300 episodes

Monday-Friday from noon-1:00, Tom Hall and his guests are talking about what's on your mind, and what matters most to Marylander's, the latest news, local and national politics, education and the environment, popular culture and the arts, sports and science, race and religion, movies and medicine. We welcome your questions and comments. E-mail us at midday@wypr.org.

Midday WYPR

    • Society & Culture
    • 4.9, 17 Ratings

Monday-Friday from noon-1:00, Tom Hall and his guests are talking about what's on your mind, and what matters most to Marylander's, the latest news, local and national politics, education and the environment, popular culture and the arts, sports and science, race and religion, movies and medicine. We welcome your questions and comments. E-mail us at midday@wypr.org.

    Police Officers' Perspectives On Demands To 'Defund' Police Departments

    Police Officers' Perspectives On Demands To 'Defund' Police Departments

    (This program was originally broadcast on June 18, 2020)

    Before he murdered George Floyd on Memorial Day in Minneapolis, former police officer Derek Chauvin had been the subject of 17 previous complaints of misconduct. As streets around the world filled with protesters against police use of force and violence against people of color, further examples of the very kind of behavior that animated the demonstrations took place, including peaceful protesters being violently dispersed in front of the White House, and the shooting of Rayshard Brooks in Atlanta.

    The calls for changing the way police interact with the public range from complete abolition of police departments to reforms in training, more transparency, fewer barriers to prosecuting officers, and prohibiting certain aggressive techniques such as chokeholds.

    Today on this archive edition of Midday, conversations about police reform from a police perspective. Coming up a little later, Tom is joined by Matthew Horace, who has served in law enforcement at the local, state and federal levels, including a stint as an ATF agent in Baltimore; He has trained police here and abroad, and he is the author of The Black and the Blue: A Cop Reveals the Crimes, Racism and Injustice in America’s Law Enforcement.

    We also speak with Chief Melvin Russell, whose 40 year career in law enforcement was spent with the Baltimore City Police Department. When he left the force a year ago, he was the BPD’s acting deputy commissioner of administration and the founding chief of the Community Partnership Division.

    But Tom’s first guest is Officer Seth Templeton, who has been a patrol officer with the Baltimore County Police Department for five years. As protests became widespread around the world and here in the Baltimore metro area, Officer Templeton wrote an open letter to a protester that was published in the Baltimore Sun. It quickly became one of the paper’s most-read and most-shared articles.

    Because our program today was pre-recorded, we can’t take your calls and emails.

    • 49 min
    Ann Patchett On Her 8th Novel, "The Dutch House"

    Ann Patchett On Her 8th Novel, "The Dutch House"

    (This program was originally broadcast on September 30, 2019)

    Tom’s guest today is the acclaimed writer Ann Patchett. She is the winner of the Pen Faulkner Award and the Orange Prize for fiction, and her work has been translated into more than 30 languages.

    Patchett is the author of eight novels, the latest of which, The Dutch House, was just published last week. As with some of her other immensely popular books -- novels such as Commonwealth, State of Wonder and Bel Canto -- in The Dutch House, Patchett writes with grace, authority and limitless compassion. Her characters navigate a complicated world with humility and fortitude, and she reveals their stories with a masterful touch, peppered with brilliant and straight-forward observations that elucidate that which is poignant and important about the human condition.

    Ann Patchett joins Tom on the line from the studios of Spotland Productions in Nashville, Tennessee.

    (This conversation was first recorded September 20, 2019, so we couldn't take any calls, emails or tweets.)

    • 49 min
    Pamela Newkirk On The Failed Promise Of Corporate "Diversity"

    Pamela Newkirk On The Failed Promise Of Corporate "Diversity"

    (This program was originally broadcast live on December 10, 2019)

    The business of diversity is booming. Corporations and cultural institutions spend hundreds of millions of dollars every year on diversity training, yet despite the ubiquity and expense of these efforts, overall racial, gender and ethnic diversity remains an aspiration rather than a reality.

    Today on Midday: what's been tried, what has succeeded and what's flopped in efforts to achieve more inclusion in American life.

    Dr. Pamela Newkirk is a professor of journalism at New York University and author of "Diversity, Inc.: The Failed Promise of a Billion-Dollar Business."

    Dr. Newkirk joins Tom on the line from Argot Studios in New York City.

    (This program was previously recorded, so we can't take your comments or questions.)

