Jane Fonda #KeeperoftheDay

Jane Fonda #KeeperoftheDay


#KeeperoftheDay #ClimateKeeper
“Jane Fonda at 81, Proudly Protesting and Going to Jail” –New York Times, 11.3.19

Houston Hip Hop Research Collection #KeeperoftheDay

Houston Hip Hop Research Collection #KeeperoftheDay


“The Houston Hip Hop Research Collection documents the unique music and culture of Houston hip hop. Among its riches are approximately 1500 vinyl records owned by DJ Screw, originator of the “chopped and screwed” genre. The personal and business papers of other musical and visual artists are also represented. This collection captures the creativity and drive of the musicians, producers, visual artists, and entrepreneurs who built an independent music scene in this city which has influenced others around the world.”

Also check out the Hiphop Archive and Research Institute at Harvard and the Cornell Hip Hop Collection.



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U.S. Marshals escort Leona Tate, Gail Etienne, and Tessie Prevost from McDonogh #19, November 14, 1960.

U.S. Marshals escort Leona Tate, Gail Etienne, and Tessie Prevost from McDonogh #19, November 14, 1960.


November 14, 1960 — Four six-year-old girls, flanked by Federal Marshals, walked through screaming crowds and policemen on horseback as they approached their new schools for the first time. Leona Tate thought it must be Mardi Gras. Gail Etienne thought they were going to kill her.

Four years after the Supreme Court ruled to desegregate schools in Brown v Board of Education, schools in the south were dragging their feet. Finally, in 1960, the NAACP and a daring judge selected two schools in New Orleans to push forward with integration — McDonogh No.19 Elementary and William Frantz.

An application was put in the paper. From 135 families, four girls were selected. They were given psychological tests. Their families were prepared. Members of the Louisiana Legislature took out paid advertisements in the local paper encouraging parents to boycott the schools. There were threats of violence.

When the girls going to McDonogh No. 19 arrived in their classroom, the white children began to disappear.
One by one their parents took them out of school. For a year and a half the girls were the only children in the
school. Guarded night and day, they were not allowed to play outdoors. The windows were covered with brown paper.

The story of integrating the New Orleans Public schools in 1960 told by Leona Tate, Tessie Prevost
Williams, and Gail Etienne Stripling, who integrated McDonogh No.19 Elementary School, and retired Deputy U.S. Marshals Herschel Garner, Al Butler, and Charlie Burks who assisted with the integration efforts at the schools.

Leona Tate in 2017. Photo by Deborah Luster.

Leona Tate in 2017. Photo by Deborah Luster.


McDonogh No. 19 in 2017. Photo by Nikki Silva.

McDonogh No. 19 in 2017. Photo by Nikki Silva.


This story is part of Levee Stream, our Prospect 4 New Orleans project in collaboration with Otabenga Jones and Associates.

Made possible in part by Ruth U. Fertel Foundation and Project&

Special Thanks to:

Leona Tate — Leona Tate Founation for Change 

Keith Plessy and Phoebe Fergussen —

Brenda Square — Amisted Research Center

Brenda Flora — Audiovisual Archivist at Amisted Research Center, Tulane University

Tulane University and their Through a Crowd Bravely Program— Several of the voices in our story were recorded on November, 2010 at Tulane University as part of a reunion and panel discussion on the 50th Anniversary of the integration of public schools in New Orleans. Voices featured from these archival recordings include: Leona Tate Tessie Prevost Williams, Gail Etienne Stripling, and retired Deputy US Marshals Charlie Burks, Herschel Garner and Al Butler. This gathering was the first time the women and the marshals had reunited since November 1960.  

