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Weekend America Voices

Desiree Cooper

Recent Stories


  • A Joyful Noise

    Reggie Prim in 1979

    Reggie Prim spent his childhood being raised with the Black Hebrews in Israel. As a kid, he sang with the music group the Tonistics - a religious soul group modeled after the Jackson 5. The Tonistics' songs from the early 1970s have just been re-released. Reggie isn't exactly nostalgic for his childhood in Israel. But the re-release of the music from Dimona has brought back memories about his extraordinary journey from Israel back to the United States.

  • Saving Memories

    Edwin Harrison

    This weekend, New Orleans native Edwin Harrison is relieved. He was only a month away from moving back into his home destroyed by Katrina when Hurricane Gustav bore down on the Gulf Coast. This time, his house was spared. It wasn't easy to leave everything he'd rebuilt and flee to Atlanta to wait out the storm. But there was one thing Mr. Harrison didn't have to worry about this time. Earlier this summer, he entrusted one of his prized possessions to a stranger.

  • Barbies Forever

    Desiree and her Barbies

    The iconic Barbie doll is having a great summer. Last week, Barbie won a court battle against her modern competitor, the Bratz dolls. And last month, Mattel issued an Alpha Kappa Alpha Barbie in honor of the nation's oldest black sorority. This weekend, we do what millions of girls do every weekend worldwide -- play with our old Barbies.

  • Myths About Blacks

    This week, Radio One, Inc. published a major survey of the African-American community. Researchers polled more than 3000 people about their attitudes toward everything from religion to health insurance. Turns out blacks are evenly divided over what they want to be called--black or African American. But that's not the only surprising finding.

  • Getting Race Right

    Past Images, Present View.

    From immigration to Sen. Barack Obama to Middle Eastern prejudices, race is a hot topic in the news. Journalists are meeting this weekend at the Unity convention in Chicago to discuss how race and ethnicity is covered by the media. Weekend America's Desiree Cooper is at the event, and she speaks with two seasoned journalists about the difficulties of accurately reporting on racial diversity.

  • Remembering the Projects

    Chicago public housing

    Most of the old Chicago public housing projects have been demolished, but some former residents are now embracing the friends and memories they made over the years, and the sometimes very trying years, they lived there. A few residents are helping to launch the Public Housing Museum, which is meant to be a national repository of public housing memories and learning.

  • The Modern Brady Bunch

    Six kids in a bed.

    "Individualism is great but at the same time, it consumes a tremendous amount of resources. We all understand the value of having our own car, but when gas is costing $4.50-$4.60 per gallon and likely to go up, people have an incentive to rethink some of these ideas."

  • Three Decades of Bakke's Mixed Legacy

    Supreme Court of the United States

    Thirty years ago today, the Supreme Court ruled in the case of U.C. Regents v. Bakke that public institutions can't put quotas on minority student enrollment. But the ruling wasn't clear-cut about the role of affirmative action. Desiree Cooper talks with University of Houston professor Cathy Horn about the ruling's impact.

  • Drive, Daddy, Drive

    Papa's got a brand new car

    Many people in the United States have fond memories of summer road-trip vacations, and our Desiree Cooper is no different. But the specter of racism colors some of her most treasured family memories.

  • Those Summer Song 'Ear Worms'

    Psychologist and author Dan Levitin

    It's summer, and that means that elusive summer song is about to make its way into your brain and take up residence. Do you remember songs from your past summers? And why can't you get them out of your head? Psychologist and author Dan Levitin explains how those "ear worm" songs actually stay on your mind, even if you don't want them to...

  • An Honest Talk About Race

    Sen. Barack Obama speaks in Florida

    For about a month now, Chicago Tribune columnist Dawn Turner Trice has hosted an online forum on race, where she encourages Web visitors to be honest. Some of those comments have been at times upsetting, controversial and touching. Trice discussed her feelings about the experience so far with Desiree Cooper.

  • The Power of Breaking Bread

    Desiree Cooper and Lynne Rossetto Kasper

    The Democratic Party is hotly divided, and a fundraising dinner tonight will bring the topic to a boil. Lynne Rossetto Kasper, host of American Public Media's Splendid Table, talks about the power of breaking bread with your rivals, and how it can lead to deeper understanding and even amicable compromise.

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