Notes from America with Kai Wright

Notes from America with Kai Wright

Notes from America with Kai Wright is a show about the unfinished business of our history, and its grip on our future.

Episodes

July 22, 2024 50 mins

“The call was coming from inside the house,” says Fordham University political scientist Christina Greer about the pressure campaign Democrats applied to President Joe Biden in the weeks since his debate against Republican contender Donald Trump. Biden’s fitness for another four-year term had been called into question, and although he seemed determined to stay in the race, his late-July announcement that he’d suspend his re-electio...

Mark as Played

Federal investigators are charged with uncovering how a 20-year-old man was able to use an automatic rifle from a rooftop just outside of a campaign rally for Donald Trump to open fire, killing one attendee and injuring others, including the former president. The horrific images from the rally flooded social media timelines, followed by conspiracy theories, misinformation and more concerning narratives that demonstrate how trust in...

Mark as Played

WNYC, the most listened-to public radio station in America and the production home of this podcast, turns 100 years old this year. Its audio archives are full of gems from history — including voices, interviews and performances from some of the most well-known Black Americans of the 20th century.

In this episode, host Kai Wright digs through some of the audio and discovers moments that illuminate the Black experience through the wor...

Mark as Played

When President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump shared the stage for the first presidential debate of the 2024 election season, it was memorable for all the wrong reasons.

Namely, it displayed a concern of many Americans: Biden’s age and acuity. We watched two men, both in the late years of their lives, both of whom have already spent decades as rich and powerful people, both of whom have already been president, and neith...

Mark as Played

Minority rule – by which a few get to decide the outcomes for many – is eroding American democracy at nearly every level, according to veteran journalist Ari Berman, author of Minority Rule: the Right-Wing Attack on the Will of the People―and the Fight to Resist It. 

In this episode, host Kai Wright talks to Berman about how the U.S. has been in a push-and-pull between oligarchy and democracy since 1787 when the Founding Fathers put...

Mark as Played

The promise of American democracy could not be fulfilled until all Americans were free.

Following the moment of Black liberation marked by Juneteenth, Black Americans began the ongoing project of securing and protecting their rights to vote, and to lead. In this special Juneteenth episode, host Kai Wright traces the lineage of our democracy being actualized to the period after Emancipation, when political leadership like that of lat...

Mark as Played

Back in April, some of our listeners told us they were “Trump curious.” A few months later, the former president is now a convicted criminal and other listeners have lingering questions.

The Notes from America inbox is always teeming with interesting takes from our audience and in this episode, host Kai Wright is joined by producer Regina de Heer to go through the various messages the show has received in recent months. They include...

Mark as Played

Ten years after its original staging, “Appropriate” has received eight Tony Award nominations. Playwright Branden Jacobs-Jenkins talks about the moments of his life that inspired it.

The play tells the story of three siblings reuniting in their family home after the death of their father. Charged with going through his belongings, the children discover troubling relics within the home. They are left to deal with the question of an i...

Mark as Played

Notes from America producer Suzanne Gaber returns to the campus of Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island, for an update on Hisham Awartani, a 21-year-old student of Palestinian descent, who was paralyzed after being shot during a holiday break in Vermont in 2023. As Awartani continues to work on his physical recovery and navigating life in a wheelchair, he has also assumed a high profile role on campus in the student-led mov...

Mark as Played

Last week, a jury in Manhattan handed down a guilty verdict in the hush money trial of Donald J. Trump for 34 counts related to falsifying business records to influence the 2016 election. Even though the verdict made Trump the first former president to be convicted of felony crimes, most American voters say the outcome of the trial doesn’t make much difference to how they’ll show up to the polls in November.

In this episode, host Ka...

Mark as Played
May 27, 2024 50 mins

Author Ayana Mathis' new novel, The Unsettled, is an intergenerational story centered around one Black family’s struggle to find freedom in the 1980s. Like her previous work, migration and movement are major themes in the book. But this time, her characters are at a crossroads, unsure of their next step in search of self-determination. Mathis joins host Kai Wright to reveal the questions that torment the characters in her gripping ...

Mark as Played

We should all know by now how foolish it is to underestimate youth. Gen Z, the generation of people born between 1997 and 2012, has already changed the world in ways that no one could have anticipated, from mass protests against gun violence to international movements to reckon with climate change. 

For members of this generation who are part of the graduating class of 2024, a series of unfortunate and unprecedented events have shap...

Mark as Played

While news coverage has been justifiably focused on the aggressive police response to anti-war college protests at campuses around the country, it’s noteworthy that a handful of U.S. schools have agreed to come to the table with students and discuss their demands. At the top of the list for many campus activists: divestment. 