For the WSBN archival news footage thanks toTaylor Chicoine and Ruta Aeolians, Brown Media Archives & Peabody Awards Collection UGA, Special Collections Library

Thanks to National endowment for the Humanities and the National Endowment for the Arts

New Orleans Visions – King’s Candy & Living with Water

New Orleans Visions – King’s Candy & Living with Water


Robert King Wilkerson (aka Robert Hillary King) was imprisoned at Louisiana State Penitentiary in Angola, Louisiana for 31 years. Twenty-nine of those years he was in solitary confinement. During that time he created a clandestine kitchen in his 6×9 cell where he made pralines, heating the the butter and sugar he saved from his food tray over a tiny burner concocted from a Coke can and a toilet paper roll. King’s case was overturned in 2001 and he was released. He was living in New Orleans during Katrina, refused to leave his dog, and weathered the storm in his apartment. Today he lectures around the world and makes candy — which he calls Freelines — to bring attention to issues of prison reform and the story of his comrades and The Angola Three.

king makes candy

In “Living with Water” Julia Kumari Drapkin, director of ISeeChange, a community weather and climate journal project, takes us on a tour of her flooded neighborhood in New Orleans after a recent storm. She talks about the vision of creating water gardens, floating streets and other water projects that look towards living with water in New Orleans rather than continuing to completely drain and sink the land.


Interviewing & Recording Workshop in Marfa, TX

Interviewing & Recording Workshop in Marfa, TX

This three-hour session is designed for those who want to acquire and hone their skills for an array of audio projects — radio, podcasts, online stories, storytelling, oral histories, audio slideshows, family histories, news, documentaries, and other multimedia platforms.

In the workshop, The Kitchen Sisters will cover interviewing and miking techniques, sound gathering, storytelling, use of archival audio, field recording techniques, recording equipment, how to make interviewees comfortable, how to frame evocative questions that make for compelling storytelling, how to build a story, and how to listen (which is harder than it looks).

The Kitchen Sisters (Davia Nelson & Nikki Silva) are Peabody Award winning independent producers and the creators of hundreds of stories for public broadcast about the lives, histories, art and rituals of people who have shaped our diverse cultural heritage. Their NPR Morning Edition series, Hidden Kitchens, just received a James Beard Award, and their podcast, The Kitchen Sisters Present…, was just awarded a Webby for best documentary podcast.

Date: Friday, September 29, 2017

Time: 10am-1pm

For Tickets and More Info

Warriors vs Warriors: Listen Today on NPR’s All Things Considered

Warriors vs Warriors: Listen Today on NPR’s All Things Considered


For the 3rd year in a row The Golden State Warriors are battling the Cleveland Cavaliers for the NBA Championship. But that’s not the only annual battle The Warriors are locked in. For the last five years Golden State has been going inside San Quentin, the legendary California prison, to take on The San Quentin Warriors, the prison’s notorious basketball team.

Life of the Law and The Kitchen Sisters team up to take you to the most recent showdown between these two mighty Bay Area teams.

Listen at


Special thanks: Draymond Green, Kevin Durant & The Golden State Warriors, The San Quentin Warriors, Sam Robinson: Public Information Officer, San Quentin State Prison, Louis Scott: Reporter with the San Quentin Radio Project, Ear Hustle & PRX’s Radiotopia

Music: About a Bird/Fantastic Negrito, Free Your Mind/En Vogue, Oh My God/A Tribe Called Quest, Blow the Whistle/Too $hort, The Warriors/E-40, David Jassy/San Quentin Media, Choices (Yup) (Golden State Warriors Remix)/E-40

Warriors was produced by the Life of the Law podcast (Nancy Mullane & Tony Gannon) and The Kitchen Sisters (Nikki Silva & Davia Nelson) with Nathan Dalton and Brandi Howell. Mixed by Jim McKee. More of our stories can be heard on our Webby Award-Winning podcast The Kitchen Sisters Present. Please subscribe!

Funding for The Kitchen Sisters comes from Cowgirl Creamery, The Sillins Family Foundation & Listener Contributions to The Kitchen Sisters Productions. Thank you for your support. You too can support our stories with a tax-deductible contribution.

