinson.  Ann reviews films for the Boston Phoenix, The Kansas City Star, and […]

HIV-Positive Inmates Too Expensive for Private Prison Operators?

Today’s post comes from Christopher Petrella. Petrella is a prisoners’ rights activist, a doctoral student at U.C. Berkeley in African American Studies, and a political journalist. You can follow him on Twitter @CFPetrella. Defenders of the for-profit prison industry reflexively insist that privatization—or the process of subjecting “correctional services” to market pressures—will naturally generate efficiencies […]

Friday 5: Athletes and Racial Equality in the 20th Century

As we come to the end of Black History Month (sadly, the shortest month of the year), it is important to look back at some of the most notable figures that sought to end racial inequality for African Americans. Specifically, there are a number of black athletes that, through their unparalleled physical prowess and skill […]

Best Original & Adapted Screenplays: And the Oscar doesn’t go to…

Ann Lewinson reviews films for the Boston Phoenix, The Kansas City Star and other newspapers and is a member of the Alliance of Women Film Journalists and the Boston Society of Film Critics. Ann is also a NYWC workshop leader and has led workshops for the formerly homeless, young adults with autism, Downs syndrome, cerebral palsy and other disabilities. […]

Film Review: The House I Live In

My best friend is a death penalty attorney in Colorado. That means that the federal government pays her to provide criminal defense services to human beings who are on death row. In turn, she works to prevent the federal government from killing her client. It doesn’t make very much sense, but that is what she […]