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Michele Norris

  • Through powerful monologues, Anna Deavere Smith has tackled race riots, integration and health care. In Notes from the Field, she's using her characters to explore the school-to-prison pipeline.
  • For the last three years, NPR's Michele Norris has asked people to share their six-word stories about race and cultural identity. The confrontation in Sanford, Fla., has been a running thread in the inbox of the Race Card Project since Trayvon Martin was shot and killed in 2012.
  • On June 11, 1963, Gov. George Wallace stood at the University of Alabama to block two black students attempting to cross the color line and register for classes. The event forever associated him with segregation. His daughter, Peggy Wallace Kennedy, 63, is trying to shake that link.
  • Author Nadine Cohodas has written a new biography of singer Nina Simone. It's called Princess Noire: The Tumultuous Reign of Nina Simone, and it tells the story of the singer's evolution from classical pianist to civil rights icon. Read about Simone's musical beginnings in an excerpt from the book here.
  • Last year, the popular, albeit unauthorized online version of Scrabble disappeared in a puff of lawsuits — leaving hundreds of thousands of word enthusiasts in the lurch. Now, the creators of Scrabulous have quietly relaunched a new version of the game — but Scrabble guru Stefan Fatsis says it won't cut it for the purists.
  • The 2008 presidential race was many things to many people, but almost everyone agrees that it was long — epic even. So what better way to tell the story of the past political year than in an epic poem? That's where Calvin Trillin's Deciding the Next Decider comes in.
  • Nobel laureate Toni Morrison says she wanted to "remove race from slavery" in her new novel. Set in 17th century America, A Mercy features black, white and Native American characters in different degrees of servitude.
  • In her new memoir The Legs Are The Last To Go, actress Diahann Carroll talks about her glamorous career and lifestyle — and simplifying. But she says, "Stepping away from glamour is not an easy thing to do."
  • Brad Meltzer's new novel threads together the biblical story of Cain and Abel with the actual details of Superman creator Jerry Siegel's life.
  • Covering music from Marian Anderson to ZZ Top, 1,000 Recordings to Hear Before You Die: A Listener's Life List covers all genres in its more than 900 pages. It's driven by the notion that "the more you love music, the more music you love." Author Tom Moon submits his picks for the best summer recordings.