International Hummus Day

International Hummus Day


May 13th is International Hummus Day — a day to celebrate the deliciousness of this beloved Middle Eastern spread. The basic ingredients in hummus are simple: cooked or mashed chickpeas, olive oil, tahini, lemon juice, salt and garlic; but it’s history is not. Every country, culture, and religion in the Middle East has a different twist on the recipe, which in turn has created long standing arguments about who makes it best. Both Israelis and Arabs have made a strong claim to being the original creator of hummus, and in recent years a Guinness Book of World Records inspired feud has broken out between Israel and Lebanon, known as the Hummus Wars.

Yet, May 13th is not about who owns hummus, it’s about spreading the love for this dish. Ben Lang, a tech entrepreneur who lives in Israel, created the holiday in 2013 and since then it’s spread internationally. Lang even created a global Hummus Map to help people find the best local hummus. To participate in International Hummus Day you must eat it for breakfast, lunch, or dinner…or all three. After that you can share your chickpea love in a number of ways: organize or participate in a hummus-related event; document your hummus eating on social media with the hashtag #hummusday; participate on facebook; or add your hummus place to the Hummus Map.

Fugitive Waves – The Building Stewardesses: Construction Guides at the World Trade Center 1968-70

Fugitive Waves – The Building Stewardesses: Construction Guides at the World Trade Center 1968-70

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As construction commenced on the largest building project since the pyramids, questions and controversies swirled around Lower Manhattan. How tall? Why two? What’s a slurry wall? A kangaroo crane? Where are the small businessmen going to go? What’s a world trade center, and who needs it anyway? Guy Tozzoli, the Port Authority visionary behind the building of the Twin Towers, had an inspiration—”Construction Guides.” Friendly co-eds in mini-skirt uniforms were posted at corner kiosks on the site to inform an inquiring public and put a pretty face on a controversial issue.

This story is part of the Peabody Award winning Sonic Memorial Project, an intimate and historic documentary commemorating the life and history of The World Trade Center and its surrounding neighborhood, through audio artifacts, rare recordings, voicemail messages and interviews. The Sonic Memorial Project was produced by The Kitchen Sisters in collaboration with NPR, independent radio producers, artists, writers, archivists, historians and public radio listeners throughout the country.

The Sonic Memorial Project began in October 2001 as part of the Lost & Found Sound series. We opened a phone line on NPR for listeners to call in with their stories and audio artifacts relating to the Sept. 11 attacks and the history of the World Trade Center. Hundreds of people called with testimonies and remembrances, music and small shards of sounds.

Combining interviews, voicemail messages, audio contributions from listeners, oral histories, home videos and recorded sounds of all kinds, the Sonic Memorial Project team created a series of stories for broadcast on NPR’s All Things Considered.

These stories and contributions from listeners across the country can be heard at the Peabody Award-winning website where you can explore the archive, contribute your own sounds and stories, and immerse yourself in the Sonic Browser, an interactive soundscape of stories and audio fragments.

Wall Street

Wall Street

Produced in collaboration with Nathan Dalton, Brandi Howell, Nancy Mullane and  Life of the Law, a group of journalists, editors, producers and scholars working together to produce stories about the law.  Mixed by Andrew Roth.

Every time we do a piece, so many great stories and extra material gets cut because of time constraints. The same is true for this story about Wall Street. We thought we would put up an early transcript of the mix, one before we had to cut for time, because perhaps some of you might be interested in seeing how we lay out our work and because the stories and little extra lines that hit the cutting room floor are ones we miss and are haunted by.

WS 6-by Nigel Poor

Curtis Carroll, aka Wall Street, photo by Nigel Poor

Wall Street

The Kitchen Sisters
(in collaboration with Life of the Law)
NPR’s Morning Edition
Friday, August 14

MUSIC: The Coral Route, Lanu (establishes and fades under)

WALL STREET: I couldn’t believe that this kind of access to this type of money could be accessible to anybody. Everybody should do it. And it’s legal.

