In the span of just a few years, comedian Trevor Noah went from performing at amateur clubs to selling out large theaters in his native South Africa. Born to an African mother and Swiss father during the apartheid era, much of his comedy stems from his upbringing in a township where blacks and whites were separated by law.
The summer of 2012 marks the centennial of the birth of American folk icon Woody Guthrie, on July 14, 1912. A poet of the people, Guthrie wrote some of America's most important songs, including "This Land Is Your Land." He penned ballads that captured the heart of hard economic times and war.
While Guthrie left a lasting mark on music, culture and politics, he struggled with family poverty, tragedies and personal demons.
Quilts hold a special place in American culture, reflecting pieces of our lives that are passed on from generation to generation. In 1987, a small group of people in San Francisco started a quilt to document the lives and stories of people who died from HIV/AIDS.
Twenty-five years and thousands of stops later, the AIDS Memorial Quilt returns to the National Mall for the first time in more than a decade. To date, more than 48,000 panels have been woven together to memorialize the lives lost to the pandemic.
The NAACP is gearing up for its annual conference in Houston, Texas. Each year, the civil rights group attracts big names, including this year's guest speaker, presidential hopeful Mitt Romney. Host Michel Martin talks with conference organizer Leon Russell about what's on his members' minds for this year's election.
Now we turn to the National Council of La Raza's annual convention. That's the nation's largest Latino civil rights organization, and that group begins its convention this weekend in Las Vegas. I'm joined now by Ron Estrada, who is chairing the event. He's also the vice president of marketing for La Raza. Mr. Estrada, thank you so much for joining us.
The Caine Prize for African Writing recognizes an African writer each year for a short story written in English. This year's prize went to Nigerian Rotimi Babatunde for "Bombay's Republic." It's about a Nigerian soldier who fought in Burma during World War II. Host Michel Martin talks with Babatunde and CNN's Nima Elbagir, one of the judges.
From the flowers, to the dress, to the cake, it's easy for brides to get caught up in planning the wedding. But after the honeymoon, a lot of couples ask, "now what?" Wedding Cake for Breakfast features essays by 23 brides in the year after they say "I do." Host Michel Martin talks with co-editor Wendy Sherman and contributor Andrea King Collier.
The source of an unidentified illness that has led to the deaths of 61 children in Cambodia since April is under investigation, according to the World Health Organization.
Most of the reported cases occurred in southern Cambodia. Health authorities in the Southeast Asian nation say the majority of the mystery ailment's victims have been under 7, NPR's Anthony Kuhn reported.
They suffered high fevers, followed by severe respiratory problems, and in some cases neurological symptoms.