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Fresh Air

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  • Hosted by Terry Gross

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About the Show: This Peabody Award winning program features Terry Gross' in-depth interviews with authors, musicians, politicians, activists, experts and everyday people, providing a look at our contemporary culture. In 2003, WHYY'S Terry Gross, Host of Fresh Air, was honored with the Prestigious Murrow Award, for 'Outstanding Contributions to Public Radio'.

IT'S MOVIE TIME:Every Friday afternoon at 3:01pm, you can also hear WCBE's award-winning module, "It's Movie Time", with John DeSando and Carolyn Bruck. You can also find "It's Movie Time" on Facebook.

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Fresh Air Weekend highlights some of the best interviews and reviews from past weeks, and new program elements specially paced for weekends. Our weekend show emphasizes interviews with writers, filmmakers, actors and musicians, and often includes excerpts from live in-studio concerts. This week:

DAVID BIANCULLI, HOST:

This is FRESH AIR. I'm David Bianculli, in for Terry Gross. The Oscar-nominated documentary "I Am Not Your Negro" about James Baldwin and his views on racial politics in America was released in 2016. Four years later, in this period of international mass demonstrations demanding police reforms and protesting the death of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police, the movie is being newly showcased and celebrated. Here's a clip from the film. It includes language that may be disturbing to some listeners.

Spike Lee's Da 5 Bloods was supposed to open in select theaters, until the COVID-19 pandemic hit and forced Netflix to change its plans. You could call that unfortunate timing, except that amid nationwide protests against racism and police violence, the movie could hardly be timelier.

SNL castmember Pete Davidson was 7 years old when his father, a New York City firefighter, died as a first responder in the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks. His dad's badge was later recovered from Ground Zero, and Davidson has worn it every day since.

"I'm very lucky that I have that piece to remember him by," he says. "He was one of the lucky ones that were found."

As a teenager, Davidson found that comedy helped ease his pain, and he began doing stand-up. "My goal was always to just bring light to the darkness," he says.

In the wake of George Floyd's death at the hands of police, protesters across the country are demanding systemic changes in the way American police forces operate and are funded.

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TERRY GROSS, HOST:

DAVE DAVIES, HOST:

This is FRESH AIR. On cable this month, Turner Classics is presenting a series of movies with jazz connections. As it happens, our jazz critic Kevin Whitehead has a new book about movies that tell jazz stories. So we invited him to talk a little about the subject. In the first of two segments, he looks at what he calls the stock jazz movie ending - a basic plot element subject to many variations. Here's Kevin.

DAVE DAVIES, HOST:

This is FRESH AIR. I'm Dave Davies in for Terry Gross. The events of the past 10 days are a painful reminder that police officers we count on to serve and protect our communities can sometimes abuse their authority and commit brutal acts whose victims are disproportionately people of color. Our guest today, journalist Doug Swanson, has a new book about one of the oldest and most celebrated law enforcement agencies in America, the Texas Rangers.

Fresh Air Weekend highlights some of the best interviews and reviews from past weeks, and new program elements specially paced for weekends. Our weekend show emphasizes interviews with writers, filmmakers, actors and musicians, and often includes excerpts from live in-studio concerts. This week:

DAVID BIANCULLI, HOST:

This is FRESH AIR. I'm David Bianculli, editor of the website TV Worth Watching, sitting in for Terry Gross. Protests across the nation demanding justice and policing reforms after the death of George Floyd at the hands of police in Minneapolis are now in their second week. Today we listen back to an interview from our archives which examines some of the historical roots of institutionalized racism in our country.

Copyright 2020 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

DAVID BIANCULLI, HOST:

I first saw Shirley months ago, back in January. It's strange to be revisiting it now. Like a lot of very good movies, it doesn't speak to this extraordinarily fraught moment, and it doesn't offer a mindless escape from it, either. What it does offer is a smart, fascinating glimpse into an artist's mind, and I hope you'll seek it out now or in the future.

Copyright 2020 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

DAVE DAVIES, HOST:

The killing of George Floyd has inspired protests across the U.S. and around the world, with crowds evoking the names of other black men and women who have died in police custody — including

Climate change has put organisms on the move. In her new book, The Next Great Migration, Science writer Sonia Shah writes about migration — and the ways in which outmoded notions of "belonging" have been used throughout history to curb what she sees as a biological imperative.

There is a tendency to view plants, animals and people who cross into a new territory as a threat to the current habitat. But Shah says there's another way to think about these "invaders."

Copyright 2020 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

Fresh Air Weekend highlights some of the best interviews and reviews from past weeks, and new program elements specially paced for weekends. Our weekend show emphasizes interviews with writers, filmmakers, actors and musicians, and often includes excerpts from live in-studio concerts. This week:

Copyright 2020 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

DAVID BIANCULLI, HOST:

Copyright 2020 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

DAVE DAVIES, HOST:

Editor's note: This interview contains graphic details that some readers may find upsetting.

Of the roughly 100,000 Americans included in the official COVID-19 death count, 20,000 died in New York City in a period of two months. Time magazine reporter W.J. Hennigan recently spent several weeks looking into the practical challenge of how a city deals with so many bodies suffused with a deadly pathogen.

Copyright 2020 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

Humans typically take about 25,000 breaths per day — often without a second thought. But the COVID-19 pandemic has put a new spotlight on respiratory illnesses and the breaths we so often take for granted.

Journalist James Nestor became interested in the respiratory system years ago after his doctor recommended he take a breathing class to help his recurring pneumonia and bronchitis.

Growing up, Hannah Gadsby always felt she was different. She struggled to read social cues, she had trouble applying for jobs, and spent a few living in a tent and doing farm labor. But Gadsby, who's from Tasmania, had always been funny. On a whim, in 2006 she entered a stand-up comedy competition — and won.

"I'd never held a microphone before. ... I'd never even been to a comedy show — but all of a sudden, I kind of knew what I was doing," she says. "As soon as I told my first joke ... it really made people engage with me, and I held the audience in my hand."

I'm feeling so cooped up these days that I sometimes find myself getting in the car and taking aimless rides to nowhere. Maybe that's what prompted me to finally check out an on-the-road novel that came out in February, right before the pandemic brought life-as-we-know-it to a hard stop.

Copyright 2020 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

DAVE DAVIES, HOST:

DAVE DAVIES, HOST:

This is FRESH AIR. I'm Dave Davies in today for Terry Gross. It's Memorial Day. And as we honor the sacrifice of those who served to defend us at times of national peril, we're facing a crisis of our own - a mortal threat from an unseen pathogen. It's a time when our leaders are tested.

Fresh Air Weekend highlights some of the best interviews and reviews from past weeks, and new program elements specially paced for weekends. Our weekend show emphasizes interviews with writers, filmmakers, actors and musicians, and often includes excerpts from live in-studio concerts. This week:

Copyright 2020 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

DAVID BIANCULLI, HOST:

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