MUSIC: Doors and Distance

WALL STREET: Business to me is like watching a soap opera. Always trying to anticipate what’s happening. I’m excited when I get the newspaper. Can’t wait to get home to read. I probably read about 5-600 articles a week. Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Forbes, Fast Track, Entertainment Weekly, Movielines… I like to know what the CEO’s doing. I like to know who’s in trouble. Once I read the articles I memorize certain content that I need. I create stories.

MUSIC: Seahorse, Moondog

NANCY MULLANE: He sits in this very small room at a desk, like one of those old school desks that has a big opening where you put your books. He’s made it like an office. Nobody sits at that desk but Wall Street. He invests in stocks from inside San Quentin Prison. And he helps other people. He’s their financial advisor. He’s called “Wall Street” inside the prison. Everyone knows him that way.

MUSIC: Everybody Got Their Somethin’, Nikka Costa

NARRATION # 1/ KITCHEN SISTERS: (Davia) We first heard about Wall Street through a friend who teaches yoga at the prison, hatha yoga, weekly inside San Quentin. Curtis Carroll aka Wall Street, was raised in Oakland, mostly homeless. His mother was addicted to crack, his grandmother too. Curtis and his brother ran the streets.

(Nikki) Curtis hated school, fell in with a gang, paid other kids to do his homework. His first crime, at 11 or 12, was robbing a mail truck with his brother. Someone told him the welfare checks were being delivered that day in his neighborhood. The envelopes were color-coded, they said, so those were the ones they looked for and stole.

MUSIC: Strut


WALL STREET: My Number One Rule is “Don’t get what?” Don’t get greedy. Criminals are greedy by nature. We want it all, all the time…

TROY WILLIAMS: Wall Street came inside the prison system at 17 years old. He was illiterate. Didn’t know how to read or write. One day he stumbled upon the financial section of the newspaper. He thought it was the Sports Section, he used to have his cellie read it to him. This guy asked, “What are you doing with that financial section? You don’t know nothin’ about that.”

WALL STREET: I was like, “What’s that?” The guy asked me if I played stocks. I had never heard the word before. He explained to me how it works, he said “This is where white people keep their money.” When he said that I said, “Whoaaa… I think I stumbled across something here.”

MUSIC: Elfdance, Moondog

NANCY MULLANE: Is there a regulation that a prisoner cannot invest in the stock market? Not that I know of. I’m Nancy Mullane, Producer of Life of the Law and a reporter on prisons. Wall Street feels that he is a natural. He was made to do this.

TOM DE MARTINI: Everybody knows Wall Street. Everybody. They seek his advice out. He pins up on the wall all his picks. You’ll see the COs, the Correctional Officers, go in and they’ll be writing stuff down. A lot of sergeants talk to him about it.

NANCY MULLANE: He makes predictions. Tapes them to the wall in an envelope, dated. And they check to see how well he did. It was like a game they all played.

WALL STREET: (in class, teaching) Do the math …if you buy a thousand shares, every ten cent hike in the price is how much?

Troy Williams, photo by Peter Merts

Troy Williams, photo by Peter Merts

TROY WILLIAMS: My name is Troy Williams. I just paroled from San Quentin State Prison after serving a life sentence. We started a Financial Literacy Group prior to my leaving prison called Freeman Capital. Right now, Wall Street is the CEO of that organization on the inside He will teach the stock program. That’s his realm.

WALL STREET: (teaching) There’s four steps. Every person on this planet that has made money has mastered these four simple steps.

TROY WILLIAMS & WALL STREET (duet): We easily (SAVINGS) have about 70 people in our class a week. (COST CONTROL) We teach the men personal finance (BORROWING PRUDENTLY) about stock investments, (DIVERSIFICATION) about retirement and how to manage your money. (THAT’S IT).

TROY WILLIAMS: You got a lot of older guys at San Quentin. I myself am pushing 50. A guy getting out at the age of 50, who hasn’t invested anything into his retirement at all, what is this guy gonna do? Half the prison guards don’t know who’s managing their retirement fund. They’re just somewhere in La La Land and it’s being taken care of.

