366 episodes

Notes from America with Kai Wright is a show about the unfinished business of our history, and its grip on our future.

Notes from America with Kai Wright WNYC Studios

    • News
    • 4.3 • 1.5K Ratings

Notes from America with Kai Wright is a show about the unfinished business of our history, and its grip on our future.

    Class Of 2024 Grads Reflect On Being Expected to Change the World

    Class Of 2024 Grads Reflect On Being Expected to Change the World

    Today’s grads are being heralded as the generation that will change the world. And while many in Gen Z are eager to rise to the occasion, some wonder how fair of an expectation that is.

    • 49 min
    Why Divestment Is At the Core of Student Protests

    Why Divestment Is At the Core of Student Protests

    This spring, more than 150 college campuses saw anti-war protests with demonstrators calling for their schools to divest from companies doing business in Israel’s occupied territories.

    • 51 min
    What ‘The Wiz’ Was And Is to Black Culture

    What ‘The Wiz’ Was And Is to Black Culture

    For nearly 50 years, “The Wiz” has been a staple in Black families. To celebrate its return to Broadway, we take calls about your connections to the show and discuss its legacy.

    • 49 min
    Tonya Mosley Reckons with a Dark Family Story and Holds Tight to Hope in the Podcast She Has a Name

    Tonya Mosley Reckons with a Dark Family Story and Holds Tight to Hope in the Podcast She Has a Name

    Tonya Mosley's voice is familiar to millions of public radio listeners across the country. She co-hosted NPR's midday news show Here and Now for several years before becoming co-host of Fresh Air in 2022. Now, the award-winning audio journalist is taking listeners on a personal journey. 
    Around two decades ago, Mosley was just at the start of her career working in Louisville, Kentucky, when she got a call from a young man named Antonio Wiley, who said he was her nephew. Mosley hadn't grown up with her father, so the idea that she might have a nephew she had never met wasn't totally shocking. But then her nephew said something that would shock her and come to define so much of Mosley's adult life. 
    Wiley’s mom and Mosley’s eldest sister, Anita Wiley, had been missing since 1987, and Wiley has been searching to find out what happened to her since the age of 14.
    After a major discovery led to Anita's body in 2020, Mosley and Wiley decided to retrace Anita's life, hoping to find out what happened to her, documenting their effort in a podcast. 
    It's called She Has a Name, and it's part memoir, part investigative journalism — a deep dive into the city and the history that shaped Anita's life and the lives of the people who loved her. 
    In this episode of Notes from America, Mosley walks us through how this investigation redefined her relationship with her hometown and her identity, how it impacted her nephew, and what it means for people to try and find closure when so many questions remain unanswered.
    Tell us what you think. We're @noteswithkai on Instagram and X (Twitter). Email us at notes@wnyc.org. Send us a voice message by recording yourself on your phone and emailing us, or record one here.
    Notes from America airs live on Sundays at 6 p.m. ET., and listeners to the broadcast and podcast are invited to join the conversation at 844-745-TALK(8255). Podcast episodes are lightly edited from our live broadcasts.

    • 50 min
    How This Passover Feels Different For Many Jewish Americans

    How This Passover Feels Different For Many Jewish Americans

    Nearly seven months after October 7th and the start of the war in Gaza, emotions over the violence and devastation are still running hot here in the U.S, and inspiring an exercise in self-reflection for many Jewish Americans. It’s a confusing and anxious moment to celebrate Passover, marked this year by personal and communal crises over Israel, rising anti-Semitism and political divisions playing out in the public eye.
    Passover is a holiday traditionally centered around the stories of Jewish liberation from oppression. How can these ancient stories be translated into a modern context? And how can a seder table be shared with people who might have different perspectives about what it means to be Jewish in America right now?
    Guest host Matt Katz shares his personal story of a shifting Jewish identity and sits down with Noah Feldman, Harvard Law professor and author of “To Be A Jew Today: A New Guide to God, Israel, and the Jewish People,” to address some of these questions and take calls from Jewish listeners across the country.

    Tell us what you think. We’re on Instagram and X (Twitter) @noteswithkai. Email us a message or voice memo at notes@wnyc.org. Or click here to record yourself.
    “Notes from America” airs live on Sunday evenings at 6pm ET. The podcast episodes are lightly edited from our live broadcasts. Tune into the show on Sunday nights via the stream on notesfromamerica.org.

    • 49 min
    An Investigative Journalist Is Rocked By the ‘Inconceivable Truth’ Of His Own Identity

    An Investigative Journalist Is Rocked By the ‘Inconceivable Truth’ Of His Own Identity

    In this episode, we share the first part of the new podcast series Inconceivable Truth. It’s hosted by WNYC reporter Matt Katz, who has been searching for his biological father since he was a little kid. But it wasn’t until Matt was in his 40s that he realized he was on the wrong journey altogether. The true story is wrapped in confusion and secrecy, and in the end, it upended the truth about who he is — raising questions about identity, fatherhood, medical ethics and what family really means. But will finding answers make Matt whole, or just make things even more complicated?
    Join Matt Katz on Notes From America for a live conversation about Jewish American identity now, and how that identity has been interrupted, complicated or clarified by the events of October 7th and the ongoing violence and devastation in the Middle East. To add your voice to that conversation, click here to record or call or text 844-745-TALK (8255) any time. You can also call in live starting at 6pm ET on Sunday, April 21.

    • 46 min

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5
1.5K Ratings

1.5K Ratings

ElChe70 ,

Part of my weekly routine

I really enjoy how Kai has conversations with everyone. Especially with individuals whom I do not agree with or would not listen to on my own. He knows how to ask the questions that get to tough talks and brings it all together. Bravo to Kai and his great team.

JMareeK ,

Great discussions

I really appreciate the depth of the conversations, the respectful discourse, and the fearlessness

sfgrrderoc ,

Wonderful insights

Kai Wright does an excellent job of making complex issues understandable, and sometimes discusses topics which I wouldn't think interesting at first glance, but he makes them interesting, relevant and valuable to my understanding of what it means to be American. Bravo.

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