What to read and listen this weekend : NPR

This week the Golden Globes announced the nominees, but many wondered: why bother with this award ceremony? Time magazine named Elon Musk Person of the Year, and Eleven Stationthe TV adaptation of the 2014 novel – started on HBO Max.

Wake: The Secret History of Female-Led Slave Rebellions, by Rebecca Hall and Hugo Martínez
Wake: The Secret History of Female-Led Slave Rebellions, by Rebecca Hall and Hugo Martínez

Here’s what NPR’s Pop Culture Happy Hour crew focused on — and what you should watch this weekend.

Wake: The Secret History of Female-Led Slave Rebellions by Rebecca Hall, illustrated by Hugo Martínez

This is one of the most interesting graphic novels I’ve read in a long time. The author, Dr. Rebecca Hall, studies female-led slave revolts and places herself in the book. It’s about her experience researching the history of slaves – at a time when names were still… slave, slave two — and how, using documents from captain logs and law transcripts, she tries to create a history that has simply never been documented.

It is deeply moving and deeply devastating. Then, at the end, it’s so hopeful and beautiful. I’ve already read it twice. I will probably read it a third time. – Joelle Monique

Musician and artist Be Steadwell

Be Steadwell, a musician from Washington, DC, gave a show there called “Drummer Bois” earlier this month. It was queer caroling and it was so much fun. They had a cappella groups and burlesque and this whole evening was put together by this artist. I then went to look up their music. They did some original songs on the show, in addition to Christmas carols, and I really loved it.

I just really enjoyed the music of Be Steadwell. And if anyone reading this knows Be Steadwell, I’d love to be friends. — Daisy Rosario


Jackie Kashian’s New Comedy Album Stay-Kashian

Comedian Jackie Kashian has a new album called Stay-Kashian. If you listen to podcasts, you may already know her from the The Dork Forest, where she interviews fellow geeks about nerd stuff. She’s very smart, very funny, with a great warm, but sardonic, Midwestern vibe. I could listen to her for days.

She presents herself as a middle-aged white lady – although she doesn’t use that as a cudgel, but as a way of expressing where she comes from. She is aware that the world is changing and welcomes it with curiosity and enthusiasm while wondering why it has taken so damn long.

It’s just so refreshing to hear a comedian at the top of their game, struggling with societal change and welcoming it in such a smart and specific and hugely funny way. — Glen Weldon


Guitarist Yasmin Williams

Recently I was asked to join an NPR music panel where we talked about the best new artists and discoveries in music of the year 2021. My colleague Lars Gotrich said that one of his favorite new artists of 2021 is a guitarist from Virginia , named Yasmin Williams.

I was visiting my mom at the time, sitting in her living room on this YouTube chat with my friends from work. When Lars played a piece from Yasmin Williams’ Tiny Desk Home concert, I burst into tears. This music was just so beautiful, so wonderful and so wonderfully, virtuously played. I was impressed by its sheer quality. Williams released a great record this year that I swam for the past few days called Urban driftwood. — Stephen Thompson

NPR Kroc Fellow Mia Estrada adapted this Pop Culture Happy Hour segment into a digital page.

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