MUSIC: Entrada (Music for Bowed Piano), Stephen Scott. A mix of Entrada and sound design from the sounds from San Quentin run under the next section

TROY WILLIAMS: The original prison, they would put prisoners on this boat at night and row them out into the middle of the water and they stayed locked up there. In the morning they would come get the barge, bring the men back to shore and they would do the work of the prison.

Fog Over San Quentin by Sandow Birk

Fog Over San Quentin by Sandow Birk

: The first state prison was a boat called The Waban, moored at San Quentin Point in the 1850’s. My name is William Secrest. I’m the author of the book, Behind San Quentin’s Walls: The History of California’s Legendary Prison and Its Inmates 1850-1900. During the Gold Rush San Francisco Bay was filled with hunreds of abandoned ships. People sailed to California and couldn’t get to shore fast enough to hunt for gold. They abandoned their ships in the harbor. They had to have prison because they had criminals pouring into California. The prison ship filled up pretty fast. They were 8 foot square cells as many as they could squeeze in the bottom of the ship. That was the beginning of it.

SOUND: Fog horns emerge from the mix with music and sounds

A cigar box full of tiny nooses

A cigar box full of tiny nooses

NARRATION 2 / KITCHEN SISTERS: (Davia) The first time we came to San Quentin the prison was covered in fog. We parked and the woman next to us looked over, rolled her eyes and said “Fogline. Good luck getting in.” San Quentin, just north of Golden Gate Bridge is right on the fog path that famously shrouds San Francisco. Perfect conditions for an escape, the passing of contraband, the procurement of a weapon. Prisoners are kept in their cells, visitors kept out. It’s the Bay Area, where fog and eccentrics and do-gooders pour into every nook and cranny of the region, including San Quentin. (Nikki) For two and half hours we sat on a bench outside The East Gate with all the others who couldn’t get in that morning … the computer guys teaching coding to the men, the Mormon guy who goes in to talk to the inmates on Death Row like he does every few weeks. The volunteer at the San Quentin Museum who oversees their historical artifacts, including a cigar box full of tiny nooses made by the last hangman at the prison. The woman sitting nervously, waiting for her husband to be released after 15 years. We waited for the fog to lift.

MUSIC: Bouncin’ Back, Mystikal

CLARENCE LONG: My name is Clarence Long and I’m in San Quentin Prison. Me and Wall Street was cellies at one time. He used to stay up til four in the morning studying his stocks. I be sleeping. He be up going through his portfolio and reading papers.

WALL STREET: When I first learned how to read, I started reading candy wrappers, clothing logos and it was like my mind opened to a whole different thing. Once I read the articles and memorize content that I need I take a vanilla envelope and I file them into a system. Currently I’ve probably got about 10-15,000 articles that I got in my cell right now.

CLARENCE LONG: I used to see him teaching classes on the yard, people sitting in bleachers listening to him. Once he showed me you could invest in companies and get dividends that what got me started learning about the stock.

NANCY MULLANE: The way it works is they have access to a phone. They can call anyone who will accept their call. “This is Global Tel Link. You have a call from Wall Street, San Quentin State Prison…” (fades under Wall Street)

WALL STREET: I don’t have any computer time. I don’t have access to be on the Internet. What I do is I call home and I say I want to buy 1000 shares of American Apparel. When I’m on the phone with them they’d be on the computer — online brokers, E-Trade. And they’ll tell me what the closing prices are for the day and I would know what to tell them to buy.

TOM DE MARTINI : Wall Street really has some far out ideas about finance. He doesn’t feel that buying and holding long term is going to make it for him. My name is Tom De Martini, volunteer at San Quentin Prison Financial Literacy Program. Being a prisoner he’s willing to take more risks.