    • 49 min
    Charles Johnson On His Novel "Middle Passage" And Black Lives In America

    Charles Johnson On His Novel "Middle Passage" And Black Lives In America

    (This program was originally broadcast on October 15, 2019)

    Today, Tom’s guest for the hour is the award-winning novelist, literary scholar and artist, Charles Johnson.

    Dr. Johnson is best-known as the author of Middle Passage, the epic novel about the 1830s slave trade for which he won the National Book Award for Fiction in 1990. At the time, he was only the second African-American man to have won the honor, after Ralph Ellison.

    Johnson's other novels include Night Hawks, Dr. King’s Refrigerator, Dreamer, and Faith and the Good Thing.

    In 1998, Dr. Johnson received a MacArthur Fellowship, the so-called "genius grant." In 2002, he received the Academy Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

    Dr. Johnson began his career in the 1960s as a cartoonist, creating comic strips and editorial cartoons for a variety of publications, including The Chicago Tribune, Ebony and Playboy. In addition to his novels, Charles Johnson has written numerous screenplays, essays, and children’s books.

    Charles Johnson lives in Seattle, where he is professor emeritus at the University of Washington.

    We livestreamed this conversation on WYPR's Facebook page. Watch the video here.

    This program was recorded previously, so we can't take your questions or comments.

    • 49 min
    Law Professor Kim Wehle, On Why Voting Matters

    Law Professor Kim Wehle, On Why Voting Matters

    (This program was originally broadcast live on June 17, 2020)

    Nationally, the United States ranks 26th in the world in voter turnout.

    Given the pandemic, a battered economy, widespread civil unrest and all that is at stake in the upcoming presidential election, it remains to be seen whether more voters will embrace the power they yield at the ballot box in November.

    Tom’s guest is Kim Wehle, a constitutional scholar who has written a primer on voting: how voting differs from state to state, what the structural barriers are to voting, and how those barriers can be overcome.

    Wehle is a law professor at the University of Baltimore School of Law and a legal commentator for CBS News.

    Her last book was called How to Read the Constitution and Why. Her new book is What You Need to Know About Voting and Why.

    • 49 min
    Madison Smartt Bell On "Child of Light" & Louise Erdrich On "The Night Watchman"

    Madison Smartt Bell On "Child of Light" & Louise Erdrich On "The Night Watchman"

    Today, conversations with two acclaimed authors.

    Tom's first guest is Madison Smartt Bell, the author of a dozen novels, who is perhaps best known for his award-winning trilogy of books on the Haitian Revolution and its iconic leader, the 18th century general, Toussaint Louverture.

    He’s also written several non-fiction books, including a biography of Louverture, and a literary biography of an iconic American author who was also a close friend. Robert Stone is considered by many to be one of the most singular and influential novelists of the 1960s. Stone passed away in 2015. Madison Smartt Bell’s new is called Child of Light: A Biography of Robert Stone
    Madison Smartt Bell joins Tom from his home here in Baltimore.

    Then, in an archive conversation (first broadcast on April 28, 2020), Tom speaks with writer Louise Erdrich. From her debut novel, Love Medicine, published more than 35 years ago, through 16 subsequent novels, Erdrich has introduced readers to some of literature’s most fascinating and intriguing characters and dazzled her legions of fans with prose that is consistently distinctive and powerful.

    Her latest novel is called The Night Watchman. It takes place in rural North Dakota in the 1950s. It chronicles the efforts of the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians to thwart the government’s attempt to terminate them, which is to say, end federal recognition of the tribe, and force them off their ancestral land. It’s based on the story of Ms. Erdrich’s grandfather, Patrick Gourneau, who led the Turtle Mountain Band’s fight against what the government called “emancipation.”

    Tom spoke with Louise Erdrich on March 11th, when public understanding of the severity of the COVID-19 pandemic was in its nascent stage. They talked about the pandemic before they began recording their conversation, but they didn’t discuss it in the interview. On that day, Louise Erdrich was at the end of a 6-city book tour, still flying in full planes. She was in Lawrence, Kansas. They spoke in the afternoon, before her appearance that evening at Haskell Indian Nations University.

    Louise Erdrich lives in Minnesota with her daughters and is the owner of Birchbark Books, a small independent bookstore in Minneapolis.

    These conversation were pre-recorded, so we can't take your calls and comments.

    • 49 min

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4.9 out of 5
17 Ratings

17 Ratings

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