Each week scholars explore the worlds of literature, science, the arts, politics, history, religion, and business through lively discussion with host Sarah McConnell. From the controversies over slave reparations and global warming, to the unique worlds of comic books and wine-making, With Good Reason is always surprising, challenging and fun!
REPLAY Voices of Vietnam: Women of War
Alongside the army of men on the front lines of conflict was an army of women in support roles. From the Red Cross volunteers who boosted morale to the nurses who treated injuries, women were a major part of soldiers’ experience of the war. We hear the stories of some of these women, and connect with scholars on how women’s roles in Vietnam reflected the gender norms of the era.
Later in the Show: The war upended the lives of millions of women at home, some of whom turned to activism in an effort to bring their husbands home. We tell the stories of war wives who allied with anti-war activists to bring about the return of POWs.
New-to-this-country students are constantly being asked to adapt. And often, their wellbeing is measured almost entirely by their ability to speak English. Alfonzo Perez Acosta is an arts educator. In his classroom, he gives students the tools to let their art do the talking. And: Everybody has a story. Not everyone has a place to tell it. Through the Community Media Center, Chioke I’Anson hopes to solve the problem of the untold story.
Later in the show: Education has long been seen as a tool of racial uplift. In the early twentieth century, Phyllis Wheatley YWCA’s across the country served young Black girls and women. Cassandra Newby-Alexander fondly recalls her days at the Norfolk YWCA, and is hopeful about what the old facility could become today. Plus: A generous grant from the Mellon Foundation has changed the game for many Richmond area high schoolers. Janelle Marshall and her team are helping get students enrolled, and sticking beside them all the way until the finish line.
In the System
When a family is referred to Child Protective Services, they’re often treated a lot like criminals on parole. But, the administrative work required to keep their families together can actually make it even harder to parent successfully. Christa Moore says that our child welfare system should operate more like collaborative care and less like bureaucratic punishment. Plus: How does having a parent who is incarcerated affect young people as they get older? Heidi Williams is talking to 18 - 25 year olds whose parents were incarcerated at some point during their childhood. She found that many of them were extra-motivated to succeed and, particularly, to help younger siblings.
Later in the show: George Mason University has a new farm lab. They’re not planting flowers or vegetables–they’re planting bodies. Mary Ellen O’Toole and Anthony Falsetti are professors in the Forensic Science Program at GMU and using their extensive careers uncovering crime to direct the new body farm. And: When you hear “organized crime” you might think Al Capone or Pablo Escobar. But what about Aunt Judy who gave you that fake Prada bag? Jay Albanese says that the average consumer should pay more attention to their own role in propping up organized crime. Albanese was named an Outstanding Faculty by the State Council for Higher Education for Virginia.
Changing The Clocks
In March, the Senate approved the Sunshine Protection Act - which, if passed, will make daylight savings time permanent. The bill has been praised by many, but Mariana Szklo-Coxe says not so fast. She studies how permanent daylight savings time will affect our sleep. Plus: Postpartum depression is one of the leading complications of childbirth, but most mothers are never screened for it. Jennifer Payne conducted a worldwide study and found that first time moms, young moms, and moms with twins have the highest rates of postpartum depression.
Later in the show: Chemotherapy is the best weapon we have at fighting cancer. But it’s notoriously hard on the body and causes a number of side-effects. Maxwell Hennings studies chemo brain, a mysterious ailment linked to cognitive decline in some patients who have undergone chemotherapy. And: Many people are prescribed drugs like Prilosec and Prevacid to treat their heartburn symptoms. But what if those same drugs could fight cancer? Randall Reif says these heartburn drugs could have the potential to revolutionize the way we treat certain cancers.
Riding Jane Crow
American railroads of the late nineteenth and early twentieth century were littered with racial, gendered traps. And from working in the food car to sitting in first class, Miriam Thaggert (SUNY Buffalo) says that Black women are critical to the history of the American railroad. Her new book is Riding Jane Crow African American Women on the American Railroad. Plus: While many European writers described the open road as a place of freedom, African-Americans revealed a different reality. From periodicals to fiction and nonfiction, Michael Hall (Virginia Commonwealth University) says that travel experiences in black literature -- are raw data about challenges to Black people's mobility in America. His new book is Freedom Beyond Confinement: Travel and Imagination in African-American Cultural History and Letters.
Later in the show: All the historic records suggest that the South Hampton YWCA was chartered in 1911. But Michelle Ellis Young (YWCA - South Hampton Roads) found out that that wasn’t true. In fact, that YMCA was chartered in 1908 by a little known shero named Laura E. Titus. Hear why Young is dedicated to uplifting Titus’ story. And:In the 60s and 70s, hitchhiking became a popular trend across the U.S.. Richard Straw (Radford University) shares with us some of the songs that motivated and sustained these hitchhikers.
REPLAY Celebrating American Freedom
In 2019, Virginia joined just three other states in making Juneteenth a paid state holiday, recognizing it as a holiday for all Virginians. Lauranett Lee says in this country we have parallel histories, with Black and white Americans knowing about and acknowledging different pasts. But community efforts and local activists are elevating the stories of African Americans so that those parallel histories are brought together. One of those local historians is Wilma Jones, who grew up in the mostly Black community of Halls Hill in Arlington, Virginia. Now the neighborhood is rapidly gentrifying and Black families like hers have been pushed out. Today, Jones says it’s too late to save Grandma’s house, but it’s not too late to save her history.
Later in the show: Much has been said about the golden age of gospel in the 1940s and 50s. But what about the gospel music that came later when hip-hop and soul were dominant? Claudrena Harold’s in her book, When Sunday Comes, takes us to the Black record shops, churches, and businesses that transformed gospel after the Civil Rights era and nurtured the music that was an essential cultural and political expression for African Americans.
Gems From the Dessert
With Good Reason finds amazing guests with knowledge, topics and opinions outside of those knocked back and forth by the usual talking heads. With Good Reason combs the desert for gems; people who should be on air but would be otherwise hidden in the sand: Mona Ternus, a veteran of several wars, nurse, and researcher explains how mothers who deploy to war can mitigate the effects on their families. Historian Cindy Wilkey recounts the adventures of the Wright Brothers from the perspective of their sister Katherine, who happenned to be their business manager. Stage and film fight director Greg Lloyd explains that the key to staging a fight scene is in the acting (or "selling") of the vicitm. Unexpected, unique insights.
conversations for the curious
i've been listening to this show for years! it covers such a wide range of subjects - you never know what you might hear about next but it's always fascinating. the host does a great job of asking the questions i want to hear answered most. great listening. keep up the good work!