At Brown University, where protests against Israel’s war have been occurring since the fall of 2023, student...

Mark as Played

The iconic musical “The Wiz” has returned to Broadway. The Black take on “The Wizard of Oz” debuted in 1974, featuring theater stars such as Stephanie Mills, André De Shields and Dee Dee Bridgewater. It was later adapted as a film starring Diana Ross, Lena Horne and Michael Jackson. After decades of countless local stage productions and bootleg VHS tapes passed around among friends and neighbors, “The Wiz” is a beloved cultural tou...

Mark as Played

Tonya Mosley's voice is familiar to millions of public radio listeners across the country. She co-hosted NPR's midday news show Here and Now for several years before becoming co-host of Fresh Air in 2022. Now, the award-winning audio journalist is taking listeners on a personal journey. 

Around two decades ago, Mosley was just at the start of her career working in Louisville, Kentucky, when she got a call from a ...

Mark as Played

Nearly seven months after October 7th and the start of the war in Gaza, emotions over the violence and devastation are still running hot here in the U.S, and inspiring an exercise in self-reflection for many Jewish Americans. It’s a confusing and anxious moment to celebrate Passover, marked this year by personal and communal crises over Israel, rising anti-Semitism and political divisions playing out in the public eye.

...

Mark as Played

In this episode, we share the first part of the new podcast series Inconceivable Truth. It’s hosted by WNYC reporter Matt Katz, who has been searching for his biological father since he was a little kid. But it wasn’t until Matt was in his 40s that he realized he was on the wrong journey altogether. The true story is wrapped in confusion and secrecy, and in the end, it upended the truth about who he ...

Mark as Played

Amber Ruffin is a comedy phenom. She’s spent a decade writing and performing on “Late Night with Seth Meyers,” and hosted her own show, “The Amber Ruffin Show.” She’s a co-author of bestselling books with her sister Lacey Lamar, with whom she co-hosts a podcast, The Amber & Lacey, Lacey & Amber Show. The Emmy and Tony nominee is now focused on a new project: writing the book for the revival of the beloved 1975 musical, “The W...

Mark as Played

A February 2024 New York Times/Siena College poll reveals as many as 23 percent of Black respondents said they would vote for Trump if the election were held right then. The numbers are strikingly higher than they have been in the past — and they are notable for a community that has voted overwhelmingly for democrats and against Donald Trump specifically. So what, if anything, do such polls tell us a...

Mark as Played

Egyptian American satirist and comedian Bassem Youssef was once known as “The Jon Stewart of Egypt,” after gaining notoriety for his criticism of the government during the 2011 Egyptian revolution. But it wasn’t long before the doctor-turned-comedian was forced to leave his home country and start over in the United States. 

Ten years later, as he ends the U.S. leg of a world tour for his new stand up show, he’s g...

Mark as Played

Popular Podcasts

    Current and classic episodes, featuring compelling true-crime mysteries, powerful documentaries and in-depth investigations.

    Let's Be Clear with Shannen Doherty

    Let’s Be Clear… a new podcast from Shannen Doherty. The actress will open up like never before in a live memoir. She will cover everything from her TV and film credits, to her Stage IV cancer battle, friendships, divorces and more. She will share her own personal stories, how she manages the lows all while celebrating the highs, and her hopes and dreams for the future. As Shannen says, it doesn’t matter how many times you fall, it’s about how you get back up. So, LET’S BE CLEAR… this is the truth and nothing but. Join Shannen Doherty each week. Let’s Be Clear, an iHeartRadio podcast.

    The Dan Bongino Show

    He’s a former Secret Service Agent, former NYPD officer, and New York Times best-selling author. Join Dan Bongino each weekday as he tackles the hottest political issues, debunking both liberal and Republican establishment rhetoric.

    Las Culturistas with Matt Rogers and Bowen Yang

    Ding dong! Join your culture consultants, Matt Rogers and Bowen Yang, on an unforgettable journey into the beating heart of CULTURE. Alongside sizzling special guests, they GET INTO the hottest pop-culture moments of the day and the formative cultural experiences that turned them into Culturistas. Produced by the Big Money Players Network and iHeartRadio.

    Stuff You Should Know

    If you've ever wanted to know about champagne, satanism, the Stonewall Uprising, chaos theory, LSD, El Nino, true crime and Rosa Parks, then look no further. Josh and Chuck have you covered.

Advertise With Us
Music, radio and podcasts, all free. Listen online or download the iHeart App.

Connect

© 2024 iHeartMedia, Inc.