WALL STREET: If you talk to a hedge fund manager he’ll tell you they never go with penny stock. Because the book says don’t go with that. But I never read the book so I don’t know what to fear. I don’t grab penny stocks, I grab stocks trading at penny status.

NANCY MULLANE: Inmates in California prisons can have jobs. Most inmates make something around 15 cents an hour. They don’t get all of it. Some of it goes to restitution. Some of it goes to an account for them for the prison canteen.

WALL STREET: Every time you’re working over there in the PIA (Prison Industry Authority) when you get that check for $50 you shouldn’t be spending $50 at the canteen. When your family send you 20 dollars that’s earned income, and if you’re not putting that aside you’re not setting up that nest egg.

TOM DE MARTINI: There’s a lot of guys in there who are trading through their family. They call every week. We talk about that. There’s Sam in therer whose got his daughters who he’s teaching. He’s providing information to her. They call every week and talk about that. So I ask, what did you tell your daughter this week, what did she tell you?

MUSIC: Under My Hat, DJ Vadim

WALL STREET: I’m in prison but I’m on just the same playing field as Warren Buffett. I can pick the exact same companies. I can’t buy as many shares. But technically we’re just the same…

Sam-Robinson-doorLT. SAM ROBINSON: I’m Sam Robinson, Public Information Officer at San Quentin. I think if that guy had had different opportunities in the community he was in, we wouldn’t be talking about Wall Street behind walls in San Quentin. He may have been Curtis Carrol, The Baron of Wall Street. You never know.

NARRATION 3 / KITCHEN SISTERS: (Nikki) Wall Street is 37 now. He’s been in prison for 20 years doing a sentence of 54 to life.(Davia) Word of Wall Street has started to leak outside of San Quentin. Small community-based investment clubs have been reading about him online, people living paycheck to paycheck, trying to get a financial toe-hold, are being drawn to his strategies and his story. Wall Street, they tell us, has the time they don’t to study the market and get wise about money.

WALL STREET: Overall the goal is to get the money to give back to the communities. When I look at how Bill Gates and Warren Buffet have made these pledges to give 90% of their wealth away I thought what better way than to go back and help the things I’ve destroyed.

MUSIC: Everybody Got Their Something

TROY WILLIAMS: These men are coming home. Guys who have been locked up for 20-30 plus years. You’re given 200 bucks and it’s like: “Good luck. We’re gonna pray for you. Stay out of prison.” Who do you want coming home? Do you want the animal that’s been caged away for years that’s the same bad-assed gangbanger that he was when he went to prison? Or do you want somebody coming home thinking differently?

WALL STREET: I try to re-iterate to the men that I’m not teaching you some for-sure plan. I’m teaching you to plan. It’s fine to take a loss, it happens. You just know I take loss and it doesn’t have to lead back in to whatever you was doing, drugs, or crime or gangs.

WALL STREET: So this is your homework, 1 call home to your family and I want you to say, “Hey! Do you have a retirement plan? Do you have a 401K? need to know everything happening with your money…”

KITCHEN SISTERS SOC: For NPR News, We’re The Kitchen Sisters, Nikki Silva & Davia Nelson




Special Thanks: Curtis Carroll, San Quentin Financial Literacy Program, Anna Deavere Smith, Arnold Perkins, Troy Williams, Lt. Sam Robinson, Nancy Mullane, Tom De Martini, Zak Williams, Clarence Long, Nigel Poor, James Fox & The Prison Yoga Project, Tracy Wahl, Jacob Conrad, TED, Pop-Up Magazine, Moondog


Georgia Gilmore and the Club from Nowhere

Georgia Gilmore and the Club from Nowhere

On the 50th anniversary of Selma, here’s Georgia Gilmore’s story. An unsung kitchen hero who died cooking for the marchers.

In the 1950s, a group of Montgomery, Alabama women baked goods to help fund the Montgomery bus boycott. Known as The Club from Nowhere, the group was led by Georgia Gilmore, one of the unsung heroes of the civil rights era